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cornishdave

Four Counties Ring advice

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Hi all,
After your invaluable help last year I thought I'd try again... ?

We (6 of us, mixed ages from 21 to 50s) are heading out on the four counties ring late August and I'm hoping for some advice on pubs etc. We're going anti-clockwise staying at Autherley Junction.
 As we managed the Warwickshire ring last year (long way via north Stratford and included a detour through the Braunston tunnel and back) I'm not too concerned about time or a couple of long days.
We're not too fussed on posh/gastro food, just decent pub food.
Anyway, what I've come up with so far is this:

Night 1 - Penkridge (choice of several so happy to pick when we get there)
Night 2 - Sandon(ish) either Dog and Double or go couple more bridges to Greyhound
Night 3 - Westport Lakes, couldn't see much so probably pick up a chippy on way through and eat/drink onboard
Night 4 - Wheelock (few options including Cheshire Cheese)
Night 5 - Barbridge junction, Barbridge Inn
Night 6 - Market Drayton visitor moorings, possibly The Talbot
Night 7 - Brewood,  Bridge Inn

Does this look about right?
Huge thanks
Dave

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Think you may struggle with The Talbot at Mkt Drayton. I drove past before Christmas and it was being rebuilt, possibly housing? There is plenty of choice elsewhere in Drayton including a 'Spoons.

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I would head for the Red Lion in Market Drayton, good beer and good food.

 

The Dog and Doublet is always quite busy and hard to get a table unless you have booked, we have been to the Holly Bush at Salt which is just a short walk from the canal along a lane from Bridge 82.

Edited by Rob-M
Add bridge number

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Perhaps I've just been particularly unlucky, but I've only once managed to bag a mooring in Penkridge and it was close to midday and wasn't in the school holidays.  By the look of your itinerary, you're going to be arriving everywhere relatively late so you may wish to consider alternatives. 

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Day three stop at Etruria and go down the road to the Holy Inadequate great beer but only porkpie to eat, but you can visit the Toby Carvery first for food. Wheelock well worth getting a bus or taxi into Sandbach. The beer emporium has some great beers but closes early check out their facebook page or website. Wetherspoons nearby does food til late. Last bus back is quite late.

 

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Dunno Sandon(ish). 

Never seen reason to stay at Barbridge. 

Wheelock pretty but only 1 pub now. As you say the Cheshire  cheese. Ok pub. Small and friendly. 

Best place was the hotel (commecial?) but thats shut down. 

 

Surpised you haven’t thought of Stone, it’s a cracking place to stop. 

 

Plenty at Rugely too.  

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9 minutes ago, Goliath said:

Dunno Sandon(ish). 

Never seen reason to stay at Barbridge. 

Wheelock pretty but only 1 pub now. As you say the Cheshire  cheese. Ok pub. Small and friendly. 

Best place was the hotel (commecial?) but thats shut down. 

 

Surpised you haven’t thought of Stone, it’s a cracking place to stop. 

 

Plenty at Rugely too.  

Did you mean Rugeley...?  If so that isn't on the Four Counties ring.

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Yes, I agree if you like a decent pint Stone is a great stop. With Limestone's brewery tap(The Bore Hole) , a Titanic pub (The Royal Exchange) and the Swan at the bottom of the locks (if you are a member, don't forget to ask for CAMRA discount) and it's a good place to shop

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11 hours ago, Rob-M said:

Did you mean Rugeley...?  If so that isn't on the Four Counties ring.

Yes I meant Rugeley. 

You’re right. I was thinking it was north of great Haywood but it’s not, it’s south. 

 

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Consider stopping at Nantwich instead of Barbridge, short walk to town and more choice of pubs/shops.

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Calling @cornishdave I would be Interested to know from the OP how this circuit went in the end as I’m intending the same next Easter from Autherly?

Edited by Knighty

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I will indeed update when we get back, however at the moment we're still eagerly anticipating as we don't go until the end of the month 🙂

We have tweaked the above plan slightly though to put us nearer the case on the last night, I'll let you know how we got on...

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Many thanks for taking the trouble to reply, I’m hiring from Napton NB’s Autherly and intend to head anti clockwise. 

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On 18/04/2019 at 15:06, Pie Eater said:

Consider stopping at Nantwich instead of Barbridge, short walk to town and more choice of pubs/shops.

I was going to make the same suggestion until I scrolled down and found you'd beaten me to it.

 

So, seconded :)

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Please post a trip diary or comments about your vacation. We have put down the deposit on a three week hire out of Chirk for June 2020. We'd be interested in hearing about your trip.

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Well we made it round safe and sound. Quick (ish) summary for those that asked...

 

Saturday: pick up boat at Autherley, travel to Penkridge. Stopped at the first mooring available (it was busy) and ate in the Cross Keys (nice food and cheap). (approx 10 miles, 5 locks).

Sunday: Penkridge to Stone. Again very busy so stopped at first available spot which was before planned (i.e. before Stone bottom lock/Star lock). nearest pub was some distance and wasn't doing food so ate on board, (approx 19 miles and 10 locks)

Monday: Early start so we would make the tunnel - Stone to Red Bull. Be aware we left around 08:30 and made it to the tunnel with 5 minutes to spare (last northbound passage was 16:00). Ate at Red Bull - plenty of mooring space in the vicinity. Lovely home made pies and cheap. Best to phone ahead though as they were turning people away who hadn't booked (possibly they wanted to finish food early cos of bank holiday) Approx 15 miles and 16 locks.

Tuesday: Red Bull to Middlewich. Moored above Maureen's lock having done the tricky turn onto the Middlewich Branch (70-footer took a few goes at getting round). Plenty of moorings. Ate in town at the Narrowboat gastropub good curries and slightly more expensive but not too bad. Approx 11 miles and 27 locks

Wednesday: Middlewich to Audlem. Moored right outside the Shroppie Fly but (on advice of others we'd met) ate at the Lord Combermere. Very good food, slightly pricey but well worth it. 20Approx 20 miles and 11 locks

Thursday: Audlem to Norbury junction. Moored in last available spot before the junction but appeared to be more after it. Ate in the Junction Inn, again good pub food and average pricing. Approx 17 miles and 21 locks

Friday: Norbury Junction to Compton (having passed the starting point). Went down the first two Compton locks then turned and went back up them, mooring just above the top lock - plenty of space. Chippy for dinner as advised, very good but be prepared for a long queue as it's v popular (Peps Place). Approx 19 miles and 5 locks

Saturday: a quick 45-60 minute trip back to the base with no locks (apart from the 6 inch stop lock at the base itself).

 

All in all a fantastic (but rather energetic) week again with no disasters and only one grumpy person met all week. A few 8.5 hour days but nothing outrageous.

Now planning next year (possibly the Avon Ring!) 😀

  • Greenie 3

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Many thanks for taking the trouble to post this, I’m hiring from Autherly  the week leading up to Easter so hoping a little quieter than your experience, only me and  my 2 reasonably experienced children 16 & 20 so having read this definitely want to go for the ring in a week rather than out and back via Chester. 

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49 minutes ago, Knighty said:

Many thanks for taking the trouble to post this, I’m hiring from Autherly  the week leading up to Easter so hoping a little quieter than your experience, only me and  my 2 reasonably experienced children 16 & 20 so having read this definitely want to go for the ring in a week rather than out and back via Chester. 

No problem.

In fairness it wasn't actually that busy. Certainly when moving we saw remarkably few people on the move, it was just the Saturday & Sunday evenings in the particularly busy pub/mooring sports that we noticed a lack of moorings

 

 

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