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cp140405

Four Counties From Chirk-Logistics

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Hello All,

 

We're (couple) planning on doing the Four Counties Ring out of Chirk in June of 2020. We've booked a hire boat for three weeks to (hopefully) give us some time to see a bit of the countryside as we go. 

It is not going to be our first outing on the network... we had a 42 foot hire boat out of Sowerby bridge a couple years ago, but it was a short mid-week two days out and two days back on the Rochdale.

So, this is going to be our first long (sort of ) duration canal boat holiday. The logistics of the two trips are quite different. The first time, we placed a Tesco order and had it delivered to the hire boat base. That was sufficient to keep us going for the four days... with the occasional little resupply mission at the local pub.

This time around, the logistics will be more complicated.  We have ordered a Nicholson guide that covers the route which should cover diesel, water points etc. along the way,  but we don't have an easy way of finding what services are available along the route... grocery stores within easy walking distance for example. 

Coming from overseas means data roaming rates for our smart phone are horrendously expensive so going online and using Google Maps isn't really an option... and finding open/free wifi along the way is always a pain.

Of course, we can do some research beforehand to determine which stores are along the route, but are there any paper/printed guides to the canal network (specifically the Llangollen and Four Counties Ring) that detail what services... laundry, groceries, pubs etc... are nearby the canals?

Thanks

 

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I think if I were planning a trip like you are, my first purchase on arriving here would be a one month SIM card for around £20 - £25, or maybe two at £10 -£15 (so you could contact each other at lock flights etc). That should give you ample data for investigating your local amenities.

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3 hours ago, Mike Tee said:

I think if I were planning a trip like you are, my first purchase on arriving here would be a one month SIM card for around £20 - £25, or maybe two at £10 -£15 (so you could contact each other at lock flights etc). That should give you ample data for investigating your local amenities.

 

This ^^^^

 

Try one of these, but make sure you don't the yourself into an annual.contract.

 

https://www.giffgaff.com

 

https://www.three.co.uk/Store/SIM/Pay_As_You_Go?id=1536&gclsrc=aw.ds&ds_rl=1238715&gclid=CjwKCAjwqfDlBRBDEiwAigXUaMZlrGasIsVr5DqHNj1pxJxAFsTTjIq5qagSUPcAPahnHBoIs2ZqfxoClQAQAvD_BwE

 

https://shop.ee.co.uk/sim-only/pay-as-you-go-phones

 

 

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If your phone's android, look up an app called Maps.me  - this has got shops etc on it, you an download the bits of map you want and it runs offline.

As far as shopping goes on the four counties, you shouldn't have any problems.  You'll get to Ellesmere pretty soon, which is a really nice village with a supermarket right on the canal arm.  Then (going anticlockwise) there are shops at Nantwich, Market Drayton and Wheaton Ashton, Great Haywood, Stone, Barlaston, Stoke, Wheelock and Middlewich.  Some are within a comfortable ten or twenty minute walk, most much closer.

The only really shopless chunk is the Middlewich link between Middlewich and Hurleston Junction (there used to be a shop at Barbridge but it's shut).  There's a garage at Grindley Brook that sells stuff, I think.

Also, most marinas stock basic provisions and there are plenty of those about on that route.

Edited by Arthur Marshall

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Thanks for the info and suggestions everyone... I'll look at a cheap "pay as you go" phone when we arrive in the UK...

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We travel from Australia every year(sadly not this year)and the first thing we purchase is a pay-as-u-go SIM. You may like to download e-canal maps, I think that's what they are called, which will give you most of the nearby amenities. 

With you having three weeks you will have plenty of time to do some of the short trips off the ring like up to Chester(simply stunning) and the Caldon Canal. If you don't  mind a good walk(about 2 miles) when you get to Wheelock take a stroll to Sandbach. Make sure if you do take that walk visit "The Hall" especially the Ladies facilities, so my wife says. The pictures she took show probably the grandest "facilities" we have seen! 

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On 21/04/2019 at 06:11, cp140405 said:

Hello All,

 

We're (couple) planning on doing the Four Counties Ring out of Chirk in June of 2020. We've booked a hire boat for three weeks to (hopefully) give us some time to see a bit of the countryside as we go. 

It is not going to be our first outing on the network... we had a 42 foot hire boat out of Sowerby bridge a couple years ago, but it was a short mid-week two days out and two days back on the Rochdale.

So, this is going to be our first long (sort of ) duration canal boat holiday. The logistics of the two trips are quite different. The first time, we placed a Tesco order and had it delivered to the hire boat base. That was sufficient to keep us going for the four days... with the occasional little resupply mission at the local pub.

This time around, the logistics will be more complicated.  We have ordered a Nicholson guide that covers the route which should cover diesel, water points etc. along the way,  but we don't have an easy way of finding what services are available along the route... grocery stores within easy walking distance for example. 

Coming from overseas means data roaming rates for our smart phone are horrendously expensive so going online and using Google Maps isn't really an option... and finding open/free wifi along the way is always a pain.

Of course, we can do some research beforehand to determine which stores are along the route, but are there any paper/printed guides to the canal network (specifically the Llangollen and Four Counties Ring) that detail what services... laundry, groceries, pubs etc... are nearby the canals?

Thanks

 

Pearsons Canal companion guides are much better in givng info on facilities & shops.  You would need the Welsh Waters  & Four counties ring editions.

On the LLangollen you have shops at Ellesmere, Whitchurch & Wrenbury. On the Four Counties you have shops at Nantwich, (don't forget to visit the secret nuclear bunker at Hack Geen), Audlem, Market Drayton, Gnosal, Wheaton Aston, Brewood, Penkridge, Gt. Hayward, Stone, Barlaston, Kidsgrove, Rode Heath, Wheelock, Middlewhich, Barbridge.  So no worries about shops. Enjoy your trip.

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18 hours ago, cp140405 said:

Thanks for the info and suggestions everyone... I'll look at a cheap "pay as you go" phone when we arrive in the UK...

Can you not just get a cheap one month Sim and put it into a phone you are used to? Would be cheaper.

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I use this more than Google maps (it works offline)

 

https://osmand.net/

 

 

You can configure it to show shops, pubs, restaurants, transpost, nautical plugin shows locks.

 

When I went to Iceland it was the only map I could find of the trail I was doing. Shows hill contours, cycle tracks, all sorts of stuff.

 

Don't forget to download the UK maps ?

 

Edited by eid

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16 minutes ago, Mike Tee said:

Can you not just get a cheap one month Sim and put it into a phone you are used to? Would be cheaper.

Having a local UK phone may prove useful for family (in the UK) to contact us. It's certainly a topic I need to investigate though. 

6 hours ago, Flyboy said:

Pearsons Canal companion guides are much better in givng info on facilities & shops.  You would need the Welsh Waters  & Four counties ring editions.

On the LLangollen you have shops at Ellesmere, Whitchurch & Wrenbury. On the Four Counties you have shops at Nantwich, (don't forget to visit the secret nuclear bunker at Hack Geen), Audlem, Market Drayton, Gnosal, Wheaton Aston, Brewood, Penkridge, Gt. Hayward, Stone, Barlaston, Kidsgrove, Rode Heath, Wheelock, Middlewhich, Barbridge.  So no worries about shops. Enjoy your trip.

Thanks... I must say I prefer a paper guide to an electronic one... the paper one never runs out of battery power, doesn't "brick" when the OS updates and is very user friendly...

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5 minutes ago, eid said:

I use this more than Google maps (it works offline)

 

https://osmand.net/

 

 

You can configure it to show shops, pubs, restaurants, transpost, nautical plugin shows locks.

 

When I went to Iceland it was the only map I could find of the trail I was doing. Shows hill contours, cycled tracks, all sorts of stuff.

 

Don't forget to download the UK maps ?

 

Thanks.... I suppose I could also get a new map card for my GPS... which I'll probably want if we want to do any driving around the Chirk area before or after our time on the boat.

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3 minutes ago, cp140405 said:

Thanks.... I suppose I could also get a new map card for my GPS... which I'll probably want if we want to do any driving around the Chirk area before or after our time on the boat.

Osmand has a driving bit too, with directions on screen and voice prompts (like google maps).

 

It's completely free and open source on android, though I believe they charge for the maps in iphone.

Edited by eid

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10 hours ago, Mike Tee said:

Can you not just get a cheap one month Sim and put it into a phone you are used to? Would be cheaper.

Sorry... my reply should have read, "... while retaining an active number for people at home to contact us"

Edited by cp140405
Typing faster than brain is working

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