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Jennifer McM

Atherstone to Tewitfield

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Atherstone to Tewitfield will take us to the end of the Summer (I think! We're not speedy) - 184 miles, 86 locks, 87 hours.

 

We've done the journey from the bottom of the Wigan flight junction through the Leigh branch L&L, onto the Bridgewater etc. We'll be making our way back to the Leigh Branch/Wigan Flight Junction, then turning left..... from then on it's a 'mystery tour'. (Memories of a fortnight's holiday on a cruiser on the Lancaster when I was 18 doesn't count - that's all a blur now 😕)

 

We'll be going through the Ribble Link, and as far as we can up the Lancaster which I think will be Twitfield.

 

I'm really looking forward to the journey! But I'm a bit worried about the Ribble Link. 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Jennifer McM said:

Atherstone to Tewitfield will take us to the end of the Summer (I think! We're not speedy) - 184 miles, 86 locks, 87 hours.

 

We've done the journey from the bottom of the Wigan flight junction through the Leigh branch L&L, onto the Bridgewater etc. We'll be making our way back to the Leigh Branch/Wigan Flight Junction, then turning left..... from then on it's a 'mystery tour'. (Memories of a fortnight's holiday on a cruiser on the Lancaster when I was 18 doesn't count - that's all a blur now 😕)

 

We'll be going through the Ribble Link, and as far as we can up the Lancaster which I think will be Twitfield.

 

I'm really looking forward to the journey! But I'm a bit worried about the Ribble Link. 

 

 

That's a week's holiday for us 😂

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We are going over onto the Lancaster at the end of July, we will be in Birmingham on the 13th so just over 2 weeks to get to Tarleton.  We will be on the Lancaster for over a month so I think we will have been end to end a good few times by the time we are done.

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I will be interested to see the answers to the OP's question as well as another thread that's on the go about things to do and see on the Lancaster.

 

We are booked on the Ribble Link crossing on June 17th and will be on the Lancaster Canal for 17 days. I've done tidal waters before (Trent, Yorkshire Ouse, Thames Tideway, River Severn from Tewkesbury to Gloucester) and from what I've found out it looks like the Douglas/Ribble won't be much different. Is that the case or is there anything different I should be aware of except for the obvious one of making sure I negotiate the Astland Lamp correctly and don't end up on a sandbank or out into the estuary?

 

I anticipate the Savisbrook Cut may be a bit of a pain in my 62ft nb though, especially the locks at the far end,  Not so much the turn into it from the river as I've previously experienced other difficult ones like West Stockwith, Keadby, and Selby but I'd be interested in your opinions as to how it compares.

 

As for the Lancaster I think 17 days would be about right especially as we don't do long days cruising, and we will probably do the Glasson Branch.

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Likewise doing the link for the first time this summer, this is my thoughts from the research that I have done.

 

The difference to other tidal waters is that you are pushing the tide for most of the time, you will get slack water at high tide around the time you enter the Ribble.  So the tide is coming in while you go down the Douglas, and the tide is going out while you go up the Ribble.  It sounds like the strongest flow against you will be initially on the Douglas, we did a recce (by car) and the Douglas is very small at Tarleton lock, so I am thinking a flow like you get outside Selby lock when you make the turn to get back in, ie very fast.  So initial progress will be slow, but you should speed up as the Douglas gets bigger and you get closer to high tide.  The Ribble is quite big more like the Trent size than the Ouse size, so the effect of the flow on the Ribble will be less, by just like when you leave Torksey for Keadby and push the tide for the first couple of hours in am think you will be down to perhaps 2mph over the ground.  I am quite happy if we are too slow to do it in one hop, and have to go via Preston docks.

 

The turn to Savick Brook is also going to be different to Keady, Selby etc, because you are already going against the flow so there is no need to turn round before making the entry.

 

Happy to hear any corrections or additional stuff that I have missed.

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That's useful information thanks. I'd read that initially after leaving Tarleton it was pushing the tide for the first mile or so. Seeing your comparisons with the other tidal waters gives me more idea of what to expect along the way.

 

I'd be prepared to stop in Preston but I'd prefer to do it in one hit. Does anyone know roughly how long it takes from Tarleton to the entrance to the Savick Brook?

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On 13/05/2019 at 21:16, Jennifer McM said:

Atherstone to Tewitfield will take us to the end of the Summer (I think! We're not speedy) - 184 miles, 86 locks, 87 hours.

 

We've done the journey from the bottom of the Wigan flight junction through the Leigh branch L&L, onto the Bridgewater etc. We'll be making our way back to the Leigh Branch/Wigan Flight Junction, then turning left..... from then on it's a 'mystery tour'. (Memories of a fortnight's holiday on a cruiser on the Lancaster when I was 18 doesn't count - that's all a blur now 😕)

 

We'll be going through the Ribble Link, and as far as we can up the Lancaster which I think will be Twitfield.

 

I'm really looking forward to the journey! But I'm a bit worried about the Ribble Link. 

 

 

The Lancaster is a very attractive canal for the whole 40 mile length. The terminus at Tewitfield is probably the worst bit, being right alongside the M6 it is very noisy and the canal is very shallow  especially at the edges.  In fact the Lancaster is a very shallow canal generally, and if we have another dry summer parts of it are pretty sketchy for a flat bottom narrowboat.  You definitely need a decent boarding plank.  

 

Owing to the Ribble link closure last year we spent the entire summer on the canal.  Even at the busiest times you can normally find decent moorings in the popular areas - Garstang, Lancaster, Guys Thatched Hamlet, etc and hardly anyone ventures below Bilsborrow or north of Carnforth.  Watch out for speeding grp cruisers who ignore the speed limit, there are also a surprising number of hire boats with inexperienced crews.  

 

I wouldn't worry about the Link, if you have a decent engine that can be pushed hard you'll be ok, Savick Brook has recently been dredged so it isn't the challenge it used to be, it's only a problem really when you are coming back as you get to the foot of the locks well before the tide comes in and then it can be really shallow but you just have to wait. 

 

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Thanks for the information Neil2.  I think I've read that the river parts takes about an hour. Is that about right? It's just that I'm a bit anxious about running my old BMC 1.8 at high revs for too long.

 

Last year going up river on the Thames from Limehouse it was on high revs for a couple of hours and performed okay and didn't overheat so hopefully I should be alright.

 

Regarding the depths of Savick Brook and the Lancaster, I only draw 2ft so that should help.

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1 hour ago, Grassman said:

Thanks for the information Neil2.  I think I've read that the river parts takes about an hour. Is that about right? It's just that I'm a bit anxious about running my old BMC 1.8 at high revs for too long.

 

Last year going up river on the Thames from Limehouse it was on high revs for a couple of hours and performed okay and didn't overheat so hopefully I should be alright.

 

Regarding the depths of Savick Brook and the Lancaster, I only draw 2ft so that should help.

I think the two rivers in combination are something like 7or 8 miles, I would have thought at least 2 hours given you are against the tide?

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6 minutes ago, john6767 said:

I think the two rivers in combination are something like 7or 8 miles, I would have thought at least 2 hours given you are against the tide?

 

I should be fine with that then as I've read on this forum that it's only the River Douglas section where you have to really push the tide and that the wider Ribble isn't quite so intense.

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29 minutes ago, john6767 said:

I think the two rivers in combination are something like 7or 8 miles, I would have thought at least 2 hours given you are against the tide?

Yes, typically 2 hours and you're punching tide most of that. 

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