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A week’s holiday from Anderton Marina


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Hi everyone,

 

novice here! My parents have kindly got us a week on a narrow boat from Anderton Marina for a week in July for my 40th birthday.

 

whilst I have been on narrow boats before, this was as a kid with scouts so we are first timers really! There’s 4 of us, my wife and I and two boys aged 10 and 12.

 

couple of questions - where should we go? Some friends suggest the Cheshire ring but that looks a big ask in a week?

 

also, should we take bikes for the kids (can you cycle on a towpath?) where would we put them?

 

anything we should or shouldn’t do?

 

thanks :)

Matt 

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Personally I’d go to Chester and back, lovely city with a very good zoo, if that floats the kids boat (so to speak). Very roughly;

End day 1 (assume you have 3 to 4 hrs) you should make Middlewich.

End day 2, Barbridge (Chester is a right turn when you get to the Shropshire Union, but I’d initially turn left and moor near the pub. You can turn round about a mile further down.

End day 3, Either moor at the Cheshire Cat pub on edge of Chester (or go all the way into Chester)

End day 4, stay in Chester (maybe start journey back)

Then up to you how much you push to get back 

 

Just my views having done the trip a few times.

 

as for bikes, towpath may be muddy in a few places but generally good for cycling. May be worth checking with hire base regarding bikes on roof or in front well deck (good locks advised).

  • Greenie 1
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1 hour ago, RAB said:

Personally I’d go to Chester and back, lovely city with a very good zoo, if that floats the kids boat (so to speak). Very roughly;

End day 1 (assume you have 3 to 4 hrs) you should make Middlewich.

End day 2, Barbridge (Chester is a right turn when you get to the Shropshire Union, but I’d initially turn left and moor near the pub. You can turn round about a mile further down.

End day 3, Either moor at the Cheshire Cat pub on edge of Chester (or go all the way into Chester)

End day 4, stay in Chester (maybe start journey back)

Then up to you how much you push to get back 

 

Just my views having done the trip a few times.

 

as for bikes, towpath may be muddy in a few places but generally good for cycling. May be worth checking with hire base regarding bikes on roof or in front well deck (good locks advised).

Our first narrowboat holiday back in 1979 was one week from Anderton and Chester was our choice. Down through Northgate Staircase to wind.

Edited by pearley
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Hope you have a good birthday, send us pictures and let us know how it went.  I'd like to take a bet you love it and will want to buy a boat.  Its a great holiday with kids, leave the laptop in the drawer the boys will appreciate it. 

 

(p.s. ... wait a year or so before you buy a boat, there will be lots around, its mad at the moment for buying) 

  • Greenie 1
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The Cheshire Ring is fine for a week's holiday as long as you're happy putting in the hours. We did that when our kids were a couple of years older than yours on a week's hire and included the Upper Peak as well. Chester is a great trip but it means that you'll be repeating your journey. 

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1 hour ago, Great Plum said:

Hi everyone,

 

novice here! My parents have kindly got us a week on a narrow boat from Anderton Marina for a week in July for my 40th birthday.

 

whilst I have been on narrow boats before, this was as a kid with scouts so we are first timers really! There’s 4 of us, my wife and I and two boys aged 10 and 12.

 

couple of questions - where should we go? Some friends suggest the Cheshire ring but that looks a big ask in a week?

 

also, should we take bikes for the kids (can you cycle on a towpath?) where would we put them?

 

anything we should or shouldn’t do?

 

thanks :)

Matt 

The Cheshire Ring can easily be done in a week with an enthusiastic (and preferably experienced) crew, so long as you don't mind travelling most of the time every single day and you like doing lots of locks.

 

If this doesn't sound like it would suit you, CanalPlanAC will help you see how far you can go depending on how many hours a day you want to travel, I'm sure more people will suggest routes like RAB did above.

 

Bikes can be tricky, there's nowhere to fit them inside the boat and often not outside either, some boatyards don't like you taking them because they scratch the paint if you put them on the roof -- or fall off, or get squashed under low bridges.

 

Get the boys involved and you'll have a great time. 10 and 11 is fine to help at the locks (under instruction, obviously), and steer the boat (where safe and under supervision, obviously) -- our kids and those of friends loved it.

PICT0011.JPG

 

 

Edited by IanD
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6 minutes ago, David Mack said:

But it all looks different when you are travelling in the opposite direction.

Absolutely, but you're still going through the same places. Not that there's anything wrong with an out-and-back trip, but cruising a ring is more interesting in my opinion. Having done both these trips several times I would choose the Cheshire Ring for an interesting family holiday as long as you are prepared to spend most of it boating. There won't be much time for cycling though.

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We did the Cheshire Ring in an Anderton hire boat more than 35 years ago and found it a slog of 10 hour days. I haven't checked but I recollect something like 120 lock and 100 miles didn't make for a relaxing holiday. I enjoyed it but the crew were close to mutiny by the end of the week. As with most Rings once you pass the halfway point then there is no turning back! 

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My choice would be to Llangollen and back. Easy narrow locks, some lift bridges, some tunnels and best of all a couple of aqueduct.

 

I would forget about the bike as I don't think most of the towpath is suitable or safe for the kids.

 

As IanD said, have a look at the canalplan site to give yourself an idea of timings.

 

  • Greenie 3
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Thank you everyone - lots to think about.

 

I like the idea of a ‘ring’ as it means you don’t double back on yourselves but I whilst I would have no problem plodding on for hours, it’s probably not my family’s cup of tea - I think we would want to have 10 days for that realistically. I’ll check out the other ideas you’ve given me...

 

Chester sounds like fun and doable. The Llangollen too (is that the canal with “that” aqueduct?)

  • Greenie 1
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Yes, if you can do the Llangollen aqueduct you will be mightily impressed, just make sure the boys are not on the roof. 

 

Enjoy the week, you will be back to do the rest. 

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1 hour ago, Pie Eater said:

My choice would be to Llangollen and back. Easy narrow locks, some lift bridges, some tunnels and best of all a couple of aqueduct.

But on a reasonable week from Anderton you wouldn't get to the highlights of the Llangollen. Somewhere like Ellesmere or maybe Frankton Junction would be as far as you would get.

  • Happy 1
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1 hour ago, David Mack said:

But on a reasonable week from Anderton you wouldn't get to the highlights of the Llangollen. Somewhere like Ellesmere or maybe Frankton Junction would be as far as you would get.


I had a look at the distance - it might be too far for us I think 

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Personally I would go up the Llangollen. However to get to the Aquaduct and back you will need to cruise 10 hrs a day, 12hrs a day if you want to get to the basin in Llangollen itself and back. But I love cruising all day, and the Llangollen is worth it.....especially the last 5 miles of it. Truly spectacular. I've done it twice in a week and my kids are younger than yours....they loved cruising all day long! 

But it does depend what sort of holiday you want. If you want to cruise a few hours a day and spend lots of time in pubs then Llangollen is probably not worth it in a week. Although with kids whatever you plan to do, I'd be considering a route with narrow locks as the kids have half a chance of operating them.....under supervision of course! 

  • Happy 1
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  • 1 month later...
On 12/05/2021 at 17:27, Great Plum said:

also, should we take bikes for the kids (can you cycle on a towpath?) where would we put them?

Not sure how old the kids are but tell them to avoid placing the windlass down the back of their jeans. It can cause nasty things to happen to your coccyx when you fall off.

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