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Alison007

Cheshire Ring from Autherley

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Hi All

 

We are coming over from Australia in August next year and spending 2 weeks cruising the Cheshire Ring.  Our hire boat leaves from Autherley (Napton Narrowboats, whom we have used before) and I just was wondering the rough time to get from Autherley up to the turn onto the Trent and Mersey canal for the Ring? 

 

It will be my third canal trip and my parents fourth and we have down the Four Counties Ring in 2012, so the first part of the trip up to the ring will be done quickly (as you can actually go in a Canal Boat) as possible as we won't need to stop and explore :)

Many thanks!

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check out 

https://canalplan.eu/

 Autherley is a strange place to start for the Cheshire ring but with two weeks you could do the Four Counties as well   .... up the Shropshire Union on the way there and down the Trent and Mersey on the way back.

You ask in your original question how far to the Trent and Mersey ... Canal Plan says 10 hours to great Haywood Junction with the Trent and Mersey but this is not part of the Cheshire ring, you would need to do another 13 hours up the Trent and Mersey to reach the Macclesfield and start the Cheshire Ring.

I am not sure you would have much time for sight seeing but it sounds like a good trip to me.

Edited by NickF

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I expect you're already aware that the Middlewich is out, but you should also be aware that the Marple Fight is currently closed - next assessment this Wednesday (11 Aug).  Were awaiting that at the moment - it was to open Friday last, but the temporary repair wasn't deemed safe enough.  Also, the Bosley flight is closed for the first 3 days this coming week and 3 more the week after to try to stem leakage (this should then be ok til winter but things go wrong).  Message is: keep an eye on the CRT stoppage pages and have a Plan B!

 

Autherley to Great Haywood Junction took me 3 days a couple of weeks ago but I was travelling much slower than you will be and there'll be more hire boat traffic due to school holidays in August, so my timings aren't much help. Professional ring baggers will be along shortly with record times....!

 

Hope you have a great time! :)

 

 

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Thanks Nick.  It is a bit of an odd place, we just went with the canal company we has used and the Rings they said you could do in 2 weeks. Upon further inspection of the maps, it had me thinking that it looked a long way from Autherley.  

 

We have done the Four Counties Ring but loved it so it won't be any hardship to view all that scenery again.

 

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I think you may have missed the earlier point - the 4 counties is closed until 2019 at Middlewich 

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Cut end to Haywood is 25ish miles used to be a comfortable 2 days when we hotel boated

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Thanks everyone,, this trip isn't until 2019, so next year.  Hopefully everything will be reopened by then!  Sounds like it will take a good few days to make it up to the Trent and Mersey, and then onto the ring

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2 minutes ago, Alison007 said:

Thanks everyone,, this trip isn't until 2019, so next year.  

Ah, that'll be not be this August then, will it! Doh! :D

 

Actually, still keep an eye on those stoppages, but fingers crossed you'll be ok by then!

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If the Middlewich Branch has reopened by the time of your holiday (hopefully it will be by August 2019) then you could go up the Shroppie and join the ring at Middlewich, this could be done within 3 days. Then round the Cheshire Ring and either go clockwise, turn left at Harding's Wood and finish down the Trent and Jersey and the Staffs and Worcs as you did on the four counties which would be about 3 days.

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Will keep both eyes on the stoppages, but all said and done we aren't opposed to trying another canal either, just so long we can get to it from our base! 

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Autherley Junction to Hardings Wood is three standard days cruising. The proposed route is a full two week hire but not excessive. Note that if combining Four Counties and Cheshire rings you would potentially miss out the Cheshire locks which I would see as one of the attractions of both rings. Therefore it might be prudent to plan a straight out and back via the T&M as per your proposal but go clockwise around the Cheshire ring to give the option of returning via Middlewich and the Shropshire Union if time permits. That would of course mean doing the Cheshire locks twice. That would be a hard working two weeks; it would be about 8 hours a day every day for a willing and competent crew. However there will be some days with few, if any, locks.

 

JP

Edited by Captain Pegg

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15 minutes ago, Captain Pegg said:

Autherley Junction to Hardings Wood is three standard days cruising. The proposed route is a full two week hire but not excessive. Note that if combining Four Counties and Cheshire rings you would potentially miss out the Cheshire locks which I would see as one of the attractions of both rings. Therefore it might be prudent to plan a straight out and back via the T&M as per your proposal but go clockwise around the Cheshire ring to give the option of returning via Middlewich and the Shropshire Union if time permits. That would of course mean doing the Cheshire locks twice. That would be a hard working two weeks; it would be about 8 hours a day every day for a willing and competent crew. However there will be some days with few, if any, locks.

 

JP

 

Except for the Bridgewater I can't think of anywhere where you can cruise for 8 hours without doing locks.

 

but I am expecting to be comprehensively proven wrong in the next half hour ?

 

(maybe Appley Bridge to the Top of Stanley in Liverpool....there are a lot of swing bridges.)

 

...............Dave 

 

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6 minutes ago, dmr said:

 

Except for the Bridgewater I can't think of anywhere where you can cruise for 8 hours without doing locks.

 

but I am expecting to be comprehensively proven wrong in the next half hour ?

 

(maybe Appley Bridge to the Top of Stanley in Liverpool....there are a lot of swing bridges.)

 

...............Dave 

 

The point was that there are some long lock free stretches on both rings so it won't be non-stop hard work if they chose to do the longer figure of eight route. The southern end of the SU and either side of Bosley on the Macclesfield offer relatively long stretches of cruising in addition to the Bridgwater where there might conceivably be a lock free day (or maybe just a stop lock).

 

How long does it take you to cruise from Coventry basin to the top of the Ashby?

 

JP

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10 minutes ago, Captain Pegg said:

The point was that there are some long lock free stretches on both rings so it won't be non-stop hard work if they chose to do the longer figure of eight route. The southern end of the SU and either side of Bosley on the Macclesfield offer relatively long stretches of cruising in addition to the Bridgwater where there might conceivably be a lock free day (or maybe just a stop lock).

 

How long does it take you to cruise from Coventry basin to the top of the Ashby?

 

JP

Never been into Coventry basin.  Does 8 hours of cruising include Weedhatch visits?

Bottom of Factory locks and through Netherton is a long trip, but not 8 hours (unless there is a long pub stop!), but must confess I completely forgot about the Curly-Wurley, top of factory locks and a right turn just before Wolverhampton is a long stretch, but probably not 8 hours, especially in "challenge mode".

 

Pretty sure we have done lots of lock free days but can't remember where!

 

.................Dave

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Bottom of factory to top of Lapworth would be 8 hours, Birmingham level.  Also Longwood Junction, Engine Arm Junction would've 8 hours, Wolverhampton level.

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4 hours ago, Alison007 said:

Will keep both eyes on the stoppages, but all said and done we aren't opposed to trying another canal either, just so long we can get to it from our base! 

A nice plan B would be to go down to Stourport and onto the Severn, all the way to Tewkesbury, then back up the Avon to Stratford and through the middle of Birmingham to get back.

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Thanks for all the help everyone! We have been thinking a lot, and we have changed our plans.  It seemed that trying to do the Ring from the Autherley base would just be too stressful.   We are now going to do the Llangollen and putter for 2 weeks. Stop and visit some of the villages/towns, moor up in Llangollen for a couple of nights etc.   It will be busy (traffic wise), cause we are picking the boat up on August 3rd 2019 for 2 weeks, but we don't mind.  Nothing can compare to the Kennet and Avon 2 years ago! 

 

Now to convince my Dad I should learn how to drive this time :)

 

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On 08/07/2018 at 08:18, Alison007 said:

Thanks Nick.  It is a bit of an odd place, we just went with the canal company we has used and the Rings they said you could do in 2 weeks. Upon further inspection of the maps, it had me thinking that it looked a long way from Autherley.  

 

We have done the Four Counties Ring but loved it so it won't be any hardship to view all that scenery again.

 

You could always do the Stourport Ring as an alternative.

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1 hour ago, Flyboy said:

You could always do the Stourport Ring as an alternative.

This ^^^ We went down to Stourport this year, lovely run, great canal and much quieter than Llangollen.

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We did actually consider the Stourport Ring, but my Mum would never survive the locks.   We scraped through the K&A and Caen Hill (twice) a few years ago and that was enough.   There are still locks on the Shropshire and Llangollen but not as many, hence making that choice :)

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Narrow locks are much easier than the wide locks of the K&A. The only wide locks on the Stourport ring are automated with lock keepers unless you detoured up the Droitwich canal which has some wide ones and the couple at Worcester to get off the river.

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1 hour ago, Rob-M said:

Narrow locks are much easier than the wide locks of the K&A. The only wide locks on the Stourport ring are automated with lock keepers unless you detoured up the Droitwich canal which has some wide ones and the couple at Worcester to get off the river.

Good point. Narrow boats are meant for narrow locks. Much easier. I didn't think the OPs original suggestion - before we confused it with talk of combining rings - was a particularly demanding trip but any two week trip will involve some lock heavy stretches.

 

The SU has nothing quite on the scale of Astwood/Stoke/Tardebigge or the Cheshire locks though.

 

Interesting how people's views of canals differ. If I were to produce a list of canals in a broad order of preference for visiting I wouldn't have either the Llangollen or K&A that far off the bottom of the list.

 

JP

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6 minutes ago, Captain Pegg said:

Good point. Narrow boats are meant for narrow locks. Much easier. I didn't think the OPs original suggestion - before we confused it with talk of combining rings - was a particularly demanding trip but any two week trip will involve some lock heavy stretches.

 

The SU has nothing quite on the scale of Astwood/Stoke/Tardebigge or the Cheshire locks though.

 

Interesting how people's views of canals differ. If I were to produce a list of canals in a broad order of preference for visiting I wouldn't have either the Llangollen or K&A that far off the bottom of the list.

 

JP

Just out of curiosity what would be your top canals?

 

Having done the K&A and not been hugely impressed I can see why that would be near the bottom but what's the reasoning for the Llangollen? 

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1 hour ago, Alison007 said:

Just out of curiosity what would be your top canals?

 

Having done the K&A and not been hugely impressed I can see why that would be near the bottom but what's the reasoning for the Llangollen? 

When you said "Nothing can compare to the Kennet & Avon two years ago!" in an earlier post I took that mean you weren't expecting anything quite as good. In retrospect it looks like that comment may have been a reference to the number of boats.

 

I think recently restored canals have a slightly artificial 'museum piece' feel to them rather than being waterways for serious boating. I certainly felt that on the western K&A. The Droitwich Barge (wide) canal is picturesque but has a similar feel. The Droitwich Junction (narrow) canal is mostly a rebuild and it's genuinely artificial nature contrasts massively with the superb Hanbury locks which are original and sympathetically restored. It's interesting all the same. However it doesn't compare with the largely unspoilt Worcester & Birmingham where standing on the Tardebigge flight you really can imagine not much has changed in 200 years and the locks are configured to work boats through quickly by design.

 

As a Midlander with a principal interest in narrow boats I prefer the Midlands narrow canals for their history and the locations that form the image of the archetypal English canal environment. These canals are a long established integral part of their environment be it rural or urban and have a different feel for me. The South Oxford and the southern section of the Staffs & Worcs are particularly picturesque.

 

The Llangollen - at least the bit that people really go to visit - is different; for starters it's in Wales. It's an area I would naturally choose to visit by car rather than by boat and have done on numerous occasions. Of course for you it's very different and I can quite understand why you want to go there on your trip. It's popular for a reason. You also have time to visit Chester, maybe Middlewich or Ellesmere Port for the museum and you will get some good canal history and architecture at these and other places.

 

Any of the major cruising rings or their constituent canals will give you a good mix of locations and a flavour of the canals and there are gems in places you would never normally visit as an overseas visitor - such as Brierley Hill, Stourbridge, Wombourne, Atherstone, Bedworth, Northwich, Stoke-on Trent...

 

JP

 

ETA - to attempt to answer the question probably the best hire trip I ever did was the Warwickshire ring. Great variety and contrasts between urban and rural canal.

 

 

 

Edited by Captain Pegg

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