Welcome to the story of Hale and Hearty travelling the canals of Great Britian

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Onwards and upwards

We have spent 10 days in Gloucestershire, where we spent lots of nice time with Martin’s mum and dad and also had outings to south Wales, visiting a lovely nature reserve and a Roman town, where a villager was selling excess produce, which included figs, grown perhaps on a descendant from Roman times, Newark Park NT property and looked for fossils at Aust Cliff, on the Severn, where they abound in the layers of rock that are gradually eroding. We caught up with old friends and found living in a house tiring, so much walking about and the kettle more than five paces away!
Now we are back aboard our lovely boat, safe and sound and continuing our adventures. We revictualled in Macclesfield where there is a cracking fish shop, long may it last, and headed off into the Peaks. Towns and villages now have the distinctive stone build look of the Peak district and the canal passes by many huge textile mills, now used to house other businesses. The canal is 518 feet above sea level and one of the highest in the country. As we go further into the undulations of the land the views become ever more extensive, wonderful. To maintain the contour the canal is carried along on embankments and over aqueducts, feats of engineering hard to envisage the scale of manpower needed. At Higher Poynton Martin visited the Anson Engine Museum, which provides a complete history of the internal combustion engine with working examples going back to the 1880’s. We walked to Lyme Park (alias Pemberly in Pride and Prejudice), a long but rewarding climb to over 800 feet with fantastic views en route over the Cheshire plain, Manchester and the Pennines beyond. The house is a magnificent pile with lovely grounds and parkland, but regrettably no sign of Mr Darcy and his wet shirt! We shared our mooring place with flocks of geese which arrived at dusk with a great show. And so we find ourselves in Marple, moored on the Peak Forest Canal, having travelled the full length of the Macclesfield, and looking across the valley to the high Peaks. Martin’s uncle and aunt live close by and we have been able to meet up with them. We are still excited and awed to find ourselves moored amongst so much natural beauty and magnificent history.

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