Shady Oak Pub, Beeston to Chester
10 miles, 8 locks
We woke to yet another glorious day - chilly to start with, but it soon warmed up. We set off early (well early for us!) - the dogs and I left just before 8am and Chris followed 10 minutes later. My walk was idyllic once past this field of young cattle on the other side of the canal. As they saw us come under the bridge they rushed across the field and set up the most unearthly racket. I think they might have thought we were arriving with food!
For the rest of the couple of miles it was peaceful - we only saw one man with his dog
Our only other companions were these serene and graceful swans
Then once back on board we came across this very, very long line of moored boats. For non boaters - you have to slow down to idle going past moored boats. The line is over a mile long and by the end you are losing the will to live!
I do love to see properties where the owners make the most of their enviable canal locations.
As we approached Chester there are five locks to negotiate and our timing was perfect. As we approached a boat (nb Spadger) was just entering the top lock, so by the time we arrived the gate on the far side was open and ready for us to sail in. We shared all five locks and even better the first four were full and ready for us.
The approach to Chester is a bit industrial, but there are points of interest - this is the Lead Shot Tower - it used to be used to making musket shot during Napoleonic Wars.
Right opposite this is a new Waitrose - at least we assume it is fairly new as it does not appear in either of our guide books. We stopped to get some 'goodies', but moved on to moor again to get our basics from Tesco.
As you creep forward you become aware of the city walls
This definitely has the feeling of being a moat
Our final hurdle - the three staircase locks at Northgate.
Again we were lucky and arrived to find a boat in the top lock and the gate on this side open and waiting for us to enter. The paddle gear on the first two locks is on the towpath side, so I did not even have to do any winding!
As you emerge at the bottom under this low bridge it is a sharp turn to the right to
Tower Wharf where we moored up opposite the Warehouse built by Thomas Telford which is now a very pleasant pub
Just before Taylor's Boatyard which is the oldest working boatyard in the country.
We were also opposite this tribute to LTC Rolt
We wandered along the towpath with the dogs - someone has a sense of humour
Well it made us smile.
Thursday 22nd September 2016
A leisurely start today before we headed out with both dogs to walk the walls of Chester
It is a fascinating walk that takes quite a while as there is a lot of reading material as you go. There are views of wonderful buildings
hills in the distance
The Roodee Racecourse
The Old Dee Bridge over the River Dee and leading to Wales
How is this for an address?
And the view of the River Dee from that balcony must be amazing
We diverted off the wall to walk through the Roman Gardens
Where we found a Roman soldier educating a class of school children - he was demonstrating how much protection his head got as he tried to chop the volunteer's head off!
Next stop was The Albion for lunch
We met the criteria and were made very welcome. They do not allow children, but dogs are welcome and are given a large bowl of water.
It is a WWI theme inside. The landlord has been there for 43 years. A place we would recommend. Chris had a good sandwich and I opted for a Staffordshire oatcake and it was a particularly good one.
Outside again we passed by the Roman Amphitheatre and another Roman soldier instructing a school party.
These were being shown how to form a 'wedge' which had to shuffle forward to break up the line of teachers and parents! They were having a whale of a time.
Grosvenor Park gave Monty and Kiera a chance to let off steam and have a good run.
There were a lot of these which kept both dogs very busy.
We took the open top bus tour which was very empty, so we were able to spread out all along the back seats.
I always find these tours the best way to find out about new places. There are so many wonderful buildings in Chester it is hard to know what to leave out (but I will!)
This is called Noah's Ark - the HQ of Chester Scouts
There is that boat again!
What an amazing Town Hall
We still have about a third of the wall walk to complete the circle, but maybe on our way back next week. We found a fabulous green grocer and an even more amazing cheese shop on the way back to the boat. Their Stilton and Walnut paté is to die for.
It was after 5pm when we got back to the boat - it was a long day, but one we both really enjoyed. Chester is a wonderful city - somewhere we would like to come back to one day.