After leaving the marina, I descended the four locks at Hurleston and turned left (north), heading for the historic and beautiful city of Chester. The encircling Roman sandstone wall was begun around 100 CE and took about a century to complete. It’s nearly 3 km long, and (nearly) completely surrounds the city centre. It’s well worth the walk around it… I’ve previously highlighted it in a blog post, although that time I didn’t take the boat through.
The canal was cut alongside a portion of the wall in the late 18th century, in places having been cut through solid rock with hand tools…
Heading north out of Chester, the canal wound through some lovely countryside. As I approached a likely spot to moor for the night, I said hello to another boater already tied up. He looked at me and said “Hi Doug!”. Wow. Turns out we had done a lock together about 3 years ago, and he remembered me! His boat had subsequently broken down and if we hadn’t stopped to chat he’d have been in the middle of nowhere but the delay put him right at a marina where it got fixed…so he had a reason to remember the encounter!
At the end of this stretch of canal is the town of Ellesmere Port, home of the National Waterways Museum. I had pre-booked a mooring in the basin of the museum, hoping to get a good look at the facility. I wasn’t disappointed! It’s a very well presented museum, with lots of displays and live exhibits. I particularly enjoyed the machine room where the volunteers keep the old engines alive.
It really is a good museum but the mooring system leaves a bit to be desired. Nothing to tie to (rings or Armco), no monitoring (nobody leaves on time), no signage whatsoever (not clear what spot has been booked). It was a quiet, safe location however, which makes up for small frustrations.
The museum had several ‘cottages’ set up as they might have been when the port workers were housed here:
I’ll be heading back southward to Nantwich for a visit with friends and to do some restocking. Hopefully the weather will stabilize soon so I can also get some painting done!