Thursday, 13 September 2012

Moored in a Lake

I’m writing this post on our blog while Helen does the washing.  We are moored today on a wide open stretch of water called Tixall’s Wide.  In the wind yesterday evening there were waves slapping against the hull, but we’ve enjoyed two lovely sunsets seen across this expanse of water.

To bring you up to date, we’ve travelled South along the Trent & Mersey descending the Meaford Locks
Meaford Locks - waiting for a boat coming up
On the way we passed this splendid garden of a canalside house:
Canalside Garden at Barlaston
Now that’s the sort of house we’d like but unfortunately it wasn’t for sale.

Soon we came into Stone which has its own flight of four locks with the last being alongside the Star where we had our evening meal on Monday.  Steaks were two for the price of one which was too good to miss.  The High Street in Stone was quiet and peaceful with some nice shops, not part of the usual chains.  However you take your life in your hands crossing the one way racetrack round the outside of the town to get to the High Street.
Stone Locks - old Workhouse in background

Stone High Street

In one boatyard at Stone we came across this toilet pumpout truck gaily painted with Pooh and Piglet.  Perhaps it should be called “Winnie the Poo”.

From Stone we dropped down a few more locks to Great Haywood Junction where the Staffordshire and Worcester Canal turns right.
Great Haywood Junction - Staffs and Worcs Canal under bridge to right

Sign Post at Great Haywood

We have turned right so now we’re once more on a new canal.  A mile down the Staffs and Worcs, after crossing an aqueduct over the River Trent, you come to Tixall’s Wide.  Here the Canal when built was widened to make the view more attractive from Tixall House.  Perversely the House has now been demolished but the lake in the canal remains.  It is a lovely place and we’ve now spent two nights here. 
Aqueduct over River Trent

Tixall's Wide - Leo tucked into the bank on the left

Yesterday we visited the nearby National Trust property of Shugborough Hall.  This was the home until very recently of the Earls of Lichfield, most famously of Patrick Lichfield the photographer who died in 2005.  It has some splendid 18th century interiors and ceilings as well as now being able to view the private apartments only vacated in 2010.
Essex Bridge over Trent - the way the Lichfields walked to church

Shugborough Hall

Friendly Turkey - ready for Christmas?

When the washing is done, we plan to press on down the Staffs and Worcs with the aim of getting to Autherley Junction where the Shropshire Union begins.  By doing this we will have completed the Four Counties Ring.  Once we turn at Autherley we will be heading back the same way to the Trent and Mersey to reach our chosen marina, Mercia at Willington near Derby where our trip this year will come to an end.  Just to end this posting here is a picture of the other Leo helping with the Observer crossword:
Leo doing the crossword

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