Off for our First Proper Cruise – on the Trent & Mersey
We have been at Weston-on-Trent since we bought Hang Loose as the lock at Aston-on-Trent is closed for repair – it should have been open on 15th March and we were planning to move on to our moorings on the Erewash Canal that weekend. However, it is now not due to open until Sunday 24th March, which means another week where we are. We do love our little spot at Weston-on-Trent but we really want to get moving so on Tuesday 19th March, we decided that as the storm had passed and the wind had abated, we would reverse 1.5 miles back to the winding hole, turn round and go to Mercia to pump out and fill up with diesel – and then go for a cruise. We have already been on our maiden voyage to get here from Mercia Marina.
My dad popped round with a pressie for us – a gorgeous basket of flowers for Hang Loose – thanks Pops.
But First of all – Exciting News
Chan and Ross got engaged – he proposed on Saturday 16th March – he had even asked Paul’s permission – I had no idea! The ring is gorgeous and we are beyond happy for them – couldn’t ask for a lovelier son-in-law. Paul treated them and us and Pops to a celebration meal at Darleys at Darley Abbey – beautiful restaurant.
Weston-on-Trent to Willington
Paul did a sterling job of reversing down to the winding hole. We did what we needed to do at Mercia Marina and then cruised down to Willington where we moored for the night. We had a good meal at The Dragon but it was quite a noisy night with trains going by. The Dragon is a lovely pub and a lovely spot to sit outside and watch the boats go by – well worth stopping there if you fancy a good pub meal.
Wednesday 20th March
Brilliant to be waking up on Hang Loose again. We cruised to Branston today and moored by Branston Water Park which is gorgeous and the weather is beautiful – like a summer day. We had a meal at The Bridge – lovely pub right by the canal – not dog friendly unfortunately but it was warm enough to sit outside – they do lovely Italian food and we had a nice bottle of white wine.
Woke up to a bit of a cloudy day today but not cold so we set off for Fradley Junction and stopped off at Alrewas where we found a fabulous butchers and a lovely pub called William IV
We had a lovely lunch there – everyone was really friendly and I recommend it if you stop in Alrewas – and definitely go to the butchers – well worth it!
I was very excited as well today that I had my first drive of the boat – I did drive straight into the bank the first two times but then it was fine – even went under a bridge without hitting it!!
Arrived here at tea time – it’s a really lovely spot and there’s another brilliant pub – The Swan. It’s Thursday night which is folk night and it was a brilliant night – we really loved it – apparently it was steak night as well, which we were told was delicious but we didn’t eat there. Fradley pond is next to the locks and we had a nice wander round there the next morning.
Friday 22nd March
We turned round at the top of Fradley Junction and cruised back to Branston Water Park – stopping at the Barton Turns pub – nice couple of pints of Wainwright’s – nice old pub – had a nice chat with the locals.
Stayed at Branston tonight and Saturday – it’s such a lovely spot. I did some cooking and Paul tidied up the roof of the boat and other jobs. We had a walk into the village to re-stock the gin! Tonight we sat and chilled, played rummy – our usual evening ritual lol. The fire is lit and we are very happy boaters🥰.
Sunday 24th March
Chan called us to meet up so we set off cruising at 9.15 and met her at Willington – had lunch at The Dragon – so lovely to see our little chick. When Chantelle had left we carried on cruising to Weston-on-Trent and moored up at a lovely spot.
Monday 25th March
What a fabulous spot – woke up to a cold but sunny morning – so off we went – heading to our moorings today on the Erewash Canal as Aston-on-Trent lock has now re-opened. Lots more boats about now and it was a lovely cruise back – did our first electric lock. We stopped and had a gorgeous pint of Plum Stout at The New Inn at Shardlow – this is now my new absolute fave beer!
its been a brilliant trip and we can’t wait for more.
So …. the plan is that I will soon be retiring and then there will be no stopping us – and I really will keep up the blogging more regularly!!