Back up the Anderton Boat Lift, but turning left now onto the Trent & Mersey Canal towards our next goal, Liverpool Docks.
The T&M joins seamlessly at Preston Brook Tunnel (1239 yards long) with the Bridgewater Canal here we turn off towards Runcorn, the canal used to go much further here but a road bridge built in the 60s means it ends abruptly on the outskirts of the town. Although plans are to reopen the section in years to come.
A couple of days here and a chance to catch up on maintenance and our own sanity! Jill had been promised new geraniums from a small garden centre here but they never arrived.
From Runcorn and on towards Manchester on the Bridgewater we pass through Llym. Staying here for a few days and meeting up with a Bride who’s wedding we photographed some years before. Luckily our stay coincided with Llym Carnival which made it even more memorable.
Heading on now towards the Barton Swing Aqueduct which carries the Bridgewater Canal across the Manchester Ship Canal.
The swinging action allows large vessels using the ship canal to pass underneath and smaller craft, both Narrowboats and broad-beam barges to cross over the top. This aqueduct is the first and still the only swing aqueduct in the world.
North of Llym and the swing bridge, it’s into the outskirts of Manchester, not knowing this section we decide to press on, about 5 hours, left at Waters Meeting Junction with the Rochdale Canal, and get through it to moor up near Leigh.
Back into countryside, the canal passes Ashley Mining Museum which was another fortunate stop for us as there was a steam rally on there, and they fired up the massive winding engine for a packed crowd.
From here we have good time to get to Liverpool for June 1st and our booked slot in Salthouse Dock.
The route takes us now through Wigan and Burscough skirting north of Ormskirk before heading south to Aintree and Liverpool. We moor a few times along here, at Melling and then at Litherland secure moorings where there were several boats making the final overnight stop before a 1.5 hour cruise to Stanley Lock flight that drops us down into Liverpool Docks.
Please see the next chapter, Liverpool.