River Trent with Trent & Mersey Canal Loop
Date: Saturday 19th May, Temperature 22 degrees.
Distance: 10.6 miles.
This paddle route was first scouted by our intrepid explorers Paul and Shane back in February when the required dress of the day was snow suits! This was the trial group paddle!
As with all these paddles the devil is in the detail, parking was organised at The Canal Farm Shop in Great Heywood and this gave us direct access to the canal. A short paddle on the canal and portage brought us onto the River Trent by Essex Bridge.
This is a Grade 1 listed bridge, built around1550 and became the main packhorse route across the river in this area!
So, the six of us then headed up the River Sow to see if we could get a closer look at Shugborough Hall, hard work against the current for about a mile, but easier and quicker on the return journey to the River Trent.
There followed a leisurely paddle for a further six miles on the meandering river taking in the wild life that included heron, kingfisher and buzzards along with a multitude of ducklings, goslings and cygnets.
Our lunch break was in the field where we were to portage back to the canal, a nice lunch even though the locals took a liking to Perry’s sandwiches!
Time to set off for the return journey with just over 4 miles to go on the Trent & Mersey Canal. Passing open fields and only a few narrow boats as most were tied up watching the royal wedding, two locks paddled through and back to the car park at the Canal Farm Shop.
Kit packed away, trailer loaded, and then off to the cafe for well deserved coffee, and the delightful Victoria Sponge baked for the occasion by Rob’s wife was consumed with gusto. A one-hour trip back to base and the trailer parked ready for its next adventure.
Many thanks to Paul Sharpe for organising, Perry Chester, Shane Morgan, Rob Lackey, Jon Jarkuilisz for making it a great trip. Of course, we all thank Mrs Lackey for the fabulous Victoria sponge!
Report written by Graeme Young