Monday 14 August 2006

Cheshire Ring - Romiley to Higher Poynton

Cheshire Ring - Romiley to Higher Poynton
14th August 2006
Peak Forest Canal and Macclesfield Canals

16 Miles
16 Locks
9 Hours

It was a short run from Romiley, through the Hyde Bank Tunnel and onto the bottom of the spectacular Marple Flight. Running alongside Brabyns Park and then through Marple itself, this is unquestionably one of my favourite flights. The chambers are made of huge blocks of limestone brought down from Bugsworth basins with short, curved intervening pounds, all tucked away in groves of trees. There may be 16 of them but they are such a delight that they pass all too quickly.

During our passage there was a problem with the water levels in some of the short pounds and in one the level was nearly a metre down, rendering navigation almost impossible. Jeff became stuck mid channel and was only able to progress when a lock of water was run through under him. But I could only do this once because of the limited supplies in the next pound up.

After the Marple flight we made our way firstly to the Whaley Bridge terminus, filled with water and then went to explore the Bugsworth Basin complex. As we entered we saw much arm waving and there was nb Susan, who we had accompanied up the Rochdale and Ashton the previous day. We moored up alongside and sampled an excellent pint in the Navigation Inn, before taking a good look at the drained inner basin, and the remains of the inclined plane which once connected the Peak Forest Canal with the the Cromford via the High Peaks Tramway.

We were both completing the Cheshire Ring in 6 days, so we didn't spend the night there, though we would have liked to. Instead we returned to the junction at Marple and then moved down the Macclesfield past the impressive Goyt Mill. With evening approaching we pressed on past High Lane and into Higher Poynton, mooring just opposite the shallow flashes and near the excellent Braidbar Boats.

No comments: