Monday 23 September 2013

Green and pleasant land

It was just before midnight last night that one of a group of lads decided to crown his evening (of celebration or sorrow-drowning following the Manchester derby) by jumping on and off Erin Mae's bows, amidst much noise from the rest. I opened the side-hatch, camera and phone in hand, which appeared not to deter them at all. Fortunately they didn't seem particularly malicious, and we're thankful it didn't turn nasty. But it meant that we were quite glad, when the time came, to untie and leave Sale behind. The Bridgewater is wide and deep enough here for Erin Mae to hit the 4 mph limit at a little over 1200 rpm, so we made good progress past the remaining urban miles and out into the country past Altrincham.

In one of the guides we'd seen there was an interesting National Trust property near at hand, so we tied up near the village of Little Bollington, from whence it was just a short stroll to the entrance. Dunham Massey is a typical NT place of its type, with obvious care lavished on both house and gardens.

The house dates originally from the early 18th century, but the form of the grounds owes much to the later landscaping movement. The NT has a stunning programme in place for its gardens, with separate areas for a rose garden, a bog garden, borders of various types and a winter garden that is promising to one of the best of its kind in the country.

We didn't have time to look at both the house and the gardens, so we'll go back tomorrow to see round the house. The grounds beyond the gardens are an extensive deer park, and some of its occupants clearly also think the house worth a visit.

Where we're moored is a haven of peace after the noise and bustle of Manchester and last night's adventures.

And for that we're thankful.


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