Thursday 15 September 2016

Gliding through Shropshire

Misty as we came north-west this morning, but it didn't stop me getting the obligatory photo of High Bridge, the first one out of Norbury Junction. The bridge with the non-operational telegraph pole in the middle.

I'd known it was just round the corner and wanted the photo, so was going really slow – which helped in not complicating things with the boater coming the other way. It's the one place on our journey up the Shroppie where the CanalPlan website warns you that, whichever way you're coming, you won't get a clear view through the bridge until you're at it.

For some, the 10 miles we covered today would involve far too little activity. There's not a lock in sight and there are long stretches of on-line moorings which you glide by very slowly. But it runs through some very attractive countryside – sometimes in cuttings and sometimes up on an embankment giving fine views across Shropshire. Those views got better and better as the mist wore off and the September sun began to warm us. Today we encountered a first – a Shroppie heron that didn't fly away as we came past.

They normally twitch nervously, flap 50 yards up the cut and then, apparently possessing little power of foresight, have to do it again as you catch them up. But this one was engrossed by something edible, as shall we be shortly. We've moored up opposite the Wharf tavern, put up the washing line and settled down for a cuppa.

We're deciding whether we should go and explore the menu at the tavern, and run the risk of its being less satisfactory than what we could make ourselves on board.


  1. To take issue slightly with your title, the majority of your journey wasn't actually in Shropshire. Mostly you were in Staffordshire.

    1. Ah…! Thanks, Adam. Never thought about that. I don't think canals tend to have county boundaries marked in the way that roads do. I think I had in mind the places we're heading for.

    2. The Shroppie main line is 66 miles from Autherley Jct to Ellesmere Port, but only about 10 miles of that is in Shropshire. It's Staffordshire up to just after the Shebdon Embankment, and Cheshire just before the Audlem locks.