We not only boat, we also walk and you can see where we walk and how we're progressing towards our target of walking all the English traditional counties at our walking website.
So it was that we found ourselves in Staffordshire, near the well known canal village of Stone and walking to Salt. Much of the walk was along the towpath of the Trent and Mersey canal, so this was an opportunity for us to compare our eastern region with the traditional Potteries canals.
In summary we like the history, the towpaths and the way boats simply moor up anywhere. Just don't try that on one of the tributaries of the Ouse ....
|From a bridge near Aston by Stone|
|Trent and Mersey at Salt - parallel to the railway|
|Bridge at Goms Mill|
|Goms Mill Bridge from the other side|
|None of these mile posts on the Great Ouse ....|
|Bridge 83, Sandon, by The Dog and Doublet Inn|
The Trent and Mersey is a cross country canal intended to to link the Potteries in Stoke on Trent to Liverpool in the east and Hull in the west, which, via the river Trent, it does, curving south wards almost to Lichfield and back up past Nottingham to the coast.
There is a fair smattering of liveaboard boaters here, living more economically than the summer boaters who, like us, have stored their boats in marinas at some cost.
Often liveaboards create their own mutual support communities, but I was warned in all seriousness by someone who knows the owner of the skull and antlers boat (above) that he takes no prisoners and hates people photographing his boat. Fortunately he was either away or asleep when I passed.
It makes for an alarming spectacle. I could see no name on the side. I didn't leave a note ....