Onwards & Downwards

I was going to title this bit as “Bottoming Out”, which may be more appropriate as we did indeed get to the bottom of the restored, navigable canal. And we also bottomed quite a bit as well, since the canal is a tad shallow but only in places. Wednesday was a rainy, cold day and what with the weather and driving through treacle at times – not a great day. We paused at the Queen’s Head with a view to staying the night but the pub was very dog unfriendly and the mooring was by a busy road with the A5 also not far away . . . so on we went, all the way to Maesbury.

And over the aqueduct and along the big straight stretch – not shallow here.

After the pinch point it does get shallower, like driving through treacle but then who’s in a hurry

Still spitting with rain as we pause to let two Whittington red hire boats pass, glad we didn’t meet them here at Heath Houses – was a wharf for shipping bone products! Bit of a squeeze.
A brief stop at Queen’s Head but the pub was very dog unfriendly – so we told them where to go and moved on. Not a good spot as there was a noisy road plus the main A5 was close too . . . so onwards to the 3 Aston locks
There was some controversy over this section as it passes through what is now a SSSI – with lots of small lakes full, one assumes, of rare flora and fauna. Viv steers . . expertly.

Final spot – opposite the old bone mill and . . . the pub!
We are off for a walk but pub later – the Navigation Inn
Great little village pub – run by Brent & Mark, really friendly, and dog friendly too! Even a dining room for you to take the dog.
Here’s Brent serving the beers – good local ones plus a 6.2% cider!
A great parlour to take a drink before eating
And for non dog owners a rather plush ante room bar with pews to take the G&Ts before heading into the rather nice, carpeted restaurant.

We did enjoy our visit here – see http://www.thenavigation.co.uk/index.aspx

The owners were very chatty and served up excellent food – Viv had a baked camembert starter with cranberry sauce and a roasted bulb of garlic. I had their own homemade potted shrimps followed by crispy belly of pork on black pudding mash with sauerkraut. Viv had a full roast beef dinner with homemade horseradish. We also met up with Jenny & Trevor from “Life of Riley”, we’ve leapfrogging each other as we cruise along.