We have been unable to post any updates over the past week, due to a severe lack of phone signal and wifi at our chosen spot within Bugsworth Basin. On Friday 26/8, we set off from Disley aiming for Bugsworth, at the end of the Peak Forest Canal just over three miles away. As we approached New Mills, the air began to smell strangely sweet. Passing a former mill building, the source of the smell became evident, as we noted the factory now bearing a sign stating it was the home of ‘Swizzles’, makers of drumstick lollies and other tasty treats. Next was New Mills Marina, a small attractive online Marina, which we have booked a few days in on our return journey, whilst the crew takes some shore leave.
The Marina, in addition to having full services which we will need on our return, also has wonderful views across the valley to Kinder Scout, and the Peak District National Park. Kinder Scout is renowned for the mass trespass that took place in the 1930’s, which led to the opening up of the countryside to the general public. We also noted that the area is frequented by television royalty, in the shape of Delboy and Rodney, who we suspect are trying to open up a Peak District division of Trotters Independent Traders.
Soon we were on the final approach to the junction at the end of the canal. Left for Bugsworth Basin, and right for Whaley Bridge.
Negotiating the junction towards Bugsworth Basin.
Bugsworth Basin consists of three separate basins, built in stone, which are looked after by the Bugsworth Basin Heritage Trust. At the entrance to the complex is the information centre and water point. Planning on being here a few days, we needed to top up with water, but another boat was on the point. We had also been advised by fellow bloggers from nb Melissa, whose blog is in our blog list, that the lower basin provided the best location to be away from the noise of the A6. With a bit of time to spare, we took the boat through the middle basin to the top basin by the Navigation P.H. and back down again, and onto the now empty water point. After filling with water we were positioned nicely to reverse into our spot, within the lower basin.
On the water point.
We had a nice spot with lots of grass for the furry crew member to play on, and a good tv signal, but absolutely no phone or data signal. After securing the boat lunch was taken at the Navigation, which is dog friendly, and we also booked in for a Sunday roast.
Saturday 27/8 was a wet day, we did however walk along the canal to the junction, and then into Whaley Bridge.
Whaley Bridge Wharf Buildings.
This was to check out the nearby Tesco superstore, and the location of the railway station for later in the week. During our visit to Tesco we researched the possibility of a different SIM card for the phone but when the assistant stopped laughing, he said “nothing works round here”.
Sunday 28/8 consisted of lunch at the Navigation, and later in the afternoon as the weather began to brighten, we washed the boat, and polished some brass.
Monday 29/8. The basin is surrounded by open countryside and peaks. We had sourced a map of the local area, and had chosen a walk the the summit of ‘Eccles Pike’. Whilst it felt like we had climbed a mountain, at 360 m above sea level it was in fact only a hill. The views however were spectacular.
Oscar found himself a nice spot on the summit, complete with naturally formed drinking bowl and with the panoramic views of Kinder Scout in the background.
Viewing towards Combs Reservoir.
Viewing towards Stockport and Manchester.
Our route was circular, and soon we found ourselves back at the Navigation P.H. for refreshments. Being the last bank holiday of the summer, and with the fine weather, the place was heaving.
Tuesday 30/8, our walk took us along the canal towards Furness Vale, followed by an exploration of some very under used footpaths, across country below Cracken Edge before arriving back at Bugsworth Basin.
Wednesday 31/8, after walking into Whaley Bridge we caught the train to Buxton. We walked through the Pavilion Gardens, on our way to Poole’s Cavern. These are a series of caves which have been in human use since the Stone Age, but were opened up for the public during the Victorian era.
Entrance to Poole’s Cavern.
Following our visit below ground, we walked back into town to view the famous Cresent and Spa Pumphouse. Unfortunately, both were clad in scaffolding currently undergoing restoration. Next was lunch at the ‘Old Hall House’ hotel, reportedly England’s oldest hotel, before a walk through the town and back to the railway station for our return journey.
Today we set off after breakfast for New Mills, a mere two miles away. The weather was fine, and we arrived just before lunchtime. We are now safely secured on a pontoon berth, and will stay here till Tuesday next week, when the crew return from their weekend away.
For our future reference, we now know that after spending the initial 48 hour limit within Bugsworth Basin, an application can be made for an extended stay permit up to a maximum two weeks. Next time we head this way, we will stay longer and maybe hire a car to explore further a field.
Totals Friday 26/8. 4 Miles
Thursday 1/9. 2 Miles
Running totals 298 Miles 178 Locks 13 Tunnels