Sunday, May 24, 2009

Canal Walk: Chester to Christleton

Bank Holiday weekend, the weather forecast was good so where else is there to be other than the towpath. The crew of the Albatross spent the night by the Shady Oak at Bate's Mill, bridge 109 on their way to Ellesmere Port. The plan for today was to get the train to Chester and walk along the towpath to meet the boat coming along the canal the other way.
This being a bank holiday there were even more engineering works than usual so we had to take a rail replacement bus from James Street to Birkenhead Central. We finally got to Chester around lunchtime. From the station is a short walk along City Road towards the city centre and the canal.
While we were getting down to the towpath the Albatross was in Christleton Lock. They were a little closer than we had hoped and we soon met up with them as they came through bridge 122A.

The Bridge of Sighs

Troy jumped ship to walk with us and we carried on to walk up to Rowton Bridge while Albatross sailed on to Chester. Most of the traffic was heading towards Chester with just one lucky boat going against the traffic (and therefore having all the locks set in their favour).
At Christleton is the canal warehouse which appears in the old photos I found in the stores at work: http://www.towpathtreks.co.uk/About/old_canal_photographs.html
I was pleased to see that little has changed, in fact it has been improved and converted very nicely.
1960s and 2009

There are a couple of popular pubs on this stretch, people were sat outside enjoying the weather. The towpath was busy with dog walkers and there were lots of cyclists out enjoying the sun. The Chester Canal (Shropshire Union) is good for cyclists, the surface is tarmaced for most of the length from Cristleton to Ellesmere Port.
At Rowton Bridge #120 we stopped and turned around to head back to Chester.

Troy at a Lock

Back under the city walls of Chester the Albatross was moored in its usual moorings. Troy had a drink and a nap while we walked around the city walls, along the River Dee and saw the Deva guard drilling at the ampitheatre.

The Romans at Deva

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