|Into the Preston Brook Tunnel and onto the Trent & Mersey|
That said, we are still very much in the north, having just exited the Preston Brook Tunnel and emerged onto the top end of the Trent & Mersey canal.
|Through a tree lined cutting on the Bridgewater|
|About to pass a pair of widebeam workboats|
|Brian enjoys a spot of luxury hiding from the chilly morning weather|
|Daresbury Laboratories with its 'Keep Away' warnings|
|Picturesque traditional cranes to handle stop planks are a regular sight|
This is all as it should be – after all the owners – Peel Holdings not Canal & River Trust – have only a couple of canals (this one and the Manchester Ship Canal) to look after among a staggering £6bn of corporate assets, from Salford's Media City to Pinewood Studios. And the Bridgewater doesn't even have any locks to maintain.
The previous day we'd seen stretches of towpath being relaid and today spotted a couple of big work barges clearing offside trees.
The Bridgewater actually runs through to Runcorn where it used to link through to the River Mersey via a flight of now defunct locks but we, like most boaters, veer left under the huge M56 bridge for the final mile down to the tunnel. And here, at the tunnel entrance, the Trent & Mersey officially begins.
|Dutton Dry Dock, the attractive hundred year old structure still in busy use|
Tomorrow we are hoping for a first for us – a trip on the Anderton Boat Lift.