After a few days in Llangollen, which included a train ride and several walks, we headed off once again. The weather was still fantastic and it meant that there were a lot of vacant moorings for us as everybody was looking to moor under trees for some shade.
We headed past the wharf where the horse boat had already left with it's first coach load of passengers for a trip to the Horseshoe Falls. As it is so narrow, and no winding holes on the stretch the boat has two sharp ends and the horse just changes end. The motor boat does trip up and over the Aqueduct.
After only a mile Llandyn Cottage and bridge are passed in the trees. The main road is just down the hill but you feel very remote.
It didn't seem so busy at Trevor and we had no wait at the turn on to the aqueduct. As we lurked before the bridge I was able to watch several boats attempt the very difficult turn into the bridge hole. Not easy to do in one go, especially if there are loads of boats lingering about in the way. No problems for us today though.
Today was a two tunnel and two aqueduct day as we now crossed the Chirk Aqueduct with the railway to keep it company.
We were soon at Frankton Junction and our booking to head down the Montgomery Canal. The volunteer was busy with another boat, and told us he didn't know anything about us, but still let us down.
We dropped down the staircase and two other locks and moored up in the remaining stub of the Weston Branch after taking water. It was so peaceful there after the hustle and bustle of the Llangollen. We sat and soaked up the sun until late in the evening. The services in the building on the left we perfect too. After taking water we pushed over to the other side.
In 1936 a breach occurred just by this Perry Aqueduct which was a major reason that the canal was closed a few years later. We haver a lot to thank those volunteers and activists that managed to get it re-opened.
At the north end of the Montgomery there are long straights as the topography is nice and flat. This is the opposite of how the canal appears on the map of the unopened length. There are not too many places to stop and the offside trees over hand somewhat but I'm sure this will change as more boats use the canal.
At Heath House there is suddenly lots to say Rednal Basin is passed, then a rail bridge then this lovely old warehouse and another bridge that turns out to be a turn over one as the towpath swaps sides. After all that excitment the canal goes into dead straight again!
We moored up at Queens Head, near the canoe club. The mile posts are lovely and I hope that we are still able to cruise when the next 31 miles are re-opened as they will be so interesting.
The next day we caught the bus into Oswestry, as we had never been there before. It is a nice little market town, and the remains of a castle. It wasn't market day but we had a good poke about. There are lots of pubs to choose from but we selected the Bailey Head. The pub is opposite the GuildHall and the Market Place or Bailey Head, as the castle is just behind the 1893 built Guild Hall has been the centre of the town for centuries. The pub has been called the Castle Tavern and the Eagle and lately belong to Marston's. However in 2016 a couple from London took it over. They had run a members club in London that had won CAMRA awards and were looking for a place to make the heart of the community. They seem to have done just that. They have won many CAMRA and other awards, including most dog friendly pub. They have 6 or 8 hand pulls on the bar with plenty of craft ales too. So many they are listed on a TV screen with plenty of ciders too. The food looked good also. It is only a 20 min bus ride from Queen's Head moorings.
I had a pint from Hobsons Brewery. The business is run by the Davis family. They had been in the pub trade in one way or another, but not brewing when they thought in 1993 that they would try it. They found premises in Cleobury Mortimer in Shropshire and set off on their journey. They have now been running for 25th years which makes them veterans of today's brewers. They also make a draught cider under the name Oldfields.
I had a pint of their Twisted Spire. The blonde beer is named after the spire of St Mary's the Virgin church in Cleobury Mortimer. It is only 3.6% but is full of taste to make up for any lack of alcohol. It has three different malts and Maris Otter malted barley. It has a great balance between the hops and the bitterness. It had a great head and was lovely and 'thick' on the tongue, with a great sweet after taste. I loved it. £3-25 which seems to be just under the norm in this part of the world.