Tyrley Top Lock to Norbury Junction Visitor Moorings
For the next 17 miles we will be on the flat to Wheaton Aston Lock. Not being a contour canal the Shroppie has long straight sections, crossing the countryside along embankments and through cuttings. Today we were to cruise through long stretches of cuttings. First up was Woodseaves Cutting. Here trees cling on for dear life to the steep cut rock slopes. Many have long since given up their fight and now lie rotting away on the slopes covered in bright green moss with the occasional scattering of Scarlet Elfcup Fungi. I wasn’t quick enough to take a photo of the bright red cups so here is a link.
High bridges cross over the cutting and the lack of leaves at the moment made for some wonderful views along the mile long straight. The amount of birdsong was amazing, if only we’d been on a silent boat, horse drawn the atmosphere would have been amazing.
Popping out the other end we were greeted by the ‘BEEP BEEP’ of a reversing wagon somewhere, shattering the moment.
Long lines of moored boats slowed our progress and today we saw the most moving boats we’ve seen in one day for months. Having noted in our Nicholsons guide where the Shropshire Union Canal Society moorings are we knew one was coming up by bridge 47, so we pulled in for a lunch stop.
We were soon joined by the newest of the Carefree Cruising Shareboats NB Otter, someone has been breaking ice and I suspect the winter maintenance has been completed for this year! Interesting that the hull is cream underneath the blacking.
On we continued, now along Shebdon Embankment. When we passed here last year all the trees were in full leaf and views were hard to grasp, today it was easier. Three birds of prey circled overhead above the trees keeping our attention for much of the way.
The Anchor Inn looked shut up for the afternoon. We’ve managed to time our visits twice with the front door being open, but today we wanted to get a few more miles under Oleannas hull. The 6X will have to wait for the next time.
Grub Street Cutting next, wider than Woodseaves, but just as atmospheric. The two boats are still moored here offside along with the lovely blue car which is kept under cover. An old Land Rover is almost at one with the landscape and a couple of vans seem to have joined the collection of vehicles under the trees.
Around the next bend is the photo opportunity of the Shroppie. How many photos have been taken of High Bridge? I know I’ve taken hundreds! The wallpaper photo on our trip computer is one of the first I took of it back on NB Winding Down.
It was getting chilly in all the shade of the trees, so we were glad when it gradually opened out again and we could see the sky and sun. Plenty of space presented itself before Norbury Bridge so we pulled in for the day. I took the opportunity to give the starboard side a quick rinse off in the sunshine as Tilly did her best to create interesting patterns on the roof. Jumping onto the pram cover is great fun and the view from up there is so good. But the best bit is, if I have enough mud still between my toes, sliding down the window part to get down. I could do this for hours!
0 locks, 9.49 miles, 2 amazing cuttings, 1 long embankment, 3 birds of prey, 1 heron, 1 owl, 8 boats moving today, 1 winey whingey woofer who so should shut up! 1 day ahead of plan, 1 pie between 2 instead of 1 each!