Great Heywood

After the miserable weather of the last few days, today was much more pleasant. Although it started cloudy it gradually became brighter as the day wore on. We filled up with water at Fradley but the tap was very slow and we didn't finally get on the move until around 10:30.

Fradley Locks

Although Fradley Junction was quiet, more boats appeared on the cut as the day progressed. Being Easter Saturday many boaters appear to having their first long weekend trips. 

Armitage "toilet" factory
Armitage opened-out tunnel

Rugeley was busy with boats and we passed a steady stream of boats travelling south. We wondered if we might have a significant delay at Colwich Lock, as often happens, but this time only two boats were ahead. The bridge by the lock is shared with the farm and cattle are often driven over. With the recent rain the path over the bridge was a mud bath and Maggie resorted to wellies to operate the lock.

Mud glorious mud!

We stopped for the night on the approach to Shugborough. The views of the house are glorious but tonight we were treated to a barn owl hunting over the meadows alongside the River Trent, and a hot air balloon launch. This was then followed by a spectacular sunset. Is this a good omen for tomorrow's weather?

Ballon launch from Shugborough Hall

Sunset over Shugborough Estate