Whaley Bridge and Poynton

Some days the weather is just glorious for cruising and today was one. We reversed out from our mooring in Bugsworth Lower Basin and found the water point occupied. With another boat queuing, it appeared pointless to wait, so we left for the end of the Peak Forest Canal - Whaley Bridge. This involved just a short journey (less than an hour). The section of canal from Bugsworth junction to Whaley Bridge is lined with permanent moorings, which doesn't add much to its charm, but the basin at the end of the arm, and the town of Whaley Bridge, are delightful.. We took on water in the basin from a gold painted water point!

Whaley Bridge Basin

Gold water point - shades of Olympic Post Boxes?

Whaley Bridge with the Mechanics Institute flying the flag

The basin at Whaley Bridge used to be an important transhipment base for burnt lime, just like Bugsworth. In this case it connected to the Cromford and High Peak Railway. The town still has a rail link, but unfortunately not to Cromford, just north towards Manchester.

Transhipment wharehouse with the dock in the centre

We can recommend Whaley Bridge as a place to visit, but mooring up there doesn't appear to be an option, which is a shame. Our trip back to Marple was delightful. With less boats on the move it was straightforward boating. Maggie took to the towpath near Newtown.

Operating a Peak Forest Swing Bridge

Operating a  Peak Forest Lift Bridge

Railway signal box

At Newtown the Swizzels factory is alongside the canal and the air has a sweet aroma. Around the corner the canal runs through woodland and there is suddenly a heady aroma of wild garlic. A bit of a olfactory clash!

The work on Lift Bridge 24 was paused for lunch as we passed through and there were few boats on the move. At Marple we turned back on to the Macclesfield Canal and moored up for the night at Higher Poynton by the "wide" just by Mount Vernon Wharf. We visited the Trading Post for an ice cream. 
Mooring at Higher Poynton

Before our evening meal we took a stroll around the area. Alongside the canal runs the Middlewood Way trail which near here is on the bed of an old railway line in a cutting. As we reached Nelson Pit we heard a lot of noise coming from the cutting. It was a scout cycling group that had stopped at the former Higher Poynton station, where there is still a platform. They were having great fun.

Former Higher Poynton Station being used by scouts

As the sun started to set we watched a heron fishing in the "wide".

Heron fishing