Well what a change – Charlie woke us up with a knock on the roof just after 8am this morning, and we saw it was the most glorious day! Blue skies, sunshine, and not a whisper of wind; with a mist over the canal as the rising sun warmed the cooler water. The thing about England is that days like this tend to be so rare that when we do get them we really appreciate them. And it wouldn’t be such a green and pleasant land without all the rain I suppose …
Fortunately Charlie thinks he’s solved our problem and mended our poorly alternator; fingers and toes are crossed! Power restored once more, hurrah! Everyone we spoke to said how great Charlie was and how lucky we were that he'd agreed to help us.
Cheers Charlie! What a star, how lucky we are!
Our mooring and halfway along our long walk ...
We wanted to make the most of the day so set off late morning to walk around two and a half miles to Lyme Park & House – where much of Pride and Prejudice, the TV series, was filmed. It’s where the lake scene was shot (the women reading will recall!) when Mr D’Arcy walked out in his wet white frilly shirt and breeches clinging to his toned muscular body. And that was it, we were all in love with Colin Firth!
The walk had breathtaking views across miles of countryside, we think as far as Manchester and even Liverpool in the distance. We could see the Hilton Hotel that we’d been moored close to at Castlefield Junction. It was rather a steep climb before we got the views though; all good exercise!
Lyme Park - house and gardens gifted to the National Trust in 1947 by Richard Legh, after the house had been in his family for 600 years (1346 - 1946) for the 'health, education and delight of people'.
The majestic entrance to the house
We initially went into the National Trust office for some information and realised that we would've been wise to have bought NT joint annual membership for £79.50 earlier in our trip and then we’d have been able to get into so many of the castles and stately homes that we’ve visited without paying again – maybe we’ll remember next year! However, ridiculously both East Riddlesdon Hall and Lyme Hall were closed on a Wednesday which just happens to be the day we were at each place; so if we’d had membership cards and found the houses closed I’m sure we’d have been well p---ed off!
The very informative NT man told us that if he’d had £1 for every woman who’d come just to see the lake, he’d be a rich man now – of course that was after I’d asked him about it! Hehe, are women really that predictable? Obviously the answer is yes!
The only problem was that the lake he walked out of is in the gardens and you have to pay £5.50 to go round them – I had only brought a £5 note out with us! Damn it! Ah well, it’s actually only what’s known as a ‘mirror’ lake apparently, i.e. it’s <2ft deep so he dived into another lake and miraculously appeared from the lake at the back of the house.
We sneaked a photo of 'The Lake' where Colin Firth walked out in his wet shirt
Strike a pose ...
Imagine living here - wow!
Side view of the house
The main entrance door; formidable!
The house, looking from the hill, at the front
Sandra walking the hills
'The Cage' - Sandra looking far into the distance
The view across to Manchester, bet they couldn't see this far when his Lordship lived here, due to the smog
There's still a lot of green areas when you look from above
The Lake (pond) that Mr D'Arcy dived into!
The cafe and toilets, etc behind
Across the flats towards 'Goyt Mill' that we've passed more than once
Another view across the Cheshire plains out towards Liverpool
'Can't see the castles for the cows!'
It was well worth the detour to visit, despite not seeing the inside of the house or wandering around the gardens!
Returning to the boat, Barry was caught up chatting to another fellow boater – it’s happened a number of times during our moorings here; there seems to be a few men on boats or from the locality who gain pleasure from finding new men to talk to. Not a problem, it’s always good to be able to spend time discussing life and it’s challenges and pleasures.
Managed to get a little helpful 'boaters advice' from him, re places to visit, where to find services, etc
Underway again and a beautiful day to be on the canal
Even the fishermen looked a little happier, if that's possible!
So many bridges ...
The converted 'Adelphi Mill' at Bollington; very attractive
You can see the lie of the land from here!
This would have to be the busiest canal we've been on so far, possibly because of the current closure of the 'Shropshire Union' canal
After lunch we set off towards Macclesfield, with the panoramic views towards Manchester following us most of the way. There’s so many people walking and cycling along the towpath and boats in either direction too, it’s obviously a very popular canal with tourists and locals.
The old 'Hovis Mill' at Macclesfield, now converted into flash apartments
At night from our mooring
Arriving at Macclesfield late afternoon, I set off for the nearest supermarket which as far as I knew was an Aldi on the outskirts of town, though when Barry went for a bike ride later on he found a co-op much closer! Ah well, Aldi is so much cheaper!
One of the back streets of Macclesfield
And a quiet evening in with electric lights, yaay!!