The rain persisted for much of the day, but we managed a stroll into Penkridge for a mooch about. This is obviously a rather well-to-do area, despite all the English flags flying! Sorry folks, but I find it rather tedious that the only time the English are in the least patriotic is when they're playing football in the World Cup - once they lose (which let's face it is inevitable!) half of England subsequently returns to a sullen mood. Maybe I just don't understand the intricacies of it, having never seen the attraction of watching 22 men kicking a ball around a field knowing they are paid obscene amounts of money for such incredible (?) feats.
I expect we'll try and watch 'The All Whites' playing somewhere along the way though, but won't be too downhearted when they lose - New Zealand was just chuffed to get through in the first place! We'll wait until 2011 when we can win the rugby world cup - yeah right!
'The Boat' pub right by the canal - all ready for Sunday kickoff - aaargh!
Just a short walk into the village
There's a definite air of affluence around the town, even the schoolchildren we saw were well behaved and courteous - and a surprising number of pubs which all seem to be thriving, which is amazing considering the population of Penkridge is less than 8,000.
The River Penk which is named after the town, not the other way round
As the rain cleared, we decided we'd move the five miles up to explore Stafford next, on our way to Shugborough Hall. After our journeys through industrial Birmingham and Wolverhampton, it's refreshing to be back in the English countryside once more and the Staffs and Worcs canal meanders through some wonderful scenery.
Teddesley Boat Company and 'Lady Hatherton' 1898 moored beside
They're just sooo cute!
Some old boat woman!
Park Gate Lock cottage complete with dovecote
There's no shortage of canal side cottages along this stretch ...
Deptmore Lock and cottage - just a shame that this one was sadly neglected and derelict - what a waste :-(
It's good to be chilling with the ducks and birds again
A view into the marina
A very well maintained old working boat
And back with the stunning swans and cygnets
I wasn't sure what was in Stafford, having never been there previously, so we had a two mile walk into town to explore in the evening to check it out ...