Once you have left our base, after a mile you will come to the one and only lock before leaving Middlewich. This lock, called Big Lock, is a double width lock, and is situatied next to the appropriately named Big Lock Pub which is a lovely place and good for a pint of real and a meal. Once down this lock, you will leave Middlewich after a short stretch and at Croxton you will see the first of three widened areas of canal called flashes. These picturesque areas are perfect fore wildlife and canoiests, but don't be tempted though.... they are not for narrowboats, follow the "keep to the channel" signs.
You now follow the Dane Valley alongside the river. The scenery and wildlife here is some of the best of any canal in the country, with many quiet spots to moor up for a relaxing break. One such place is Bramble Cuttings, a quiet secluded spot with easy moorings and picnic tables.
Passing Orchard Marina, the scenery changes as the canal hits the outskirts of Northwich. Once past bridge 183 is the most convenient turning point for those wanting to get to The Old Broken Cross Pub. However, for those going past the first pub, you will find your self right in the heart of a huge chemical works. This is quite a site, only seen from the canal, steaming pipes pass overhead making products from the locally excavated salt. At this point is the final turning point, until Anderton. You need to ensure you have enough hours to get back, bt we would discuss this with you when setting off.
At bridge 193 you can see the site if the Lion Salt Works. Parts of this factory are a scheduled monument which famously won a 5 million Heritage Lottery grant towards its restoration and conversion into a museum, which should be completed soon. The canal begins to make it's way through Marbury country park. Passing Anderton marina, there are opportunities here to turn around or virtually at the enterance to the Anderton Boat Lift. The Anderton Lift is the worlds first successful boat lift taking boats 15mtrs into the air to join the Trent and Mersey Canal with the river Weaver. There is a cafe and visitor centre here. This is the end of this route, time to now make your way back. It is approximately four, to four and a quarter hours straight run to get the boat back to base from here.
Wych House Lane,
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