We decided to have a bit of a trip out this weekend, so on Sunday we loaded the dogs into the camper and set off for Wrenbury. This is a village in west Cheshire which has the Llangollen Canal running by it. One of the pubs, The Cotton Arms has a caravan site attached and after a forty minute drive, we were parked up the other side of the hedge from the towpath, looking forward to a brisk walk and a meal at the pub after.
On the drive over we spotted ‘bread and cheese’ in the hawthorn hedges around Middlewich, so Mr Stoatie has officially declared Spring to have sprung up here! It’s a pity no one told the weather as it was pretty chilly. We walked one way along a rather muddy towpath and then back through the village past the shop and St Margaret’s Church. The church has bells which strike the quarters and I was a bit worried that they might keep us awake during the night. After a brew and a warm back at the van, we set off again in the opposite direction, through the marina at Wrenbury Mill. There is a hire boat company running from here and all the boats were tied up in the marina and along the canal in both directions. They’re all named after birds.
The towpath in this direction was a lot better, and we had a lovely walk with the canal to ourselves. There were hazel catkins out and the beginning of a purple haze on the alders, whose catkins are still quite small. It was a bit weird as at one point we were the only living things (bar birds) in the landscape, no sheep/cows/ponies or other dog walkers. We made the most of it and let the dogs off the lead and they went crazy running up and down the towpath and then bombing down into the stream. We walked back as the sunlight disappeared and watched a barn owl float over the neighbouring field.
Dogs tired out, we locked them in the van and set off to the pub. It’s the first time we’ve left them alone in the van and I had visions of coming back and finding foam everywhere and the metal skeletons of seats. The food at he pub was really good and they sold Hobgoblin on tap so we had a great meal sitting in front of a coal fire getting deliciously smoky. Fortunately the dogs were too tired to trash the van, and we were too tired to notice the church bells!
I think we were the only tourers on site which was just as well, since we didn’t bother to book and turned up on spec. Mr Stoatie had bought a small oil heater when we were up in Scotland at Yule and that kept us cosy all night, it would have been a bit grimmer if we hadn’t have got a pitch with electric hook up. The site itself looked like it needed a bit of love but the toilets were clean and the location was fantastic. We could sit having a cuppa watching the canal and the birds, and there was free wifi if you wanted. We’re still getting the hang of this touring lark, yet again we managed to put the bed out before pulling the tea etc out of the cupboards and thus there was no drink in bed this morning. As usual we didn’t give enough thought to storing stuff and had to keep getting out and lifting the back door to retrieve things. The worst faux pas was me forgetting to bring a bottom sheet, and having to use the dog’s (slightly used) one. I have now been designated to produce a check list so it won’t happen again!