We are experienced canal boat hirers, having been hiring or part-owning narrowboats for 30 years. This trip was an opportunity to complete a route we had not done before, the Cheshire Ring. This involves cruising the Macclesfield canal, then the Ashton through Manchester, the Bridgwater and the Trent and Mersey (re-opened the week we reached it, after being closed by a bursting of the banks last September). The boat was the longest and the most comfortable we have ever had. Due to health problems, 2 of our original group had to drop out so there were 5 of us for one week than 3 for the second, meaning we had plenty of room.
I would not recommend the route to anyone unfamiliar with British canals as there are many more scenically attractive ones, but the boatyard staff were excellent and we had no complaints at all (apart from the regular one about the weather!) From Stone, one has a choice of routes to take you through the English (or Welsh) countryside. It is a superb way to...