2022 Narrowboat Adventure

Narrowboat Adventure #1: Learning the ropes

Narrowboat Adventure #1: Learning the ropes

Tuesday 1st February 2022 When we tell people that we have hired a narrowboat for three months the responses vary from “Are you completely mad?” to “Great, could we come too?”. Matilda falls somewhere in between. Robert felt the need to plan national holidays to pass the time in lockdown when travelling abroad was a […]


Narrowboat Adventure #2: Return to The Duke

Friday 18th to Monday 21st February 2022 Having swapped the warmth of Italy and the comfort of a spacious room at the Savoy Hotel in Rome for a seven foot wide narrowboat with considerably less floor space, Matilda is once again questioning her sanity.  We reunited with The Duke and our friends Liz and Martin […]

Narrowboat Adventure #6: xx

Narrowboat Adventure #6: The dash for Diggle

Thursday 3rd to Saturday 5th March 2022  Having booked our transit through the Standedge Tunnel, we now had to ensure that we reached Diggle in time. We knew this would involve some long days travelling and plenty of locks. Day 16 started well as Martin kindly picked Matilda up, took her to his house to […]


Narrowboat Adventure #7: Standedge Tunnel

Sunday 6th to Tuesday 8th March 2022  Day 19 was the last day in our dash to make it to Standedge Tunnel in time for our booking on Monday. Sunday was not all plain sailing and we suffered a series of lock disasters. At lock 23W only one paddle worked and the lock was taking […]

Narrowboat Adventure #8:

Narrowboat Adventure #8: And then there were four

Wednesday 9th to Friday 11th March 2022 Sue and Henry joined us on Tuesday afternoon and were surprised by how cosy it was inside The Duke. Matilda and Robert explained the vagaries of the stove and the lengthy process to light it and persuaded them it would be better to leave the stove going overnight, […]

Narrowboat Adventure #10:

Narrowboat Adventure #10: A clean sheet for The Duke

Tuesday 15th to Thursday 17th March 2022  The Jack of the Locks sculpture [see feature image] in Sowerby Bridge depicts Richard Tiffany, the town’s lock keeper in the canal’s final days of carrying commercial goods. A sign by the wharf says that Richard Tiffany was a well-known local character and his great grandson modelled for […]

Narrowboat Adventure #12: North Manchester is a shit hole!!!

Narrowboat Adventure #12: A city of two halves

Monday 21st to Wednesday 23rd March 2022  Having received updates on the state of the canal from Martin the day before, Robert decided that he needed to check whether it was navigable before we left as we did not want to become stranded in “bandit country”. He set an alarm for 06:00 and set off […]

Narrowboat Adventure #13: xx

Narrowboat Adventure #13: Cathedral of the Canals

Thursday 24th  to Saturday 26th March 2022 Matilda thought she was having olfactory hallucinations when she woke to the smell of seasonal baking. Knowing that we planned to moor at Anderton, famous for its boat lift, where there is a visitor centre and café, Matilda planned to have a coffee and a hot cross bun at the […]

Narrowboat Adventure #15: XXX

Narrowboat Adventure #15: Welcome to Crew II

Wednesday 30th March to Friday 1st April 2022 The route which the new crew – Gill and Derek – would be negotiating was to be very different from that tackled by Sue and Henry earlier in our narrowboat adventure. This stretch of the Llangollen Canal features only two locks, although there are several tunnels and […]

Narrowboat Adventure #16: XX

Narrowboat Adventure #16: Thomas Telford, we salute you

Saturday 2nd to Monday 4th April 2022 We had all promised ourselves a cooked breakfast so we strolled into Llangollen past the Riverside Taxidermy Studio which we remarked on at each time of passing: it seems such an unlikely business to be thriving in such a prime, picturesque location. After a very civilised and sustaining […]

Narrowboat Adventure #18

Narrowboat Adventure #18: A family reunion

Friday 8th to Sunday 10th April 2022 Leaving the gingerbread heritage of Market Drayton behind us we prepared to ascend the five Tyrley Locks leading to . . . . . . the picturesque Tyrley Wharf. This was built as a private wharf but developed into a vibrant hamlet according to a notice on The […]

Narrowboat Adventure #19: XX

Narrowboat Adventure #19: The home crowd visit

Monday 11th to Wednesday 13th April 2022 Leaving Brewood we came to Autherley Junction where there is a former canal toll office. The stop lock here marks where Telford’s Birmingham and Liverpool Junction Canal [now part of the Shropshire Union Canal] joined Brindley’s older Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal. The fall is only about six inches […]

Narrowboat Adventure #20: xx

Narrowboat Adventure #20: Ralf heads home

Thursday 14th to Saturday 16th April 2022 We set off early from Hockley Heath to travel down Lapworth Locks to Kingswood Junction where we had previously dropped Robert’s parents on the first leg of our narrowboat adventure way back in early February. This time we had arranged to meet our daughter Jaime at Kingswood Junction […]

Narrowboat Adventure #21: The finale!

Narrowboat Adventure #21: The finale!

Sunday 17th to Tuesday 19th April 2022 Early on Day 61, we passed The Princess, another of The Duke’s sister narrowboats. Over the last eight or nine weeks, Robert has perfected his hand gestures indicating Matilda should go on and set the next lock. After we had filled the first of the three Calcutt Locks […]