Tuesday, 17 January 2012

The new Packhorse bridge - lots of pictures

On Sunday we were busy doing house stuff. no way will anyone tell me living on a boat is more work that a house - certainly not our house. I suppose the fact there are two of us now living in what used to easily cater for four (plus girlfriends) shows it is too big for us now....

Anyhow our reward for hard work was a walk in the afternoon and I chose Shardlow to get my canal fix. Shardlow is on my doorstep but I don't have an affinity for the east side of Derby, but it is still a good alternative to the local parks for walking Leia on a Sunday afternoon. I also had reason to visit in that I wanted to see the new bridge put in to effectively link Sawley with Shardlow via food or cycle or horse looked.

There is a good free car park by Bridge 2 that we use and we set off walking boot clad in expectation of a muddy towpath.

Lock 1 is quite special as it is a place we used to bring our lads conkering when they were little. This was long before we had a boat. It was also the place my mum and dad used to cycle to on their tandem to fish  - even in the middle of winter. My mum tells me that used to break the ice to fish, very keen !

The new bridge soon came into view. Very purposeful but nothing like as characterful as the old bridge. The contractors had had to  build a new path to it, which was being used by walkers and horse riders alike. We stuck (literally) to the towpath.

After crossing - better pic later, I took this shot of the entrance to the Trent & Mersey. You can just see the remnants of the old packhorse bridge. You can also see a lovely obstacle for those poor boaters coming downstream from Shardlow marina - no easy turn in or out of the T&M for them.

The new bridge opens up a great walk to Sawley marina. We did not go all the way due to time restrictions but here are a few photos...
 There were some boats moving. These two cruisers we headed upstream, not sure if they were T&M bound or Shardlow marina bound. It was getting late so they must have had home close by.

The safety of Sawley cut was in stark contrast to the wide river Trent 

The Sawley cut flood lock was open you can see, I have never travelled this way so I am unsure of the correct procedure  - I am sure it is detailed on a board by the lock. As you can see this bit taken you under the M1 and is a little noisy, but still great walking.

The sun was setting on the return so I was able to get a couple of nice (by my standards) shots.

The new bridge in perhaps its best pose?

 Even as the sun was setting there were boat(s) moving. This little NB was seemingly scuttling back to Sawley

Ok, just trying to add some framing to my pictures !!

Can't resist a sunset

I doubt this one goes very far but it is no doubt someones sanctuary
....and finally if my numbers come up I might be knocking on his door (although there is a nicer place like this near Barleston)

All in all a great walk and one we will do again  - might be on bikes next time doing a large circular route taking in Trent Lock and other local attractions.


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