On a grey but dry day, twenty one of us met at the Anderton Boat Lift to repeat a walk we did in October 2019. We’d planned a guided tour including a trip in a boat on the lift, which had had to be cancelled because of the pandemic. Today we were supposed to be taking a re-scheduled tour but the lift mechanism had broken down and, rather than cancel our booked meal at the Stanley Arms, we decided to do the walk instead. The route followed was exactly the same as our previous one – along the Trent and Mersey Canal towpath to Marston and then through the Northwich Woodlands and the bank of the River Weaver back to Anderton. We passed numerous colourful canal boats, both moored and moving. We saw a family of swans – two adults and eight almost fully grown cygnets, still with their grey plumage – swimming towards us. There were canal boats by the dozen as we passed the Anderton Marina on our left and the Uplands Marina to our right. We soon came to a canal boat called “Ikki Maru”, tied up and had a chat with the owner, who asked us about our trip and told us that the meaning of her boat’s name is “Little Ship” in Japanese. We left the canal at Marston and had a break in the Salt Works café before a short walk along the road took us to the Northwich Woodlands and tree lined paths leading to Witton Brook, the Weaver bank and back to Anderton. We crossed the canal to the Stanley Arms where our meals had been ordered and were served as soon as we’d had our drinks. As we crossed back over the canal to the car park, we were met again by the swan family.
Thanks to Anne for the stressful and frustrating planning and re-planning of the day.