One of our favourite country pubs is The Badger Inn at Church Minshall and while we've visited many times by car we've never been when we've been on the boat. Imagine our delight when we saw this tiny sign by Bridge 11 and it was lunchtime too.
We quickly moored up and went to find the steps up to the road only to find that a new set has been thoughtfully installed
They've done a really good job for volunteers, probably a better job than if C&RT contractors had done it.
After a lovely walk down the lane to the pub we had a really good lunch. The beer and food at The Badger have been consistently good over the many years we've been visiting. I've marked the mooring in our guide book and there's also a slightly shorter route (500m as against 700m) from moorings by Bridge 14.
We carried on again after lunch. There are trees in blossom everywhere and the Cheshire countryside looked spendid in the sunshine.
I still haven't seen any ducklings although they must be due any time soon. This swan was keeping a beady eye on us as we passed her.
We finally moored up in Middlewich for the night after a slow trip down Stanthorne Lock. We'd been queuing to go down after two hire boats with other boats coming up in between. The boats coming up were all privately owned but the crews had less idea of how to operate locks than the hirers and there was so much faffing about it was painful to watch. At one point I had to step in and wind the paddles while two women off a brand new boat stood and watched. I know everyone has to learn but this wasn't their first lock as they'd been on-board for a week. They just didn't seem to want to get their new leather gloves dirty.