Tarporley to Nantwich. 12 miles.
As soon as I arrived in Nantwich I searched out a chemist before they closed. I was in need of more Brufen and some gel heel pads as I had been in increasing pain during the day. I was still considering catching the train home, the station was close by. But let’s see what difference a night’s rest makes. The Railway Inn where I was staying weren’t doing meals, shortage of chefs at the moment with Brexit and Covid. I was content with a pint and a sandwich and that early night.
This morning I had rejoined the Two Saints Way on the Shropshire Union Canal at the Shady Oak pub for a short stretch to Wharton’s Lock. I’d been here before on the Sandstone Trail which was followed up to Beeston Tor, arriving before the castle opened – another time.
Then I ended up walking along quiet Cheshire lanes, as apparently the right of way across fields has been disputed, time the Council sorted that problem, it sniffs of rich landowners to me. At least from up here there were good views back of Beeston Castle.
St. Boniface church, C15th, was on the highest point and as I arrived a funeral service was just finishing with people milling around outside. Out of respect, I was going to move on, but a chance conversation with the funeral director assured me they would be gone shortly. In fact, this had been a memorial service for a local resident who’d died during last year’s lockdown. A Scottish piper headed the ash scattering procession into the churchyard. Then I eventually looked around the beautiful sandstone church, featuring some outstanding stained-glass and historic tombs. The friendly vicar, who was very proud of his church, was interested in my route and pointed out not to be missed churches further along the way. The day was getting on, so I didn’t visit the Dysart Arms opposite.
Continuing along the canal I passed the equivalent of a motorway service station busy with barges and boating people. It appeared as though some regulars along this stretch were vying for floral boat of the year. I came across an unexpected café at a cheese factory. I don’t often pass a coffee stop, so I was soon ensconced with a brew. Lots of friendly people to chat to and a chance to put my foot up.
The canal continued alongside a busy road and industrial estates. I was distracted enough to photo all the different flowers on the towpath. Up to 30 different species in a short stretch, I won’t bore you with all the pictures.