The countryside continued to be beautiful; the canal wide and stately.
Arriving at Fradley, we weren't sure of being able to get a mooring beyond the junction itself, so we happily moored about 100 yards away from it, in a pleasant, wooded spot, with several other boats.
We strolled down to the junction, turned left onto the Trent and Mersey Canal and walked up alongside the locks to see if there were any moorings available there. But there weren't, and we were glad that we'd taken the first spot we'd seen.
Back down at the junction, we found the gift shop closed, possibly closed down. Grace had been hoping to buy a hat or two which would suit her boaty lifestyle. Nearby, The Swan (aka "The Mucky Duck") was open, but displaying no menu. We had previously considered eating there this evening, but there was nothing to suggest that it was any better than it had been back in 2011, when reviewers on the web had been unanimous that it was not a good place to eat. (Please note, however, as I will say in greater detail in my next post, that the pub has been under new management since December last year, and it is now reputed to be much improved.)
There is a holiday chalet site here at the Junction, with a large and attractive câfé. I think it's been developed considerably since we were last here. A path runs through it to a Nature Trail created by CRT, really nicely done, with paths winding around a woodland area, good signage and seating, and an ancient lake made easily accessible from a path around it.
I love the way CRT are working to make the canals a place of interest and enjoyment to those who aren't boaters. This whole site epitomises that focus.
|Looking west from Lock 17|
|and looking east from the same place|