The above map gives an overview of our route. We are heading "up the page" towards Nottingham.
The map below shows where we started at Fradley Junction but does not extend all the way to Nottingham.
The last few days we have been cruising down the Trent and Mersey Canal, leaving Fradley and heading to Nottingham and points beyond. At one point early on in our journey, near Alrewas Lock, the canal and the River Trent are one in the same. This is important to know as the River Trent can often flood and become dangerous. But, this time of year is usually calm. We had no problems navigating that bit.
We have passed lovely named towns and villages such as Alrewas, Wychnor, Barton-Under-Needwood, Barton Upon Trent, Hornglow, Outwoods, Shobnall, Streeton, Branston, Willington, Stenson, and our now moored just outside of Swarkestone. I love the town names although I rarely pronounce them in the British manner.
Just a bit of history, Swarkestone is where Bonnie Prince Charlie gave up his try for re-establishing the Stuart line upon the English throne.
We spent a few days at Willington which has three well used pubs in a small village that consists of a PO, a few stores and churches and beautiful country side. We had our first cook out of the season along the canal path at Willington.
Burton Upon Trent was once home to England's brewing industry which started here in the 13th century. The monks at Burton Abbey were the first to brew beer at this location. At one point there were 31 breweries here and they brewed 3 million barrels of ale per year. Marston's Brewery (now owned by Coors) offers a brewery tour and ale samples. Mike took the tour and enjoyed it immensely. I am sure the samples had nothing to do with it. :-)
Branston, near Burton Upon Trent, is apparently the original home of the famous Branston Pickle (tastes lovely if you ever get a chance to sample). We also have friends here whose dog is named Branston. A proper canine gentleman .