To date : 1074 miles, 783 locks
We had noticed that there was a National Trust property about a mile or so from the canal on our route today so planned a visit to Dunham Massey. First there was the cruise out of Manchester with a few more interesting buildings to see on the way and the last of the high rise apartment blocks. We saw a sorry sight of a sunken narrowboat too. It will be nice to be out of the city so we have clear photos again. Nearly all of them in Manchester had a hazy quality.
We cruised alongside the Manchester Ship Canal but could see nothing of it. We did pass the lock leading down to it though.
We moored at the "School" bridge for Dunham Massey, had some lunch and set off on our walk. We thoroughly enjoyed the the walk to get there. We passed such gorgeous little cottages, obviously from the estate at some point with their matching red trim. They were all so quaint. There were rabbits hopping through gardens and squirrels scaling trees and birds chirping merrily. The weather was mild and Spring was in the air. The gardens were beginning to really bloom. We've been noticing magnolia the last few days as well as the Spring bulbs that are everywhere we look. Just lovely.
There was a long tree lined avenue once we climbed over the fence into the property. I'm not quite sure why they would go to the trouble of building stairs over the fence beside a gate rather than just making the gate the entry point! Deer roam the parkland along that side and we did spy one as we walked.
Many of the rooms have been set out as they would have been when Dunham Hall was a military hospital. We enjoyed our visit to the property and the story of Dunham Hall being a military hospital reminded me of Downton Abbey. It was a lovely building with the usual interesting rooms and stories to tell. Our favourite room was the grand kitchen with its shiny copper pots. Well worth a visit.
On the way back we called in at the little farm shop down the lane behind the pub and bought some nice fresh eggs.
Barry and Carol had passed us while we were having a quick lunch and sent a message that there was a mooring at Lymm for us if we decided to continue on. We have a mooring right beside the village centre, and a very nice village it is too. There is a narrow little gap in the stone fence beside the bridge where you walk through and along the front of a handful of houses to get up and over the bridge. The shops in the village line the sloping streets that shoot out in all directions. I enjoyed wandering on my own (don't get to do that all that often these days) having left Mick to settle in at our mooring. My excuse was that I needed to post a card but the post office had a queue so long I decided to go back tomorrow.
When I returned to the boat the labrador on the boat behind bounded up with his toy. It reminded me of a website Lynne told me about. It's called Borrow My Doggy (click) and is set up for dog lovers who can't have a dog to meet up with dog owners who are happy for someone to spend time with their dog. What a win-win situation. The dog lover gets to spend time with a dog and the dog owner has someone to walk their dog, spend time with it, or perhaps just dog sit. The website was only set up mid 2012 but it seems to have a bit of a following.