The cockerel in the pub garden woke us at about 8am and after breakfast and a bit of an explore of the limekilns there, we topped up with water at one of the best pressure taps on the whole canal system, and headed off towards Cheddleton.
We pulled in first at Bridge 44, beside The Boat Inn to visit Cheddleton Station to look at some of the rolling stock they have there. We were able to walk along the platform and look at some of the beautifully restored carriages. There was an army of gentleman volunteers, all of a certain age, busy on a vast array of tasks around the station and one or two ladies doing some gardening in the station grounds.
From here we walked up the hill into Cheddleton, which although not the quickest route to the shop, was worth the climb for the views we got from the top. Having bought some milk and a paper we headed back down the hill to the boat, popping into the Boat Inn for a quick drink so we admire this handsome stone built pub with its low ceilings. It would be a lovely place to visit on a cold winter’s day when the fire is blazing.
After lunch we moved off again and up through two locks before stopping again to have a look round the outside of the Chedderton Flint Mill. Unfortunately the museum was closed so we couldn’t see the inside of any of the buildings but we were able to view the unusual sight of two water wheels sitting side by side which once drove the flint grinding pans.
Opposite the Mill was a café/restaurant called ‘Castro’s’ as in Fidel and we’re wondering why they chose that name. It does serve Mexican food, but not Cuban!
It does however sell amazing home-made ice-cream and we were served exceedingly generous portions which we think must have been due to the time of year and the lack of custom in the area, as we only asked for, and paid for, SMALL. We didn’t complain!
Once back on board we moved off again into the late afternoon sunshine and motored on for another mile and a half before stopping close to The Holly Bush Inn, a traditional 17th century canal-side pub with an open fire and little changed over the years.
We’d been recommended three pubs in the Churnet valley by a fellow boater that we must visit and this was the third.
Having arrived back in an area where we could communicate with the outside world again we placed a supermarket order for delivery in the morning before we headed off to the pub. The Black Lion, The Boat Inn and The Holly Bush are three pubs not to be missed!