Bank Holiday Boating. After sacrificing our two last long weekends in the name of DIY, enough was enough. Holiday plans have changed about three times so far this year but, you know, we go with the flow. We are always in a state of flux. We don’t mind. It was time to head off but first, needs must, a trip to the services along the way. Moving every weekend now to get ourselves in position to start our holiday on the Lymm Transport Festival weekend. It was Christmas when we last ventured down the locks on the Rufford Branch, one of our favourite diversions. As nice a stretch of canal and countryside as you will find anywhere, little used. Three Canal & River Trust Volunteers made swift work of the first three locks, the swifts made short work of an abundance of insects just above the water. Only around 600 boats a year are recorded being assisted although there are more that travel along the branch unaided, as we do ourselves. We like it this way, quietly working the locks and taking in the huge skies in our own little reverie.

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Having help meant I could go ahead to set the lock

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The Rufford Branch is listed as being 60′ maximum length. We are 62′ and fit no problem

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Attractive little bridges provide access onto the farmland

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Last lock of the day

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A Magical Green tunnel running alongside a National Trust property

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Pub seeking paddle boarders

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The canal is entirely rural from her all the way to the River Lock at Tarleton

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Yellow Flag Iris in abundance all along the banks

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Mervyn looking resplendent

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Pole position, moving across to the towpath

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Glorious mornings

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My new driveway

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A little dull but Bank Holiday Monday- rain is always expected

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Glorious evening

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Although a little down a heel, I find the yellow boat very photogenic

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Sunset through the bridge, like a portal into another world…which is where, I suppose, we are.

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