Thank you Shire Cruisers for a superb ten days afloat. We previously attempted the South Pennine ring in 2007 but failed due to lock damage on the Ashton Canal, this time we succeeded and what a trip! We went to Huddersfield first and up the Broad and Narrow Canals to Standedge Tunnel which was certainly one of the highlights of the trip. We were expertly steered through by my son Simon who is more used to driving lorries than boats. He was on the back in his hard hat, life jacket and high vis jacket which gave me a chance to be on the bow with the camera. Down into Manchester and we spent a peaceful night in Telford Basin and took the tram out to Media City to see a show at the theatre there. The trip out of Manchester on the Rochdale Canal was hard work but really enjoyable, we bumped one or two things on the bottom of the canal but had no major problems and moored up just past the River Irk aqueduct which is the first piece of countryside after Manchester. On through the back end of Rochdale we didn't like Rochdale much) and out into beautiful Pennine scenery at the summit. The second main highlight of the holiday was welcoming John Sergeant aboard to do some filming for his Barging Round Britain TV series, a great experience and he really is as nice face to face as he appears to be on TV. This left us with rather a long way to go to get back to Sowerby Bridge on time but with late finish and an early start we were back in plenty of time.
All in all a really excellent and very varied trip.