Wednesday, June 23, 2010

23 June 2010 Erddig Estate then Canal Boat trip

Erddig Wrexham Wales

Duke and buggy at Erddig Wales

Lyn riding high

Duke Lyn and Mick

Suzie Mick Mary

Mick as Captain!

Lyn steering the boat

Davina Mick's cousin

"Michael - I think I am going to hit the bridge, what do I do?.."

Today we visited Erddig Estate near Wrexham in Wales. The estate is on 1200 acres of land and boasts an enormous stately home which was built in the 1680's, plus numerous other buildings including stables etc.

As happens with many country estates, the cost of maintenance got so high that the owner sold the estate to the National Trust in 1973.

The home pre-dates the age of electricity and has been altered little since the first years of the 20th century. Blimey, they must have done it tough in those days.

The drive down to the house is about a kilometre long.

They still keep several horses on the property including Shires and Welsh Cob which they still use for working around the estate.

We went for a ride through the estate in a buggy drawn by Duke, a Welsh Cob horse.

Beautiful grounds, gardens and a lake compliment the place with lovely roses in bloom everywhere. And the weather was perfect, sunny, warm and no wind.

After a rest in the afternoon we drove down to the canal with our hosts, Davina and Roy and Mary who owns the farm where we are staying. They have a Canal Boat moored there and very soon we had the diesel engine chugging and we were heading off down the canal. It's a very leisurely pastime and after a while we could see why it is so popular. Lyn and Mick both got to pilot it although Lyn chickened out at the narrow bridges which we had to pass through. Mick got a prize after negotiating about six bridges which are only wide enough for 1 boat with about 6" clearance on either side without scraping the walls once!

I guess after years of negotiating tight corners in the F250 and 5th wheeler, he was able to use the same skills to steer 'the ship'. The only difference was the steering response was slower.

Anyway, we chugged down the canal for a few k's waving and conversing with numerous other people of like mind before stopping and mooring at a spot close to the Poachers Pocket pub (their pub names are so quaint) for an evening meal. The pub was very busy as England had just won a soccer (sorry football) match (their first) to take them to the top of their group in the comp (pity about Australia). Everyone at the pub was in a jovial mood and a good time was had by all.

We left the pub at about 9.00pm and did a 3 point turn at a suitable spot and headed back up the canal. We got back to the mooring at about 9.45pm, moored the boat and headed off home.

Still light at 10.0pm, unheard of.

There didn't appear to be any mosquitos at all and there was plenty of wildlife to see as we travelled along.

It was great

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