Great Canal Boat cruising from Venetian Marina to Middlewich
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Wed Jan 9, 2013 at 10:30am

Venetian Marina is located within the Cheshire Ring and Four Counties ring. You have easy access to a range of destinations from short cruises to Nantwich, Chester & Audlem through to longer journeys such as Llangollen, Market Drayton and Birmingham.
Venetian to Middlewich (via Church Minshull)

Venetian Marina Nantwich LTD is situated on the Middlewich branch of the Shropshire Union Canal. The Middlewich branch starts at the Barbridge junction which is just outside the picturesque market town of Nantwich and joins the Trent and Mersey canal at the market town of Middlewich. This route offers 10miles (16km) of cruising including 4 locks and several bridges.

The Middlewich branch is a quiet stretch of canal which passes through rich farmland interspersed with woodland. You’ll see fantastic views to the west over the River Weaver and Winsford top flash.
From Venetian Marina take the canal leading under the bridge so that Cholmondeston lock is behind you, cruise on through a long and relatively straight stretch of the canal and enjoy the quiet and remote countryside. After passing your first lock (Minshull lock) the canal crosses the River Weaver on an aqueduct as it starts to approach the village of Church Minshull. Your next stop will be the village of Church Minshull which you’ll see after you pass under several more bridges. The notable 18th century church in the centre of the village is the subject of a preservation order and is certainly the heart of this delightful and pretty village. If you moor here over night it’s worth taking the short walk into the village to visit the local pub/restaurant which has recently been refurbished, The Badger. There is also a bus stop in Church Minshull if you wanted to travel into the surrounding larger towns such as Winsford, Crewe or Nantwich for groceries etc.

Cruise on through peaceful farmland and woodland making sure to note the various wildlife, from common sights such as mallards and moorhens, to rarer creatures like otters, kingfishers and water voles. The canal starts to drop down as you go through your second lock (Stanthorne lock) and you approach Middlewich. The rural scenery now starts to be replaced with built up houses and businesses. The third and final lock (Wardle lock) will lead you onto the junction of the Trent & Mersey where you’ll find a turning point and other various boating facilities.  For the Four Counties Ring boaters will turn right for Kidsgrove and the potteries via the Cheshire locks but if you want to explore the Weaver, turn left towards Northwich and the Anderton Boat Lift.

Middlewich is a town that since Roman times has been dedicated to salt extraction most of which goes to various chemical industries. The Trent & Mersey skirts the centre of the town and offers lots of mooring opportunities and extended cruising onto the Four Counties ring or the Cheshire ring. If you’re looking for something to eat at Middlewich then there is plenty of choices available as well as various shops, supermarkets and gift shops.

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