Another weekend, more sunshine and despite our intention to have a weekend at home by Saturday night we were thinking of a couple of nights somewhere close at hand to get out with the bikes and walking boots. Netherwood Touring Site looked like it would tick all the boxes, adult only, 3 miles out of the city centre, right on the side of the canal towpath and handy for a couple of pubs.
The campsite is in the former, very large, garden of the owners. Only 16 pitches but well spread out and probably room for at least another 20 pitches. We were given a spot right at the top a couple of feet away from the canal so we could sit and watch the narrow-boats potter by. Sunday afternoon we decided on a quick walk and followed the canal path down towards Chester, when we reached Chemistry Locks we realised we had walk out this far from Telford Locks a few months ago so our aim to walk the canal was growing if in small stages.
Monday dawned sunny but chilly. Not to be deterred we took the bikes down and head off out in the opposite direction to the city along the Shropshire Union Canal. For the first mile or so a good tarmac towpath, followed by a grass / dirt path which was at best ok. We managed to cycle along for a mile or two but then headed off onto the lanes and followed cycle 48 as far as Tattenhall. The weather had definitely turned chilly and the other half of the duo was getting a bit too cold so it was time to stop for a teabreak. Beautiful Cheshire, the land of country houses and ye olde tea shoppes – ah no we stopped at a tea wagon in the yard of the concrete merchant just outside the local rubbish tip – top quality choice of stop – not!
Back to the van for a warm up but by the time we got there the sun was back out. So after a quick lunch we headed out for a walk to the garden centre where I was promised a decent coffee and cake to make up for the builders yard. Only a mile or so from the site but working up a good appetite for coffee and cake – to find the cafe door shutting as we arrived. As a last resort we headed back out an hour later to the Cheshire Cat for tea, good food followed by an even better gooseberry crumble then only a 5 minute walk back to the van.
This morning it was time to head home but we decided to take a walk into Chester first, we followed the canal path into the city centre and stopped off for a quick drink in Central Perk – loving a bit of NY in the middle of Chester. Back to the site via a few cycle shops from where we resisted any shopping.
Weekends near home are definitely the way ahead, there in under an hour, cheap as chips on fuel and seeing so much more of the area we usually just drive straight through on the way to somewhere else.