Therer are five locks between here and the town centre and having spoken to other people it seems that the quieter spot to moor is in the basin at the bottom of town but you have to go through the Northgate Staircase Lock which we are told is hard work.
We decided to play it by ear and when we arrived in Chester through the industrial area and then into the trendy new bit there were not many mooring places left so we carried on through the Northgate Staircase Lock - it was hard work and it took us nearly an hour to do. We couldn't believe that there wasn't a lock keeper or at least a CRT volunteer to tell us what to do as we could imagine people getting into all sorts of trouble! There were not many people looking on either (thankfully) which is unusual for a Sunday afternoon but it was raining by this time.
Once moored up in the basin we went for a walk to have a look around Chester - I am trying to use an alternative word to lovely or great - fantastic! I think we had the city pretty much to ourselves because all the shops were closed and it was raining. It is oldie worldie and the architecture is really interesting. We will go for another walk tomorrow morning as we want to walk the City wall.
|Leaving the Shady Oak|
|Secondhand tractor showroom!|
|Our first glimpse of Chester - anyone for cricket?|
|The weather is closing in on us - entering the industrial side of town - there are plenty of interesting historical buildings here.|
|Several warehouses have been turned into bars and restaurants.|
|The Canal goes straight through the middle of town - as we approach the old city it suddenly curves round into a very steep rock cutting.|
|Then we reach the Northgate Staircase - the lock pens are very deep!|
|You have to fill the top lock making sure the bottom two are empty, then into the top one and let the water out into the middle one.|
|The boat is now in the middle I am closing the bottom lock paddles so we can let the water out of the middle one into the bottom one. The paddles here are quite heavy.|
|Out of the bottom lock and a sharp right into the basin at the bottom of town.|
|There goes the plane that carries the parts for the airbus.|
|There we are moored up in the basin.|
|Walking into a wet Chester!|
|That's the town hall - one good thing about a raining Sunday afternoon - there is nobody about we have the whole place to ourselves!|
|Looking down the Rows - it's fabulous the way the shops are incorporated into the old architecture - some of it dating back to the 13thC.|