Saying farewell to Leek on the Wednesday morning, we soon made it to Hazelhurst Junction, where the Leek Arm and Froghall Arm come together; a tight right turn took us into the top Hazelhurst Lock, aiming for Froghall.
Letting down, we noticed something very odd about the lock gate. A prize for the first person to spot it…
And after the Leek Arm, and the three Hazelhurst locks, we arrived at The Holly Bush Inn at lunch time. It would be rude not to… Actually, it was pretty busy for a Wednesday lunchtime we thought, albeit a pleasantly warm and sunny one.
The canal follows the Churnet Valley, a hidden gem in the moorlands while just a stone’s throw from Stoke on Trent, and before long, drops down onto the River Churnet itself.
As we were approaching Consall, we were lucky enough to find a prime mooring spot just by the Black Lion, a splendid, and splendidly isolated watering hole. With good moorings between here and Froghall being a little thin on the ground, it was definitely time to go for a Guinness,
We’d noticed on a previous visit that the pub was run mainly by chickens, but were particularly taken by this chappie, who we hadn’t seen before.