We booked this two-nighter last year as we thought it looked a pretty one. Our destination was the village of Audlem on the South Cheshire border with Shropshire. The village is situated alongside the Shropshire Union Canal which starts in Wolverhampton in The Midlands, running northwards towards Cheshire, the River Mersey and Ellesmere Port.
The Audlem stretch of the canal is famous for its 15 locks, designed by Thomas Telford to raise the canal up to the Shropshire Plain from the lower Cheshire Plain. These locks cover a distance of approx. a mile and a half.
We stayed at Overwater Marina just outside Audlem.
We had booked a pitch in the Caravan & Motorhome Club 5-pitch CL area (£15 per night with EHU). They are attractively laid out, spacious, hard-standing pitches with a separate grassed area and picnic table.
On arrival we were informed that we had been allocated pitch number 3 but it was immediately clear that somebody else was already pitched there. Staff expressed surprise that it was already occupied and then told us that somebody must have either overstayed their occupancy or pitched in the wrong place. They didn’t really know and to be honest didn’t seem that bothered. In fact, even when the pitch later became available nobody bothered to tell us. So, a shambles is the best way to describe check-in to be honest!
Oh well, we found ourselves a pitch on the new section of 10 hard-standings. Not as pretty but functional and serviced which was a positive. Facilities were good.
We spent the first afternoon and evening around Jolly just having an end of week wind-down and chill out before an early night in preparation for the next day exploring the area. We woke to blazing sunshine and had again struck lucky with the weather. That’s 3 breaks in a row of sunshine. Hope this run of luck lasts 🙏😎
We began the day with a breakfast at the on site ‘Cafe at Bridge 80’. The food was good and set us up for the day. We then rode our bikes along the canal towpath into Audlem. It would be about a 20-25 minute walk or there’s the option of taking the ‘Audlem Lass’, a canal boat taxi, which runs between the marina and the village.
It’s a really beautiful walk/cycle/boat ride, whichever you choose. Very scenic and part of what is considered to be one of the prettiest walks in lowland England.
On arrival in Audlem, we stopped for a swiftie 🍻 at the Shroppie Fly pub, situated by a lock on the canal.
While sitting in the sunshine we decided to change our original plan which had been to visit Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker (not so secret, there are signs everywhere!) in Nantwich, a further 3 miles down the towpath. It was just too nice a day to be spent in an underground bunker. We got chatting to a local who said the bunker is definitely worth a visit at some point though and is quite an eerie experience. It gives us a good reason to re-visit this beautiful area another time.
Audlem has an interesting history and a lot to offer for a village.
There is also a busy calendar of events happening in and around the area throughout the year worth bearing in mind if planning a visit. A local particularly recommended the Music & Arts Festival and Beer Festival for a great atmosphere. There’s a list of events here:-
Free parking in the village and some lovely shops including the ‘Lllovely Chocolate Shop’. No shortage of good eating and drinking establishments including three pubs – The Shroppie Fly, Bridge Inn just around the corner from the Shroppie, and further along the main road from there is the Lord Combermere at the centre of the village.
At the end of our day’s wanderings we ate back at the Shroppie Fly where we got talking to a lovely & interesting coupe who owned a narrow boat ‘Layla’ and loved to travel –
Hello, if you’re reading this Ann & ? sorry we didn’t manage to call in for a nightcap but we had probably had enough by then and at least we didn’t interrupt your football match viewing! 😉
The food at the Shroppie was great and so was the atmosphere.
With full bellies we cycled the towpath back to camp at the end of a thoroughly enjoyable day. Definitely a visit we’d recommend and repeat. A big thumbs up!
This year has been a great one so far both weather-wise and destination-wise, and we’re still only in Spring. Loving it! Bring on the next adventure.
Suzie & Bri