Tunnelling our way out of Staffordshire

Last Sunday we finally left Stone and headed north through the ‘Potteries’ towns that make up Stoke on Trent. There are some incredibly beautiful parts of Staffordshire but Stoke on Trent couldn’t be described as one of them. It may not be beautiful but it is definitely interesting. Industrial architecture abounds as this was the hub of the pottery industry from the early 1700s onwards.  These spectacular bottle kilns have been left in tact in the middle of a mediocre housing development just outside Etruria.

20150322_142523The Etruria Industrial Museum houses the Jesse Shirley’s Bone and Flint Mill – the only working steam driven potters mill in the world. We’ve not managed to visit yet but have hopes of making it back on 12th April when it will be in steam.

20150322_143922After a day in Hanley to catch up with some shopping we headed on up the Trent & Mersey past Middleport and Longport towards the Harecastle Tunnel.

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Much as we enjoy industrial architecture, we were both keen to escape into more rural landscapes.

Gordon got his instructions from the guy from CRT……

BorderNegotiations…and, as there was no-one coming through from the other side, we were heading off into the tunnel.

20150324_090824The doors clanged shut behind us, the fan that provides fresh air roared into life and we plunged into darkness. Thirty minutes or so later we emerged and (after  skirting round Kidsgrove) we were on the Macclesfield Canal, heading towards the Peak District.

Our mooring last night at the bottom of the Bosley Locks was everything we could have hoped for – an amazing spot to spend the night.

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