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Villages & Resorts in Cheshire (England)

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      18.02.2009 00:03
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      This review is about a nice little village called Marple which I knew about but only really discovered whilst on a bit of a break last year. Using a friends canal boat for two weeks, we travelled along the well constructed canal system, travelling along the Cheshire ring.
      As we sped along at a hefty 2 to 3 mile per hour we came across a beautiful little village called Marple and its 16 locks...and what a pleasant little surprise it was too.

      As I said I had heard of Marple and had probably passed through it by road but when we stopped there I was not expecting what the beautiful little village had to offer

      ** WHERE IS IT...

      Marple is in Cheshire, approximately 5 miles away from Stockport and 15 miles away from Buxton.
      It has an exceptional public transport system, having two train stations, Rose Hill and Marple, with trains from Manchester and Sheffield, it also has several bus services running through on a daily basis...
      Getting there by car from either Stockport or Glossop along the A626, from Buxton, through New Mills, via the A6 or Hyde in Tameside via the A627...

      Also, as we did, Marple can be accessed via the pleasant experience of Canal travel from either the Peak Forest Canal, (from Whaley Bridge or Ashton under Lyne) or the Macclefield Canal (from.. Yes... Macclesfield)...


      ** WHAT MARPLE HAS TO OFFER..?

      Although it is not the biggest of places it certainly has a lot crammed into it, including several public houses, many take aways, (Chinese, Indian, Pizza... it has the lot all along the main road), restaurants, petrol stations, many shops catering for every ones needs and even a small cinema (although the cinema I didn't frequent)...
      It even has guest houses scattered around the beautiful village so there is always some where to stay...
      As it is situated minutes from the border Derbyshire there are also many walks and some beautiful views.

      And of course... the 'TOP LOCKS' which are probably what Marple is famous for

      ** THE 16 LOCKS...

      Or the top locks as it is called...
      This, as the name says, consists of 16 locks which allow you to manages the steep water route along the Peak Forest canal...
      These locks are at different distances apart... some being a few metres others being several metres apart... but all insight of one another... which can be a little daunting at first.
      The entire route through the locks is only a couple of miles but does take some time to complete due to the opening and closing of each lock as you chug along... starting in Marple at the junction of the Peak forest Canal and Macclesfield Canal.


      ** IN CONCLUSION...

      Well, what can I say about this hidden gem..?

      As we trundled along from Whaley Bridge and Bugsworth basin we soon came upon the junction joining with the Macclefield canal and after seeing the map of the many locks we decided to find somewhere to more up for the night... which was easier than we thought as there were many places to do so even though there were several canal boats in the area at the time...
      Once moored up it was a choice of wondering around to find something to eat or cook on the barge... the choice wasn't that hard... so we headed off to explore our surrounding... and we were soon wondering why we hadn't visited this place before.

      The area is pleasant and there are a lot of shops to spend ones hard earned cash, ( my wife does a good job at that). The vast amount of shops catering for everything you need... ranging from small green grocers to a rather pleasant Co op store, (although this was very busy when we went in later that night).
      After our wonder around, stocking up on supplies and taking them back to the barge, we decided to find somewhere to eat... and after speaking to a rather friendly old gentleman, who happened to live on a barge a little further down the canal, we ended up in a pub called the Ring 'o Bell, which is situated just off the canal itself.
      I have to say that the food there was splendid and a good amount, the ale was well worth the slight over price but I have to say that the land lord needed a refund from the charm school he attended...

      And the bonus of it all was that during the night it was nice and peaceful, allowing a good nights sleep even though we were moored next to a pathway near a pub... the locals were a nice quite bunch and the ones we actually met were very friendly indeed.

      In all it was a very pleasant overnight stay in what is a quaint village with some rather charming surroundings.
      I would recommend a visit to anyone and I am in fact contemplating visiting again if I can borrow my friends barge again....

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