Now we had arrived at the junction of the Rivers Soar and Trent with the Trent & Mersey and Erewash Canals. Fradley Junction was 'only' 29 miles and 18 locks away to the west, and we had never been on this stretch of canal. So, while we were here . . . !
We turned left up the river to Sawley locks, our first taste of the 'Mighty Trent'. A big river, which would have been scary a few years ago, but now not too bad – not forgetting that flowing water always needs a bit more respect than the almost static canal variety! Through the lock, we moored up for the night, before going on to join the Trent & Mersey Canal, which very soon brought us into Shardlow. As our Nicholson's Guide told us, here are 'living examples of large-scale canal architecture', such as the 18th-century Trent Mill in this photo.
We went on through several locks (14 feet wide), and stopped for lunch, but our next stop was less welcome. We found ourselves in a queue at Stenson Lock and had to wait for over an hour to get through – a combination of Bank Holiday and a difficult and deep lock, the last of the wide ones in this direction.
Seven miles to the next (narrow) lock at Dallow Lane, right in the centre of Burton upon Trent, and almost hidden under a widened road bridge.
Welcome relief, then, as the canal turned off westwards through Wychnor Bridges, to skirt the other side of Alrewas village, with a short section of river navigation thrown in along the way.