pick of watering holes on the Bridge Brewood. Canalside at Bridge 14. 01902 903966. Waterside village pub with real ale, home cooked food in restaurant and lounge bar, garden.
Wheaton Aston. By Bridge 19. 01785 840232. Friendly village local, real ale and cider, restaurant and bar food, garden
Boat Gnosall. Canalside at Bridge 34. 01785 822208. Canalside pub popular with boaters serving selection of real ales, home cooked food (except Mondays), canalside patio
Junction Norbury. 01785 284288. Canalside by the junction with the old Newport Arm. Large, friendly pub and restaurant with real ale and canalside garden
Anchor High Offley. 01785 284569. Canalside near Bridge 42. Remote little unspoilt survivor from working boat days, run by the same family for almost 150 years. Real ale, open fire, garden. In winter open weekends only
Goldstone. 01630 661226. Canalside at Bridge 55. Large family-friendly pub with extensive garden, real ale and food
Tyrley. 01630 652995. 10 mins west of Tyrley Top Lock. Large family-friendly pub with an emphasis on food including restaurant meals and bar snacks. Real ale, garden
Talbot Newcastle Road, Market Drayton. 01630 654989. Just east of Bridge 62. Traditional brick-built town pub with real ale, food, open fire and outdoor seating
Bridge Audlem. 01270 812928. By Bridge 12. Recently refurbished family-friendly pub and restaurant with selection of real ales, good value food, occasional live entertainment
Oddfellows Welsh Row, Nantwich. 01270 624758. 5 mins east of Nantwich Aqueduct. Traditional town pub with open fires, low ceilings, real ale, garden and live music Saturdays
Pubdetailsarelikelytochangeatshortnotice: youareadvisedtophoneaheadtobesure during the Second World War: on one occasion, a passing loaded narrowboat was attacked by a German aircraft.
Lovely wooded cuttings are followed by embankments with views stretching as far as Cannock Chase. In summer the cuttings are bright with wildflowers, and often the only sound is the cackle of pheasants in a nearby field.
One of the Shroppie’s deepest and longest cuttings leads to Cowley Tunnel, cut through unlined sandstone and the only tunnel on the canal: walkers will be delighted to see the 81-yard bore has a towpath. Beyond the tunnel this soon leads to Gnosall Heath where there are two excellent waterside pubs. You will find a convenient row of shops if you follow the road beside the Boat Inn.
After Gnosall comes the towering Shelmore Embankment which took six years to build. Telford’s preferred line was rejected by landowner Lord Anson because it was too close to his pheasant shoot, forcing the engineer to take a more difficult route over unstable land which collapsed over and over again. It was the last section completed before the canal opened in 1835: Telford didn’t live to see it finished, and completion was the responsibility of William Cubitt.
Norbury Junction marks the beginning