Let’s do the full Monty

Arriving at Frankton locks

But, because the Montogomary canal is still one of those restoration projects that has an unnavigable section in the middle we could only get so far. But never the less we were both keen to explore as much as possible, so we booked our passage through the Frankton lock flight (which is only operational between 9am and 1pm each day) expecting to explore the viable 6 miles during a three night stay.

Something to look forward to

But we were in for another treat, this little used rural backwater proved to be a haven of peace and tranquility after the superhighway of the Llangollen. The friendly volockies suggested we stopped at the Weston junction for lunch, but we ended up staying 2 full days.

Reversing into our mooring at Weston junction

The Weston Arm was abandoned and filled in, but the first 100m or so now holds a services station and just room for a few boats to moor, but the junction itself has been created into meeting point for boaters, and walkers alike, with picnic tables and a small car park. Needless to say we made the most of some sunshine to relax.

A few days in the sunshine

In its heyday (the early 1800’s) the Monty was actually the main line built with the purpose of transporting lime to be used as agricultural fertilizer. Unlike many other canal companies the land owning shareholders made their money from increased agricultural output and profit as opposed to commercial traffic tolls. It was 35 miles long, intertwining between the English and Welsh border, from Frankton to Newtown.

A pity only 6 miles is navigable for narrowboats now

Nowadays the navigable section in only 6 miles to Gronwyn bridge 82, although the last mooring opportunity is at Spiggots Bridge 80. We moored overnight so we walked the last mile to the end.

Bridge 82, as far as we can go

We the last winding hole is just before the bridge, through a lift bridge, so I just waited for Firecrest to return before lowering it

Looking towards Gronwyn wharf and lift bridge

As we meandered slowly back along the twisty narrow canal we realised one of the reasons for having to book passage is to limit the number of boats because of the tricky route and limited mooring.

It’s a bit shallow and narrow in places

Our friends Kim and Paul have been cruising a similar route to us and we agreed to meet up at the Weston mooring to take advantage of the picnic table and the sunny weather and enjoyed a barbeque together.

In the end we extended our stay on the Monty to 6 nights and having reached Gronwyn we can add it to our list to claim a Golden Propeller badge. We’d recommend it to anyone travelling without time restrictions, if just for some peaceful time out.