A rather leisurely commencement to the day raising our heads at 9.30am. We are going to use the excuse that jet lag is still upon us. We were meant to wander down the canal to the Wedgewood Factory but in the short distance of ½ mile we managed to get ourselves slightly lost. Finally got there and had a look around the outlet store but didn’t want to pay £10 for a tour as we had done one last time we were here. Wedgewood now own Royal Doulton along with Waterford Crystal so it is a rather large conglomerate. In the sales shop they said the stuff was now made in China and Indonesia and only the hand painted stuff was made in the factory at Stoke-on-Trent. The only thing we were slightly interested in was a couple of plates to finish off our Royal Albert Rose pattern tea service but the colour was very washed out looking. Hence we gave that a skip.
Back to nb Lucy to putter up the canal for an hour to be closer to Stoke-on-Trent. We did a total of one lock and not much else. We continue to have magnificent weather which is lulling us into a false sense of security. We moored up and then took the pooches to the Trentham Gardens which was a walk of about a mile.
The Trentham Gardens were originally part of a large estate that went into disrepair for many years until the 1970’s when they were resurrected. The gardens centered around a lake with small forests that included the Monkey forest (didn’t go in there because dogs were not welcome) along with the deer forest, maze etc. The original manor is now derelict and they have spent most of their time concentrating on getting the gardens back in order. Prior to entering the gardens you had to do the retail shuffle through all these stores to get to the entry gate. Most of the visitors hung around the stores and cafes there which looked out towards the gardens and therefore didn’t have to pay the £10 to get in. We are learning that entry to a lot of places in England is pretty steep price wise and we will need to be a little selective as to what we decide to go in and see. By the time we walked back to nb Lucy we had walked about 5 miles and we had two exhausted dogs. Maples had to be carried most of the way home.
We popped into a canal pub last night for a quick pint and we have noticed that they are very dog friendly. You can have them in the eating areas providing it is outside or even inside the pubs providing they are not in the food areas. There are lots of boats on the canals with dogs and even cats on them.