Shardlow's one of those small villages just outside Derby that I've traveled through plenty of times but never actually stopped to explore.
I knew there was a marina there with moored-up narrow boats, so obviously there'd be a canal to walk alongside of, but it turned out to be far more interesting than I'd expected. Shardlow marks one end of the Trent and Mersey Canal, which runs 92 miles to Preston Brook where boats used to join the river Mersey, and in the late 18th and early 19th centuries it would have been a busy bustling sort of place.
Reminders of the past are all around - the wharves and warehouses still obvious though either given over to pleasure craft or converted to flats, a crane once used for moving goods to the adjacent warehouse.
Passing under the main road, we walked south out of the village along the towpath, passing a set of locks and about a kilometer further before turning round.
Returning almost to our starting point, we followed the trail which highlights old buildings from the time of Shardlow's heyday - warehouses, large houses built by merchants, pubs and chapels. It's a fascinating place, and there's a heritage centre to check out so I'll be back another time.
One word of warning though - the photos look lovely and peaceful but it was a Bank Holiday evening, and two of the pubs had events on with loud music. I'd pick a quieter time, maybe mid-week to re-visit. Also, the A50 Derby Southern By-pass runs quite close by, and once out of the village the traffic noise from it is quite noticeable. I suppose back in the day Shardlow itself would have been as noisy though.