The area provided essential raw materials for Birmingham's most important industry - Knighton Wharf was where the milk was loaded onto the fly boats to be taken to Cadbury's in Bourneville.
Woodseaves Cutting is a spectacular feat of hand-dug early 18th century engineering: over a mile of designated Special Scientific Interest, the rock is so soft that has been crumbling for 180 years.
As we passed through in the late morning, the sun had yet to rise in the cutting - so we were wrapped up in our thermals, cuddling hot mugs of tea.
After two very easy days, the shock of Tyrley and Adderley Locks (all eight of them) was too much for Hugh. This was before I told him we were about to reach the fifteen-lock Audlem Flight.