Saturday, 7 May 2016

Nottingham then back and beyond.

Wednesday morning dawned bright and breezy and we recommenced  our journey down the Soar. We had decided that since we were in this neck of the woods, it would be a shame to miss the chance of a divert onto new territory and visit Nottingham.

We shared Ratcliffe lock with NB Seventh Heaven, Pam & Peter and crew 
taking the boat to Mercia Marina to go on brokerage

Pam off up the Trent towards the Trent & Mersey Canal

It seemed to take no time at all before we were making the turn onto Cranfleet cut. A poodle down to the lock, then onto the Trent proper once more. This is a big river and combined with the breeze, had quite a flow, well to us anyway!

It was great to be able to open up the engine for a blast on these broad deep waters. Rounding a bend we spied a black wide beam on the first of a section of permanent moorings on the river. We were hailed by a chap on the bank. Would you believe , it was the multi talented Viv! He has been painting and generally upgrading this boat for some time now. He does seem to get around!

We enjoyed our river trip and all too soon Beeston lock Hove into view. This takes one into the city via the cut and off the river. The large weir adjacent was not to Ali's liking, but we were soon off the river and beginning the final run into the city.

(Ali - And he wonders why!)

I really don't know what I was expecting from Nottingham. Possibly the same old litter and graffiti strewn surroundings common to many an urban area. How wrong could I be!

The cut itself was litter free, as were the general surroundings. It was in fact the most pleasant journey into a city centre we have ever made. The city has not turned it's back on the waterway, but embraced it and it shows. A lesson for Leicester here!

The old BW building in the distance

We moored near to Sainsbury's. Rings everywhere and again, trimmed and pristine surroundings. It just felt, well, pleasant and totally safe. We showered, then walked into the city centre. After a little retail therapy, it being late night shopping, we called into Jamie's Italian. Birthday meal and all that and very nice it was too.

One point to mention. Whilst waiting for Ali in Debenhams, a young assistant directed me to a seat! Showing my age, obviously... (Ali - and no I wasn't taking ages)

The next morning in glorious sunshine, we retraced our route, after dropping down Castle lock in order to wind below. Just loved Nottingham, a real gem. The trip back was just as pleasant and we slowed to natter to Viv once more. Back to Trent lock, then West towards Sawley cut and the locks onto the Trent and Mersey canal. Passing under the M1 with it's roaring traffic always gives a buzz.

Think we might of woke him!

Entrance to the Erewash Canal

After topping up with fuel at Sawley marina, we carried on to Shardlow and called it a day. I now have a touch of sunburn! First of the season, although copious amounts of after sun was applied, as I was a tad "over done".

This morning, we had a leisurely start and poodled up the cut, tackling the last of the broad locks for a while. We managed to share with all bar Stenson lock, the very last, but as this was manned by volunteers, it was a doddle. So moored in relative isolation near bridge 20. I say relative, as we are in close proximity to railways and the A50!

So now we are truly back in narrow lock land and the journey south begins!

Miles 37
Locks 20 broad locks.

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