This is the first of a number of postings covering our summer holiday trip in 2015. Subsequent posts cover:
- River Witham from Lincoln to Boston, including the Witham Navigable Drains, a visit to the BBMF, and a climb up Boston Stump
- Wash crossing, from Boston via Wisbech to Peterborough
- Wisbech to Dog-in-a-Doublet, and then the Middle Level back to Ely
Total 249 miles, 51 locks (50 if you exclude Grand Sluice, as we went through on the level).
Our main summer trip this year started at Burton Waters marina near Lincoln. An early Sunday morning run to Torksey, where we locked out onto the Trent, 60 minutes before High Water, for the run down to Stockwith. There’s lots of information on the Trent – I found the note from the Chesterfield Canal Society and this chart from WW many years ago particularly helpful
See map and log data here. We did about 3.5 kts on the Fossdyke, about 2 kts when we started down river, and 5 kts plus once the tide turned (6.5kts maximum, I think). See the video below to find out if SG hit the wall on the way in at West Stockwith.
We then spent four days on the Chesterfield, which was fantastic – great scenery, lots of wildlife, lots of vegetation on both banks, and some good moorings. On the downside, it was quite shallow and weedy, I think mainly due to very few boats being on the move (we saw about six).
We didn’t get to the summit at Kiveton Park, as one of the locks near Worksop (#47) was too narrow. This is the first time we have ever got stuck, and rather than try to force our way through I decided to turn around – we only had to reverse through one lock to get to the next winding point.
A gentle run back – Hugh did a long cycle ride and was surprised to find himself in Yorkshire – and a very pleasant stay at Osberton. Then we were back onto the Trent just after the flood, for an easy run back to Torksey. Stopped on the pontoons for 30 minutes to explore Gainsborough, but I don’t think we found the most interesting part of the town. Pushed on through Lincoln (and reports of low water levels between there and Bardney) to moor at Washingborough on the Witham.
- Saturday: Burton Waters marina, Fossdyke, after shopping and Chinese takeaway in Newark
- Sunday: West Stockwith, Chesterfield Canal
- Monday: just west of Retford
- Tuesday: Osberton
- Wednesday: Retford again
- Thursday: Gringley-on-the-Hill
- Friday: Washingborough, River Witham
Captions are above the photographs to which they refer.
Leaving the marina – we have managed not to hit any of the rather expensive plastic.
A very well run and friendly marina – I would recommend it!
Since our last visit in 1990, the lock has been extended significantly, with two new sets of gates being added below the road bridge. These ones face inwards, and beyond there are some monster flood doors facing outwards – you can just see the balance beams. Fortunately there were risers to tie up to.
In addition to the other narrow boat we had locked through with, two more had been waiting on the pontoon and set off just ahead of us, bound for Keadby.
We all set off at 1100, 60 mins before HW at Torksey, so we spent
the first 30 minutes or so punching the tide.
Cottam Power station (EDF info here)
West Sutton B power station (EDF info here)
.. with a short video showing the tide
The entry to West Stockwith – short video
Moored up just along from the basin – past a very pleasant and tidy set of residential boats
West Stockwith basin (info here)
Pumping station and sluice on the River Idle – the space between this sluice and the next forms a huge lock for the trips down the river. See TNC log here
The first of many rather fne churches – St Mary’s West Stockwith (info)
Osberton Hall (history)
Scofton – a lovely estate village (history)
Clayworth – home of the RWBC
The view from the Beacon – 82m above sea level (information).
I couldn’t spot Lincoln cathedral.
Back into the Fossdyke – you can see the flood doors here
Now back in Lincoln. The journey continues here…