Sunday, 3 August 2014

Newark & Lincoln

As soon as we left Nottingham & the Nottingham Canal we were on the River Trent and the scenery changed dramatically,

the locks got deeper, -  This one, Holme lock, is 12ft deep.  Luckily there are vertical guides to wrap the ropes around as the boat moves up or down in the locks, rather than having to throw them over the bollards at the top!

the waterway got wider, -  At Radcliffe, the river is bordered by a steep, tree clad escarpment of cliffs which conceals the village above.

and the bridges get bigger. -  Radcliffe Viaduct opened in 1850 and carries the Nottingham to Grantham railway over the river.

Gunthorpe Lock was having minor repairs so wasn't open until 12 o'clock, by which time there was quite a queue.  The lock keeper managed to ram 8 boats in.  It made for quite a social occasion. As Gunthorpe is a popular tourist spot there were plenty of Gongoozlers about.

We all moved down the river  in a flotilla.  It was the busiest we had, or would see the river Trent and must have been quite an unusual sight for any onlookers on this lazy stretch of the river.

The river and scenery is vast, mostly agricultural with the odd village or hamlet in the distance.  Lots of fishermen on the banks.

 This is also a very common sight.  The farmers regularly pump from the river to water their crops.

We moored up at Farndon Marina, just outside Newark where Doug picked us up & took us back to his house on the river bank, where Bev had prepared a sumptuous banquet.  Before the floods, earlier in the year, we would have been able to moor at the bottom of Doug & Bev's garden but the storms ripped one of the pontoons away & carried it half a mile down the river!

Bev & Doug in front of their lovely home

After a lovely afternoon & evening with Bev & Doug they came out to say goodbye as we sailed by next morning.

Aproaching Newark Lock which has the fabulous backdrop of Newark Castle

We continued on this beautiful but very remote river to Cromwell Lock where we were to enter the Tidal Trent the following morning.  However I received a phone call from my brother telling me Mum had had an accident on her mobility scooter & was in hospital with a broken hip.  Ironically she was on her way to a hospital appointment!  We decided that continuing to Lincoln along this remote tidal stretch where there were few, if any places to get ashore was maybe not sensible if I was needed back in Southend.  We therefore returned to Newark next morning.  I am happy to say Mum had a successful double hip operation and is recovering well.

We moored in Newark on the right of this photo so this was our view from the boat.  Fabulous eh!  It was less than a five minute walk into the town centre & equal distance to 3 supermarkets and the train station.  I love Newark, the most convenient town we've stayed in & it has some fabulous buildings.

On Saturday we decided to take the train. into Lincoln.  This is the street leading up to the castle and the cathedral, a very popular tourist spot.

The very aptly named.....
Steep Hill  (probably a one in four cobbled street!)

Cathedral from Castle Ramparts
Lincoln Cathedral. Dates from 1072

The beautiful stained glass windows
Wow! What a ceiling. 
We decided to join the last guided tour of the day at the castle & were lucky enough to have the tour guide all to ourselves & so had a very informative personal tour.
        Our Personal Tour Guide
Medieval Festival
Jousting Tournament
 The castle has a full programme of events throughout the year and today's was a Medieval Festival exhibiting crafts & costumes of the day and included a very colourful Medieval Joust.

 High Bridge, in the centre of modern Lincoln, spans the River Witham and is one of the many interesting buildings in Lincoln. It is known locally as the 'Glory Hole'. The Shops on High Bridge  date from the 16th century, but the history of the bridge itself goes back to the 12th century. This is one of only three bridges in England with shops on them, the others are Pulteney Bridge in Bath and Frome Bridge in Somerset.

After a very interesting day in Lincoln we returned to Newark where tomorrow (Sunday 3rd August) we will retrace our steps back to Nottingham.

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