Since 2009 we’ve cruised the majority of the 2,000 miles of Inland Waterways of England and Wales. We’re gradually getting to those we’ve yet to enjoy, though unlikely to tick off the whole list! But Barry’s doing his best …
Last time we were in the north east, during our inaugural boating year, we didn’t have time to turn left at Bramwith Junction on the South Yorkshire Navigation towards Sheffield – this year it was one of our priorities.
It took us longer than anticipated, as has been the case recently mainly due to unpredictable weather patterns and flooded (or frozen!) rivers. It’s not a problem though, as Pollington Lock on the Aire and Calder Canal, has been closed until today, so we wouldn’t be getting much further north even if all had gone smoothly!
We left Thorne on Wednesday 14th March, arriving at Victoria Quays in Sheffield on Tuesday 20th March – almost a week later. The navigation joins intermittently with the River Don, which is where the challenges arose. It’s also necessary to book the Tinsley Lock Flight 24 hours in advance, and we had a bit of difficulty contacting the lock keeper. Oh yes! And we had a lovely little diversion by car – which involved a sleepover with our friends in their beautiful home on the road out of Sheffield towards Snake Pass, and almost got snowed in there!
It’s undoubtedly been an eventful winter, and though it’s now supposed to be spring, we’re yet to see real signs of the season of new growth. I’m sure it’s just around the corner (daylight saving is tonight), and one day soon the trees will suddenly burst forth into brilliant green fresh foliage …
Travelling from Thorne to Rotherham
Barry continues to love his new camera and provide photographs for the blog, which is wonderful. I’m going to marry images and words for the story of our journey towards the Peak District. There’s rather a lot to show and tell, so I’m sharing the journey and adventures over (at least!) two posts:
The navigation cuts through a a plethora of industrialisation as it heads into the ‘Steel City’ of Sheffield – also infamous as the location for The Full Monty! Once there, the city boasts that green space envelops 61% of their entire area. It’s certainly a place of stark contrasts …
Mexborough Low Lock was the end of the River Don section for now, and it wasn’t working! We tied up on the lock landing and Barry wandered off to check out our options. As the jammy whatsit that he is, the CRT Lock Keeper arrived synchronistically and said he was just on his last lock check of the day – and saw us through!
We moored the night below Mexborough Top Lock on the lock landing (the lock keeper said it was ok!).
That’s the blog journey so far folks – more to come shortly, don’t go too far away!