Sunday, 6 June 2010

Narrowboat heaven

Last week was half term holiday here in the UK, and DH and I went away on a narrowboat. It had been a dream of DH's for ages, and I have to say, it was something I'd never been convinced about. But last week, we had nothing booked, and when DH said he wanted to go to our nearest hiring centre at North Kilworth and see if there was a boat available for the next week, I thought I was safe. When he came back to say they had one boat which was a two berth, which we could have at a late-booking discount, I realised it was meant to be. How right was that!

Here is DH at the helm of our lovely 40' narrowboat, the Swift ready to set off. The boat was very compact, but had central heating, a double bed, bathroom with shower, fully equipped kitchen, dining area complete with tv and radio, which was all the facilities you could want.

Here I am pretending to be in control, (the clue is the rope on the left hand side, mooring the boat to the bank!),

and here I am actually in control, after having navigated a lock. I am hoping desperately that I can move over to the left bank to pick up DH, who has been working the lock gates!

This was my usual task at locks, lifting and lowering the paddles, which raise and lower the water. I shan't need to go to the gym this week, after all this physical work!

Here is DH keeping the boat steady in the lock (not easy with all the swirling water) and waiting for the chance to drive out and into the next one. This was a staircase of locks at Watford, where there are four locks in a row, and boats have to go up or down all of them in sequence. We had to wait quite a while to go down them, but were lucky coming back up the next day, as we managed to tag straightaway onto the end of several boats also going up.
The whole experience was wonderful, and completely relaxing. You aren't supposed to go any faster than four miles per hour, which gives you chance to appreciate the nature around you,
whether it be cows having a cooling drink
proud parents taking the air,

idyllic scenes worthy of any coffee table book,

or properties to envy. I won't embarrass myself with stories about piling hooks dropped into the canal, the threat of divorce when I nearly drove into another boat (well, it happened to be stationary at the time, so how was it my fault!?) or DH with his adventures in a weir, but suffice it to say that we can thoroughly recommend to anyone the delights of a canal holiday, and we will definitely be doing it again!


Contented Caroline said...

Oh it looked wonderful Lynda - have to say I'm deeply envious and want to hear more - hubby and I would love a barging holiday and will one day get around to it.

Sew Create It - Jane said...

Ditto to Caroline's comments! I can't wait to hear all about your sounds like a fabulous way of spending a week!

Brenda Scowcroft said...

So glad you loved your narrowboat holiday. We've been living on our boat for 11 years now and still love every minute. If you are interested you can find out what we get up to at

black bear cabin said...

looks like a great time! those last minute trips are the best :) id love to see more photos!!!

Anonymous said...

Glad to see that you and Richard have joined the ranks of the converted! You are welcome aboard our narrowboat ("Satinwood" 57 feet) any time!
Jane Clark

Mad about Craft said...

I'm not telling the Oh! Bearded One that you had a last minute deal as he will be green with envy! We love canal holidays but I've said we can't afford it this year as DD is getting married.

Susan said...

Oh how delightful. I have seen that on some of the British television programs we watch and it looks like such fun.