Narrowboat Tacet

Silent Movement - Our gap year travelling the inland waterways

Monday, 22 July 2013


We’ve had a few days of cooler weather, making it a little less sticky and tiring whilst working locks on Saturday as we left Loughborough and made our way to Nottingham.

P1030279Passing through Normanton-on-Soar, it looks as though it is a pretty riverside village, though we’ve never stopped here.  There are various waterside chalets here, some of which have grown into larger bungalows and houses.

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As we continue down the river gets wider and more industrial, ‘til at Ratcliffe we are very close to the power station.  We shall see more of these along the Trent and when we get onto the South Yorkshire navigations.

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Approaching Trent Lock, the river is wider still with the enormous Thrumpton Weir to our right,

P1030284better not go that way,

and a busy crossroads junction to the left.



Here we could choose, the Erewash Canal, Sawley Cut to the Trent & Mersey Canal or the River Trent.






The river Trent it is then and just 2 more locks then we are on the Beeston Cut or Beeston and Nottingham Canal, and soon into Nottingham.

Here we moored along Castle Boulevard, close to church for the morning, choices of eating establishments (which we didn’t use), supermarket (which we did) and a short walk into town.


The old market square in front of the Town Hall has been transformed into the Nottingham Riviera, with sandy beach, large paddling pool, barbecue huts, high-wire walks and other seasidey stalls.


It was a very busy place on a late Saturday afternoon in July, many Nottingham families enjoying the beach experience coming to them. From here in the city it is some 80 miles or 2 hours to the seaside resorts of King’s Lynn or Skegness.



The Castle is built up on this rocky outcrop, with caves underneath.

In fact Nottingham has a large network of caves and houses built into the rock with rooms dug out from the sandstone.


As here in the oldest pub in the city dated from 1189, the Olde Trip to Jerusalem which I wrote about on our last visit here in April 2011.

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Walking on up the hill we pass the Robin Hood statue who of course is a local hero and made much of here, and the entrance gateway to the castle.


A little further on and we come the Roundhouse which is apparently built on the site where in August 1642 Charles I raised the Royal Standard and asked, “People of Nottingham, are you with me?”, thus beginning the English Civil War.

It later became part of the Nottingham General Hospital and is now a pub, though surrounded by hospitals buildings.



A row of Regency houses, very smart and grand looking, but I wonder what you would find behind the facade.







Jumping back into the 21st century, the trams run round the city delivering commuters to their offices and shoppers from one area to another.





The large Theatre Royal building, theatre in front and concert hall behind.  We got tickets for the last night of The 39 Steps, an hilariously funny version of John Buchan’s story.  With just 4 actors, a very simple set, it was very cleverly staged and performed. We had a great evening.


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Leaving the city this afternoon, once again with the temperatures in the hot zone, we passed the old Fellows, Morton and Clayton buildings and BW warehouses, now popular eateries, and the newly developed opposite side of the canal, with the Magistrates court.




Soon we were going down Meadow Lane lock and out onto the Trent again, a wide, wide river here with the Notts Forest football ground opposite and Trent Bridge cricket ground too.

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With the sun on our backs and a breeze off the river it was very pleasant cruising down the river and through the enormous, manned  locks (until 5.30), then we operated them ourselves, they’re automatic so easy to do, down to Hazelford lock, where just after we had tied up on the big wall, we could see the sun setting out of our side hatch.



Just now we have had thundery showers, which have upset Jumble, hope they’ve finished now and we can get to sleep without a shaking dog jumping on the bed!




Saturday – Loughborough – Nottingham, 17 miles, 7 locks

Monday – Nottingham – Hazelford, 16 miles, 5 locks

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