Yorkshire – north and south

Our week sight seeing in Sheffield was lovely.  We managed church with Polly followed by a lovely walk in the Dales, a visit to Kelham Island industrial museum which was fascinating and a trip to Eyam Hall. Sheffield is a great location with an interesting industrial history and beautiful countryside all around.

We left Sheffield to go down the Tinsley locks with extra crew. Polly and her housemates, Lizzie, Ella and Meg, joined us for the first day of their ‘fortnight of fun’ to celebrate the end of their degrees. It was great to have them with us, as we cruised through Sheffield again, and we deposited them at Meadowhall for an afternoon of shopping. Rather them than us! 

We travelled on passing back through Rotherham and Doncaster. Bizarrely whilst approaching Doncaster we were stopped by the police. Sadly they were searching the water in relation to a car that came off the bridge into the river. 

We then turned left onto the New Junction Canal towards the Aire and Calder. This took us nicely into Goole. Goole is a large dock with seriously large boats passing through so we didn’t want to get this wrong. We went out of the enormous lock into the tidal River Ouse and commenced our journey northwards. We journeyed up to the river Derwent. 

Passing onto the Derwent, boats have to purchase a certificate from the environment agency  to certify that the boat complies with anti pollution requirements. Licence bought, we commenced our journey. The river Derwent is a site of special scientific interest and is very beautiful. Being a river it suffers from a lack of mooring places to go and explore, but the view from the boat was lovely. The northern end of the river is unnavigable, so we turned right at the junction to investigate the Pocklington Canal. A very quiet canal, and for the first part very weedy. It was however very beautiful too which compensated for the weeds. It was however quite short so we soon found ourselves returning back onto the tidal river Ouse heading towards York. 

Entering Naburn Lock, we came off the top of the tidal Ouse and continued to York, passing the Archbishops palace on the way. We found fantastic moorings directly opposite the York city rowing club, just a very short walk from the city centre. York proved to be a place with lots of things to do. Clearly Betty’s famous cake shop required a visit and we had a splendid afternoon tea there. We managed a concert with Grimethorpe Colliery Brass band with York university choir. The band were as fantastic as we’d hoped. We spent time in the Minster and enjoyed an evening performance of the Mystery play. We also took the time to support Andy Murray who was playing at Queens.

On Saturday we had planned to move but as I was out buying provisions, I discovered that it was York Pride march that day. Obviously we wanted to stay and support this which we did. Very special to be part of such a good natured March that gathered at the Minster. The minutes silence for the victims of the Orlando massacre was especially poignant. Sunday was the York City Rowing club regatta, and as the boat was moored in such a fantastic spot, right by the finish line, it seemed fated that we should stay and support them too. We were joined by Jack and Eleanor and had a brilliant day. We cheered on the Castle boat, who unfortunately came second in their final.

We really did have to move on so continued our journey to Ripon. A journey up the river Ouse, then the river Ure and finally on to the Ripon canal. The basin at Ripon was lovely and again close to the city centre. We had a good look around the city and a lovely time before heading back southwards to continue our journey. We would have visited a national trust, but buses didn’t travel on the day we were there which was a disappointment. 

Next we’re back on the tidal Ouse onto the Selby canal towards Castleford. Then we have a special trip to Durham. More of that next time.


South Yorkshire Navigations and visits.

The South Yorkshire navigations are made up of four separate waterways, the Stainforth and Keadby canal, River Dun navigation, River Don and The Sheffield Canal. It travels for 43 miles and has 27 locks as it climbs to Sheffield, connecting Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield. We even passed under a sliding railway bridge. Apparently one of only 3 of its kind in Europe. This is a huge waterway, intended for large boats and our little Narrowboat looked tiny in many of the locks. The waterway is built for the carriage of 700 tonne barges as far as Rotheram. We had a safe journey into Doncaster where we met up with old banding friends, the Ogilvies, and what a good time we had. We enjoyed looking around the town, but didn’t enjoy the biblical rain that we were treated to on the Saturday.  We left Doncaster taking Don, Dawn, Aimee and Joseph with us to Sprotborough in bright sunshine. The river Don took us through some lovely rural countryside and through lovely wooded areas. We wanted to stop and visit Conisbrough castle, but couldn’t really find a convenient mooring due to the woods and the huge size of the waterway. We eventually moored at Mexborough but had a longish walk back to the castle. Shame there wasn’t a tea room open in the village!

As we went through Rotheram we became so aware that the canal was built for big boats carrying large loads as we passed some huge boats and then watched an oil boat go through a lock after us. It was good to see the canal being used for its original purpose.

Our boat in the lock.

The oil tanker in the same size lock.

The Tinsley locks carry the boater up into Sheffield and we enjoyed the journey up, escorted by a lovely Canal and River Trust worker, with another boat. The lock gates were big and heavy, but two crews made short work of them. We climbed up past Meadowhall and arrived in the basin in time for lunch and just before the rain set in. We moored up and were able to watch Andy Murray at the French open – not a relaxing watch, but a win!

The purpose of going to Sheffield was not just for the journey, but also to see Polly and Sheffield. Lovely to see Polly and we’ve enjoyed seeing Sheffield, although we’re not finished on either of those counts. So far we’ve really loved the cathedral, particularly the stainless steel nativity and we’ve been to the theatre to see Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

Since we arrived at Sheffield we’ve enjoyed a trip to Nantwich for a fantastic bicentenary party with great friends and much silliness. We’ve travelled to Bebington to see Roger’s mum, then taken a quick trip home to deal with some house stuff. We’ve also travelled to Durham to see Jack and enjoyed a night in the Bishops Suite at Durham Castle – very posh, and enjoyed a concert in Durham cathedral. A fantastic concert from Music Durham and it was lovely to see and hear Jack perform with the brass band, alongside a host of other groups all performing music inspired by Shakesphere with items of theatre in between. A fantastic evening, part of a fantastic week.

We’re back on Eunoia with a week of site seeing and Polly seeing ahead of us, before we head back down the locks. There seems to be much to see and we’re very much looking forward to it.