Leicester Ring: Day 0 – A leisurely start

Setting off!

Our trip doesn’t officially begin until Monday, but we had arranged to meet a couple of old friends in Crick on Saturday night, so we set off early. We had a lovely dinner in The Wheatsheaf and then gave them a tour of the boat this morning after a great breakfast at The Moorings.


Since then, we’ve not going terribly far. We went through the Crick tunnel in double quick time (no oncoming boats) and found a nice mooring just above the Watford flight of locks. There was a major delay at the locks – apparently there had been trouble with some of the paddle gear earlier – with twelve boats waiting to come up, so we decided to stop here for the night. Louise made these fabulous scones, complete with beautiful black cherry jam from Crick Post Office. Just the job for a balmy afternoon.

IMG_5146Mind you the mooring has some of noisiest cows we’ve ever heard, so we may have trouble sleeping tonight!

Anyway, tomorrow is the official Day 1 and we intend to make an early start…





We’ve been living aboard for three months now and are thoroughly enjoying it. So an update for all our loyal readers is well overdue.

Yelvertoft Marina is great: really beautiful, well positioned and with nice people. We are surrounded by nature, with a pair of common terns and a pair of barn owls nesting nearby, badgers and hares running around in full view, and the usual crop of ducks, swans, moorhens, frogs, voles, etc. Every so often something out of the ordinary happens, like the day this hot air balloon passed overhead. It landed in a field just the other side of the canal. Oh, and a few Saturdays ago the farmer held a rave in a nearby field – it was so 1990s!


Most of the family have visited, and quite few friends. The most frequent visitor has been the grandson, Toby, who loves doing jobs around the boat. Here he is filling up the water tank.


We attended the Crick Boat Show and bought a few things, but also chatted to quite a few people. We bumped into Phil and Di Payne, boaters who have commented on this blog in the past, which was nice. And we spent rather a lot of time in the beer tent! The picture shows the beer menu, featuring 42 ales. We managed to try about half of them.


The boat itself has been wonderful to live on, as we have got used to all its little ways. Everything is precisely calculated to fit into the available space, even the music studio:


And we have done a lot of this:


We have 26 miles of lock-free cruising between the Watford flight to the south (beyond Crick) and Foxton Locks to the north. So we have set out at weekends, sometimes with friends or relatives on board, to explore the rolling Northamptonshire countryside. It really is fabulous.

Now, we are preparing to embark on the biggest cruise we have ever done: the Leicester Ring.

leicester ring

This takes 19 days at 4 hours per day, cruising clockwise, according to Canalplan. It will take us somewhat longer than that, because we planning to stop off at MGM boats in Thurmaston to fix some bits and pieces of ‘snagging’ on the boat. Plus, there may be one or two pubs on the way…

There are 101 locks in total, but fortunately they tend to come in flights so there are quite a few days when the journey will be lock free. We have been along quite a lot of this route before, but we have never done the complete tour. Also, we have never been on the River Trent. We do hope it’s not in flood!

Dear readers, we intend to blog every day of this trip, so there should be pictures and news a-plenty to come in August!