Big & Small Rivers now it’s back to the Canal

Monday  14th August

This morning we patronised the Rose & Crown for breakfast, good value with Sausage, Bacon, Hash brown, Egg, Beans, Tomatoes, Mushrooms & toast £3.95 per person for their Regular Breakfast .

Feeling well fed we stepped outside to the bus stop and caught the ‘Skylink’ to Nottingham (via East Midlands Airport) and spent the day exploring the city shops but didn’t find a lot to excite us, however Joy bought a new top and a jacket at Primark.

We made our way up to the Castle area and called into  Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem, the oldest inn in England, dating back to 1189AD. We were delighted to find that they had Wren’s Nest bitter on tap, from Howard Town Brewery in Glossop, so naturally we were obliged to sample it and can report that it was most enjoyable. We had been told of it’s existence about 3 years ago (previous blog post) but this was our first chance to sample it.

Ye Olde Trip & Ye Olde Bloke

From Ye Olde Trip website.

Many people believe the pub is named ‘Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem’ because people made a trip to Jerusalem from here. In fact the word “trip” does not mean a journey in this case.

An old meaning for ‘trip’ is a stop on a journey, like being tripped up, so the inn’s name means a stop or rest on the way to Jerusalem.

The pub is famous for its caves, carved out of the soft sandstone rock against which the building is set. The larger ground level caverns are now used as the pub’s rear drinking rooms.

Nottingham Canalside

Before catching the bus back we walked along the canal area quite well presented but we thought it wasn’t somewhere we would like to stop overnight.

Tuesday  15th August

After two nights at Zouch we departed at 9am today headed for Trent Junction, five more locks if you include two more open Flood Locks stopping at Kegworth Marine to fill up with diesel at the excellent price of 61p/litre before duty.

Just before Trent Junction, we rounded the corner and saw a boat on the ‘wrong’ side headed into  Redhill Marine, wait… I know those faces, it was Cookie and Russell  from our home mooring arriving to collect Russell’s latest acquisition, a little Springer Waterbug.

Cookie & Russ

We made the turn onto the scarily wide Trent and had hoped to moor on the pontoon moorings there but they were all full so we pressed on to Sawley Lock which is manned, duplicated and automated and we were soon through without having to get off the boat.

Sawley Lock

Sawley moorings were full too so it was off to Dewent Mouth where we joined the Trent & Mersey canal, back onto ‘muddy ditches’!

Derwent Mouth Lock

At  Derwent Mouth Lock we caught up with Katie-Marie, a hire boat crewed by a German couple who we had shared a few locks with on the Soar. Fifteen minutes later we were in Shardlow, and hurrah, an empty mooring, right outside The New Inn and The Malt Shovel.

We hadn’t been there but a couple of hours and around the corner came Cookie & Russ with the Waterbug in tow.

Springer Waterbug

Wednesday  16th August

Today we caught the bus into Derby which we enjoyed visiting, we enjoyed sausage/saveloy and chips in the food court of the intu shopping centre, later I got myself a haircut at a Turkish barbers.

Big Yellow Taxis
Artist at work

On getting back to Shardlow, we saw an artist painting opposite the pubs, wonder if she included our boat?

This evening we took part in the quiz at The New Inn and distinguished ourselves by coming last, well it was only the two of us and some teams had up to eight members.


Thursday  17th August

We left Shardlow this morning and watered up opposite the iconic Clock Warehouse, now another pub.

Shardlow Clock Warehouse

Shardlow is considered Britains most complete surviving example of a canal village, with over 50 Grade II listed buildings and a large number of surviving public houses within the designated Shardlow Wharf Conservation Area. Wikipedia

5.80 miles, 4h26m & 4 Locks today ending up at Swarkestone Visitor Moorings a pleasant enough spot, once the freight trains stopped rattling by!

Friday  18th August

Just five miles and one lock today, Stenson Lock were we were met by a Volunteer lock-keeper who asked if we would mind waiting a few minutes as there were eight boats waiting to come down (perhaps due to the upcoming IWA Festival at Ilkeston?) and he could fill the lock quicker if it was empty.

By the time they had brought the two boats down a hire boat had joined us and we went up together, there were 3 Vo-lockies so we could all stay on board. The hire-boaters were first timers and asked for advice as they had never turned a boat round before and they had to return it to Sawley Marina the next day. There’s a winding hole marked in the guide before  the lock but it is now clearly signed No Turning. I think they turned in Mercia Marina’s entrance as it’s good and wide.

We carried on to Willington, a nice little town with pubs, Indian restaurant, chippy, a Co-op and even closer to the railway line! We arrived at the same time as a sudden heavy rain-shower which of course stopped as soon as we had tied up.

Saturday  19th August

We turned around this morning and headed back to Mercia Marina as we wanted to use their facilities. We have the luxury of electricity and water on the pontoon, a laundry room and shower block nearby.

It’s a huge marina with a bar, restaurant, coffee shop, shops and chandlery and currently being further expanded to include another restaurant and six more retail units.

This afternoon we enjoyed a visit from Dave & Maureen from Nottingham, friends who  share our love for the Greek island of Skiathos whom we haven’t seen for many years. We had a good time catching up with each others news and they brought us a gift of some veggies from their allotment which we had with our evening meal.

Chris, Dave & Maureen

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