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A Trip downstream in the narrowboat

It has been a while since we last wrote a blog. Mainly because we have been working hard to get our boat safety certificate for the barge, and then organising and paying for our river licence.

However, although we live happily on our Dutch barge, we also have a 50ft semi trad narrowboat called Lark Rise III. Martin lived on Lark Rise before we met, and after we bought the barge we decided to keep her. Skûtsje is too big to go on many of the canals, so keeping Lark Rise means that we can still explore the canals as well using Skûtsje for short breaks on the river Thames. She looks quite small next to our Dutch barge as you can see from the photo below.

The barge and narrowboat side by side at our mooring

With all of our attention having mainly been focused on Skûtsje over the past year in order to get her habitable through the British Winter, Lark Rise had been rather ignored. She has been tied alongside the barge and used more as a ‘storage unit’ for our belongings allowing us space to work on the various tasks to make the barge ready for the boat safety examination. About a month ago we realised that the narrowboat had not moved very much in the past year other than to ferry various heavy loads from the van round to Skûtsje. But really, she needed a longer run if we were to keep her batteries topped up.

In July Fairford (7 miles from our mooring)  becomes alive with people and aircraft for annual air show. We  decided, that although we do enjoy watching the aircraft arriving to Fairford Air show, during the show itself we rarely see any of the performance, but we do still get the noise! In addition, the traffic is often nose to tail through Lechlade for the three days of the show, so this year we decided to travel downstream for the weekend. This would give Lark Rise a reasonable run, and we would escape the noise and the traffic.

We set of early in the evening, so we spent the first night at Radcot, however, we weren’t alone as you can see.

Moored by a field of cows for the night.

The warm weather gave us some stunning views along the river, especially in the evening. This view was taken a little further downstream from where the cows were.

Evening view from the boat.

On this trip there was no hurry, and no deadlines to meet (unlike when we brought the barge home!). We had lots of time to relax and just soak up the peace and quiet of the river.

Time to relax.

The next morning we set off for Bablockhythe, we would be able to get there in one day. The weather was really hot that day, so Martin decided to put up the umberella for a bit of shade whilst at the tiller.

Martin shading himself whilst at the tiller.

We moored just beyond The Ferryman’s Inn at Bablockhythe, and met friends for dinner there. The fish pie is a speciality of theirs, and we can safely say it was very good. We were pleased to have them come on to the boat and look around, they had heard much about the barge on our journey home, but had never visited the narrowboat.

We later moored a little further on downstream. Again, lovely views after long warm day.

Another nice tranquil spot on the Thames.

We headed back the next day, and we got back to our mooring that evening. It is a relatively easy trip, and it isn’t far. If you leave in the morning it is trip that you can do in a day. However, there are various places that you could stop along the way, Radcot is one of them and the Swan has very good food. We didn’t stop at the Trout at Tadpole bridge, but there are places to moor and is another optional stop, as is the Trout at Lechlade, and The New Inn Hotel also in Lechlade, both have moorings near by and the latter does exceptional food. All in all a nice weekend break, that took us downstream for a bit of peace and quiet!

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