Tuesday, 13 September 2016

East Mids Exploration: Day 13

The Fossdyke Navigation is one of the least interesting bits of waterway we have ever travelled. In the eleven miles between Torksey and Lincoln there are maybe half a dozen bends; such are the long straight sections, that when a boat passes going the other way you can often still see it half an hour later.

We started a wash load, then set off just before 9am on a lovely bright sunny morning. After an initial rural section of waterway, the Fossdyke is then accompanied by roads right alongside, or a railway, or both. After about three hours we arrived in Lincoln. We decided to go through Brayford Pool, with its rather smart waterfront.

At one corner of the pool the River Witham goes off, with a narrow channel leading up to Lincoln's most famous waterways feature, a bridge known as the Glory Hole.

There are moorings the other side, in the middle of a shopping centre, but we decided to go back to the moorings on the other side of Brayford Pool, so we turned just above Stamp End Lock and returned. The moorings are next to student halls, a building site, and a big road bridge, so not exactly picturesque. It was lunchtime, so we went for lunch at a pub by the Pool, then walked up the old part of the city, by the Cathedral and Castle. Steep Hill isn't called that for nothing! It's hard work getting up there -- particularly as the day was now very hot, but the reward is the massive Cathedral, which is spectacular, and the surrounding streets which are lovely.

We didn't pay the £8 each charge to go inside. Instead we went to Lincoln Castle, where the grounds are free, then paid to do the walk round the walls, which offer some of the best views of the Cathedral.

We could also see Cottam Power Station, back beyond Torksey Lock, and more than a mile to the south the new memorial to Bomber Command, Britain's tallest war memorial.

The Castle grounds include the courthouse and jails of various eras. After tea at the Castle cafe, we wandered back down the hill, stopping at a great ice cream shop on the way, and returned to the boat.

So while the journey to Lincoln may not have been anything special, the city itself is well worth a visit.

12 miles, 0 locks. (198 miles, 114 locks)


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