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Archive for August 12th, 2011

The Odyssey 2011: Day 31 – Part 3

Posted by indigodream on 12 August, 2011

Monday 25th July

Part 3: Torksey Lock to Saxilby (Fossdyke Navigation)

The Fossdyke navigation - a Roman waterway....

It was quite late in the day by the time we locked up to Torksey – just after 5pm in fact, as we found when we enquired about fuel –  the pumps had just closed. Never mind, we’d have time to fill up in the morning.

We toyed with  mooring in Torksey but we decided to cruise to the village of Saxilby, which the guides and lock-keepers had recommended as a good spot for mooring. It’s also a short train ride from Lincoln – the lockies recommended seeing the city by train rather than taking the boat in (shortage of moorings apparently).

So we set off along another ‘new’ waterway – well, new to us, it’s been there since Roman times! Saxilby is about an hour’s cruise away so we got a brief feel for the Fossdyke Navigation. It’s pleasant enough but it is basically a straight long drain i.e. rather boring! Past the extensive visitor moorings at Torksey (which are hound-perfect), the banks are mainly steep and overgrown – further along, the road runs right next to the navigation (not hound friendly).

We became increasingly dispirited, well, it had been a long day and the weather was starting to deteriorate. Maybe this explains why we so dismayed to arrive in Saxilby – I’d expected great things – not a down-at-heel little village with forbidding piled walls facing the canal and a length of mooring set next to a scrappy little park wedged between the railway line and the road across the canal. We were so disappointed, but it was gone 6pm and time to stop. We were relieved to find a few mooring spaces and settled on one the furthest from the road (which put us next to the noisy railway but the trains don’t run late).

We took the hounds for a desultory wander round the parkland. Saxilby is working hard to promote itself – there are several information boards – it certainly has a long and interesting history. When we wandered into the village itself later, many of the historic buildings have information plaques. Actually, it’s not a bad place to stop – there are a few pubs (which looked a little run down), several takeaways – including a chip shop whose wares looked quite enticing and a decent chinese. It also has a tidy convenience store. All in all, Saxilby is fine – just not as charming/picturesque as we’d imagined. Moorings were a bit busy when we got there but we suspect that was due to a party of 10 boats out from Leicester who had been on a two week jaunt down to Boston and were now heading back.

After an aimless wander, we decided on a chinese takeaway and went back to the boat – it had been a very tiring day but we were pleased to have had the opportunity to explore a new waterway – allbeit briefly. Although we were disturbed by the trains at first, they seem to stop running quite early so we got a good night’s sleep – just as well, the day after was to prove to be quite action-packed – but more on that in the next post…..


I wonder what industry is housed in this building?


Neighbourhood watch...

Coming under the railway bridge at Saxilby - the mooring are on the right just after the bridge (just out of shot....)

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