Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Can't keep away

Living on a narrowboat might seem like being on permanent holiday but it's still nice to go 
away for a weekend, especially to celebrate. So last weekend we did just that to celebrate our wedding anniversary. I surprised Mr F by booking us into the best B&B in the world
(honestly, ask Tripadvisor) in Masham, North Yorkshire.

I had arranged brewery tours at both Theakston and Black Sheep, then on Sunday an opportunity for me to use my new camera lens at Fountains Abbey near Ripon.

Oh hang on, did you say Ripon...? I think there's a canal there....

It was built by the canal engineer William Jessop to link the city of Ripon with the navigable section of the River Ure at Oxclose lock, from where boats could reach York and Hull. It opened in 1773, and was a moderate success. It was sold to the Leeds and Thirsk Railway in 1847, and was effectively closed by 1906, due to neglect. It was not nationalised with most canals and railways in 1948, and was abandoned in 1956.

In 1961, members of the Ripon Motor Boat Club formed the Ripon Canal Company Ltd, and gradually restored the canal up to Littlethorpe. Subsequently, the Ripon Canal Society spearheaded restoration, which was completed in 1996. It is now managed by the Canal & River Trust

We just can't keep away. It's a bit like feeling at home whenever you are near the canal, no matter where you are or how far from 'home' you are. 

Firstly, here is a selection of photos from Fountains Abbey. It is really impressive and although there were lots of visitors on a sunny Sunday I somehow managed to get most of the shots with hardly any people, except for where they enhanced the shot.

Fountains Abbey is one of the largest and best preserved ruined Cistercian monasteries in England

Ok... enough of that let's get to the important bit....

The Ripon canal basin is overlooked by restored historic buildings, including a renovated warehouse.  A walk along the towpath takes you past moored narrowboats and locks, along a green corridor through the city and out into the countryside.

It is a scenic route, alive with wild flowers and grasses, and a wetland bird sanctuary runs alongside it on the section by Ripon Racecourse.

We couldn't help but spot this fantastic car, another passion of ours... We later saw a bloke with his head under the bonnet trying to start it!

We also noticed this unusual boat with styles seemingly taken from lots of different boats

It really is a lovely stretch and we were lucky to have such a sunny day

So we had a thoroughly enjoyable weekend although we were glad to get back onboard. Normally we have the fridge and a power supply to the range cooker on permanently, which is fine when we are around to run the generator daily, but we had turned everything off prior to leaving the boat as we didn't want to come home to flat batteries. This is another consideration when leaving the boat for any length of time. Thankfully everything was just as we had left it albeit a bit cold so Mr F got the woodburner fired up so it was back up to temperature by that evening. It just goes to show though that we don't like to be too far from the cut, it's in our veins now and we just can't keep away!

Sources: Thank you to Wikipedia and The Canal and River Trust for some of the information included in this blog post.

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