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Thread: Posh Paddling Past Peterborough

  1. #1
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    Default Posh Paddling Past Peterborough

    It's a bit of a schlep from where we live so Peterborough doesn't figure too often on the Nene blogs that Hippo & I are wont to share with you all, so eyes down, look in as they say.......Wansford affords the paddler free parking near to the river, a couple of nice pubs and a walkway by the bridge to an easy launching spot



    Looking back at the bridge.....looks idyllic but bring ear defenders......



    .....as the A1 rumbles away 24/7 just a few yards downstream



    The Nene turns 180 degrees and heads away from the road noise and the relative peace of Stibbington





    If you like trains.....and what's not to like.....you can ride the Nene Valley Railway.....this is Wansford Station which isn't all that near to Wansford but hey, ho!



    The river opens up and it's just villages now until Peterborough



    We do like a nice Danger Weir sign though.....



    They're like chocolate, wine & shops to Mrs Patterdale, irresistible and addictive





    Hippo demonstrates how lowering your centre of gravity and throwing yourself forward helps, or not



    But it's a delightful backwater which was lined by happy fishermen.....even the one that woke up as I wished him good day whilst simultaneously being mobbed by two Border Terriers hunting for sandwiches, managed a smile back




    This backwater is one of the few where there is something worth visiting at the lock that you bypass.....Water Newton Mill is worth a paddle upstream



    Time, tide and the next backwater wait for no man so onwards and downwards.....another weir that you could easily paddle past on the main navigation as it's hidden in reeds



    No fishermen, no anybody to intrude upon the songs our paddles were singing













    As an aside.....I last blogged these backwaters two years ago.....without permission, Canoe Focus nicked it and claimed it was one of their favourite Midlands paddles.....not really sure the average family would appreciate being sent down a couple of weirs but there you go.....anyway, next stop is a portage at Orton Sluice by Peterborough Yacht Club



    I know it's not picturesque but there's something to admire in the engineering that has enabled us to navigate the river in all (all-ish) conditions - the Nene used to be tidal to here and there's a sea lock not far downstream at Dog-in-a Doublet lock



    I do realise that Hippo getting a tick out of his ear isn't too picturesque either but we're not professionals you know.......we set sail for Peterborough where there are lots of bridges......ten all together we think



    We'll be back later for a spot of boogie-ing on down with the kids on the party boats



    Ye Olde Customs House



    Any thoughts on the origins of the boat moored on the Embankment?.....looks like some sort of escape pod



    Right!....down here lies madness! It's dead straight, there's no speed limit for a fair chunk of it so you're fair game for drunks on jet-skis, it's as boring as boring can get and it leads to the aforementioned sea lock at Dog-in-a-Doublet....after that you can take your chance on the tide ebbing out of Wisbech at a rate of knots.....lots of knots.



    So, unless you fancy this particular watery purgatory, sling a right up towards Stanground





    Where you will find Stanground Lock - this is the end of the Environment Agency's remit as a navigation authority......note also the flood defence works on the left, you are now on the edge of the Fens



    A peek over the lock into the netherworld known as the Middle Levels - provided you give the lock keeper 24 hours notice you can take your narrowboat over to the Great Ouse.



    Well there we go, the end of another fine afternoon avoiding shopping, decorating, gardening or whatever else might be on 'the list'.

    Lastly, for those not familiar with English lower league soccer, which, given the international nature of SotP these days, is probably most of you.....Posh is the nickname of Peterborough's football team....nothing to do with Port Out, Starboard Home though.....it's also a term of endearment for their local city and often found in phrases such as 'We're off to get pickled in Posh tonight' or something like that anyway.

    Regards to you all, enjoy the heatwave.....Dick
    A ship should not ride on a single anchor, nor life on a single hope - Epictetus

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
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    Near Bicester, Oxon
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    That looks like an oil rig/platform escape boat I think, that's the larger powered style, as opposed to the passive pod type.

    ETA
    For the last couple of Fridays I've been walking parts of the Nene Way, half expecting you to hove into view, but you're been elsewhere!

  3. #3
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    As it's many a year since I departed those parts, in the days before I knew less about waterways than I do now, I had no idea that the Nene went to Peterborough, or that it became tidal.
    Informative and enjoyable as usual boys
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Bangor, Co Down.
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    Just lounging in my hammock in the back garden reading your blog and dreaming of going for a paddle. Thanks for sharing.
    Big Al.

    Only when the last tree has died
    and the last river been poisoned
    and the last fish been caught
    will we realise we cannot eat money.
    ~Cree Indian Proverb

  5. #5
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    A great blogg as always. Your opening comments about needing earplugs reminded me about how I always imagine it being quiet and peaceful in the pictures. You forget about the sound. Not sure if this is a benefit you get with a video or an advantage of pictures.

    Another similar thing is we all read the bloggs in our own voice. It was a real surprise for a few members meeting me when they heard my Glasgow accent. In their head they had been hearing my bloggs for years in their accent.
    John

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagiKelly View Post
    A great blogg as always. Your opening comments about needing earplugs reminded me about how I always imagine it being quiet and peaceful in the pictures. You forget about the sound. Not sure if this is a benefit you get with a video or an advantage of pictures.

    Another similar thing is we all read the bloggs in our own voice. It was a real surprise for a few members meeting me when they heard my Glasgow accent. In their head they had been hearing my bloggs for years in their accent.
    In fairness the Nene is generally fairly peaceful but suffers from road noise as it leaves Northampton (A45) and at Peterborough (A1, A605) but I don't get too upset as without the industrialisation and the installation of locks the river wouldn't look like it does today. The backwaters that I love wouldn't be there unless there was a lock - sometimes they are the original river course and a new straighter cut was made for locks and often they are old mill runs.

    On the subject of original river courses, the map below shows the old course of the Nene across Fenland in red.....that route is now what is known as the Middle Levels. As well as a route across to the Great Ouse it is now totally integrated into 3 centuries worth of drainage that keeps the below-sea-level Fens flood-free.....you can see why the engineers decided to send the majority of the Nene's water out towards a different outlet in the Wash.



    As the owner of a gor blimey guvnor East London accent I also take new acquaintances by surprise......it would no doubt occur to a visiting alien to wonder whether you and I were speaking the same language!
    A ship should not ride on a single anchor, nor life on a single hope - Epictetus

  7. #7
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    I sometimes get asked by English people what part of Scotland I'm from when they hear me speak. I usually say "one of the western islands, the biggest one". Although more recently the Norn Iron accent has been in the news a lot, so people are more aware.
    Big Al.

    Only when the last tree has died
    and the last river been poisoned
    and the last fish been caught
    will we realise we cannot eat money.
    ~Cree Indian Proverb

  8. #8
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    Jul 2008
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    Surrey
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    Perfect posh paddlin'.

    I always look over the various Nene and Gt Ouse bridges I drive over fairly regularly, and even the occasionally Welland one, hoping to see a Hippo and a Patterdale.
    Paddler,blogger,camper,pyromaniac: Blog: Wilderness is a State of Mind

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

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