On Saturday we went on the bus again, this time to Bakewell. Journey takes approx 1hr 50mins and costs me a fiver in total as in this area they have good concessions for over 55’s.

Town view

We went initially to try the Bakewell pudding, which is a bit different to the tart. This was lunch with coffee and custard to accompany the pudding (those of you that know me well know my passion for custard).

Pudding shop

Arcade of cafés

Arcade of shops

Peaks in the distance

River Derwent

We had a good look around in glorious sunshine. A lovely old Peak District village.

Circular walk

There are a few walks around the area set up by the Findern walking group. We decided to do one of these today. Hopefully I can give you an idea of the history of the area.

We started by leaving the marina under the tunnel. This is where the entrance for boats starts.

Marina tunnel

We then walked across alongside the wildlife pond, which was built in 2008 and attracts many species if birds and wildlife.

Wildlife pond.

We then headed for the pedestrian canal bridge to take us over the Trent and Mersey canal.

Pedestrian canal bridge with wildlife pond in foreground.

The canal stretches 93 miles from Long Eaton to Runcorn. It was initially built to transport limestone, coal and bricks. Then used by the many breweries in Burton on Trent. The main proposer of the canal was the famous pottery manufacturer Josiah Wedgewood, and he chose the famous engineer James Brindley to build it. It was completed in 1777.

Trent and Mersey canal.

We carried on over the bridge and turning left continued along the towpath.
Potlocks farm is a former Boatmans pub which was frequented by the men and their horses. Whilst the men drank and the horses grazed in the fields, the women stayed on the boats to cook the evening meal!

Potlocks farm. Now a dwelling and up for sale.

Along the towpath there are many areas of interest.

Milepost along the route

Nadee’s Indian restaurant

Just past this is a ballast hole pond, which was dug to provide ballast for the adjoining railway in the 19th century, and later used by Willington power station to deposit ash from the burnt coal. It has now been developed into a picnic area.

Nice clear information boards

Jubilee wood created in 2012 to celebrate the Queens jubilee, with 1,000 trees being planted.

We carried on till bridge no 20, then crossed to the other side of the canal. We hadn’t explored this bit before. Walking under a tunnel which is along a bridleway, so note the mounting blocks which are at either end, as a horse and rider wouldn’t get through it without dismounting.

Tunnel along the bridleway

Carrying along there are more areas developed for birds and wildlife.

Stanhope wood which is a thriving wetland site.

After a short walk through the adjoining countryside we arrived at Findern. Named after the  Fynderne family who were the original landowners in the 15th and 16th centuries. It is believed that a flower was brought back from the crusades, by The Lord of the manor. This is a daffodil called Poets daffodil and is the only place in the UK where it is found.

Small restored Methodist chapel

Parish rooms bought by the villagers 100yrs ago and turned into a community centre.

Findern church rebuilt in 1863 after the original was burnt down

Old silk weavers cottage in the Main Street

Mid 18th century gentlemans house. Note the high gateway for carriages to get through

The village is the place where Jedediah Strutt held his first job. From the he became one of the most famous cotton spinners of the 1700’s, and built the first factory in the world with Richard Arkwright, marking the start of the industrial revolution.
The path through the village then took us back along the road and over the A50 back to the marina. This took us 1hr 45mins in a biting wind!

Road trip

Decided today to go to Matlock on the bus. First we awoke to this…

Very frosty pontoon.

Lovely clear sky hence sharp frost. This is by the bus stop to Derby.

We had 45mins to spare before we got the bus to Matlock from Derby. So we walked along the river.

This weir was very fast flowing and it was producing electricity. Note Derby cathedral in the background.

The journey to Matlock took 1hr 30mins approx. Matlock is the county town of Derbyshire. lovely scenery as we went through the Peak District.
Matlock had a Victorian fair this weekend which was incredibly busy, and difficult to see all the stalls.

Food stall area.

Fairground organ

Clock tower bandstand in Hall Leys park.

Lovely clear signs in the town.

We got back to Derby around 4ish so saw their Christmas lights which were quite impressive.
We hope next week to go to Bakewell to sample the pudding and tarts!

Christmas is coming

So I decorated the boat as best I can in such a small space. Thank goodness for poundland!!

2nd Christmas tree with a changing colour USB tree inside

4 of the 6 big windows now look like this. Getting festive.

Booked train tickets to return to Cornwall for one month in January as Charlie doesn’t want the stress of driving on a road anymore.


And weather slightly colder though blue sky still present which is nice as solar panels are topping up the batteries.

Have been baking Mrs Wolfe’s rich cake

Which is lovely but no good for the waistline!! We had some last night for our tea.

Went shopping in Lidl this morning. Felt like a pack horse coming back as had shopping trolley,2 backpacks and 2 bags between us. Boat now overflowing with food which should last us a little while.
What a difference a month makes with canal traffic, as now it is very quiet and not many boats moving. Good for me though as can get plenty practice manoeuvring without too many people around.
1st Christmas tree put up as it is an advent calendar with treats inside we wouldn’t normally eat.