Here we are on our way into Newark, going under the A1.
We passed this pair of boats. Though it looks as if the blue narrowboat was in distress and being pushed by the little red one in fact this is a blacksmith with his forge in the red boat and living accommodation in the blue one.
This was the view of Newark from close by our mooring. We would have had this view from Leo but there was a tall plastic cruiser in front of us, blocking the view. Newark Castle is on the left and the bridge is called 'Trent Bridge' though in fact technically we are on the river Devon (pronounced 'Deevon') at this point.
And here is a better view of Newark Castle. Having raised his standard and started the Civil War at Nottingham, not far away, Charles I finally gave himself up at Newark and brought the Civil War to an end.
Above Newark Town Lock is the largest dry dock on the Inland Waterways, unless you know different.
This building in the Market Square used to be the White Hart Inn and was built in the 1400s.
If you go to Newark, do ask for a tour (free) of the Assembly Room and other historic rooms in the Town Hall. The Assembly Room was wonderfully restored a few years ago. It is used now for civic functions as it has been for a couple of hundred years.
As the Town Hall was built, it incorporated most of a next door house, leaving this as the narrowest house in Newark squeezed between the Town Hall and the NatWest Bank.
We loved this view up Kirkgate and had lunch at the Charles I cafe up here. The cafe was where Charles' wife Henrietta Maria stayed on a visit to the town.
Newark is proud of its Civil War History and has the National Civil War Museum which opened recently. Though we weren't that impressed with the Museum which was over hyped and not finished, it did lead us to explore this earthwork, the Queen's Sconce on the edge of town. The Royalists discovered that earth banks were much better at resisting canon fire than stone walls and built several of these earth forts.
After a couple of days in Newark, we left on Wednesday and cruised upriver to Fiskerton. From here a short bike ride took us to Southwell to see the Minster.
Leo is just coming into Newark Town Lock in this picture. We found the VHF radio was useful on the Trent for calling the Lock Keepers ahead so that the locks were set for us and the gates open to receive us.
Southwell, though just a small village, has the cathedral church for the diocese and this Archbishops Palace was built in the early 15th century to accommodate visits from the Archbishop of York.
The Minster itself is the most splendid Norman building we've seen anywhere and it is said that it is the best in Europe. Stunning architecture.
Here is the view of the outside. The West window was put in later but the rest of the church up to the altar is Norman and unaltered since the 11th century.
I did like this pig gargoyle.
From Fiskerton we carried on into Nottingham over three days. We're taking it easy to meet an appointment at Trent Lock where we will meet David and Victoria.
Another boater suggested we moor above Hazelford Lock and visit the lock island there. Here is a view of the lock with another narrowboat locking down. The lock island is a wildlife paradise with wonderful wild flowers and countless rabbits. Paths have been mown through the area allowing easy access.
Here is a Cinnabar Moth we saw among the wild flowers.
We moored by Gunthorpe Bridge and a few youngsters were wakeboarding well into the dusk, keeping us entertained but also rocking the boats moored to the pontoon here.
The last manned lock coming upstream is Holme Lock which is huge in all dimensions with about a 15 foot rise in water level. Here we are coming through with an unusual narrowboat we've seen before called 'Ferrous'.
From above Holme Lock we cycled through a remote village called Holme Pierrepont on an unmade road. This is the Hall in the village which was built in Tudor times.
Mooring at Holme Lock is interesting in that it is beside the National Water Sports Centre. This canoe slalom and white water course was right by the boat.
Here's a chap getting to grips with the white water!
On Friday evening we enjoyed a meal out at the Manvers Arms in Radcliffe on Trent with our friends Rowan and Martin. This was an uncertain place to eat as the landlord was new and had only started serving food that day. However it was excellent and so was the company. On Saturday we came into Nottingham and have moored one night on the River Trent and tonight on the Nottingham Canal off the river.
Cruising up the river we passed the entrance to the derelict Grantham Canal. One day hopefully this will be navigable.
This exit from the River is navigable. It is the entrance to Meadow Lane Lock which gives access to the Nottingham Canal. This is the route for boats going further up the Trent Valley. We came up the lock this morning, the first time for weeks we've had to operate a lock ourselves.
Yesterday we met our friend Steve ('Hodge') and he drove us to a magnificent tea rooms outside Nottingham at Ollerton. Paddling in the clear stream there, we met a chap with a Steppe Eagle. He flies birds of prey and one of his birds is 'Nima' shown here.
The tea we had at Ollerton was first class with sandwiches, scones and cakes.
This massive oak tree is believed to date from the 1150s. I mentioned saving damsels in distress. Well four young ladies here had missed the last bus back to Nottingham so Steve was chivalrous enough to give them a lift the next village for a replacement bus.
Here we are coming through the city passing the Court House and coming to Castle Lock.
This is the view of Nottingham Castle from the canal.
We visited the castle today and below is a panorama of three photos looking South from the terrace you can see in the picture above.
And finally we went on a cave tour through passages below the castle. Nottingham has more man-made caves than any other city in the UK, bored through soft sandstone and used for living, storage or as passages to access the castle and other places.
Tomorrow we will probably set off out of the city, heading for a meeting with David and Victoria on their boat, Pas Mèche.