Typically our trips run twice a day, Monday to Friday during the summer months, and usually each trip is 2 hours long either all upstream towards Farndon and beyond or a mix visiting historical Newark downstream, depending on customer choice, weather, currents, lock availability and water levels.
Upstream passing Staythorpe Power station and towards Farndon and East Stoke is probably the most scenic route with a lot of wildlife inhabiting this area.
Downstream towards Newark takes on a more historical and urban theme, passing through Newark locks and sailing past old Maltings, Storage, Shipyards, and Newark Castle.
On board we always try to give some commentary on the surroundings, particularly as some of our passengers are blind or partially sighted. Seating either on deck or undercover is provided for the comfort of the passengers, depending on the weather.
Diary of a Trip by a happy customer
(written when we sailed from Farndon. For 2022 we will be sailing from Newark Marina).
I was fortunate to be allowed on board for a trip, it was the 18th trip of the year. On board were a group from Sutton Lodge, part of the Ashmere group. Les (the skipper of the day) decided we would be travelling downstream towards Newark due to currents and water levels. The weather was good, overcast but it wasn’t cold and the waters were still. I was very pleased about how much thought had gone into preparing access to the boat, I’ve been on a few boat trips, walking or should I say shuffling on unstable moorings, climbing over obstacles to get onto the boat then having to find a seat, but no problems on this trip.
Visibility was great and with a cup of hot coffee in my hand we were ready for the off. We set of towards Newark passing Staythorpe power station, I have lived in Newark most of my life and I must admit it seems and feels so different seeing it from the River. Further down River we passed the Old Malting’s buildings with modern Newark on one side and rural Newark on the other, which makes for fantastic scenery and contrast. When approaching Newark you can still get a feel and look about how things used to be, reminders of a by-gone age are a-plenty and thought provoking.
Just before the hour mark we entered Newark locks, surrounded by onlookers proving that River transport is still fascinating to both young and old and if you haven’t experienced the locks it is worth the trip alone. After navigating the locks we sailed by Newark Castle and under Millennium Bridge, experiencing both historical architecture and modern indulgence in the space of a few hundred metres. Venturing further upstream until we turned around at the New Kings Marina.
We headed back upstream towards Farndon, navigating the locks from the other side this time and having a chance to watch the world go by until we reach the rural stretch of the River. Although it was slightly overcast on this trip, I can just imagine how things would look basked in beautiful sunshine. A gentle speed back to the moorings makes for a pleasurable time and it is certainly a trip that many do take again and again.
It is thanks to all the volunteers for operating this scheme, their hard work does make a difference to people who may not be able to have opportunities like this normally. A thoroughly enjoyable trip was had by all.