About Us

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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Sunday 19 May 2019

Cruising & touring finally put on hold.

It has all happened very fast. The date for the shackles to be firmly attached has finally arrived. With a five days notice from the hospital, it was decided to have a mini break, take the Beast and head to Norfolk. Needless to say, we packed into four days which we would normally have taken a week. So instead of the length I usually write, a shortened version of the mini-break, mainly with photos and captions, instead. 

The pub at Gedney Drove End.
 So leaving on Wednesday and after stopping for lunch with Margaret and Dennis (nb Icing) we headed for Spalding, the first overnight stop was at a lovely out of the way pub at Gedney Drove End. A scrumptious steak with trimmings was enjoyed by us both.

Thursday am and off to Norfolk and Castle Rising.

 Castle Rising with the finest example of a Keep in the country.

Jackdaws nesting in the stonework
 Next Hunstanton a typical seaside resort. The big problem with the Beast is the height. With bars across the entrance to the majority of car parks, it made it impossible to find somewhere suitable so we choose to stop away from the town and walk along the cliff top instead.

Miles of empty beach

We did have the compulsory ice cream!
Turning at Honeystones (bar and grill) this made me wonder though. Seen in their car park surrounded by roads and not a drop of water in sight, how did this Duck and ducklings get there in the first place unless she nested in the undergrowth. All she has to do is somehow get her ducklings to a pond.

 The final stop of the day was at Titchwell Marsh nature reserve. Loads to see at the fresh water and salt marshes ponds, in my element and wanting to linger, Ian had to keep reminding me that we only had three hours to get around the 420 acres!

That night wild camping in a lane somewhere near Sandringham.

Very isolated but wonderfully peaceful
Thursday evening and a sight to behold. Not every day we see Muntjac walking across a field full of Hares!

View from the Beast's window.

Friday and off to the Wells and Walsingham light railway

Plenty of Pheasants to keep the drivers on their toes.
Mid-afternoon and we stopped at Sandringham camping ground. Another quiet place full of wildlife. There was even a nesting Tawny Owl near the main office. Even though I staked it out for a good hour, nothing was seen.๐Ÿ˜ž

So onto Saturday at Sandringham. What a wonderful place to spend the day. It was about a mile from the campsite so we decided to take our bikes but then discovered we couldn't ride them in the main grounds. Good job we had the bike locks with us. Shame the weather wasn't better but hey ho we were viewing the house when the heavy rain burst came over. Spent a tiring 5 hours walking around but wow was it worth it. The church, St Mary Magdalene, where the Queen and royal family attend when in residence, was equally impressive. The silver pulpit and alter was a sight to behold.

Bikes all safely locked for the duration of our visit.

And a camera selfie

Some of the royal families dog graves scattered around the grounds
St Mary Magdalene
Silver Pulpit and Alter
Royal transport.

And wildlife seen on the Sandringham estate

Back to FS today (Sunday) Beast cleaned and put away and all heavy tasks completed. 6 weeks of inactivity.....stir crazy comes to mind!

Friday 10 May 2019


Isn't that just typical!!!!  With it clear and bright first thing this morning it was the perfect conditions to continue the painting. First, though, the larder needed restocking, nearly bare of provisions we were almost on the bread line and more importantly, we had run out of the alcoholic stuff so shopping was a necessity. It was almost noon when I returned (took longer than normal 'cos I couldn't decide on whether to have a Merlot, Shiraz or Malbec so took all three!) and decided to have lunch first. Soup and a Mug Shot went down very well but now time for work. Hatch slide removed, rubber gloves on, red oxide paint tin opened and brush found. Good-oh the sun was still out. On with the first coat and almost to the final touches when a spot of rain falls on the paintwork. Huge black clouds developing so now what to do. Ah yes, the trusty umbrella. Did the job nicely so rain, you can do your worst. This job is going to be a good-un!

And the wildlife,

Today's rain
Yesterdays photos

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