These are the adventures of Andy and Sally Rawnsley on their narrowboat "The Puzzler". We have been living on the boat for over eight years now and are still loving it. Our Ulster born Shih Tzu, Shannon, has grown up, and has taken over the boat! After three wonderful years in Ireland, we transported The Puzzler to The Netherlands, and spent a year there. In 2015 we went southwards, to reach the north of France by June. After glorious weather throughout the summer, we arrived in Roanne in late October, and enjoyed our winter in this friendly port. We cruised extensively in France in 2016, returning to Roanne for a second winter.


Friday, 5 October 2012

17th -24th September. A week back in England.

We left The Puzzler at the Round "O" for a week, while travelling back to England. We had to get special permission from the warden to leave the boat in one place for over the standard 48 hours.



The weather was kind to us and we flew out from Dublin in the sun.


As we descended below the cloud to approach Birmingham, the fields looked much the same, but the weather was much worse in England!

We drove over to Norfolk, and visited Cantley Staithe, where these boats are moored. The sugar beet factory can be seen alongside the River Yare here, dominating the skyline.
The River Yare is part of the Norfolk Broads, with plenty of wind for sailing. This is an area which we cannot access  from the main canal system with The Puzzler. In many ways it is similar to the Irish Waterways, but there seem to be a greater concentration of boats here on the Broads than there are in Ireland.


We visited the Strumpshaw Steam Museum, which was fascinating. This steam engine, Marshall, was built in 1928, but is in superb order, having been renovated at Strumpshaw museum in 1952.

An enormous fair organ was playing music in the museum. On looking behind it, the music could be seen in card form, with holes punched for each note to be played.
The Christie Steam Organ changed colour to blue, every so often, while it was being played.The music was wonderful and really added atmosphere to the whole museum.
On leaving Norfolk, we travelled westwards across England to Cheltenham. Debbie and Matt took us to see Bourton-on-the-Water, which is a typical pretty Cotswold village.The River Windrush flows through between the houses.
We went for a pleasant walk through the meadows from Bourton-on-the-Water. Here Matt, Debbie and Andy are by the River Dickler, which is one of the shortest rivers in the Cotswolds.

Our walk took us through Wick Rissington, a small village lying a couple of miles further on, where we visited the church.
We are back in Cheltenham, which is a lovely town. Neptune's Fountain, with Neptune driving sea horses, lies at the southern end of the Long Garden facing The Promenade. It draws its water from the river Chelt, which runs underneath it.


Cheltenham Pump Rooms are an impressive building in Pittville Park, but the rain was showing us what it could do today! We will be travelling back to  Enniskillen tomorrow.
Toad Rawnsley, who has his own page on Facebook, thought he would like to have a ride on his African bicycle, while modelling his new olympic outfit! He has recently spent over a year travelling by bicycle from England to South Africa, with Debbie and Matt. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for visiting us. It was wonderful to see you :) Toad looks great on his bicycle! Have a great winter in Enniskillen. See you soon. Love Debs xx

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