48 hours in Alrewas


We moored up expecting rain but were rewarded with a few precious moments worth of blue sky as I looked across the water meadows.

The view from the visitor moorings by the lock

We had seen the church perched on the hill as we cruised through Wychnor

St Leaonards, Wychnor

So I took the opportunity to walk back along the river section for a closer look.

River reeds

I climbed up the hill and found some info boards in the adjoining fields hinting of the archaeological significance of mediaeval settlements, but the village was wiped out during the plague, I didn’t stick around to investigate more. Alrewas however survived and became a thriving village with some stunning timber framed thatched cottages

Shakespeares cottage

And Coates, one of our favourite butchers shops.

Coates Butchers, worth a visit

We can recommend the pies, sausages and rump steak, however we suspected the local camel would taste a bit wooden.

We think the wise men must be on their summer holidays

We wondered if there’s an equivalent term for boaters who look wistfully at houses like gongoozlers watch narrowboats. And where does that place us with our modern electric boat, hankering after an old thatched cottage.

We didn’t make it up to the national memorial arboretum this visit, preferring to follow ratty’s advice on this Canal side cottage.

Simply messing about in boats

So we had to smile when we came across another Braidbar boat, appropriately named.

Boating about in Simply Messing

And we continued our journey up to Fradley

Bagnall lock

The Stump, what a view.

The good folk of Lincolnshire certainly like to make a statement. And just like Lincoln, our first sighting of Boston was the church, St Botolphs.  Known affectionately as “The Stump”.  This towering beacon guided us along the river to the visitor moorings, where a fellow boater said “….you do know you can go up to the top….” of course I didn’t need telling twice.  Despite the clouds, the forecast suggested this would be the clearest day for the best view. So with my eager accomplice Cherryl, we persuaded our boys that it was only 220 steps and off we went. Only 220 steps indeed, we were both looking for the oxygen cylinders by the time we got to the top. But then we realised it was the view that claimed the breath taking prize. We were able to stand outside on all 4 aspects of the tower. Looking down we could see the market and some of the grand Boston properties built in its thriving heyday. And if we followed the river west, in front of the Grand Sluice, Boston lock, (under the rail bridge) the tide had retreated revealing uninviting mud going out to the estuary, but Seren Rose and Firecrest were moored safely upstream in non tidal water.Looking straight out we could see over to the Norfolk coast and the in/off shore windfarms (we’re still debating which term is correct).To the north was a “proper” 1820s windmill, this is one of the largest still operating in England. Looking to the west were the great, soon to be redundant, cooling towers of the coal power stations on the Trent and medieval Tattershal castle. On a good day you can see over 30 miles and Lincoln cathedral but it was too hazy for us.I don’t usually like heights but the stone balcony encased us safely. We had climbed 145 feet up, the remaining 100 feet was closed to public access.Coming down was harder than going up, narrow spiral stairwells are good for the defending soldiers wielding swords. Ian and Eric obviously didn’t meet the enemy as they practically flew down. Cherryl and I took a more ladylike descent, and emerged triumphant and in need of a cuppa-provided by a very pleasant cafe in the church. St Botolphs seems to be a very welcoming and inclusive church. Lots of beautiful architecture but more importantly full of people.There were several community activities going on, the local art club had an exhibition, there were some spinners and knitters creating a WWI remembrance display of red poppies, there was a replica of St Botolphs being made out of Lego, a wood carving group working on church restoration, a cafe and a large second hand book area. The following day I had the joy of attending an organ recital, but sadly as we only had 2 nights in Boston we missed taking part in any of the many Christian worship activities also advertised.