Sunday, June 03, 2007

Ratty and Mole - 3 June 2007

BoatyardThe river level had dropped by the end of Saturday and the river was re-opened to navigation so we booked a small boat for the morning hire period: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Wyton ChurchThe river was magical so early in the morning and, to start with, we had it entirely to ourselves. We passed two churches; right on the water's edge, and continued our journey to the sound of church bells.

We cruised down-river, all the way to St Ives, so were able to boat under the bridge we had walked over the day before. St Ives' Chapel BridgeThree of the four locks on our journey were against us and the river was still running at higher than normal flow so we were half an hour late returning the boat, but the hire people kindly did not charge us extra. The River Great OuseGiven the queue of people standing in the boatyard, the hire people were probably overjoyed to have the boat back to satisfy another customer.

The River Great OuseAfter lunch on the riverbank, we travelled south to Buckden. In this is a very attractive village we discovered Buckden Towers, a residence of the Bishops of Lincoln from 1186 to 1842. We were able to walk over the dry moat and look at the Tudor buildings around the courtyard.

Buckden TowersThe list of famous residents and visitors included Henrys III and VIII, James I, Edward I, Samuel Pepys, Thomas Wolsey, Catherine Howard and Catherine of Aragon, who was imprisoned here by her disgruntled hubby.

From there we wended our way to Little Paxton, where we did a walk around a nature reserve that has various lakes made from old gravel pits.

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