Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Lots of miles but no boating

A spectacular panorama that seems to roll endlessly into the distance all around
We've done plenty of miles today but none of them by boat. Who would be in a hurry to cast off with this inspiring scenery all around?
Instead we tackled another stretch of the Pennine Way, southwards to Thornton-in-Craven, and on the way met a father and son duo who were tackling the whole route and camping every night too. Hardcore! Perhaps we can do it in easy bite-size morsels like today's three miles?
Hotel boat Lady Teal with guests on the roof terrace
We also saw this big beast coming through a bridge hole – just as well we were walking on the towpath rather than boating towards them. It's the luxury hotel boat Lady Teal which I last saw back in 2010 when it was newly built and one of the exhibits at the Crick Show I was reporting for Canal Boat. As I recall, owners Nick and Gina, had staked everything on the venture - they'd sold their house to finance the build.
It was great then to see them still enjoying their floating luxury hotel business six years on. It's been quite a success story for them, too: this year is pretty much booked, so is much of next year and there are even enquiries for the year after that.
It's a spectacular craft that offers 5-star accommodation – five en-suite berths, a rooftop sundeck for days like today, a big lounge and fine dining every night. It was designed for the dimensions of the Leeds&Liverpool Canal but has encompassed Manchester and Goole on its cruising routes.
Fine views from the Mike Clarke Lock
This evening we went for another towpath-cum-Pennine Way circuit, passing the Bank Newton Locks - one of which was recently re-name the Mike Clarke Lock after the celebrate canal historian who is also President of the L&L Canal Society. "Some of the finest canal scenery can be found along its banks but perhaps this is the one I think of most often, the view from Bank Newton towards the Aire Valley and Flasby Fell."
Impressive it is but walk up the hill from there to the Pennine Way and there is a 360 degree panorama of breathtaking views that roll on and on into the distance all around. I think we could moor here forever.
I think we could moor here forever...

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