Friday, 23 September 2011

Day 2 Melbourne to Kegworth

Paddy sent me off with a full tum and a packup for later, lovely lady that she is. Today I am aiming for Kegworth which is over the border into Leicestershire. It is also close to East Midlands Airport so I am going to have some company with the low flying aircraft. I remember when one of them came down on the M1 motorway when it missed the runway a few years back. I was lorry driving and I can remember the motorway being closed for ages causing great disruption. No one complained though, remembering those poor people who died in the tragedy.

Anyone want to buy some eggs? This table was in a lane outside a farm gate. Looks like the chickens have personally jumped up and deposited their little gems right there on the table. Perhaps they are perfectly trained to do that.

I'm heading to Swarkstone Bridge which stretches from Stanton by Bridge to Swarkstone. It's three quarters of a mile long, they call it a Causeway because most of it goes over fields which are prone to flooding. Only a short section goes over the river. There is supposed to be a footpath which runs alongside the bridge, but after searching for a good half hour I could not find how to get on to it. This is where it should be, which as you can see is blocked with brambles which have deliberately been dumped there. Just beyond the pile is a fairly deep ditch full of water. It could be that I didn't look hard enough and the path was on the other side of the horse paddocks. However I didn't have time to search any more, so I took my chances over the narrow causeway with no footpath.

Halfway across I spotted a stile below me, which confirmed there was a path there, so I climbed a gate and went down to it. It wasn't long before I had to come back onto the road, as the path ran out just before the main bridge went over the water.

This is the main bridge over the River Trent, looks very picturesque.

Oooops, I've put three pics of the same bridge on here.

Now what is this, seen across a field. After consulting the map I can tell you it is the entrance to Swarkstone Hall.

There are lots of swans on the River Trent.

The river loses it's footpath around here so I hopped on the Trent and Mersey canal which runs almost alongside for a while. The tow path is nice and flat to walk on, but after a few miles it gets a bit boring, unless you have a lot of boats to look at. Only another three miles to Shardlow.

Aha, a boat to look at as it goes through a lock. We kept overtaking each other and ended up at Shardlow together, which proves that I can walk as fast as a canal boat. My little legs are like pistons, ha ha.

This one was moored up, it's got it's fire wood on the roof, and it's own wind turbine.

Here we are arriving at Shardlow Basin.

A few boats moored up here.

And absolutely masses of boats moored at Shardlow Marina.

It's a huge place.

The river runs alongside the Marina, and I'm going to walk down it.

The baby swans are teenagers now, it won't be long before they will be going off on their own.

Remember the missing footbridge I mentioned, the one that was dismantled and removed in 2002, and they replaced it with a brand spanking new one last week. Well I took the diversion not wishing to find myself in a dead end with no where to go. This is a map I found taped to a post advising of the alternative route.

And here is the brand spanking new bridge. Isn't it lovely?

It won't be ready for crossing until November, as they still have a lot of work to do at each end.

Looking good so far.

Now I'm not far off going under the M1 Motorway, just beyond there is a weir and this sign warns boat owners to keep away from it. I used to pass this point often going up and down the motorway, it's interesting to see it from another angle.

I couldn't get a photo of the weir though as the view was obscured by trees, and the path does not follow the bend in the river.

Here we are coming to Sawley Marina, this is even bigger than Shardlow, it's huge. The weather is not so good today, a bit drizzly so the photo's are not as clear as they could be.

A map so you don't get lost.

There are lots of these piers. They have locked gates, but I suppose the boat owners get a key when they pay their mooring fee.

A shop and restaurant, selling everything you might need for your boat, and of course you've got to have the right gear to wear to look the part.

I start heading south away from the river, to Kegworth, to find my bed for the night. I love to see the Canada Geese gathering to get ready for their long trip. Groups of them come flying down, chattering madly, a lovely sound. Isn't nature wonderful.

My room is very nice at the B & B. I'm starving so it's off to the chippy tonight. There is a dining room so I can bring my fish and chips back with me, and make a cuppa as well. It's like home from home here.


  1. Fab pictures The birds in flight and the swans look so peaceful.

    Good luck on the next leg of your walk

  2. I think the above two comments were put on as I was adding the words to this. I somehow managed to publish it before I had finished it. Don't know how that happened.

  3. lovely pictures you've got. just love the carefree feel they present.

    i'm semi-retired looking forward to enjoy adventures like yours.

  4. Was the first boat a passenger boat, taking people from here to there? I love the pictures.

  5. Love the Marina,I could spend hours there just looking! I wonder if the egg owners cash box was bolted to the bench,if it was around here, someone would have all the eggs AND the lolly too.

  6. Love your photos. The smallholding I get my eggs from leaves the eggs, spuds, cabbage etc in a small building on the drive, so if nobody is around people can weigh what they want and leave the money. It is in the country, about 3 miles from my house however. If you have forgotten your money you can write in the book and pay them next time.

    I was surprised to see the sign Preston Brook 89 miles. Preston Brook is about 8 miles from the centre of Warrington, but a place I know very well. It just brought to light the connectivity those days via waterways.

  7. You must have been over the side of Swarkstone Bridge when my Sis and I drove ove over it yesterday! We'd been to Derbyshire and Sis wanted to get some green tomatoes from Swarkstone Nursery. Mind you, it was about 4pm then, so you must have been well on your weay to Kegworth then!
    Enjoy the rest of your walk!

    Sandie xx

  8. I've always fancied a holiday on canal barge.
    Jane x

  9. Great photos, I love your trips Ilona.
    twiggy x

  10. It's always good to walk/cycle near waterways of any sort.

    I would LOVE to have a small narrowboat Jane and Chris but it just wouldn't be practical, so maybe a little tatty cruiser should I be able in the future? Just enough to make a brew and sit watching the world go by.

    Again, Ilona, have a great trip!

  11. Wonderful that you are having such a great time! I hope you enjoyed the chips. You deserve it with all that walking!


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