Caledonians!!  River Cruise Monday 11th September

It was a wind swept Monday, when 43 members set off from our usual Corn Market venue in search of adventure.  (You’re never too old!!) Our coach driver was Tim, who has become a favourite on our outings and he was to join us on our cruise, to make sure we behaved ourselves.  Huh!! We always do don’t we? After an uneventful but pleasant journey we arrived in Nottingham where we boarded the River Princess cruise ship and set off from the docking station alongside the river Trent.

This luxury cruise takes us along the third largest British waterway in England and we had a swan’s eye view of Nottingham at a leisurely 4 mph.

From the onboard commentary we learnt that the river, from it’s source on Biddolph Moor in Staffordshire to the sea is 298 km and has eleven tributaries.  This is totally amazing and it ends up joining the river Ouse to form the Humber Estuary. As it was passed midday and once drinks had been purchased at the well stocked bar, lunch was served. We had delicious roast beef with all the trimmings.  Vegetables were fresh and plentiful and those with heartier appetites  enjoyed second helpings of meat.  All of this was followed by apple pie, tea and coffee.  I can honestly say we were treated most royally.

There was so much to view on the river and it was great to see some of Nottingham’s famous landmarks from the water. We cruised passed the tree lined Victorian embankment with its           elegant stone terraces.  We saw the Trent Bridge Cricket Ground,    Nottingham Forest Football Club and the War memorial and ornamental gardens, specially designed to be seen from the river. We passed under the famous Lady Bay Bridge which carries part of the A52 road, which runs from Newcastle under Lyne to Mablethorpe on the east coast.  We saw several other iconic Victorian bridges still standing after all this time.

Many birds make their homes here, some permanently, whilst others follow a migratory route, such as the Canada geese.  There were flocks of them all along the banks enjoying their Summer holidays.  We saw common river residents, the mallards, mute swans, a grey heron and a pair of great crested grebes bobbing about in the wake of the boat, these were my personal favourites.

Many passengers enjoyed going up on the top deck after lunch to feel the wind blowing in their hair from the fresh river breeze. All too soon the captain turned the boat round and we headed back down river.  It was a great experience and everyone said they had a good time. The boat trip was ideal for all ages and everyone who had walking aids had no difficulty with negotiating the ramps to the jetty. We are so thankful to Alex for organising this grand day out.