Boston to Lincoln

Lincolnshire is mind-bogglingly large and flat and rural. We don’t see much of it as the river Witham is flanked on both sides by enthusiastic embankments. The occasional lorry, a pylon, the roof of a house, a plane looping overhead. This makes journeying the length of the river an oddly isolated experience.

Long, straight, high embankments.

Long, straight, high embankments.

We leave Boston on Wednesday, hurtling our way along the straight, flat river towards Lincoln and the Roman-built Fossdyke canal. On Friday night we are joined for the weekend by Nick and Elizabeth, just in time for what will hopefully prove to be the first of many heatwaves this summer. In honour of the sun, I purchase a new pair of sandals.

Nick and Elizabeth

Nick and Elizabeth

Arriving in Lincoln we discover that all the contours of the county have been compressed into a single breath-taking gradient, an ascent so dizzying that metaphor and allusion were beyond those who first climbed and conquered and named it. Steep Hill transforms the citizens of the city into zombies, shuffling slowly up the slope, arms stretched out ahead in search of – railings? fresh meat? Lincolnshire sausage? – muttering portentously under their breath.

Bottom of Steep Hill. Picture does not do justice to gradient.

Bottom of Steep Hill. Picture does not do justice to gradient.

Top of Steep Hill. Picture still does not do justice to gradient.

Top of Steep Hill. Picture still does not do justice to gradient.

Tis indeed a fine city, complete with castle, cathedral and copy of the Magna Carta. Swans nest outside the university buildings, oblivious to the oohs and aahs of passing students, presumably not zoologists as they seem amazed by the reproductive process. I am more amazed that the swans don’t attack anyone.

Glory Hole - bridge in Lincoln.

Glory Hole – bridge in Lincoln.

Cathedral.

Cathedral.

More cathedral.

More cathedral.

Pretty house.

Pretty house.

Pretty houses.

Pretty houses.

Brayford Pool in Lincoln

Brayford Pool in Lincoln

Nick operates the lock at Lincoln, one of only two on this whole stretch. Told you Lincolnshire was flat.

Nick operates the lock at Lincoln, one of only two on this whole stretch. Told you Lincolnshire was flat.

In honour of the heatwave we have invested in a fine new BBQ and are subsisting on a diet of grilled everything, fresh Lincolnshire asparagus and ice cream.

Assembling the new BBQ. Thank God Nick was here.

Assembling the new BBQ. Thank God Nick was here.

And tomorrow we are off for our first foray along the tidal Trent. I am determined not to be overcome by the fear that gripped me last year when we last dipped our toe into the non tidal version of these waters. For we are veterans of the Wash. Such intrepid adventurers are not daunted by mere rivers. Even ones with massive tidal bores in spring tides. (It’s OK, folks, there are none due in May.)

Posted in Cruising log, Visitors
2 comments on “Boston to Lincoln
  1. Nick Soulsby says:

    Enthusiastic embankments!! I like it – glorious phrasing.
    Have ten points and further kudos for providing excellent company and a lovely weekend bobbing around on boats and hauling up n’ down a pretty significant gradient in Lincoln.

  2. Great Uncle Stoutness says:

    Having cycled from Brigg to Boston, I can assure you that Lincolnshire is far from flat! Once you have climbed the hill in Caister you are about 500′ above sea level and you stay up there for about the next 20 miles.

    I like the photo of the pretty house. I think the blue plaque on the wall is because William Byrd lived there. He was organist at Lincoln during the reign of Liz 1. He’s buried in the church yard at Stondon Massey, Essex, although because he was a papist in a prot country his grave is not marked.

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