After 4 years of breakdowns, engine failures, a global pandemic and family issues, I couldn’t help but wonder what curve ball this trip would throw at us.

I needn’t have worried, it was practically perfect.

I’ve always enjoyed trips away in late August – to me it always feels that I’m sneaking in an extra special trip, bonus time off when everyone else has used theirs up. Sure enough, the days are getting rapidly shorter and the evening chillier, but by goodness that’s what fairy lights and jumpers are for! Looking back at this blog, the last trouble free, carefree boating trip I had was back in August 2018 – A long time by any standard.

The first day predictably ended up in the pub, with a superb meal at the New Inn Satinforth; they’re always so accommodating and we have fond memories of a World Cup match there 4 years ago. After that, the only schedule we had was to be in Doncaster by Saturday morning so James could get the train back to Lincoln for the match against Fleetwood – (myself & Marcus had to give up our season tickets, so our attendance at Sincil Bank has been sporadic to say the least) – We were unsure of how successful mooring at Doncaster would be, mainly because they are rise & fall pontoons and not the easiest when you have a dog and prefer peace and quiet. We needn’t have worried, the moorings were brilliant; lovely & quiet, the dog was fantastic; happily on and off the boat and Doncaster itself was welcoming and vibrant.

Moored in Doncaster

I like my urban moorings, but only in small doses. However, Doncaster had a charm of its own that reeled us in. The chimes of the clock from the Minster was the perfect unobtrusive, only sometimes heard, background noise, the hum of traffic over the flyover just enough to let you know that the world was still there and the view across the wide basin calming & superb, with sunsets at the back of the boat that just make you glad you are alive.

All this even before I get to the eating, drinking and shopping! Naturally, Doncaster town centre has the usual array of shops and shopping centres, but it also has a fantastic market, small independent pubs – (The Magdelen, a Sports Bar on the Market Place is highly recommended) – It was great to be able pop to the town centre and enjoy the outdoor cafes, market, pubs and shopping and then be able to retreat to the peace and quiet of the boat & basin.

We left Doncaster on Sunday morning, James’ train arrived back in Doncaster at 7.30, so we stayed put all day Saturday. Sunday morning saw us head towards Selby and we were truly nostalgic for the moorings and facilities we’d left behind.

Soon enough, we’d left the urban areas behind and the main noise was the sound of Harebell pushing on through the water. Warehouses and roads gave way to bucolic scenes and lazy days. Selby was a treat – again over 4 years since we’d last visited. If you are looking for calmness and tranquillity, the Selby Canal is the place to find it and with a charming basin at the end to revive the senses.

As is generally the case, our destination is reached before we have used up all of our days. Having explored the local area of Selby, had some lunch in town and completed our boat – keeping / tidying duties, we found ourselves with a few choices available to us as to where we literally went from that point onwards. Really, there was no contest and we unanimously agreed to retrace our wash and return to Doncaster! So we found ourselves, back in our newly favourited urban mooring spot, with the sights and sounds of the town just as we’d left them a few days prior, enjoying the last night of the trip.

Thank You Doncaster and Goodnight!