Overnighting in Leicester City on a Boat
Life in the city even if it's just for a night or two, brings a different kind of energy. It feels surreal to arrive in the city with swans gliding ahead as if they're leading the way. Mooring up at Castle Gardens floating pontoon, surrounded by high-rise buildings, watching people going about their daily lives brings on a level of excitement. No matter how idyllic the countrysides and rural moorings are, most boaters look forward to city and town stops to do everyday activities that are not easily accessible on the canals. It's an opportunity to restock items needed from a larger selection of supermarkets and shops, a chance to roam the streets, mingle, re-assimilate with the rest of society, and enjoy meals at nice restaurants and cafes; All of which Leicester City has an abundance of. I am so familiar with the town that I could wander around with my eyes closed, and make my way to my usual Greggs for my favourite Steak Bake and a coffee.
The floating pontoon accommodates up to four boats comfortably. We're moored just below a footpath bridge, and often passersby are fascinated by the boats, and people especially teenage lads will go by and ask:
"Do you have Kitchen, bed, and TV on that boat?" "Can I come and look?"
I always smile and say; "Come back tomorrow" and we laugh and they trod on.
I like mooring here because it's a quick walk to the town centre, and simply because it's so beautiful, green, and lush, with no end of swans gathering in groups. If you're looking for a friend, swans and pigeons will welcome you with open beaks.
Here, I stood balanced on the bow of the boat as it rocked, and I watched persons fondly stop by periodically throughout the day with grains and food for the swans and pigeons. That's a nice rewarding daily hobby, huh?
I like how wide this stretch of canal is and the swans and birds make it more picturesque, especially when a flock of pigeons descends to eat.
Another big difference being moored up in the city is that we are no longer used to hearing much commotion and activities, so we stay relaxed yet vigilant.
Most times it's nothing to be alarmed of though, it's just the sounds of rowers paddling at high speed.
There is a Rowing Club right along the canals, so it is the route that students and other club members paddle along. It's fairly organised, as tutors tend to cycle along the pavement for observation and training, and you can hear them offering instructions and guidance.
You can learn good tips if you listen keenly:)
From the outside looking on, do you think you would prefer mooring in the middle of town centres, or do you like the idea of being surrounded by greenery and no neighbours for miles?
I enjoy both, and as mentioned it's great being in the city to stock up on supplies, and in our case, it's a great central spot here in Leicester for family and friends to visit us while we sit on the pontoon here at Castle Gardens.
If you are in the UK and looking for a city to visit by boat, even if it's just for a day rental, I would likely recommend Leicester City. It is convenient with a cosmopolitan vibe, infused with vibrancy (food, entertainment, activities and history) from its multicultured people.
Thank you for reading my blog:)
All images are mine