Overnighting in Leicester City on a Boat

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(Edited)

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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.


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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.


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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?

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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:)


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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?

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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






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Whoever is directly controlling the V2K told me to kill myself.
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Sausage roll for me all the way!!!!

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(Edited)

Haha! Same for Cam 😁
I love the Steak Bake because it reminds me of the Jamaican Patties 😋

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Hiya, @LivingUKTaiwan here, just swinging by to let you know that this post made it into our Honorable Mentions in Daily Travel Digest #1554.

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Hello @livinguktaiwan and the @pinmapple team. This is a wonderful surprise. Thank you so much. Very appreciated. I'll make sure to check out the winners and other mention:)

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Life on a boat is really interesting, seemingly! When I and my wife still didn’t have kids we used to go for a road trip in Europe every year. And yes, having the chance to live in a city for a night or two makes you able to dive in the atmosphere and the everyday life of the local residents. You totally cannot feel the same when you are in an organized trip with agency or something.

Leicester looks pretty peaceful!

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City breaks are awesome! We've visited so many different cities in the year that we've been on the boat, way more than we did for the 5 years that we lived here before.
Leicester has so much charm because it's a historic city with many old buildings. Being on the boat makes me see it from a completely different perspective.
Leicester was nicknamed the City Of Thieves, so peace is relative. At Castle Gardens we're secured because there is a private gate to the pontoon and boaters have a key to the park itself.
Unfortunately, the boating population is an older one, and opportunists take advantage of the older folks on boats. Leicester has always been one of the cities in the Uk with a vast West Indian (the Caribbean, mainly yardies AKA Jamaicans) and Indians. In recent years there is a huge Polish population. Also two big universities, one that caters to modern sectors such as Fashion and Shoe Designing, so there are always many things to do:)

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Hi @millycf1976

Everything looks so nice. I think I would like a combination of both worlds. Docking for a while in rural areas, and then spend a few days in the city.

If I were strolling around that city, I'd be like those teenagers who stop on the bridge to ask questions, hehe. If fate ever crosses us in that situation I hope you don't tell me to come back tomorrow if I ask you if I can get a look around. 😂😂

Happy weekend! 🤗

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Hello @coquicoin,
I think you're right about both worlds. Would you believe it though, I feel safer in the middle of nowhere. Sometimes in the middle of the night in the rural area, I like to pop outside (when it's warm, of course). The stillness of the night in nature is just soothing. I need to watch my habits though.😅

I totally get the fascination that people have.
We had wanted to live on one of these narrowboats for over a decade now.
Three years ago I came back to the UK on holiday, and every day I stopped by that same bridge just looking at the boats wondering if I could really survive in that narrow small space. Never did I think we would have ended up in one this tiny, but it feels just fine.

Haha! For you, yes! I use my judgement well as to which strangers I might entertain...just not groups of lads who fancy themselves as "bad boys" 🤣


PS. It's normal for boaters to invite other boaters in for a boat tour. We are amazed when we go into some of them.

Happy weekend to you too:)

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I can understand the feeling of being safer in the middle of nowhere. It's the same for me here in the mountains when we visit my family's little cabin in the middle of nowhere. It is so nice going out in the dark alone to gaze at the stars. It gives a feeling of freedom.

And of course, I understand sending those 'bad boys' for a ride 🤣🤣.

It must be an interesting and challenging experience to live on a narrowboat. But with time and years, I think some of us learn that we can live with little and that it's the experiences that really count.

Have a nice evening!🤗

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