Celebrity Britain by Barge:Then and now

Celebrity Britain by Barge:Then and Now featured the Leeds & Liverpool canal last week. It was actually very good with lots of history, though it jumps around location a bit, but most wont notice that!

We did bump inot at Foulridge, but did not make the program.

Highly recomend watching it.

Celebrity Britain by Barge:Then and now
Celebrity Britain by Barge:Then and now

Waterways World does Hotel Boats

@waterwaysworld @Welcome2Yorks @crtcomms

Lookout for December Waterways World as it has a great article on Hotel Boats. Obviously everyone looking at this post is aware of Hotel Boats on the British Waterways but a lot of people are not

It is quite surprising how long we have been going as an industry and it is great to see new hotels in London, like the Boathouse in Paddington.

For no reason, other than I love them, I will end with the picture of a sunset on the canal

Sunset on the Leeds Liverpool


Lady Teal Gold

Having achieved our 5 star and our Gold Accolade , of which we are quite ridiculously proud, we thought we should update the boat signs.

5 star Gold
New 5 star gold signs

Lady Teal heads south!

Ok, lets not get carried away! In fact what we have actually done is gone the furthest South on the eastern side of the country that we have ever been .  We have taken the opportunity to go down the Don, way past Doncaster.

Doncaster Minster
St Georges Minster Doncaster

Even the pig looks surprised at where we are. A really lovely run mainly on the River Don.

Then down toward Consiborough we see this!

Conisborough viaduct
Conisborough viaduct over the Don, now a footpath

Thanks to Railway Paths, www.railwaypaths.org.uk, for this description:

The magnificent Conisbrough viaduct is impossible to overlook with its 21 arches, 150 foot lattice iron girder span over the river, and 1,527 feet in length. Opened in 1909, it was part of a connection between the Hull & Barnsley Railway and those of the Great Northern and Great Eastern. It consists of more than 15 million bricks, and features some beautiful decorative brickwork. It is so vast that an aerial ropeway was built to carry men and materials across the valley during its construction

That’s a big bit of water for Lady Teal

It’s not often that we moor in such a large area of water. We are just off from the Aire and Calder, more precisely the junction of the New Junction canal and the Sheffield Keadby canal, actually at the Junction. It is a lovely evening and and a super spot.

Sorry I have not been posting here too often, I will try to be better. I do post a mooring shot on the Lady Teal Facebook page every evening so you may want to follow Lady Teal on Facebook too!

Junction with New Junction canal
Junction with New Junction canal

Lady Teal shares a crowded lock

Lady Teal does not share locks very often, not because we don’t want to but because there is not normally any room. However, today on the Aire and Calder we shared a lock with 6 other boats, really busy for us.

Lady Teal sharing a lock on the Aire & Calder
A crowded Whiteley Lock on the Aire & Calder

Lady Teal playing with the big boys!

It’s always fun to mix in with the big vessels, and make use of my marine radio license!

Exol Pride, formerly Humber pride, is a tanker built in 1979. is 60 metres, almost 200 foot, long and 6 metres wide.

She takes oil from Hull, via Goole down to Doncaster. Someone bigger than us!!

Esol Pride, formerly Humber Pride oil Tanker
Exol Pride oil Tanker

An interesting day for Lady Teal & her guests

Lady Teal is always willing to share and we are back on the Aire & Calder sharing the big locks! This is Knostrop lock near Leeds. For the nerds amongst you Sheaf is a Sheffield Class built 1938 by Dunston, Richard, Thorne, she has been beautifully restored by the present owners.

It was also a first for me when we got hit by a mini twister! All moored up for lunch and I was standing on the back deck , a sudden roar, water spraying everywhere, chairs flying around, me and the boat being buffeted about, then all over. It was gone as quick as it arrived, but a bit of a surprise. No damage to people or boat so all’s well, but a bit of a surprise.

Lady Teal Aire & Calder
Lady Teal sharing a lock on the Aire & Calder

Celebrating another lovely day

Celebrating another lovely day on Lady Teal on the Bridgewater canal.

The weather has been wonderful and the scenery gorgeous. What more could we ask for?

This really is a wonderful canal with scenery, villages and plenty of places to moor, loving it.

Lady Teal cruising on the Bridgewater canal
Lady Teal cruising on the Bridgewater canal

Lady Teal on the Bridgewater

Lady Teal has been sailing to waters new this last few days! we have ventured down the Bridgewater Canal past Manchester down toward Preston Brook, and we have to say it is lovely.

We were concerned that Sale, Altrincham and Timperley looked very built up (I lived near here when I was young) but it is all very, very nice. A definite positive addition to our routes, so much so we have added two trips down here on our 2020 schedule, soon to be released!

Of course the glorious weather helps, but I always keep an eye on the reservoir levels when it is like this!

On the Bridgewater Canal
On the Bridgewater Canal

Leaving Liverpool, and yes a sunset!!

Lady Teal leaving Liverpool again, such a great trip we do love it. Many thanks to Alison the keeper who gave us a hand at Stanley flight.

Lady Teal by the Three Graces Liverpool
Lady Teal Leaving Liverpool

There is a new regime now for coming into and out of Liverpool and I have to say I think it is a lot better.  It removes a lot of the time pressures that existed when you had to rush from bridge to bridge and to the locks, also you used to have to leave Salthouse at 8 but now it is up to 9.30, much more civilised.

So a lovely sail out and then a glorious sunset as we finished up dinner.


As those of you who regularly look at my ramblings know, and I hope there are some out there, I do love a good sunset.

There has been no post processing on this shot, though I do have to admit it was slightly underexposed in order to enrich the colours, I hope you like it.

Sunset near Bridge 10 on the Leeds Liverpool Canal
Sunset near Bridge 10 on the Leeds Liverpool Canal

Another Lovely run into Liverpool on Lady Teal

We had another lovely run into Liverpool today. They have change things a bit as it is a lot more self operation and the timings are a lot more relaxed, it does take a lot of the pressure off.

We were supposed to be coming in yesterday but a hydraulic hose broke at one of the bridges. CRT were amazing and on a bank holiday Sunday the fitters came out and the specialist van to make up a new pipe. They got it all fixed and we passed through spending the evening at Litherland and then coming down Stanley flight at 10 this morning.

It was lovely run through the docks and into our mooring in Salthouse Docks.

Coming into Liverpool & Three Graces
A view of the Three Graces in Liverpool from Canning Dock.

Every one is ready for Italian night on Lady Teal

New for this year, on 6 & 7 night cruises, we are now doing an Italian themed night.

So plenty of Italian food, Italian wine and Italian music, I even try to serve the dishes using their Italian names!

It’s fun to have a bit of variation and to challenge Gina with managing to put it all together.


Italian Night on Lady Teal
Italian Themed night on Lady Teal

Lovely Worsely Bridgewater Canal

Lady Teal is off CRT water and on the Bridgewater Canal, owned by Peel Holdings, currently at Worsley. I have never been able to discover why it and the Manchester Ship Canal were not nationalised with all the rest, maybe it was something to do with it being part of the mining network, but then they were all nationalised too!!

Feted as being the first of the modern commercial canals, it opened in 1761 and set off the canal mania era. Whilst it was the first of the single cut canals not following an existing watercourse an argument could be made that the Sankey, St. Helens Canal, was the one that proved the point.

The Sankey canal opened in in 1757 and was the only canal project not to have anyone object to it. Whilst not a new cut canal, it followed the line of the Sankey Brooke, it was built as though it was a new canal. Its act of parliament said “for making navigable the River or Brook called Sankey Brook, and Three several Branches thereof from the River Mersey below Sankey Bridges, up to Boardman’s Stone Bridge on the South Branch, to Gerrard’s Bridge on the Middle Branch, and to Penny Bridge on the North Branch, all in the county palatine of Lancaster” (Thank you Wikipedia)

But whatever the rights or wrongs of that Worlsey is a lovely spot with some super architecture and now the addition of some lovely sculptures.

Sculpture of Ducks at Worsley on the Bridgewater Canal
Sculpture of Ducks at Worsley on the Bridgewater Canal
Lady Teal at Worsley on the Bridgewater Canal
Lady Teal at Worsley on the Bridgewater Canal

Has it really been that long, still loving it not stopping yet!

It’s very hard to believe that this is our ninth season running Lady Teal, so 10th season celebrations next year. We are still loving it and have no plans to stop, in fact we will be releasing our 2020 schedule fairly soon.

On the canals in 1981
On the canals in 1981

When I was on a barge holiday in the early 1980’s I never thought that one day I would be skippering a hotel boat on the Leeds Liverpool. Yes that really is my on a narrow boat in 1981!

We visited Worsley and came up Wigan flight, it was very different then.

in 2009 Lady Teal was being built and then in 2010 we had our first full season.

Nine years and still going strong, with no idea when we will finish. We even have guests still coming with us who came in that first season, it really is quite amazing.

So season nine well underway now, and it’s still fun.

Well it looks like it has aged us a bit, but I guess it has been the best part of 10 years.

Lady, Nick and Gina Lady Teal
Lady, Nick and Gina Lady Teal



Lovely Lunch Stop for Lady Teal

Lady Teal at what has to be at one of the best parts of the whole UK inland waterways, and we get to stop here for lunch, how lucky are we.

What glorious weather

Moored up near Gargrave last night.

Our season is now well and truly underway. We had a dampish start , that’s good it means full reservoirs, and now we have absolutely glorious weather as we pass through the spectacular Yorkshire Dales.

We have been down into Leeds and that has meant a lot of staircase locks, in particular the iconic Bingley three and Five rises. We never tire of passing through these fabulous locks, with the help of the very knowledgeable CRT keepers. @CRTContactus please thank all your staff for the great work they do in making this 200 year old canal keep on working.

It’s always interesting getting out for the first time to see if that  particular paddle was fixed over the winter and what overgrowth has been cut back. So far pretty pleased with what has been done, but of course there is always that bit of annoying overgrowth that needs doing!

Here are a couple of pictures from last nights mooring.

Sunset Gargrave
Sunset Gargrave
Canal Side view Gargrave
Canal Side view Gargrave

Showers, Mud, wildlife and a good time on Lady Teal

Well a real mixed day today, we had some heavy showers and a very muddy tow path. In previous years we have been in shorts and t-shirts in April.

Muddy at the East Marton Water Point
A bit muddy at the Leeds Liverpool Water Point

But that was all made up for with the 20 minutes watching a Barn Owl hunt in a field. How amazing, I have never watched one for so long. It swooped silently over the field, sorry too far away for pictures. I then moved on with the boat but the guests stayed to watch it land, presumably having caught something. This really is one of the magic things about this job, we get to see fabulous wildlife.

Then a bit further up the canal there were two mad March Hares on the tow path, once again too far and too quick to picture, but really lovely to see.

Certainly lots of water around in the canal, roll on tomorrows sunshine!

Leeds Liverpool Muddy Boots
Leeds Liverpool Muddy Boots

And we are off, Lady Teal starts her voyages

Well the start of the season for Lady Teal has arrived and we are now out and about. I can’t deny it has been a much damper start that normal but at least it has been warming up.

Kingfishers have been spotted and the ducks are getting frisky.

Coming up Barrowford locks we had a few boats coming the other way so it was almost as busy as the busiest times on the canal.

It takes us all, myself, Gina, Glen and of course Lady, a few days to get back into the rhythm of things, and to remember exactly how do I set the breakfast table!

The tunnel was damper than usual with all the water run off and high water levels always makes it a bit more challenging. Lady had to sit lower down to avoid hitting her head and every time there was some water flowing down on her she give me a filthy look, “for goodness sake can’t you avoid that”, she seems to be saying.

Last Little jobs

Ok, so of course you have to vacuum the lawn before your done!

Vaccum the top Deck
Vacuuming the lawn on the top deck of Lady Teal

Does look a bit like I am playing golf though!

The start of the season draws near

It’s a busy time as we continue to prep the boat for the new season. We have had our food hygiene visit and retained our score of 5, full marks!

The boat spent a week in dry dock and along with being blacked we have done a lot of less visible stuff. For instance the battery bank has all been replaced, not like changing the batteries in a torch! The old batteries each weighed about 280lbs, so getting them out was fun and we upgraded some of the associated electronics.

There have been a number of other things as well , but we will leave you to spot those!

A few more odds and ends and , weather permitting, another good polish then we will be ready to go.


Lady Teal Dry Dock
Side view of Lady Teal in Dry Dock
Lady Teal in Dry Dock
Lady Teal in Dry Dock

View from the window of Lady Teal

Well not our normal view from our window. Lots of prep for the street of the season,v all on hold!

Snow and ice on lady teal
Reedley Marina snow

lovely sunrise at marina

Sunrise at Reedley
Sunrise over Reedley Marina

What an incredible sky over the Marina.

Starting a few jobs on the boat as we begin to ready her for the new season.

It’s always amazing how quickly the new season comes around.

Merry Christmas

Leeds and liverpool five rise
Bingley Five Rise in the snow, Leeds and Liverpool

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year from Nick, Gina, Glen and Lady.🎅

Skippers night Charity Quiz

Presentation of Petal charity cheque
Petal charity donation

Gina presents Karen Weaving of Petal with a cheque for £550 raised from the skippers night quiz.

A huge thank you to our guests for doing the quiz and to all those who added top up donations.

Cruises 20 and 32 tied in first place, you know who you are, well done

As the sunsets……..

As the sunsets over Lady Teal it’s the end of the 2017 season. A big thank you to all our guests who made it so enjoyable for us.

Also thank you to CRT who managed the water and minimised any necessary stoppages.

It has been a season of generally good weather 🌞, rain at night and sun in the day.

A few things to do to the boat over the winter and then it will be time for next season.

Looking forward to seeing everyone next year. Have a lovely Christmas and new year.

Lady Teal sunset
Lady Teal sunset



Glorious evening glorious spot

Horse on Canal Bridge
Horse on Bridge on Leeds and liverpool canal

Another great spot to moor up for the night. Every time we go by here this horse is contentedly standing on the bridge, lovely. And what wonderful weather we are having so lucky