A misty trip to Castleford and a night ashore

Last Saturday morning was more than a little on the misty side when we headed off to Castleford. The stretch between Leeds and Castleford is on the River Aire and the locks are large and electric. No heavy paddle gear here! It’s also the last stretch of new ground for us for quite some time. We’ve been to Castleford a couple of times before, but always from the other direction.



We were surprised to be joined, for a while, by a curious crow. We’ve had seagulls and ducks on the roof before but this was our first corvid. Somehow, in this murk, his or her presence seemed appropriate.


By Woodlesford Lock, which is surrounded by chainsaw carved wildlife, the sky had started to clear.

WoodlesfordLock    DeerWoodlesfordLock

By the time we got to Castleford the weather was lovely.


Not long after we moored up we were picked up by Sue and Greg and whisked away via Selby Abbey……


……. back to their house to watch rugby, eat a delicious dinner and drink a fair bit of wine.

WalesAustralia Chilling

After a fry up the following morning, cooked by Sue, we headed off to York. I’d heard that the East Window had been replaced in York Minster and was keen to take a look. As it costs £10 to get in everyone else left me to it! This is what it looked like when we visited exactly three years ago. The window had been taken out and was replaced by the largest digital photograph in the world.

Digital Photo in the place of the East Window

I was so disappointed when I saw this.


The window was indeed back in situ but was obviously still a work in progress as all I could see was scaffolding. Never mind, my ticket lasts for a year so, if we get here again before next October – and I’ve managed not to lose it – I should get another go at seeing the finished article.

The minster had just opened and I took the opportunity to have a look at the Chapter House, with its incredible windows, ceiling and carvings. The space was completely empty and I had it to myself for ten minutes or so – luxury!



CarvingsChapterHouse2 CarvingsChapterHouse

The rest of the day was spent wandering round York. While the boys went for a drink in a nearby hostelry, Sue and I headed for tea and cake at Betty’s, where we were served by the delightful Pierre. I’d always fancied a visit to this Yorkshire institution and I wasn’t disappointed.

The journey back to Castleford passed quickly as I was following the score for the Ireland France World Cup rugby match on my phone. It was great to win but the cost of losing up to four of our best players may prove too heavy to allow us to progress. At least we’ve secured the ‘easier’ of the two draws but I don’t think that Argentina is going to prove to be a walkover by any means.

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