Last week it was my birthday. Not a special birthday, just your every day mid-thirties acknowledgement. But my birthday also marks another special event – our wedding anniversary. Ten years ago, on my 23rd birthday, Mr and H and I said I do. Ten whole years. A decade. So much time has passed and so much has happened, yet in many ways it feels like only yesterday.
We arrived on the Tuesday and after a lesson on how to drive the boat, including mooring off, pulling in and turning around, we were off on our adventure from Garstang to Morecambe Bay. The Lancaster Canal is a beautiful part of the country and we passed stone Aqueducts which took us over roads and rivers, stunning gardens filled with a rainbow of flowers, and saw a whole host of wildlife as we punted by. The canal actually covers 41 miles of lock-free cruising, much to Mr H’s relief, and features some impressive architecture dating back to 1797.
We began our journey in Garstang and sailed up to Galgate, where we moored in the marina for the night. We took it pretty easy, having tea at the nearby pub The Plough (beautiful gardens, if you’re in the area) before heading to bed for a uninterrupted night’s sleep followed by a long lie-in.
The next day we gently head into Lancaster and whilst Mr H drove I pottered about, reading, chatting to him and just relaxing and taking it all in. Eventually we made our way to Hest Bank, the nearest the canal comes to the sea where we enjoyed breakfast with a sea view.
Our anniversary was on the Thursday and Mr H had booked in us a lovely restaurant in Lancaster, so we moored back up down there, donned our glad rags and spent some time on dry land. It was amazing to just have so much time to chat without anyone else around and it felt like a date. I even got those flutterings in my tummy as I realised how lucky I am to have such an amazing man in my life.
As well as architecture and wildlife, the canal is filled with so many different vessels. Everyone is really friendly and whether you’re a driver, passenger or just walking or cycling along the bank, everyone says hello to each other. Mr H commented it is the way life should always be – saying a cheery hello to passers-by just to be friendly.
After five beautiful days of not very much we returned the boat to Garstang and came away with memories of a trip that I’m sure we’ll remember for a very long time. Whilst we missed the children, we realised how important it is for us to have time away from them and remember who we are as people and as a couple. We have come home more rested than we have been in a long time and debating when our next barge holiday will be!
I’ve put together a video of our trip, which you can have a look at below. We hired our boat from The Duck Island Boat Company and I can highly recommend them. The boat was stunning and to a really high standard, plus the owners were so friendly and always on hand should be need them at any point.