Monday, August 25, 2008

A Vist to Nottingham

On Saturday we went to visit friends in Nottingham. We followed our usual route along the A50 until we turned off on the road to Long Eaton. The first town you get to on this road is Sawley which eventually seems to merge with Long Eaton. The first brown sign on the road is for Sawley Marina. The second, a little further into the town, is for Trent Locks and this is where we usually have a break on our journey.

Normally at the time we visit is is quite peaceful but on Saturday it was bustling with activity as there were boats of all kinds coming and going and people rushing around setting up bunting, signs, portaloos and extra rubish bins to cope with crowds expected the following day for the Erewash Canal Festival. We had a stroll along by the River Trent where there were hoards of youngsters in kayacks and Canadian canoes being shouted instructions from both banks of the river. On the opposite side was a huge campsite full of green canvas tents where, presumably, they were all spending the weekend.

There were many canal boats coming in to moor along the Erewash canal and people were sitting outside their floating canal side homes enjoying the sun. The pub was also a hive of activity with a truck stage set up and live bands rehearsing ready for the festivities.

After a stroll around we continued our journey through Long Eaton and Beeston and past the University Campus to Nottingham and our friends' home. After a super, tasty lunch we all set off for a walk which took us around Martin's Pond, Harrison's plantation and down a path which had been an old tramway to the newly recovered remains of an old canal basin, once part of the Nottingham Canal.

It was, for once, a warm dry day with a little sunshine and during the walk we saw, herons resting at the side of the water, a screeching, cantankerous squirrel along the old tramway and huge dragonflies flitting over the pond, one of which settled on our friend's shirt but flew away at the first sign of a camera.

On the way back we walked by Nottingham University's Jubilee Campus where we saw for the first time the new installation entitled Aspire. This sculpture, labelled by many the 'cornetto' was designed by Ken Shuttleworth and at 60m in height is the UKs tallest piece of freestanding public art. It has been compared with Nelson's Column and The Angel of the North, what do you think?

Near the sculpture is a water feature which is still to be completed but you can see how it is going to look from the photo below. It should be spectacular except for one small problem which may be hard to combat - goose droppings- deposited by the numerous geese wandering around the campus which normally inhabit the nearby lake. We walked past the lake and along a path which used to be another section of the Nottingham canal.

At the end of the path, just before you reach Derby road, is this lovely building which is a former gatehouse of the Wollaton estate.

The impressive front of the gatehouse stands just off the main road. A short walk from here took us back once more to our friends' home where we had tea and cake and lots more conversation before we finally set off for home returning along the same route we had used that morning.


  1. Looks as though you had a beautiful day! I love all the changing skies.

  2. I love canals, one day we will get around to having a holiday on one.
    I am not sure about the Cornetto, I don't think I have any strong feelings about it either way, did you like it?

  3. fern, I don't absolutely dislike it, I want to see what it looks like in its surroundings when they are completed and no longer a building site.

  4. I love to be by canals. I am not sure what I think of the 'Cornetto'. Some modern sculptures do grow on me in time. I would need to see it in its finished setting to see how it compliments its surroundings.

  5. Happy Birthday Rosie. I'm sure you're off right now doing something nice. Enjoy the books — evidence that people not only read and look at your blogs, they make notes as well (Susan is the note taker).

    Love :-) xxx