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Right from the outset we knew that we would have to break this journey in two. My mother’s 80th birthday fell on July 22nd and a family get together had been planned so soon after we left the Ashby canal we made arrangements with Harefield marina to leave our boat with them for two weeks starting on July 20th. We took the opportunity to do some family visiting at the same time and arranged to stay in Leeds and Sheffield after we had been over to Scarborough on the Yorkshire coast.

Much gets written about the state of rail travel in this country but we had no issues at all. We used Chiltern railways from Denham to Marylebone, Virgin East Coast from Kings Cross to York and Trans Pennine from York to Scarborough. Northern Rail carried us from Scarborough to Hunmanby and back a few times before Trans Pennine took us over to Leeds. Northern did most of the short trips around Yorkshire before Cross Country took us back to Hinckley via Birmingham. London Midland eventually carried us back to Euston and after a taxi ride back to Marylebone, Chiltern took us back to Denham. Every train was clean and on time. Every staff member that we encountered was friendly and pleasant. Maybe we were lucky but I suspect that most train journeys are like ours and no-one passes comment. As soon as a train is late or gets cancelled, the smelly stuff hits the fan and everyone jumps on the bandwagon.

We enjoyed our journey within a journey and it was really good to catch up with everyone. We also had an enjoyable few days back at home where we just took a few days out and visited some friends. Thankfully we were happiest when it was time to return to Harefield marina where Caxton sat waiting for us.