Discover the Nostalgic Charm of the River Nene by Narrowboat

chesters house estate

Chester House Estate courtyard – cc Chesters

Do you like the sound of life in the slow lane?

Attractive villages and stunning countryside?

Want to avoid the crowds on your narrowboat holiday?

You’re going to love visiting the River Nene.

A new floating pontoon has recently been funded through the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Environment Agency. This will allow boaters to moor on the River Nene at north Northamptonshire’s leisure and heritage destination, Chester House Estate. The estate offers beautiful walks, a cafe, restaurant, shopping courtyard, outdoor play area, a museum, and different events throughout the year. Chester House can be visited on an extended narrowboat trip when travelling towards Northampton, as this navigable part of the river passes through Cambridgeshire and Northants where it connects the east of England to the rest of the UK waterway network.

chesters house estate river nene

aerial view of Chester House Estate with river nene – cc Chesters

However, travelling at four miles an hour on a holiday from Fox Narrowboats you are unlikely to reach Chester House Estate in a hurry – even though it is just a short drive by car! But you will be spoilt for choices of beautiful walks, cafes, restaurants and shopping on your boat journey, as you explore Wadenhoe, Peterborough, and Fotheringhay, while cruising at a leisurely pace.

chesters house estate restaurant

Chesters House Estate restaurant – cc Chesters

Much of the land around the Nene is privately owned by farmers, so when you stop you will usually need a designated mooring; these are marked in your guidebook provided with your hire boat. Whitemills Marina also welcomes visitors and has a marina-side Boathouse Café.

nene mooring chesters house estate

nene mooring Chesters House Estate – cc Chesters

Heading towards Peterborough from our narrowboat hire base you may like to stop in Wadenhoe village, to see thatched rooves and stone cottages, and relax at the Kings Head.

There is also a mooring and tea room at Wansford Station where you can watch the steam train of the Nene Valley Railway pass by. This preserved railway runs from Peterborough to Yarwell Junction. Narrowboaters can board a train at Overton (Ferry Meadows station). Imagine yourself travelling back in time, while relaxing in a restored wooden panelled coach on a heritage train.

Read: Three Reasons to Visit the Nene Valley Railway by Narrowboat

In September a variety of events are taking place for the annual Nene Valley festival. Moor up in Ferry Meadows Park and try free fishing lessons, or take a tour of Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery, formerly Peterborough Infirmary, and see a Victorian operating theatre. You may also like the Saxon Stones, and a variety of special displays at St Margaret’s Church in nearby Fletton.

If you still want to carry on cruising then from Ferry Meadows park to Fotheringhay is a 12 hour return trip. In 1587 Mary queen of Scots was beheaded in Fotheringhay Castle. Today all that remains are the castle mound and a few stones. Views of the village are dominated by a perpendicular style church, dating in parts to the 15th Century. A local farmer charges for mooring at this quiet and peaceful village. For more details see Fox Route Four.

Cruising the River Nene, really is a stunning trip through peaceful countryside, with places to visit that take you on a nostalgic trip through England’s history: A real chance to get away from modern life. Yet, every narrowboat at Fox Boats comes equipped with all modern conveniences and creature comforts, so that you feel like you have a home from home.

You may also like: The 3 Best Moorings When Narrowboating on the Nene

You may like to read more about the Nene’s top attractions and check out the Fox holiday routes that cover the Nene here: River Nene. Our narrowboat holidays on The Nene can be taken as a week, weekend break or midweek breaks. Check availability today: River Nene Narrowboat Holidays

Image Credits: Chesters House Estate

Chester House can be visited on an extended narrowboat holiday of 11 or 14 nights.

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