On a glorious Bank holiday Monday after a busy morning at work, we visited Old River Port St Ives on the river Great Ouse. On our arrival we passed the pub the Seven Wives, presumably named after the children’s nursery rhyme.
As I was going to St Ives I met a man with seven wives,
Each wife had seven sacks, Each sack had seven cats,
Each cat had seven kits: kits, cats, sacks and wives,
How many were going to St Ives?
The town moorings were vibrant and there was a busy amount of river traffic, although not crowded. There are also moorings available at The Waites and for patrons The Dolphin hotel.
Our first stop was the Fifteenth Century Chapel bridge (one of only four in the country) which as well as still being a place of worship also hosts regular arts events. We descended the steps and walked out onto the balcony to view the moorings from the middle of the river. When we left the chapel on looking upstream to the right we spotted the river terrace café and popped in for a spot of lunch. I had the traditional Welsh Rerebit with apple and ale chutney whilst mum had a mini baked Camembert with rosemary. Both meals were well presented and delicious.
Following lunch, we browsed the busy Monday market, stopping to listen to the entertainment. There were stalls a plenty selling clothing, plants and food. Only a couple of minutes’ walk from the moorings it is unsurprising that so many boaters were in attendance. The market is held every Monday and Friday. Although the Friday market is smaller. There is also a farmer’s market held on the sheep market on the first and third Saturdays of the month.
When exploring the town, you will come across a statue of Oliver Cromwell as well as the Norris Museum. The Norris museum tells the story of Huntingdonshire from 160 million years ago to the present day.
For further details of all that St Ives offers the visiting boater and all visitors it is worth checking the local website the Old River Port St Ives.
For those interested in numbers and the riddle in the rhyme there was only one man going to St Ives the other man and his 7 wives 49 sacks 343 cats 2401 kits were leaving presumably having all visited the market!
To visit St Ives on your Fox Narrowboats holiday you will need to spend a week on board. Journey time there and back approx. 32 cruising hours.