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Guidance for visitors to the Fenland Waterways


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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, john6767 said:

We had a Gold licence it preparation for visiting the Anglian Waterways and the Thames last year, obviously it was a waste on money as it turned out and we only did the Thames, but the point is you need to have at least 2 months on EA waters for a Gold licence to be worth while.  So I think there is still a big place for a visitor licence to the Anglian waterways, as many people are only going to want a couple for weeks to do the Nene, or perhaps a month to do the Nene and the Gt Ouse.

 

Perhaps in 2022 we may try again to go east, but for me for this year potentially throwing more money away it too risky.

 

I thought it was really easy to switch.  When you switch to Gold you get refunded for the time left on the CRT licence.  Switching back to a CRT one you just do when the Gold is coming up for renewal at the end of the year.  All just a few clicks on the licencing site and you are done and the new licence is there to print off.

I was talking about switching between EA and Gold, not CRT and gold.  The former is a pain, and can cost you money!  (I keep my boat on the Fens at the moment)

 

Edited by Scholar Gypsy
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3 minutes ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

I was talking about switching between EA and Gold, not CRT and gold.  The former is a pain, and can cost you money!  (I keep my boat on the Fens at the moment)

 

Ah OK.  Did not realise you could have a Gold licence for a "Non-CRT" boat.

 

I have looked at the link you published, but not spotted the info about a visitor licence for the ML.  I would have thought typically you would want to have a couple of days each way to get between the Nene and the Gt Ouse, is that going to cost you £75 or £100 (as you can only buy a year)?  I guess that is not ridiculous, but if you compare with the Avon at £50 for a week through licence, you don't get much for your money on the ML.

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29 minutes ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

 
Yes, that would be nice. 

However an EA visitor licence on its own is £270 a month, for a 50 foot narrow boat, so I fear you will be disappointed. 

That price, in itself is ridiculous.  I imagine EA would make more money by dropping the price and getting more boats to come.

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4 minutes ago, john6767 said:

Ah OK.  Did not realise you could have a Gold licence for a "Non-CRT" boat.

 

I have looked at the link you published, but not spotted the info about a visitor licence for the ML.  I would have thought typically you would want to have a couple of days each way to get between the Nene and the Gt Ouse, is that going to cost you £75 or £100 (as you can only buy a year)?  I guess that is not ridiculous, but if you compare with the Avon at £50 for a week through licence, you don't get much for your money on the ML.

 

The split of revenue between CRT and EA for a gold licence varies (or rather it did last time I looked!) depending on where you declare your home mooring to be.  It is a joint licence, but administered by CRT.

Anyway, yes you are right that the options for someone with a gold licence who wants to transit the ML are

a) 4 x 1 day visitor licences ( I make this £68 for a 50'  boat)
b) the Anglian pass for £75 or £100. 

Personally I would choose the latter and spend the time visiting some of the out of the way places on the ML eg Woodwalton Fen, Home Fen

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1 hour ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

 
Yes, that would be nice. 

However an EA visitor licence on its own is £270 a month, for a 50 foot narrow boat, so I fear you will be disappointed.  The complexities of switching licences between EA (1 April to 31 March) and Gold (1 Jan to 31 Dec) are one of the reasons why I have had a gold licence for the last 10 years....

I kept with the Gold Licence even when I moored on the Middle Level, mind you I could also visit Cambridge then

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46 minutes ago, john6767 said:

Ah OK.  Did not realise you could have a Gold licence for a "Non-CRT" boat.

 

I have looked at the link you published, but not spotted the info about a visitor licence for the ML.  I would have thought typically you would want to have a couple of days each way to get between the Nene and the Gt Ouse, is that going to cost you £75 or £100 (as you can only buy a year)?  I guess that is not ridiculous, but if you compare with the Avon at £50 for a week through licence, you don't get much for your money on the ML.

Or compare with the Bridgewater, which is free.

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8 minutes ago, doratheexplorer said:

Or compare with the Bridgewater, which is free.

For a week, the number of people who were bitching because you had to pay after 7 days

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Keep the prices up 😎 it will keep the tin slugs on the canals😱

 

Edited by Loddon
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1 hour ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

 

The split of revenue between CRT and EA for a gold licence varies (or rather it did last time I looked!) depending on where you declare your home mooring to be.  It is a joint licence, but administered by CRT.

Anyway, yes you are right that the options for someone with a gold licence who wants to transit the ML are

a) 4 x 1 day visitor licences ( I make this £68 for a 50'  boat)
b) the Anglian pass for £75 or £100. 

Personally I would choose the latter and spend the time visiting some of the out of the way places on the ML eg Woodwalton Fen, Home Fen

I agree if those are the options, the Anglian pass is the way to go.

 

However, am I right in thinking that if you don’t have a Gold licence, but have an EA visitor licence you would need to do the per day visitor licence for the ML.

 

I certainly does feel  like they don’t really want boats visiting on a short term basis!

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Just now, john6767 said:

I agree if those are the options, the Anglian pass is the way to go.

 

However, am I right in thinking that if you don’t have a Gold licence, but have an EA visitor licence you would need to do the per day visitor licence for the ML.

 

I certainly does feel  like they don’t really want boats visiting on a short term basis!

That question (which has been christened the West Stockwith question, with  apologies to the late Tam Dalyell) has been asked. I will let you know when I have the answer....  

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8 minutes ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

That question (which has been christened the West Stockwith question, with  apologies to the late Tam Dalyell) has been asked. I will let you know when I have the answer....  

Thanks.

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2 hours ago, ditchcrawler said:

I kept with the Gold Licence even when I moored on the Middle Level, mind you I could also visit Cambridge then

A while ago then. We had to pay for the Cam in 2015 despite having a Gold Licence.

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9 hours ago, Rivelin said:

If MLC are going to be as good checking licences as they were moving that tug from the mooring in March (by the park), no pass at all is the most economical option 😛

Did not see a tug while walking along the riverbank back to Foxes from Town tonight. On what grounds should it be

removed by the MLC? If it is for overstaying, then that is a Fenland Council matter not the MLC. 

Edited by nbfiresprite
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On 02/03/2021 at 14:25, john6767 said:

I agree if those are the options, the Anglian pass is the way to go.

 

However, am I right in thinking that if you don’t have a Gold licence, but have an EA visitor licence you would need to do the per day visitor licence for the ML.

 

I certainly does feel  like they don’t really want boats visiting on a short term basis!


It's now pretty clear that your statement is correct.

Visitors with just an ordinary CRT licence will need to: 

  • buy a suitable EA visitor licence that will cover the Nene and Great Ouse;
  • buy a visitor licence, or daily licences, for the Middle Level.  
  • note that visitor licences for the Cam Conservancy waters are no longer available.

Ho hum.

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8 hours ago, Scholar Gypsy said:


It's now pretty clear that your statement is correct.

Visitors with just an ordinary CRT licence will need to: 

  • buy a suitable EA visitor licence that will cover the Nene and Great Ouse;
  • buy a visitor licence, or daily licences, for the Middle Level.  
  • note that visitor licences for the Cam Conservancy waters are no longer available.

Ho hum.


So trying to judge if getting a Gold would be worth it then.  Assuming you would not be spending 2 months on EA waters which would be the break even for Gold over EA visitor licences  If you said you would have a 1 month Anglian, then the Gold would be something like £150 more than the Anglian 1 month visitor (50ft boat).  For that you would be able to get an Anglian pass for £50 rather than say £70 for ML visitor licences.  
 

So to be able to go on the Cam it will cost you £130.  My impression of the Cam from what has been said is that you will not be able to moor there, so is it just a day trip without stopping?  Not seem any impression of if is nice or not and worth that sort on money?  I would assume it is not worth it.

 

So in summary my assertion is, you either forget the Cam, or spend longer on EA waters to make a Gold and an Anglian pass the way to go.

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5 minutes ago, john6767 said:


So trying to judge if getting a Gold would be worth it then.  Assuming you would not be spending 2 months on EA waters which would be the break even for Gold over EA visitor licences  If you said you would have a 1 month Anglian, then the Gold would be something like £150 more than the Anglian 1 month visitor (50ft boat).  For that you would be able to get an Anglian pass for £50 rather than say £70 for ML visitor licences.  
 

So to be able to go on the Cam it will cost you £130.  My impression of the Cam from what has been said is that you will not be able to moor there, so is it just a day trip without stopping?  Not seem any impression of if is nice or not and worth that sort on money?  I would assume it is not worth it.

 

So in summary my assertion is, you either forget the Cam, or spend longer on EA waters to make a Gold and an Anglian pass the way to go.

People I know who have navigated the Cam say it's nothing special, and as you say, there's nowhere to moor. I can recommend hiring a punt for a few hours though 😉

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1 hour ago, Rivelin said:

People I know who have navigated the Cam say it's nothing special, and as you say, there's nowhere to moor. I can recommend hiring a punt for a few hours though 😉

We spent a year on the Ouse back in 2008/9 and visited Cambridge several times. We returned for 6 months in 2015 and again visited Cambridge, this time with a Cam visitor licence. Always found a space. If you can visit when the Shakespeare performances are on in the various college grounds then all the better.

 

Cambridge is a lovely with much to see and do. Whether it's worth the £100 when you can get the guided bus from St Ives. If you do get the bus then make sure you sit upstairs at the front.

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14 minutes ago, pearley said:

We spent a year on the Ouse back in 2008/9 and visited Cambridge several times. We returned for 6 months in 2015 and again visited Cambridge, this time with a Cam visitor licence. Always found a space. If you can visit when the Shakespeare performances are on in the various college grounds then all the better.

 

Cambridge is a lovely with much to see and do. Whether it's worth the £100 when you can get the guided bus from St Ives. If you do get the bus then make sure you sit upstairs at the front.

 

I'd agree with others' comments, really. It's a perfectly pleasant stretch but nothing special. 6 visitor moorings at the end, I have never failed to get one. The annoying feature is that the GOBA mooring at Waterbeach is 200m the wrong side of the EA/Camcon boundary, and there is nowhere else obvious to moor there on EA water (and catch the bus). So train from Ely or guided bus from St Ives. 

 

More interesting trips can be had 

  • during the Bumping races (the May races, held in June), when it is possible to get through between races (which happen every 45 minutes) 
  • during the winter when you can go further upstream and explore the Backs. I do this quite regularly and always happy to take day-trippers...

    dsc_4477.jpg

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4 hours ago, john6767 said:


So trying to judge if getting a Gold would be worth it then.  Assuming you would not be spending 2 months on EA waters which would be the break even for Gold over EA visitor licences  If you said you would have a 1 month Anglian, then the Gold would be something like £150 more than the Anglian 1 month visitor (50ft boat).  For that you would be able to get an Anglian pass for £50 rather than say £70 for ML visitor licences.  
 

So to be able to go on the Cam it will cost you £130.  My impression of the Cam from what has been said is that you will not be able to moor there, so is it just a day trip without stopping?  Not seem any impression of if is nice or not and worth that sort on money?  I would assume it is not worth it.

 

So in summary my assertion is, you either forget the Cam, or spend longer on EA waters to make a Gold and an Anglian pass the way to go.

Unless you are in a hurry a month is a bit tight, Down the Nene then across the middle lever, Lark, Gt. Ouse , Little Ouse, Wissey, Reach, Loads, Wicken Fen, relief Channel then back across the Middle Level and back up the Nene.

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3 hours ago, ditchcrawler said:

Unless you are in a hurry a month is a bit tight, Down the Nene then across the middle lever, Lark, Gt. Ouse , Little Ouse, Wissey, Reach, Loads, Wicken Fen, relief Channel then back across the Middle Level and back up the Nene.

If the Cam up to Cambridge is considered boring then the Relief Channel...

But at least you will have the Moorings almost to your self.

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4 hours ago, ditchcrawler said:

Unless you are in a hurry a month is a bit tight, Down the Nene then across the middle lever, Lark, Gt. Ouse , Little Ouse, Wissey, Reach, Loads, Wicken Fen, relief Channel then back across the Middle Level and back up the Nene.

 

Yes I know that is tight on time, but it illustrates the point with the lack of a Cam visitor licence.  Really if you are going to get as far as the Gt Ouse it seems that a Gold licence is the way to go, which is what I had last year when we were intending to to do this.  Oh how naïve we were in Jan 2020!

 

One final question, for the Anglian pass, do you buy that at Stanground?

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1 hour ago, pearley said:

If the Cam up to Cambridge is considered boring then the Relief Channel...

But at least you will have the Moorings almost to your self.

You can get the crap out of the engine

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16 minutes ago, john6767 said:

 

Yes I know that is tight on time, but it illustrates the point with the lack of a Cam visitor licence.  Really if you are going to get as far as the Gt Ouse it seems that a Gold licence is the way to go, which is what I had last year when we were intending to to do this.  Oh how naïve we were in Jan 2020!

 

One final question, for the Anglian pass, do you buy that at Stanground?

 I bought mine online, and it arrived by email yesterday. It's now gone through the laminator and is ready to go! EA are selling them, so I think not from Stanground. You might be able to get one at Northampton marina, which is run by EA.

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