NOTHING beats hopping aboard a boat to give you that “get away from it all” feeling, however close to home you may be.
And every summer since 2005, when Broadgate Homes and South Holland District Council paired up to launch the Spalding water taxis, anyone who fancies a short river trip has been able to get afloat any time between Easter and the end of October.
Water taxi-ing makes a simple shopping spree or just a round-trip outing extra special, as time seems to stop when you chug along the Coronation Channel with water fowl bobbing around the boat.
Now the water taxis are getting ready for a busy bank holiday weekend, plying between the Spalding town centre pontoon behind Hills department store and Springfields Outlet Shopping Centre and Festival Gardens.
You can expect to catch a taxi every 30 minutes from 11am to 5pm on Sunday and 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday, including Bank Holiday Monday.
The fare’s the same as last year – £3 each way, regardless of age,and £6 for a return trip.
Simon Clarke of Broadgate said: “We’re expecting a busy weekend, especially with people bringing children before they go back to school.
“Children have the opportunity to take the wheel and they love it.”
The water taxis are bringing extra shoppers into Spalding town centre as more coach companies are parking their coaches in the town instead of at Springfields, and taking block bookings for the round trip.
The relatively new development of self-drive private hire of water taxis, at £70 for four hours and £120 for eight has been very popular and would almost certainly have taken off like a rocket if not for the back-to-back downpours earlier this summer.
Simon said: “Maximum capacity is 12 people and the pilot meets you at the start of the trip and shows you the ropes.
“The boats are easy to drive.”