Boats and trains in season for springtime in Spalding

Passengers on the Springfields Miniature Railway (SMR), with drivers Chris Roberts and Johanne Seymour, at the launch of SMR's and Spalding Land Trains' spring and summer seasons.  Photo by Tim Wilson.
Passengers on the Springfields Miniature Railway (SMR), with drivers Chris Roberts and Johanne Seymour, at the launch of SMR's and Spalding Land Trains' spring and summer seasons. Photo by Tim Wilson.
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Visitors to Spalding can avoid traffic jams and hold-ups by seeing the town from land and water this spring and summer.

Spalding Water Taxi and Springfields Festival Gardens have both launched their new seasons in time for people to adjust to the longer days of British Summertime.

The gardens are offering both individuals and families a ride on Springfields Miniature Railway (SMR) and Springfields Land Train (SLT) which take passengers around the 25-acre site, including gardens designed by 1980s pop star Kim Wilde and TV gardeners Chris Beardshaw and Charlie Dimmock.

Inga Maxwell of Springfields Horticultural Society said: “We offer train rides around the Springfields Festival Gardens and through the woodlands on a seven-and-three-quarter-inch miniature railway.

“The train runs on an oval-shaped track which is 250 metres long and has been open since August 2014.

“The journey on the SMR allows visitors to experience the beautiful array of flourishing trees, shrubs and plants, as well as over 80,000 tulips, hyacinths and daffodil bulbs.

This is the 12th season we’ve been running Spalding Water Taxi and we take around 15,000 passengers a year

Simon Clarke, operations manager for Spalding Water Taxi

“People will enjoy a stunning visual display of colour, along with the natural scented aroma of the environment.”

Meanwhile, Spalding Water Taxi is enhancing its regular service of trips along the Coronation Channel, between Springfields Festival Gardens and Outlet Shopping and Spalding town centre, with narrow boat hire, dawn runs for birdwatchers and evening cruises as well.

Simon Clarke, operations manager for Spalding Water Taxi and a staff member at sponsors Broadgate Homes, said: “This is the 12th season we’ve been running Spalding Water Taxi and we take around 15,000 passengers a year on a 30-minute cruise between Springfields and Spalding town centre.

“Originally, it was an idea thought up by Broadgate Homes as we wanted to put something back into the town centre.

“The number of passengers we carry doesn’t include schools, coach parties and various other groups we attract into the town.

“This season we’ve come up with two trips which we’re also running with narrow boats linked to Spalding Water Taxi company.

“One is for birdwatchers who can go on dawn cruisers and the other is a series of evning cruises, with catering on board as well.

“Spalding Water Taxi is a relaxing half-hour cruise which has centrally convenient town centre picking up and setting down points.”

Spalding Water Taxi, which runs until October 2, sails daily from Springfields Outlet Shopping and Albion Street, outside South Holland Centre. Meanwhile, SMR and SLT operate daily during the school holidays from 11am until 4pm, subject to the weather.

Tickets are £2 (SMR) and £2.50 (SLT), while Spalding Water Taxi is £3 for a single journey, £6 for returns and £9 for a one-way family ticket.

A number of self-drive day boats, which seat up to ten people, are also available on either a half-day or full-day hire basis until October 2.

For more details, call 01406 380532 or 079760 832131, email spaldingwatertaxi@btconnect.com or visit www.spaldingwatertaxi.co.uk

For details on SMR and SLT, visit www.springfieldsfestivalgardens.org or call Inga Maxwell on 01775 724843.