Chatty cafe scheme comes to the boathouse


When we first heard about the fabulous national initiative the Chatty Cafe Scheme we knew immediately that it was something we HAD to be involved in and introduce to the boathouse.


Needless to say our lovely boathouse team immediately gave it the thumbs up and wanted to be part of such a progressive and empathetic scheme. So it was without hesitation we signed up. Within days we received our Chatty Cafe pack and were ready to launch our Chatter and Natter table , which we did today. My goodness we were all so excited!

Having shared it far and wide across facebook , and judging by the enthusiasm of our followers, we are looking forward to our Chatter and Natter Wednesdays becoming a popular weekly event for those people keen to socialise, meet some new faces and enjoy new conversations. Today thanks to the ghastly weather our Chatter and Natter table wasn’t exactly bustling, but we wholeheartedly believe that it will do in time. Things like this are often slow burners…… so watch this space.. Afterall who doesn’t like a good natter over a brew with a view? We do!


Email makes our day


Just had to add this little blog today - as the morning got off to a fabulous and surprisingly jolly start thanks to an email from a visitor to the website.

Instead of all the usual SPAM type emails we receive on a regular basis, one email this morning jumped out of the in box and caught our eyes straight away

Not only did the sender say that our lovely little perfectly formed website was impressive, but he also said that the writer had a well developed sense of humour too. So thank you very much for taking the time to write and compliment us - it really made our day!


Two very exciting firsts


Well this little fella is certainly the youngest camper we have ever welcomed to White Mills Marina, in fact at just eleven days old little Aaron Williamson must surely be the youngest member of the Camping and Caravanning CLub too! So it was hugely exciting to meet little Aaron on his very first holiday along with his mum Amanda and father Aaron senior plus their two dogs. Travelling from their home in Spalding to White Mills clearly suited the new arrival as instead of staying just two days the new family stayed for four. And needless to say, we were DELIGHTED and feel sure that little Aaron has a whole array of camping holidays to look forward to in the future.


And if that wasn’t enough excitement for one week - then how about this, this gorgeous 1972 VW camper van was also on it’s very first outing with its new owner at White Mills Marina and a return visit is definitely on the agenda.


Beautiful 57' go anywhere cruiser narrowboat for sale


We were so delighted when the owners of Lady Rosemary Two decided to keep their boat at White Mills and put her up for sale with Boatfinder Brokerage.


Lady Rosemary Two is quite honestly a beautiful, well equipped one owner cruiser stern narrowboat that, having been dearly loved by her owners really would do someone a very good turn indeed.

Built on a Tim Tyler hull, Lady Rosemary Two benefitted from an exterior repaint in 2015 by Priory Marine Services and has recently had new leisure batteries installed. She has spacious two berth accommodation that can easily be extended to four with a blow up mattress in the saloon or the addition of a sofa bed. We really could not recommend a viewing enough - she is delightful and absolutely ready to go.

Price is £69,995. For more information call 01270 760799


Here we go again


I cant believe it is nearly a month since we exhibited at Crick Boat Show and as usual we are expecting our first Open Day after it to be a busy one. In the past we have found it has taken visitors to our stand about a month to mull over what they have seen at Crick before they visit White Mills Marina and book a berth. If you are still contemplating and are undecided whether to move to the River Nene and enjoy the stunning Nene Valley, then why not pop in and see for yourself just how beautiful our part of Northamptonshire is. You really won’t be disappointed.

Let’s hope that the rain actually subsides, and we will be back on track for a lovely long hot summer - with some rather delicious gallones ice creams that we are now stocking!


Another Cracking Crick

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Each year Crick Boat Show seems to get better and better for us and this year was no exception.  We love exhibiting in our usual little space in the Waterways World marquee surrounded by super friendly exhibitors who we look forward to meeting up with each year.  The days may be long (we had an extra “trade day” on the Friday this year) but they certainly fly by.  Once again, interest in White Mills was very encouraging, with several visitors already booking themselves in for the Winter and with others arranging appointments to look at securing a berth for their new boats.  Another reason we enjoy the boat show so much is it gives us the opportunity to wave the River Nene flag and show people what an absolutely stunningly beautiful river it is #hiddengem


Esme fundraiser success


We were so excited on Sunday morning as the finishing touches were being put in place for Esme Lionheart’s sponsored toddle/trail in our camping area. It had finally come together and it looked absolutely fantastic. Our little boathouse team had certainly come up trumps.

Before the clock even struck 2.30 we had VISITORS - we were all beside ourselves - people were actually turning up!! No sooner were the little people checked in at the Start then they were off exploring, searching, running, skipping, colouring and even peeping at the snoozing lion in his den.

It was lovely to see all the little ones running around totally untethered, having the time of their lives in a safe environment. The weather was kind - well for the first 1 1/2 hours and then it changed and it poured! Although it was pretty short lived it lasted long enough probably to deter more families from coming along and joining in the fun.


We were lucky enough to have Esme’s grandfather pop in to see what we were up to, and he was blown away by the efforts of Nikkita and Sam from the boathouse , and could not believe the number of families having a great afternoon out. He has since made sure that pictures have been forwarded to Esme’s parents Will and Rebecca Handley and has asked us to extend his thanks to everyone..

The afternoon was organised to raise much needed funds for little Esme’s treatment and I am thrilled to report, that we raised an amazing £853.00! How fantastic is that? Needless to say as soon as it was counted it was immediately paid over to the Esme Lionheart fund me page which has now reached around £275.000. The target was originally set at £500,000 but has now been reduced to £400,000, so there is just another £125,000 to go which is definitely do-able. (come on peeps dig deep)


Anyway, it is time to go now, but before I close a huge thank you to everyone who has supported our fund raising efforts, it is very much appreciated and let us all keep our fingers crossed that this brave little lion cub makes a full and quick recovery.

To find out more about this courageous little girl please visit or follow her on face book on esme lionheardd


Proud to be in Esme's pride

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I know that we had decided that our fund raising for the year was to raise money for a public access defibrillator, however when you read such a heart breaking story about little Esme Handley - aka Esmelionheart - ( then you do what you have to do and organise an event to help Esme’s family raise £400,000 so she can get the life saving treatment she so desperately needs . Bless her little heart.


And our boathouse team have certainly risen to the challenge, in fact we couldn’t be more proud of them. Tomorrow the team who are now fully paid up members of Esme’s pride, have organised a sponsored toddle/trail around our camping field, and they have certainly let their creative juices flow!! Children taking part are going to have a terrific time as they follow the snakes and ladders, check out the lion mask colouring, jump into the lions den, peep into the fairy doors and have their photo taken in the lion photo booth and so much more. With each entrant receiving a certificate and free cup cake, it should be a great afternoon. However, we have no idea just how many people are likely to turn up. We are sort of hoping loads, but then feel nervous that we might not cope which of course would be the best possible scenario for raising money for adorable and courageous Esme. So let’s hope it is a roaring success.


Raising funds for a very special little girl


A national campaign to raise money for two year old Esme Handley (aka Esmelionheart) has captured our hearts and minds. So on Sunday 19th May we will be hosting a special sponsored toddle/trail around the camping area and inviting as many local children as possible to get involved, so they can become part of the rapidly growing and hugely important Esme’s pride.

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Entering could not be more straight forward. We are charging £3 per child and are just asking families to pick up a sponsor form/entry form from the boathouse and collect as much sponsorship as possible. Esme’s family and friends are trying to raise £500,000 for her to have vital lifesaving treatment that will enable her to see her third birthday and beyond. You can read more about their heartbreaking story at

As part of the afternoon’s fun, we would very much like a face painter to offer their services for the afternoon, it would be so lovely if each child could have their face painted as a lion. If you know anyone, please get in touch



Summer is here - its official


Well - its official, Summer is here which means our Camping and Caravanning Club site is officially open for the Summer, which is fabulous news and we can’t wait to welcome more visitors than ever this year. Of course we are feeling very bouyed up as yesterday we were nominated for a friendly welcome award by a Camping and Caravanning club member. How kind is that.? It is very much appreciated.

The trees have all been made safe, the grass all beautifully mown and it really does look a picture over there.

1st May means that the office hours are now in Summer mode - so as from yesterday we are at our desks from 8.30am until 5.30pm daily except Tuesdays of course, when the whole marina is closed.


Finally Summer would not be Summer without geraniums and although I say it myself the mad mix of colour this year looks fabulous - we just need to make sure that they stay that way for the next five months!


Something about Mary's

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When my late mother left me some money I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it, either put it towards a narrowboat or buy a shepherds hut - and I am absolutely thrilled to say that following a trip to the Derbyshiire Dales last Autumn, it was the latter that won!


So here she is Mary’s - after a winter of being painted and decorated through out - our delightfully gorgeous little shepherds hut is making her way down to the marina in the next couple of weeks so we can offer lucky couples the opportunity to enjoy a romantic weekend in the heart of the fabulous Northamptonshire countryside in the sweetest of little shepherds huts.

Guests will either be able to enjoy a continental breakfast in Mary’s or take advantage of the fabulous boathouse cafe overlooking the marina, where guests will also be able to use the hot showers and cleanest of toilets. With electric hook up, a teeny weeny woodburner and a fridge for chilling your wine - make sure you bring some board games and some fabulous reading material to make the most of getting away from it all amidst our truly tranquil surroundings.


So many of my friends think I am nuts sharing Mary’s with guests, as she is so beautiful, but for me that is half the pleasure enabling people to enjoy the simplest of pleasures.

Book it

More info from


Raffle kicks off fund raising

Great news! Our Easter raffle raised a terrific £133.00 - so very many thanks to everyone who not only donated prizes but also bought tickets. The raffle officially kicked off this year’s fund raising for a public access defibrillator which we are planning to site outside the marina for everyone’s benefit. There are two or three defibs up in the village, but not one in our neck of the woods, so when we asked boaters what they would like to raise money for this year, it was almost unanimous that we raise money for a public access defribrillator.

Hopefully with a few quiz nights and a couple of other raffles and fund raising activities, we will soon be able to order a defib and get it in situ before too long.

Marina Conference


We have just come back from our first two day marina conference in Bournemouth, which hosted by the British Marine Federation, was absolutely brilliant. Talk about returning home feeling very pumped up and motivated…… although I must admit both of us are slightly mentally weary from all that new knowledge we have had to try and retain!!!!

We were treated to a fabulous after dinner speech last night and key note speech this morning by marine biologist and tv presenter Monty Halls. He was so engaging and interesting with some really amusing annecdotes and quotes up his sleeve. We had lengthy discussions around green issues especially plastics (very topical), and a talk about how important it is to beat the environmental drum as much as possible and to shout about any green initiatives we are undertaking to help preserve our waterways and stunning local environment. We discussed how to encourage more people to get out and about on the water, what do do about invasive species ravaging our waterways and coastlines, as well as whole host of other topics. The opportunity to network too, was terrific - so all in all very worthwhile indeed. The conference was so full on, that we only managed a ten minute walk on the beach! And what a beach….. we have decided that a return visit is a MUST, but we will take a deck chair next time.

What we did learn is that apparently providing good wifi is more important to visitors than providing a toilet! Who knew!


College students help out again!


It is almost three years to the day that students from Moulton College first came to carry out tree surgery in the camping area of the marina .


So it was wonderful today to welcome a new team of fresh faced students all of whom braved strong winds to scale the tall trees so they could cut out dead wood and cut back large overhanging branches.


Fortunately apart from the wind, the day was perfect, and the team looked as though they thoroughly enjoyed themsleves. At lunch time there was a well deserved break on the decking outside the boathouse, which gave them all a chance to enjoy a cuppa and some cake #brewwithaview.


Huge thanks once again to Moulton College for their support, and hopefully, weather permitting, we will see you all again tomorrow.


New Year New You!


Have you always wanted to learn how to Nordic Walk?  Well if you have, then we are pleased to announce that the boathouse is now hosting regular Nordic Walking sessions.  The classes which start on Thursday 17th January with Kev from Nordic Walking Northampton will be mixed ability and suitable for all ages, shapes, sizes and fitness levels.  Its a great way to get fit and it uses up a surprising number of calories too.

Anyone interested in becoming part of the boathouse Nordic Walking team should contact Kevin on 07958 365914


Christmas Office hours

The hours the marina office will be open are to be reduced over Christmas and New Year. The office hours are different to the boathouse and these will be posted separately to avoid confusion.

White Mills Marina office Christmas opening hours

White Mills Marina Office opening hours
Monday 24th December - Christmas Eve - 10am - 2pm
Tuesday 25th December - Christmas Day - CLOSED
Wednesday 26th December - Boxing Day - CLOSED
Thursday 27th December - 10am - 2pm
Friday 28th December - 10am - 2pm
Saturday 29th December 10am - 2pm
Sunday 30th December 10am - 2pm
Monday 31st December 10am - 2pm
Tuesday 1st January - CLOSED

Boathouse opening hours

Monday 24th December - Christmas Eve - 10am - 2pm
Tuesday 25th December - Christmas Day - CLOSED
Wednesday 26th December - Boxing Day - CLOSED
Thursday 27th December - CLOSED
Friday 28th December - CLOSED
Saturday 29th December - 10am - 4pm
Sunday 30th December - 10am - 4pm
Monday 31st December - 10am - 2pm
Tuesday 1st January - CLOSED

And we are winners!!!


Well, well , well who would have thought this morning when we were getting ready to go to the Wellingborough Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Business Awards at Wellingborough Golf Club, that we would actually be successful and come away winners? Well we did, and we still can not believe it!


After a couple of unsuccessful nominations for two other awards, (although we did make it through to the finals in both) winning this really lovely local award means the world to our team. Heaven knows how we would react to an Oscar!

To win the Services Business of the Year Award today of all days, could not have been better timed either, as tomorrow we celebrate the first birthday of our lovely boathouse,

Actually it has been a full on week, on Wednesday we hosted our first ever boaters Christmas craft fair which was well supported and really rather lovely too. There was a fabulous buzz in the boathouse all day, which was very exciting in so many ways.


Then this evening we have our first themed Supper Club which sees the boathouse transformed into Bombay Boathouse. Carrie and the team have worked incredibly hard to transform the

boathouse into an intriguing and utterly stunning Indian restaurant. Lets hope they all have a great time.

Finally, tomorrow to celebrate the boathouse’s first birthday everyone who has any refreshments at the marina will be entered into a prize draw to win a totally gorgeous home made birthday cake for them to take home. And then in the evening to kick off advent we are hosting our own Christmas tree switch on, again in the boathouse, and serving mulled wine and mince pies!

This special evening will also herald the start of our boat advent calendar which will see a different boat switch on its Christmas lights each night in the run up to Christmas Day. The idea has certainly captured the imagination of some of our boaters, so we are thoroughly looking forward to seeing the results of their endeavours!

Yup! You have guessed it we are going crackers over Christmas!


CCTV Update


After a couple of months of planning and tapping into Gary’s expertise and extensive knowledge of CCTV we now have a top notch CCTV system installed across the marina.

The idea of installing CCTV is not to “spy” on people, but more to act as a deterrent to opportunists and to provide our boaters with additional security. The cameras have all been strategically placed to give reassurance that movements are being continuously monitored and recorded across the marina, so should anything untoward occur then it will have been captured on film.