Barge Trips

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PLEASE BOOK BARGE TRIPS THROUGH TOPSAIL CHARTERS, DETAILS ON LEFT OF PAGE

Saturday 16th March 2019
BIRDWATCHING CRUISE FROM MALDON – 0715 – 1900
Leaders: TBC

A day exploring the saltmarshes and mud flats of the Blackwater with experts from Swallow Birding who are on board for the day to help spot and identify the huge numbers of waders and wildfowl that flock to the river plus a good chance of seeing raptors.

This full day sail on the tide, takes you down river past Northey Island, Osea Island, Mayland, Mersea, Bradwell and possible into the River Colne. As we near low water, the skipper may anchor close to the mud flats off Bradwell or Tollesbury Creek. The barge has central heating and the day is fully catered with plenty of hot homemade food, so even though it is a long day, you can warm up and relax in the saloon.

Typical Menu
Mid morning
Coffee or Tea & Biscuits


Lunch
Chicken Breast with Gammon, Celery & Tomato
(v) Butternut Squash with Cheesy Leeks (by pre-order only)
New Potatoes & Seasonal Vegetables
Chocolate Brownie with Forest Fruits & Cream
Coffee or tea

Afternoon tea or Coffee with Homemade Cake

Depending on timing, the menu may include Breakfast (Sausages in Roll, Granary Bread & Jam, tea/coffee), Light Breakfast (Granary Bread & jam, tea/coffee) or Supper (Homemade Soup with Granary Bread). Please advise in advance of any dietary requirements and allergies.

£60 Fully Catered



Saturday 23rd March 2019
BIRDWATCHING WALK & CRUISE FROM MALDON – 1100 – 1500
Leaders: TBC

During the winter months the saltings and mud flats of the River Blackwater host huge flocks of migrant wading birds and this trip gives you the chance to enjoy them both from the barge on a high tide and from along the seawall on a guided walk. Experts from Swallow Birding are on board for the day to help identify and spot birds, but even non-birders can relax and enjoy this trip.

The two hour cruise takes you past the Promenade Park, Northey Island owned by the National Trust, Heybridge Basin, Millbeach and to the privately owned Osea Island before returning. The walk heads out along the seawall on the South bank of the River and is quite leisurely as you frequently stop to view the wildlife.

Depending on tides the walk may be before or after the sail and it is always optional, so you can choose not to walk at all or you can drop out at any time.

Lunch
Hearty Homemade Soup with Granary Bread.
Homemade Chocolate Brownie with Forest Fruits and Cream.
The bar serves hot, soft and alcoholic drinks.


£40 Fully Catered



Sunday 24th March 2019
BIRDWATCHING WALK & CRUISE FROM MALDON – 1130 – 1545
Leaders: TBC

During the winter months the saltings and mud flats of the River Blackwater host huge flocks of migrant wading birds and this trip gives you the chance to enjoy them both from the barge on a high tide and from along the seawall on a guided walk. Experts from Swallow Birding are on board for the day to help identify and spot birds, but even non-birders can relax and enjoy this trip.

The two hour cruise takes you past the Promenade Park, Northey Island owned by the National Trust, Heybridge Basin, Millbeach and to the privately owned Osea Island before returning. The walk heads out along the seawall on the South bank of the River and is quite leisurely as you frequently stop to view the wildlife.

Depending on tides the walk may be before or after the sail and it is always optional, so you can choose not to walk at all or you can drop out at any time.

Lunch
Hearty Homemade Soup with Granary Bread.
Homemade Chocolate Brownie with Forest Fruits and Cream.
The bar serves hot, soft and alcoholic drinks.


£40 Fully Catered



Saturday 6th April 2019
BIRDS OF THE RIVER COLNE - CRUISE FROM BRIGHTLINGSEA – 1030 – 1430
Leaders: TBC

During late winter/early spring the Colne Estuary holds large numbers of birds as they fuel up before heading northwards to their Arctic breeding grounds. Experts from Swallow Birding are on board to help spot and identify the huge numbers of waders and wildfowl that flock to the river.

This four hour cruise will take us from Brightlingsea Town jetty up past the Pyefleet Channel on Mersea Island towards the famous nature reserve at Fingringhoe Wick and weather permitting we will go on towards Wivenhoe. The barge has central heating and a hot lunch is included.

Lunch
Hearty Homemade Soup with Granary Bread.
Homemade Chocolate Brownie with Forest Fruits and Cream.
The bar serves hot, soft and alcoholic drinks.


£50 Fully Catered



Sunday 7th April 2019
BIRDS OF THE RIVER COLNE - CRUISE FROM BRIGHTLINGSEA – 1030 – 1430
Leaders: TBC

During late winter/early spring the Colne Estuary holds large numbers of birds as they fuel up before heading northwards to their Arctic breeding grounds. Experts from Swallow Birding are on board to help spot and identify the huge numbers of waders and wildfowl that flock to the river.

This four hour cruise will take us from Brightlingsea Town jetty up past the Pyefleet Channel on Mersea Island towards the famous nature reserve at Fingringhoe Wick and weather permitting we will go on towards Wivenhoe. The barge has central heating and a hot lunch is included.

Lunch
Hearty Homemade Soup with Granary Bread.
Homemade Chocolate Brownie with Forest Fruits and Cream.
The bar serves hot, soft and alcoholic drinks.


£50 Fully Catered



Saturday 12th October 2019
BIRDS OF THE RIVER COLNE - CRUISE FROM BRIGHTLINGSEA – 1030 – 1430
Leaders: TBC

During autumn/winter, the Colne Estuary holds large numbers of birds feeding and roosting up after spending the summer on their Arctic breeding grounds. Experts from Swallow Birding are on board to help spot and identify the huge numbers of waders and wildfowl that flock to the river.

This four hour cruise will take us from Brightlingsea Town jetty up past the Pyefleet Channel on Mersea Island towards the famous nature reserve at Fingringhoe Wick and weather permitting we will go on towards Wivenhoe. The barge has central heating and a hot lunch is included.

Lunch
Hearty Homemade Soup with Granary Bread.
Homemade Chocolate Brownie with Forest Fruits and Cream.
The bar serves hot, soft and alcoholic drinks.


£50 Fully Catered



Sunday 13th October 2019
BIRDS OF THE RIVER COLNE - CRUISE FROM BRIGHTLINGSEA – 1030 – 1430
Leaders: TBC

During autumn/winter, the Colne Estuary holds large numbers of birds feeding and roosting up after spending the summer on their Arctic breeding grounds. Experts from Swallow Birding are on board to help spot and identify the huge numbers of waders and wildfowl that flock to the river.

This four hour cruise will take us from Brightlingsea Town jetty up past the Pyefleet Channel on Mersea Island towards the famous nature reserve at Fingringhoe Wick and weather permitting we will go on towards Wivenhoe. The barge has central heating and a hot lunch is included.

Lunch
Hearty Homemade Soup with Granary Bread.
Homemade Chocolate Brownie with Forest Fruits and Cream.
The bar serves hot, soft and alcoholic drinks.


£50 Fully Catered



Saturday 19th October 2019
BIRDWATCHING CRUISE FROM IPSWICH – 1030 – 1610
Leaders: TBC

Experts from Swallow Birding are on board for the day to help spot and identify the huge numbers of waders, wildfowl and migrants that flock to the rivers Orwell and Stour for the winter. These two rivers are the most beautiful on the East Coast, their sloping banks are graced with large country houses and there is plenty of interest on any cruise whether short or long.

Ipswich
Starting from Ipswich Dock, once home to a very large fleet of working barges and now full of cafes, shops and designer flats, we head out through the lock into the river Orwell. Passing under the eye- catching Orwell bridge, we sail past Woolverstone and Pin Mill (one of the most painted places on the East Coast) and into bustling Harwich Harbour, before heading into the River Stour past the RSPB and EWT nature reserves at Wrabness towards Mistley before returning.

Harwich
Starting from Ha’penny Pier on the waterfront, the areas covered are similar to the above, except the furthest up the Orwell we sail is the Orwell Bridge and we may have more time in the Stour.

Catering
Tea/Coffee & Biscuits, Hot Buffet Lunch, Tea & Cake

£60 Fully Catered



Saturday 20th October 2019
BIRDWATCHING CRUISE FROM HARWICH – 1030 – 1630
Leaders: TBC

Experts from Swallow Birding are on board for the day to help spot and identify the huge numbers of waders, wildfowl and migrants that flock to the rivers Orwell and Stour for the winter. These two rivers are the most beautiful on the East Coast, their sloping banks are graced with large country houses and there is plenty of interest on any cruise whether short or long.

Ipswich
Starting from Ipswich Dock, once home to a very large fleet of working barges and now full of cafes, shops and designer flats, we head out through the lock into the river Orwell. Passing under the eye- catching Orwell bridge, we sail past Woolverstone and Pin Mill (one of the most painted places on the East Coast) and into bustling Harwich Harbour, before heading into the River Stour past the RSPB and EWT nature reserves at Wrabness towards Mistley before returning.

Harwich
Starting from Ha’penny Pier on the waterfront, the areas covered are similar to the above, except the furthest up the Orwell we sail is the Orwell Bridge and we may have more time in the Stour.

Catering
Tea/Coffee & Biscuits, Hot Buffet Lunch, Tea & Cake

£60 Fully Catered



Saturday 26th October 2019
BIRDWATCHING WALK & CRUISE FROM MALDON – 1030 – 1430
Leaders: TBC

During the winter months the saltings and mud flats of the River Blackwater host huge flocks of migrant wading birds and this trip gives you the chance to enjoy them both from the barge on a high tide and from along the seawall on a guided walk. Experts from Swallow Birding are on board for the day to help identify and spot birds, but even non-birders can relax and enjoy this trip.

The two hour cruise takes you past the Promenade Park, Northey Island owned by the National Trust, Heybridge Basin, Millbeach and to the privately owned Osea Island before returning. The walk heads out along the seawall on the South bank of the River and is quite leisurely as you frequently stop to view the wildlife.

Depending on tides the walk may be before or after the sail and it is always optional, so you can choose not to walk at all or you can drop out at any time.

Lunch
Hearty Homemade Soup with Granary Bread.
Homemade Chocolate Brownie with Forest Fruits and Cream.
The bar serves hot, soft and alcoholic drinks.


£40 Fully Catered



Sunday 27th October 2019
BIRDWATCHING WALK & CRUISE FROM MALDON – 1045 – 1500
Leaders: TBC

During the winter months the saltings and mud flats of the River Blackwater host huge flocks of migrant wading birds and this trip gives you the chance to enjoy them both from the barge on a high tide and from along the seawall on a guided walk. Experts from Swallow Birding are on board for the day to help identify and spot birds, but even non-birders can relax and enjoy this trip.

The two hour cruise takes you past the Promenade Park, Northey Island owned by the National Trust, Heybridge Basin, Millbeach and to the privately owned Osea Island before returning. The walk heads out along the seawall on the South bank of the River and is quite leisurely as you frequently stop to view the wildlife.

Depending on tides the walk may be before or after the sail and it is always optional, so you can choose not to walk at all or you can drop out at any time.

Lunch
Hearty Homemade Soup with Granary Bread.
Homemade Chocolate Brownie with Forest Fruits and Cream.
The bar serves hot, soft and alcoholic drinks.


£40 Fully Catered





Please book Barge Trips through Topsail Charters, details below

In January 2017, Swallow Birding joined forces with Topsail Charters to offer a superb selection of birdwatching barge trips. You can choose from either a 'Walk & Cruise' a 'Four hour Sail' or a 'Full Day Sail'.

Look at the great selection of trips, all will have expert leaders from Swallow Birding to show you the varied selection of wildlife in the Essex estuaries.

To book on these exciting trips phone Topsail Charters on 01621 857567
Email: info@top-sail.co.uk
or you can book through their website:
http://www.top-sail.co.uk/