new trip boat
trip boat prices
The trip boat runs on Saturdays and Sundays from 1pm – 4pm (weather permitting!). You do not need to buy tickets in advance – please just ask at the Ranger’s office or look out for the sign on the pontoon steps which will have details about the next trip.
TRIP BOATS AT RUDYARD
For the first 50 years after the Dam was built (and the reservoir created) the lake was a peaceful place. There was a gradual development of the reservoir as a leisure destination however fishing, shooting and boating rights were owned by the Earl of Macclesfield on the eastern shore and the Haworth family on the west.
The arrival of the North Staffordshire railway in 1849 marked the start of Rudyard’s heyday: The Hotel Rudyard, golf course, pleasure boat trips, footpaths and tea shops drew the crowds from the Potteries in their thousands.
During the lake’s heyday there was something like 8 Trip boats on the lake at one time, and as many as 60 rowing boats, primarily rented out by the Halls and the Heaths – 2 competitive businesses operating on the opposing shores near the Dam.
During the lake’s heyday there was something like 8 Trip boats on the lake at one time…
Rudyard lake continued to be a popular tourist destination between the wars, however a growing choice of holiday destinations and the closure of the railway to passengers in 1960 saw a decline in tourism and ultimately the lake’s facilities.
The ‘trip boats’ soon became ‘a trip boat’, and in the 1990s Rudyard had a trip boat called ‘The Swan’ ran by Peter Lees and Roger.
In 1996, the Rudyard Lake Trust was established with the League of Friends forming shortly after in 1998. This saw something of a revival to the lake’s facilities, making Rudyard a more popular location again.
In 2004, the League purchased the trip boat ‘Honey’, a diesel-powered 1942 Captain’s cutter launch from HMS Obdurate which had been lovingly restored by its owner.
Honey had a good innings, and for almost 15 years she brought joy to hundreds of passengers each year, from school children, birthday parties, children/adults with learning difficulties, wedding groups and private parties who visited the lake during the summer months.
Sadly, in late 2019 Honey had to be retired owing to both wet and dry rot having developed over the years, although Honey has a history which mustn’t be forgotten so plans are currently afoot to retire her to a cradle berth alongside the lake so that the public may still go and sit aboard.
No more Honey meant no more trip boat! The Trust and League of Friends had 15-20K to fund a new boat and despite the League of Friends’ best efforts scouring the second hand boat market none met the requirements.
The Trust set their sights on a fibreglass low maintenance boat powered by electric propulsion which is energy efficient, pollution free and very quiet. Finally, a boat ‘worth it’s salt’ was found and a crowdfunding project began where we were truly amazed by everyone’s kind support and donations.
The Grand Launch
In June 2021 the new Trip boat finally arrived, a Frolic-31 Edwardian styled counter stern launch made by Landamores of Norwich and thanks to your support we were able to keep the 150-year-old tradition alive.
Invites were mailed out to those who had donated and the League of Friends arranged a ‘The Grand Launch’ event where the boat was ‘unveiled’ to the public and launched!
Keeping with seafaring traditions of old, a bottle of champagne was ‘cracked open’ to give the boat luck for many journeys that lay ahead. We had the pleasure of having well respected local Geoff Buxton to unveil the boat’s name and officially launch the boat for it’s maiden voyages!
Thanks again to everyone who supported the cause.
More about the new boat and it’s specifications here – https://landamores.co.uk/project/frolic-31/