Not on a Fiday or Saturday night
Wisbech has something of a deserved reputation for being a 'rough' town of a weekend. After a week sniffing fertilizer, the locals come into town, drink vast amouts of beer and proceed to each other.
It must be remembered that Wisbech was formally a reasonably important port in past centuries. Natives are thus descended from burly, hairy, lard-arsed, tattooed dockers who would rather smack you in the face rather than look at you. And that's just the women.
Most visitors are likely to be in the area in the summer, when the rivers are running low and there is a little less rain. However, do be aware that you are in an area where flooding can be catastrophic. IIn late May 2007, several places in The Fens had flood watches because of heavy rain over three days. Local people have been living with the possibility of flood for centuries and know exactly what to do and, importantly, know their way around.
If, in the unlikely event that the situation turns bad, and flooding is expected, stayed tuned in to what is going on. If locals are staying off certain roads or keeping out of the Levels, there is a very good reason for it. If there is flooding, it becomes a staggeringly huge operation for the emergency services and rescuing tourists adds to their considerable burden, possibly also risking their lives as well.
If you know of a flood warning, stay clear: it really is not the day for going walking in the Levels or by the drains. Remember that in some places you can easily become stranded and unable to leave for days.
While it seems an absolute no-brainer, I suppose it's necessary to stress that it is critical never to interfere or block access to sluice gates and equipment in isolated areas. What seems like a rusty old gate can be a vital part of local flood control.
As a final scary warning, remember that some areas are deliberately kept as flood areas to take the presure off the rivers. The best-known is the Hundred foot Washes, between the Old bedford River and the New Bedford River: this is used specifically as a reservoir. Roads and paths run through this long narrow strip of land, so in bad weather keep out of it. Look out for water level meters by the roadside. They don't stick them there unless they are going to be used!
The River Nene flowing through the centre of Wisbech is very fast-flowing and very deep. Remember that ocean-going ships come up this river to Wisbech port!
Be very careful - especially with children - on pavements and paths alongside the river as the wall is often low and there can be a sheer drop into the river.
There are a few lifebuoys at strategic points if anyone does fall in.
- Save money, Book now!
- Booking.com Excellent choice, Low rates
- Book online.
- Hotels.com See maps & reviews for over 140,000 Hotels worldwide!