Narrow boaters cross The Wash for Bedford River Festival
A group of narrow boat adventurers have completed a 160-mile (260km) journey which saw them cross The Wash estuary.
Members of the Cotswolds Canal Cruising Club navigated the open sea from Boston, Lincolnshire along River Nene, The Fens and the River Great Ouse.
They reached Bedford on Thursday in time to join the 40th Bedford River Festival.
Hilary Whitby, one of the organisers, said it was one of her "best trips".
Seven narrow boaters started their journey on 26 June and set off from Boston at 08:15 BST on a "misty morning" when the "sea was beautifully calm", said Ms Whitby.
The crossing "went well" and they celebrated with some "Prosecco and nibbles", then as the water was getting "rough", they headed off for calmer waters and the mouth of the River Nene, arriving in Wisbech at about 17:30.
"It really has been so exciting, as well as tranquil and restful," she said.
"It is one of the best trips I have ever done, a really sociable experience."
After navigating 20 locks, they are in place in Bedford ready for the town's free River Festival, which takes place on Saturday and Sunday and is expected to attract more than 250,000 spectators.
The biannual event started as a raft race in 1976 and merged with other river events to become the River Festival in 1978.
The event, marking its 40th anniversary, will take place along the town's Embankment, Russell Park, and this year it is being extended into St Mary's Gardens, by the new Riverside development.
A spokesman for Bedford Borough Council, which organises the festival, said there will be six stages of live music and entertainment, making it "the biggest one yet".