Once you have mastered the locks – an unavoidable part of navigating the canals – pottering along the waterways proves to be an extremely relaxing holiday.
Suitable for beginners, as tuition is given before you set out, a trip on a narrowboat is a great way to see life in the slow lane.
The accommodation below deck is comfortable with a well equipped kitchen, TV, heating and shower.
Maps are provided, so you can choose your route and where you might moor for the night, while places of interest are marked, along with pubs and shops.
You will also get advice on how far you may want to travel – remember you have to get back to base!
Starting from Stockton in Warwickshire, the route south meanders along the canals at a slow pace. Travelling at around three miles an hour alongside fields of cows, horses and ponies gives you time to soak up the atmosphere, admire the scenery from a totally different perspective and spot unusual wild flowers and birds.
On the first night, you can moor up by The Folly, a cosy pub serving heart-warming food in huge portions.
Then chug along the Oxford Canal, passing under 30 ancient bridges.
If you have time and want to rejoin the world of shops and restaurants, it’s worth visiting the ancient market town of Banbury, passing through pretty Cropredy on the way.