Top 10 reasons to take a canal boat holiday

Canal boating on the Kennet & Avon Canal in Wiltshire

1. It’s the fastest way to slow down – with speed limits of 4mph and hundreds of miles of tranquil unspoilt countryside to cruise through, stress levels are immediately reduced on a narrowboat holiday and a whole new much steadier pace of life takes over

2. Freedom to explore – the majority of our inland waterways offer boating holiday-makers free moorings, so, glass of wine in hand, you are free to choose wherever you lay your boat for the night

3. Keep up your fitness – working the locks, exploring local footpaths, historic sites, towns and villages, cycling the towpaths and standing at the tiller enjoying the fresh air are all the ideal antidote to stuffy gyms and office blues

4. The greener way – a canal boat holiday is estimated to be some 20 times better for the planet than spending two hours flying for a holiday overseas and as soon as you swap your car for a boat, you’ll be using a third of the fuel and emitting a sixth of the pollution

5. Pubs galore – with hundreds of waterside pubs, a watering hole is never far away, many of them historic rural locals

6. History is all around – thousands of historic structures make up the waterway system, including: the soaring majesty of the World Heritage Status Pontcysyllte Aqueduct; the extraordinary Anderton Boat Lift, also known as “The Cathedral of the Canals”; and the awesome three-mile long Standedge Tunnel cutting through the Pennines

7. Watch out for wildlife – waterways provide homes for large numbers of birds, plants and animals, including many protected species – the water vole, otter and kingfisher, so there’s always something special to look out for

8. All the comforts of home – today’s canal boats are fully equipped with all the essential mod cons – central heating, hot water, TV, showers, flushing toilets, and some now have Wifi too

9. Help keep the local economy afloat – £1½ billion is spent by visitors to the waterways each year on goods and services, supporting over 54,000 jobs

10. Try something new – with around a fifth of canal boat hire boaters new to the market each year, it’s easy to learn how to steer a boat and navigate the waterways.

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