Welcome to the colourful world of the Inland waterways.
Drifters photographic guide to the delights of Britain's inland waterways.
To view any of the pictures, just click on the pictures or the blue links.
The peaceful waterways attract many wild birds: the blue heron is just one of the wonderful species you can get really close to on a canal holiday.
Many of our most spectacular plants grow particularly well on the undisturbed margins of the canals. Here a butterfly settles on a purple loosestrife.
There are many preserved historic narrowboats to be seen all round the waterway system. Our boats are designed to similar dimensions, since they have to navigate the same locks as those of the past: but our boats are built with modern comforts in mind. The old tar-carrying boat 'Gifford' is based at the Boat Museum at Ellesmere Port, but travels round the country to various boat shows.
Locks are used wherever the level of the land changes, in order to raise or lower the boats. Working the locks yourself is one of the pleasures of a canal holiday, and one which all the family can join in. Each canal has locks of slightly different design. This lock is on the Worcester and Birmingham canal.
The canal builders of the past centuries produce some magnificent work - and much of it has been restored to its original condition. This splendid stone-built aqueduct is near Bath.
The canals pass near to or through many lovely old villages, and many still retain their local shops which will be happy to provide you with necessities or with local souvenirs.
There is no shortage of good pubs and restaurants right by the canals. They welcome boaters and often have a traditional atmosphere.
There is no better place than the waterways to appreciate the beauty of our countryside. The pace of a canal holiday gives you a chance to slow down and really discover the splendour of the landscape.
The history of the canals goes back over two hundred years, and there are several museums that tell the story of how they were built and lets you admire the traditional 'roses and castles' art of the canal people.