For a totally different experience, Drifters are offering boating holidays from a brand new base this year in the East Anglian Fens. At Ely, on the River Great Ouse, there is now the chance to sample some new waters.
The River Great Ouse is navigable from Bedford to Denver, and passes many delightful towns and villages. For example, Godmanchester with its exquisite Chinese Bridge, Ely with its unique and wonderful cathedral, and Hemingford Grey church has a story to tell involving hurricanes.
The tributaries of the Great Ouse are also wonderful places to visit.
Brandon Creek passes through completely unspoilt countryside, far from any roads, and the wildlife is correspondingly special.
Cambridge has a wonderful array of old colleges and other buildings to see and is easily accessible by way of the River Cam.
These are all quiet cruises, with few other boats to be seen, but travelling through lovely pristine countryside punctuated by lovely old water mills and historic villages.
Bedford is a bustling town at the head of navigation, and well worth a visit, as are St. Neots and Huntingdon.
As these waters are all rivers rather than canals, locks are less frequent, but there are pubs and villages scattered along the banks at regular intervals.
At Ely, the unique wooden lantern tower of the cathedral is not to be missed at the start or end of your holiday.
Public transport is available to Ely, which is on a direct line from London, despite being at the heart of the Fens.
Ely, who name mean ‘Isle’, stands out from the surrounding landscape and was once home to the Fen Tigers, fiercely independent residents of this part of East Anglia. Now, the locals are much more friendly.