The Canal & River Trust, the charity that cares for the nation’s 2,000 miles of canals and rivers, has published research that shows spending time by the waterways can make you happier and improve your life satisfaction.
‘Assessing the wellbeing impacts of waterways usage in England and Wales’ reveals:
• the associated benefits of visiting a canal or river increase with the length of visit – with higher levels of happiness and lower levels of anxiety for longer trips;
• any visit to a waterway is associated with higher levels of life satisfaction;
• visiting regularly is associated with even higher levels of life satisfaction; and
• three-quarters of towpath users say they visit to ‘get away from it all and clear my head’ because they are ‘great places to relax and de-stress’
Canal boat holidays are often described as ‘the fastest way to slow down’ and the popularity of narrowboating has been fuelled by the waterways renaissance which has swept across the UK in the last 20 years, with over 200 new miles of waterways re-opened and over £1billion invested.
Richard Parry, chief executive of the Canal & River Trust, says: “Our waterways are an amazing historic legacy for us all, and it is exhilarating to find that they can play such an important new role in our lives.”
Time to book that canal boat holiday?