Top 10 reasons why canal boat holidays are great for families


  1. It’s the fastest way to slow down: canal boat holidays give families the chance escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and the hectic school run.  And slowing right down to four miles per hour allows everyone to live life in the moment again;
  2. Embark on a new adventure together: families can work together as a team to master navigation skills, operate the locks and venture into the world of narrowboat holidays together – with true bonding potential!;
  3. It’s fun to learn the boating lingo: canal boat hire offers the chance to learn the language of boating, with words like ‘windlass’, ‘winding hole, ’tiller’ and ‘stern’, to name but a few;
  4. Watch out for wildlife: canals are havens for wildlife so families can enjoy spotting animals together.  From the flashing blue of the kingfisher and bats skimming the water at dusk to the ‘plop’ of the watervole and the hoot of an owl, there’s always something special to look and listen out for;
  5. A break from the usual evening routine: most of our boats have televisions and DVD players but why not take the chance to dust-off long neglected cards and board games for cosy onboard evening entertainment;
  6. Enjoy exciting waterside attractions along the way: there are many family attractions to found close to the water’s edge, including the Sea Life Centre in Birmingham, SS Great Britain in Bristol, Waterworld near Stoke on Trent, Cadbury World near Warwick, the Swan Theatre in Stratford Upon Avon and Sir Titus Salt’s model town at Saltaire;
  7. Enjoy the great outdoors: keep fit together by exploring mile upon mile of traffic-free towpaths by foot or by bike;
  8. Breathe in plenty of fresh air: whether standing at the tiller with a cuppa or jumping off to work the locks, the whole family will be breathing in buckets of fresh air, guaranteeing a peaceful night’s sleep;
  9. History is all around: most of our canals were constructed over 200 years ago and 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 AKA “The Cathedral of the Canals”, and the awesome three-mile long Standedge Tunnel in Yorkshire; and

10.  It’s the greener way: a boating 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 your hire boat, you’ll be using a third of the fuel and emitting a sixth of the pollution.