Pennine One-way trips – available all season

Pennine One-way trips – available all season

Drifters offers new one-way canal boat holidays

Drifters Waterway Holiday bases at Stretton on the North Oxford Canal near Rugby and Stockton on the Grand Union Canal close to Braunston have teamed up to offer some new one-way trips in June and July.

The collaboration gives narrowboat holiday-makers the chance to see more of the canals in Warwickshire on a short break and provides an alternative to the traditional “out and back” short break holiday.

A one-way break from Stockton to Stretton (or vice versa) takes boaters along the Grand Union and North Oxford canals via Napton, Braunston and Hillmorton, with plenty of historic pubs to sample along the way.  It takes around nine hours to cruise between the bases.

Canal boat hire prices from Stretton in June and July start at £715 for a short break on a five-berth boat, rising to £1130 for a nine-berth boat.  Prices include fuel, damage waiver and transfer between bases.

One-way narrowboat holidays are also available across the boating season from Drifters’ northern bases at Foulridge in Lancashire, Ashton-under-Lyne in Greater Manchester and Sowerby Bridge in Yorkshire, giving holiday-makers the chance to cross the Pennines by canal boat.

Canal boat hirers can choose a variety of seven and 14-night one way routes, including:

  • Sowerby Bridge to Foulridge via Leeds (7 nights, 82 miles, 79 locks, 45 hours) – travelling across the backbone of England and through the heart of West Riding;
  • Sowerby Bridge to Foulridge via Manchester (14 nights, 107 miles, 169 locks, 85 hours via Huddersfield or 14 nights, 100 miles, 136 locks, 65 hours via Rochdale);
  • Sowerby Bridge to Ashton-under-Lyne by the Huddersfield (7 nights, 33 miles, 97 locks, 40 hours) travelling down the Calder Valley to Brighouse, up the Broad Canal to Huddersfield, on to the Huddersfield Narrow to its dramatic passage under the moors through Standedge Tunnel, the longest and highest in Britain; and
  • Sowerby Bridge to Ashton-under-Lyne by the Rochdale (7 nights, 38 miles, 100 locks, 36 hours), crossing the summit to Littleborough and descending through town and country to the centre of Manchester.

2012 canal boat holiday prices for Drifters’ Yorkshire bases start at £645 (including fuel) for a week on a three-berth boat.


Visit the Llangollen Eisteddfod by Canal Boat

Visit the Llangollen Eisteddfod by Canal Boat

The 66th Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, one of the world’s most inspirational cultural festivals, takes place from 3-8 July 2012 and is easily accessible from the Llangollen Canal.

So why not combine a canal boat holiday with a trip to the Eisteddfod?

The Eisteddfod has been staged at Llangollen since 1947.  Each year over 4,000 performers from across the globe head to the beautiful little Welsh town to take part in a unique event combining competition, performance and international peace and friendship.

Around 25 different competitions celebrate song, music and dance, climaxing with the presitigous ‘Choir of the World’ where winning choirs compete for the Pavarotti Trophy.

Drifters offers narrowboat holidays from a number of bases within easy reach of Llangollen, including Trevor, just a two-hour cruise away, Chirk four hours away and Whitchurch around ten hours away.

Canal boat hire from these bases in July starts at £525 for a short break and £745 for a week’s narrowboat holiday.


Drifters attends Braunston Historic Boat Rally

Drifters attends Braunston Historic Boat Rally

Drifters canal boat hire operator Rose Narrowboats will be at the 2012 Braunston Historic Narrowboat Rally & Canal Festival (23-24 June) showcasing its 60ft long, eight-berth boat Cascade.

Over 80 historic boats will gather at this year’s Historic Boat Rally, held annually at Braunston Marina.

The event, which raises money for the canals and local causes, will include: boat parades; trade exhibitors; live music; morris dancing; boat horse demonstrations; waterway artists; food and drink; a real ale beer tent; and evening entertainment on the Saturday.

Rose Narrowboats offers 20 self-drive boats for narrowboat holidays from its base on the North Oxford Canal at Stretton-Under-Fosse near Rugby.

Cascade is built along traditional lines externally with a light, airy interior and a cruiser stern.  Designed to sleep up to eight people, she has a well laid out galley with side doors for extra ventilation on warm days, a centre cabin which can offer either two singles or a double bed, a convertible dinette in the saloon, two cabins each with two bunks and wash basins at the stern, a shower room with a toilet, plus a separate toilet at the rear.

2012 hire prices start for Cascade start at £695 for a short break and £1065 for a week’s canal boat holiday.

Other Drifters’ bases close to Braunston, include Stockton, Gayton and Rugby.


Visit an Edinburgh Festival by Canal Boat

Visit an Edinburgh Festival by Canal Boat

Edinburgh, the world’s Festival City, is a delightful 12 hour cruise along the Union Canal from Drifters’ base at Falkirk.

Once in Edinburgh, there are centrally located moorings in Edinburgh Quay, just a five-minute walk from Princes Street.

So why not take a canal boat holiday this summer and enjoy an Edinburgh Festival at the same time?

Events take place across the summer, including the Edinburgh International Film Festival (20 June to 1 July), the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (3-27 August) and the Edinburgh International Festival (9 August to 2 September).

As well as festivals, Edinburgh offers fantastic shops and restaurants, and a host of terrific attractions, including Edinburgh Castle, The Real Mary Kings Close, Lyceum Theatre, Botanical Gardens, Edinburgh Zoo and the Scottish National Gallery.

From the Drifters canal boat hire base next to the Falkirk Wheel, you can travel the 32 rural miles to Edinburgh in just two leisurely days.  The Union Canal only has three locks as it mainly uses aqueducts and tunnels to pass over valleys and through hills.

The Scottish Lowland canals were restored to celebrate the new Millennium and their centrepiece, the incredible Falkirk Wheel boat lift, connects the Forth & Clyde and Union canals, lifting boats 115ft high (equivalent to eight double decker buses).

Journeying from Falkirk, narrowboat holiday-makers soon enter the calming surrounds of open countryside and picturesque woodland.  Things to look out for along the way include: the Antonine Wall; the Avon, Almond and Slateford Aqueducts; the Falkirk Tunnel; the Laughin’ Greetin bridge at Glen Village, famous for its carved faces on the keystones; and the pretty villages of Linlithgow and Ratho.

Narrowboat hire from Drifters’ base at Falkirk starts from £534 for a short break on a five berth boat or £821 for a week’s holiday.