Summer holiday boating on the canals is great for families

Summer holiday boating

Take to the water for some summer holiday boating fun with Drifters Waterway Holidays and choose from over 550 boats and 45 locations.

From lazing on the Llangollen to bobbing through Bath, Britain’s 3,000 mile canal and river network offers the fastest way to slow down.

And there are plenty of exciting family attractions to visit along the way, including the Sea Life Centre in Birmingham and the magnificent Tithe Barn at Bradford on Avon.

Here’s a run-down of Drifters’ top 6 summer holiday boating destinations:

1. Bath and Bristol on the Kennet & Avon Canal

On a short break from our canal boat hire base on the Kennet & Avon Canal in Bath you can cruise to historic Bradford on Avon, with its stunning Tithe Barn.  On a week’s cruise you can cruise on to the base of the awesome Caen Hill flight of locks at Devizes.

2. Travel round the Droitwich Ring on a short break

On a short break from the City of Worcester, where the River Severn meets the Worcester & Birmingham Canal, you can travel round the 21-mile Droitwich Ring.  It takes around 16 hours to cruise the ring, negotiating 33 locks. Highlights along the way include: Hanbury Hall; the ancient village of Salwarpe; and Diglis Basin.

3. Cruise the Four Counties Ring

From our Stoke-on-Trent base, the Four Counties Ring is one of the most popular journeys.  Predominantly rural, it travels stretches of the Trent & Mersey, Staffs & Worcs and Shropshire Union canals.  Highlights include: the world famous 2,670-metre-long Harecastle Tunnel; Market Drayton; the World of Wedgewood; stunning views of the rolling Cheshire Plains; the Roman town of Middlewich; the National Trust’s Shugborough Hall; Tixall Wide; and the flight of 15 locks at Audlem.  The Four Counties Ring is best travelled on a 10-day or two-week break.

4. Navigate to Happy Valley

On a short break from Sowerby Bridge you can cruise along the leafy Calder & Hebble Navigation to Hebden Bridge and Todmorden, navigating 20 miles and 32 locks.  At Hebden Bridge there are excellent shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants and walks in ‘Happy Valley’ and on the moors.  Todmorden boasts fine Victorian buildings, a lively market and offers many places to eat and drink.

5. Lock free cruising & the bright lights of Birmingham

On a short break from Alvechurch you can travel along the Worcester & Birmingham Canal to Birmingham and back.  The journey there and back takes less than ten hours and there are no locks.  Stop off at Cadbury World and the historic village of Bournville. Then travel on to moorings in Gas Street Basin, close to the Sea Life Centre at Brindleyplace, city centre museums and the Bullring and Mailbox shopping centres.

6. Glide across ‘The stream in the sky’

From Trevor on the Llangollen Canal you can experience one of the UK’s most stunning stretches of waterway.  You can glide across the awesome UNESCO World Heritage Pontcysyllte Aqueduct – an incredible feat of engineering standing 38 metres high above the Dee Valley.  You may be travelling at just four miles an hour, but with not even a hand rail on the south side of the aqueduct to obscure your views, you feel like you are floating above the earth!