From rural retreats to vibrant city centres, narrowboat holiday-makers can use their boat as a floating holiday home to explore Britain’s beautiful 3,000-mile network of inland waterways, with the choice of hundreds of waterside destinations to visit along the way.
It’s free to moor almost anywhere on the network, so you can plan your journey around your chosen mooring sites, including canalside pubs, beauty spots and places to relax and enjoy a sundowner on deck.
To help you plan your next narrowboat holiday adventure, we’ve listed the top five places to watch the sunset afloat:
- Tixall Wide in Staffordshire – from our canal boat holiday hire base at Great Haywood on the Trent & Mersey Canal in Staffordshire, it takes just half an hour to cruise to the beautiful expanse of water on the Staffordshire & Worcester Canal known as Tixall Wide. The lake was created at the time of the construction of the canal to mitigate objections of the residents of Tixall Hall, who didn’t want the new canal to spoil their view. Today this beautiful stretch of water is a peaceful haven for wildlife and the perfect place to watch the sun go down.
- Lock 37 on the Rochdale Canal in Lancashire – from our narrowboat yard at Sowerby Bridge at the junction of the Calder & Hebble Navigation and the Rochdale Canal, it takes around 13 hours (travelling 13 miles and passing through 35 locks) to reach West Summit Lock 37 on the Rochdale Canal, high up in the Pennines. Here you can moor up before the lock to watch the sun go down and take a short walk to the village of Summit and The Summit Inn.
- Calcutt Locks in Warwickshire – from our narrowboat hire base at Stockton Top Marina on the Grand Union Canal in Warwickshire, it takes just half an hour to reach the bottom of Calcutt Locks, a great place to view the sunset over Stockton. From there, on a short break you can continue on to the pretty canal village of Braunston with a choice of pubs. On a week away, you can continue on up the North Oxford Canal and on to the Ashby Canal, to enjoy 23 miles of lock free cruising through the countryside.
- Chirk Aqueduct in North Wales – from our narrowboat hire base at Chirk on the Llangollen Canal, it takes half an hour to reach Chirk Aqueduct, which carries boaters 21 metres high across the River Ceiriog and the English/Welsh border. There are moorings on the north side, perfect for looking out across the beautiful stone viaduct built alongside the aqueduct, and across to the valley beyond. On a short break from Chirk, you can continue on from Chirk Aqueduct to cross the World Heritage Status Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, 38 metres high across the Dee Valley, and on to the Eisteddfod town of Llangollen, on the edge of the Berwyn Mountains.
- Castleford Flood Lock in West Yorkshire – from our canal boat rental base at Sowerby Bridge, it takes around 15 hours (travelling 29 miles and through 31 locks) to reach Castleford Flood Lock No.9 on the Aire & Calder Navigation. Along the way, you’ll travel along the Calder & Hebble Navigation through Elland, Brighouse, Mirfield and Wakefield, before transferring onto the Wakefield section of the Aire & Calder Navigation and on to Castleford, the birthplace of the sculptor Henry Moore.