There are over 3,000 miles of beautiful inland waterways to explore by canal boat in Britain, and hundreds of waterside destinations to choose from.
We still have plenty of narrowboats available to hire in August, many at a discounted rate.
To celebrate the forthcoming August bank holiday, we’ve here’s our guide to our Top 8 weekend breaks afloat:
1. Cruise the Kennet & Avon to Georgian Bath
On a short break from our canal boat hire base at Devizes, you can cruise the Kennet & Avon Canal to the World Heritage City of Bath. The route passes a series of canalside pubs and the historic market town of Bradford on Avon. You’ll also cross over the beautiful Bath stone Avoncliff and Dundas aqueducts. There are over-night moorings at Sydney Wharf, a 15-minute walk from Bath City centre. The journey to Bath and back travels 39 miles, passes through 20 locks (10 each way) and takes around 19 cruising hours.
2. Take the Coventry and Trent & Mersey canals to Tixall Wide
On a weekend break from Kings Orchard on the Coventry Canal, you can cruise to the beautiful waters of Tixall Wide and back. Along the way you’ll pass through the Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The journey to Tixall takes you through 16 miles of peaceful Staffordshire countryside and five locks. And takes around cruising eight hours.
3. Float along the Llangollen Canal to Llangollen
From our base at Chirk on the Llangollen Canal, you can float through the Dee Valley AONB to the Eisteddfod town of Llangollen in North Wales. Along the way you’ll pass over the UNESCO World Heritage Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Chirk Aqueduct. The journey to Llangollen takes around four hours, travelling seven miles, with no locks.
4. Experience a Thames boating holiday to Oxford
From our Oxford base on the River Thames at Eynsham, it takes just over three hours to reach Oxford City centre. The route takes you through four locks and the village of Wolvercote, home of the popular riverside Trout Inn. Once in Oxford, you can moor up to explore the city sites, including the Oxford Colleges and Natural History Museum.
5. Cruise the Grand Union and Oxford canals to Hillmorton
From our base on the Grand Union Canal at Stockton, it takes around seven hours to reach the historic canal village of Hillmorton. The route takes you through a series of villages with historic pubs. These include the Kings Head at Napton and the Admiral Nelson at Braunston. There are six locks to pass through, including the three at Hillmorton where volunteer lock keepers help you through. There’s a choice of pubs at Hillmorton, including the Stag & Pheasant.
6. Navigate the Shropshire Union to historic Chester
From our base on the Shropshire Union Canal at Bunbury, it’s a seven-hour, nine-lock journey to the ancient city of Chester. The route passes through miles of beautiful Cheshire countryside and a series of villages with country pubs, including The Ring O’Bells at Christleton and The Shady Oak at Bates Mill Bridge. In Chester, you can take time to explore the city’s attractions, including its Roman city walls and Chester Rows shops.
7. Drift along the Calder & Hebble to Hebden Bridge
On a weekend break from Sowerby Bridge, you can travel along the leafy Calder & Hebble Navigation to the old mill town of Hebden Bridge. Climbing through the Calder Valley, the route to Hebden Bridge covers seven miles. There are 10 locks to pass through and the journey takes around five-and-a-half hours. Once at Hebden, you can moor up to enjoy a good choice of places to eat, and walks up to Heptonstall or Hardcastle Crags.
8. Glide along the Forth & Clyde to Glasgow
From our base at Falkirk, it’s a peaceful nine-hour cruise along the Forth & Clyde Canal to the City of Glasgow. The route, which travels 22 miles and passes through five locks, begins at the site of the Falkirk Wheel boat lift. You’ll pass through Auchinstarry, the River Kelvin Valley with magnificent views of the Campsie Fells above. And the historic town of Kirkintillock. Once at Glasgow, there are moorings at Applecross Street Basin, close to Glasgow’s cultural sites. These include the Hunterian Museum.