With Britain’s inland waterways in better shape than ever, narrowboat holidays are becoming increasingly popular, and there are now more boats on the canal network than at the height of the Industrial Revolution.
Each year, around one fifth of canal boat hirers are newcomers. A licence isn’t required to steer a narrowboat and all our operators provide boat steering tuition as part of their holiday packages, so it’s easy to get afloat.
Here are our Top 10 reasons to take a canal boat holiday:
1. The fastest way to slow down – with speed limits of 4mph and hundreds of miles of tranquil unspoilt countryside to cruise through, stress levels are immediately reduced on a narrowboat holiday, as a whole new steadier pace of life takes over
2. Escape the screen – there’s plenty to keep idle hands busy – helping to steer and maintain the boat, work the locks and plan the route – so iPad addicts are happy to take a break from their screens
3. Freedom – the majority of our inland waterways offer boating holiday-makers free moorings, so, glass of wine in hand, you are free to choose wherever you stop for the night
4. Fitness – working the locks, exploring local towns and villages, cycling the towpaths and being out in the fresh air are all the ideal antidote to stuffy gyms and office blues
5. The greener way – as soon as you swap your car for a boat, you’ll be using a third of the fuel and emitting a sixth of the pollution
6. Pubs galore – with hundreds of waterside pubs, a watering hole is never far away, many of them historic waterside inns
7. You can bring your pet – pets are welcome on almost all our boats, and as well as dogs, we’ve welcomed many other kinds of pets, including rabbits, hamsters, caged birds, goldfish and tortoises
8. History is all around – thousands of historic structures make up the waterway system, including the soaring majesty of the World Heritage Status Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in North Wales and the awesome three-mile-long Standedge Tunnel deep beneath the Pennines
9. Watch out for wildlife – waterways provide homes for large numbers of birds, plants and animals, including many protected species like water voles, otters and kingfishers, so there’s always something special to look out for
10. It’s a home from home – our floating holiday homes offer all the essential mod cons, including central heating, hot water, well equipped kitchens, TVs, DVD players, showers, flushing toilets and many now have WiFi too.