(1) Warns of increasing battle against aquatic weeds | Canal & River Trust (canalrivertrust.org.uk)

Why canal boat holidays are great for families

Experience a family adventure afloat making memories together

With thousands of miles of inland waterways to explore on a boating holiday in England, Scotland and Wales, canal boat holidays are great for families.

There are hundreds of exciting waterside destinations to choose from. So whether you are looking for a rural retreat or a city break afloat, canal boat holidays offer the chance to make memories together on a family adventure afloat.

1. It’s the fastest way to slow down

Canal boat holidays give families the chance escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Slowing right down to four miles per hour allows everyone to reconnect and live life in the moment again.

2. You’ll embark on a new bonding adventure together

Families can work together as a team to master navigation skills, operating the locks, taking care of the boat and planning the route. There’s a real sense of achievement and bonding when discovering new places and skills together.

3. You can take your pets with you

Narrowboats are like floating holiday cottages with space for pets too. Most of our boats allow up to two pets on board. As well as dogs, rabbits, iguanas, hamsters, gold fish and tortoises have enjoyed our holidays.

4. You can watch out for wildlife

Canals are havens for wildlife so narrowboat holidays are like a floating safari. Look out for the flashing blue of the kingfisher and bats skimming the water at dusk. And listen out for the quack of duck and the hoot of an owl.

5. Take a break from the usual evening routine

Moor up outside a family-friendly canalside pub for dinner or experience cooking meals in one of our well-equipped narrowboat galley kitchens.  Then take the chance to dust-off long neglected cards and board games for cosy evenings on board, spending quality family time together away from digital distractions at home.

6. There are exciting waterside attractions to visit along the way

There are many family attractions to visit along the way in canalside towns and cities, including the Sea Life Centre in Birmingham, The Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds, Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon and the Roman Baths in Bath.

7. You’ll be enjoying the great outdoors

A holiday on the inland waterways takes you through some of Britain’s best-loved countryside, enjoying the freedom and outdoors from on deck, and exploring traffic-free towpaths by foot or by bike. Whether standing at the tiller with a cuppa or jumping off to work the locks, the whole family will be breathing in buckets of fresh air.

8. History is all around

Most of our canals were constructed 250 years ago and thousands of historic structures make up the waterway system.  Some of the most famous include the soaring majesty of the World Heritage Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, the extraordinary Anderton Boat Lift, also known as the “Cathedral of the Canals”.

9. It’s fun to learn the boating lingo

Canal boat hire offers the chance to learn the language of boating, with words like ‘windlass’, ‘winding hole, ’tiller’, ‘bow’ and ‘stern’, to get to grips with.

10. It’s the greener way

 A boating holiday is estimated to be some 20 times better for the planet than spending two hours flying to a holiday overseas, and as soon as you swap your car for your hire boat, you’ll be using around a third of the fuel.

Watch out for wildlife on a family canal boat holiday