From the middle of March 2024, we will be offering canal boat holidays from Nantwich Marina on the Shropshire Union Canal in Cheshire.
We’ll have three different sized narrowboats for hire, offering accommodation for between four and eight people.
There’s a great choice of short breaks, week-long holidays and two-week routes from Nantwich.
Here’s a guide to our Top 5 narrowboat holidays from Nantwich:
1. Cruise to ancient Middlewich where three rivers meet
This short break route is great for beginners. You’ll cruise through the countryside passing the canalside Barbridge Inn at Barbridge Junction, where you transfer onto the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal. A good place to stop is the village of Church Minshull with its popular Badger Inn. Once in Middlewich, you can moor up to explore this ancient town where the rivers Dan, Croco and Wheelock meet. The town’s history dates back to Roman times and a medieval market later rose up around the salt industries established there.
The journey to Middlewich and back travels 27 miles, passes through 14 locks (seven each way) and takes around 13 hours.
2. Navigate to the ancient City of Chester to walk the Roman walls
Perfect for a four-night break, the journey to Chester takes you through beautiful unspoilt countryside and a series of villages. Places to visit along the way include Beeston Castle, and the Ring O’ Bells pub at Christleton. Once in Chester, you can shop at the famous Chester Rows galleries, walk the Roman City Walls and visit Chester Zoo.
The journey to Chester and back travels 36 miles, passes through 22 locks (11 each way) and takes around 17 hours.
3. Boat to Lymm to see a dinosaur footprint
This is a popular week-long route for beginners. You’ll cruise first to Barbridge Junction, and onto the Middlewich Branch to Middlewich. From there you’ll transfer onto the Trent & Mersey Canal and cruise on through the Cheshire countryside to Northwich. At Northwich there’s a choice of places to shop and eat, including the Kingfisher pub. Another good place to stop is the Salt Barge pub at Marston. Soon after you’ll reach the Anderton Boat Lift, also known as ‘The Cathedral of the Canals’. After passing through three tunnels, you’ll switch to the Bridgewater Canal. Then you’ll pass through Stockton Heath with views of the Pennine Hills in the distance. There’s a choice of places to shop, eat and drink at Lymm, including the Spread Eagle pub in the heart of the village. And you can see the 240 million years old dinosaur footprint at the Lymm Heritage Centre.
The journey to Lymm and back travels 81 miles, passes through 18 locks and takes around 35 hours.
4. Travel across ‘The Stream in the Sky’ to Llangollen
This week long journey travels the entire length of the Llangollen Canal. You’ll start off in Cheshire and then you’ll transfer onto the Llangollen Canal at Hurleston Junction. The route will take you through the Shropshire Lake District and the historic market town of Ellesmere. Soon after you’ll reach Chirk and then the beginning of the 11-mile UNESCO World Heritage section of the Llangollen Canal. This will take you through stunning scenery and across the Chirk and Pontcysyllte aqueducts. Also known as ‘The Stream in the Sky’, the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct carries the Llangollen Canal 38 metre’s high above the Dee Valley. In Llangollen, you can moor up in the basin and visit the town’s independent shops and restaurants, including the Three Eagles bar and grill.
The journey to Llangollen and back travels 92 miles, passes through 42 locks (21 each way) and takes around 48 hours.
5. Complete the Four Counties Ring
On a two-week break from Nantwich you can travel round the Four Counties Ring. This canal boat holiday odyssey takes you through the counties of Staffordshire, Cheshire, Shropshire and the West Midlands. You’ll pass through a series of historic towns and villages with canalside pubs. These include the Gingerbread Man in Market Drayton and the Littleton Arms at Penkridge. You’ll pass through Macclesfield and Marple Junction. You’ll cross a series of aqueducts, including the Marple Aqueduct on the Peak Forest Canal with incredible Peak District views. You’ll travel through parts of Manchester and then on to the village of Lymm. You’ll also pass through Preston Brook Tunnel and past the Anderton Boat Lift.
The Four Counties Ring from Nantwich travels 110 miles, passes through 94 locks and takes around 60 hours.