Summer days out boating on the canals

Day boat hire on the canals

If you are looking for a great day out this Summer, why not hire a canal boat for the day

You can cruise gently through the countryside with family and friends, spotting wildlife along the way.

We offer canal boat day boat hire from six of our bases, from just £99 per day for up to 10 people.

Tuition is included and our day boats are equipped with the things you need for a day afloat, including a kettle, cooker, fridge and toilet.

Here’s a guide to our top six day boat hire destinations this Summer:

1. Glide across ‘The Stream in the Sky’

On a day afloat from Trevor on the Llangollen Canal, you can cruise across to the World Heritage Status Pontcysyllte Aqueduct to Chirk and back.  As you cross, you’ll be 126ft high above the Dee Valley with fantastic views! You can stop to enjoy a drink or a meal at the Bridge Inn at Chirk Bank or the Poacher’s Pocket at Gledrid.  The journey to Chirk and back takes five hours.

2. Potter through the Warwickshire countryside to Wilmcote

From Wootton Wawen in Warwickshire, you can cruise south along the Stratford Canal to the village of Wilmcote and back.  The journey will take you across the Edstone Aqueduct, the longest aqueduct in England, with views across the Warwickshire countryside.  From moorings at the top of the Wilmcote flight, it’s a short walk into the village to the Mary Arden Inn.  The journey to Wilmcote and back takes five hours.

3. Cruise through the Staffordshire countryside to Rugeley

From Great Haywood, near Stafford, you can cruise to the historic market town of Rugeley and back.  You’ll pass through the Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Along the way, you can stop for a drink or a meal at the Wolseley Arms at Wolseley Bridge.  The journey to Rugeley and back takes six hours.

4. Navigate through the Cheshire countryside to Nantwich

On a day out from Bunbury on the Shropshire Union Canal near Tarporley, you can cruise to Nantwich and back.  The lock-free journey takes you past the canalside Barbridge Inn. And across the impressive Nantwich Aqueduct, with panoramic views across the town.  The journey to Nantwich and back takes around six hours.

5. Travel slowly through the Shropshire countryside to historic Whitchurch

From Whixall on the Prees Branch of the Llangollen Canal, you can reach the historic market town of Whitchurch.  You’ll pass the Hadley Farm Café along the way and there’s a good choice of places to eat in Whitchurch, including the Black Bear pub.  The journey to Whitchurch and back takes around five hours.

6. Boat through the Bath Valley to Brassknocker Basin

From Bradford on Avon, on the Kennet & Avon Canal in Wiltshire, you can cruise through the Bath Valley to Brassknocker Basin and back. Along the way you’ll pass over the magnificent Bath stone aqueducts at Avoncliff and Dundas.  You can stop for lunch at the canalside Cross Guns pub next to Avoncliff Aqueduct or the Angelfish Restaurant at Brassknocker Basin.  The journey there and back travels nine miles and takes around four hours.  There’s just one lock to pass through each way.

To find out more about our day boat hire, go to

To find out more about visiting the canal network, go to

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Top 9 August Canal Boat Holiday Destinations

Best Easter canal boat holidays

We are offering discounts of up to 20% on our holidays departing in August 2022.  To celebrate, reservations manager Emma Lovell, has put together a guide to our top family canal boat holiday destinations this summer.

Canal boat holidays are great for families, offering the change to experience life afloat exploring Britain’s beautiful canal network.  Along the way, you can watch out for wildlife and stop off at exciting waterside destinations.

Our narrowboats are like floating holiday cottages, with everything you need for a self-catering staycation afloat. This includes comfy beds, hot water, TV, WiFi, well-stocked kitchens, showers and flushing toilets.

To celebrate our offer, we’ve listed our Top 9 family destinations this summer, all suitable for beginners:

1. Enjoy a free theatre performance in Stratford-upon-Avon

Setting out from our base at Wootton Wawen, it’s a delightful six-hour journey through the Warwickshire countryside to Bancroft Basin, in the centre of Stratford-upon-Avon.  The journey along the Stratford Canal passes through 17 locks. From Bancroft Basin, it’s a short walk to the Dell, an outdoor stage in Avonbank Gardens.  A series of free outdoor theatre performances are taking place in the Dell this summer.  These include the Merchant of Venice performed by the Edinburgh Graduate Theatre Group, 27-28 August.

2. Visit the National Sea Life Centre in Birmingham

Cruising from our canal boat hire base at Tardebigge, it’s a five-hour journey to Birmingham City Centre.  You’ll cruise along the Worcester & Birmingham Canal to find moorings at Gas Street Basin.  From there Brindleyplace, home to the National Sea life Centre, is a short walk away.  Here you can experience the UK’s only 360 degree Ocean Tunnel, see the Penguin Ice Adventure and meet the UK’s first Sea Otters.

3. Take a Thames boating holiday and visit the quirky Pitt Rivers Museum

From our Oxford base, it’s a tranquil three-hour cruise along the River Thames to moorings at Hythe Bridge.  This is the perfect base for exploring Oxford’s city centre.  One of the City’s most popular attractions is the fascinating Pitt Rivers Museum.  Here thousands of archaeological and ethnographic objects from all over the world are on display.  Some of the most famous exhibits include a 17th Witch Bottle and an 11-metre high totem pole.

4. See the new penguin chicks at Chester Zoo

Setting off from our narrowboat rental base at Bunbury, it takes seven hours to reach the ancient City of Chester.  The journey along the Shropshire Union Canal passes through nine locks.  Once there, you ca visit the award-winning Chester Zoo.  The Zoo is home to 21,314 animals from 500 species, including nine adorable new penguin chicks born there.

5. Watch the Wars of the Roses Show at Warwick Castle

On a narrowboat holiday departing from our Stockton base, it’s a seven-hour journey to Warwick.  You’ll travel along the Grand Union Canal, passing through 20 locks along the way.  Once there, you can visit the magnificent medieval Warwick Castle on the banks of the River Avon.  The Castle offers a fantastic family day out with ramparts to climb, the Castle Dungeon, Great Hall and Kingmaker Exhibition to explore.  There’s also soaring birds of prey and trebuchet firing displays to watch.  And this summer there will also be daily live Wars of the Roses shows, recreating the historic jousting battles of the 15th century.

6. Travel across the Stream in the Sky to Ellesmere

Departing from our Trevor base on the Llangollen Canal in North Wales, you can reach the Shropshire town of Ellesmere in seven hours.  Along the way, you’ll travel across the UNESCO World Heritage Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.  This incredible structure, also known as ‘The Stream in the Sky’, carries the canal 38 metres high above the Dee Valley.  Once at Ellesmere, in the heart of the Shropshire Lake District, you can take time to explore the Mere.  The Mere has Victorian gardens, woodland paths, historic castle and lots of wildlife.

7. Meet historic characters at the Black Country Living Museum

Navigating from our Tardebigge base, it’s an eight-hour journey to the Black Country Living Museum.  The route travels along the Worcester & Birmingham Canal and passes through three locks. Visitors to the Museum this summer will find history brought to life by historic characters, telling the story of what it was like to live and work in one of the first industrial landscapes in Britain. Families can enjoy watching live demonstrations, taking part in old fashioned street games, visiting the vintage cinema, and enjoying traditional fish and chips.

8. Visit the Caen Hill flight of locks at Devizes

From our base on the Kennet & Avon Canal at Monkton Combe near Bath, it takes around nine hours to reach the base of the Caen Hill flight. The journey travels 15 miles and passes through eight locks. The breath-taking sight of the 16 locks in a row, part of a total of 29 locks, is truly one of the most spectacular of Britain’s inland waterways.  The historic market town of Devizes is a short walk away, with its Wadworth Brewery Visitor Centre and famous shire horses making daily deliveries. Devizes also has a great range of independent shops, pubs and restaurants, including the Bear Hotel.

9. Get close to nature at Fradley Pool Nature Reserve

Setting off from our Great Haywood base near Stafford, it takes around six hours to reach Fradley Junction.  The journey travels 12 miles along the Trent & Mersey Canal, and passes through five locks.  Picturesque Fradley, offers visitors guided walks, a café, two pubs and Fradley Pool Nature Reserve, home to an abundance of wildlife.  Along the way, you’ll pass the National Trust’s Shugborough Estate and Cannock Chase. As well as a number of rural family-friendly canalside pubs, including the Wolseley Arms near Rugeley.

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Be Inspired

We offer a range of different types of holidays such as City Breaks, Relaxation Cruises and Popular Destinations

City Breaks
Rural retreats
Popular places

So why choose Anglo Welsh?

Over 55 years providing unique canal boat holidays in England and Wales.
Modern and spacious narrowboat and wide beam barge hire – from 2 to 12 berths.
Wide choice of narrowboat hire locations and canal boat holiday destinations.
Canal boat holiday routes for novices & experienced boaters.
Flexible holiday booking, no hidden costs.
Family friendly and pet friendly holidays.
Great days out on the water.
Luxury canal boat hire and Thames boating holidays.

Anglo Welsh. So much more than narrowboats

...but don't just take our word for it