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Top 8 Halloween destinations afloat

Britain’s canal network was built by hand more than 200 years ago, and the blood, sweat and tears of countless hours’ work, as well as many more grisly incidents, have left their ghostly mark on the waterways.

Canal users often report strange occurrences along Britain’s 2,000 mile network of canals and rivers, so we’ve put together our Top 8 creepy canal destinations ready for Halloween.

  1. Get the chills in Chester – at Chester’s old Northgate where the canal was dug into part of the town’s moat, a Roman centurion can sometimes be seen guarding the entrance to the city. From our boat yard on the Shropshire Union Canal at Bunbury near Tarporley, it’s a seven hour cruise to Chester, passing through nine locks along the way.
  2. Meet ‘The Man Monkey’ – at Bridge 39 near Norbury, sightings of a hideous black, shaggy coated being are believed to be the ghost of a boatman drowned here in the 19th century. From our narrowboat hire base at Great Haywood, it’s a 36-mile, 14-lock journey to Norbury, which takes around 17 hours.
  3. Watch out for the phantom at Blisworth – at Blisworth Tunnel, near Stoke Bruerne in Northamptonshire, a mysterious candlelit phantom appears at the spot where 14 navvies died in a rock fall during the construction of the tunnel in the late 18th century. From our canal boat hire base at Stockton on the Grand Union Canal, it’s a 13-hour, 17-lock cruise to Stoke Bruerne, passing through the 2,813-metre-long Blisworth Tunnel, the third longest navigable tunnel on the UK canal network.
  4. Steer a course for an aqueduct apparition – on moonlit nights an eerie figure can sometimes be seen gliding along the towpath by the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, a UNESCO World Heritage site on the Llangollen Canal. From our narrowboat hire base at Trevor, the aqueduct is a 10-minute cruise away.
  5. Head for horror at Harecastle Tunnel – a shrieking boggart – the ghost of Kit Crewbucket who was murdered and whose headless corpse was dumped in the canal – is said to inhabit Harecastle Tunnel at Kidsgrove. From our canal boat hire base at Great Haywood, on the Trent & Mersey Canal in Staffordshire, it’s a 22-mile, 18-lock journey to Harecastle Tunnel, which takes around 10 hours.
  6. Listen to cries for help at Lapworth – the ghost of a boatman – who lost his footing on the bridge as he walked back from the Navigation Inn to his working boat in the 1940s, falling through the ice and drowning – can sometimes be heard shouting for help in cold weather. It takes seven hours to travel lock-free to Lapworth from our narrowboat hire base at Tardebigge, on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal near Bromsgrove.
  7. Aim for Astley if you want to get spooked – at Astley on the Bridgewater Canal, a mysterious grey lady – thought to be the ghost of 18 year-old Ann Mort who died of a broken heart after her parents banished her suitor – appears to be searching for her lost love. From our canal boat hire base at Bunbury, it’s a 58-mile, 11-lock journey to Astley, which takes around 23 hours.
  8. Be prepared for screaming at Betton – at Betton Cutting on the Shropshire Union Canal near Market Drayton, which has always had a dark reputation among boating people, a shrieking spectre has been seen and heard. From our boat yard at Great Haywood in Staffordshire, it’s a 19-hour, 19-lock journey to Market Drayton.

To book a holiday or break on any of Anglo Welsh’s fleet, call our friendly Booking Team on 0117 304 1122.

 

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Top 9 October Half Term Canal Boat Holidays

Autumn is a great time to visit the waterways and get the whole family out in the fresh air to experience an adventure afloat.

You can enjoy seeing the beautiful colours in the trees and hedgerows that line the canals, wake up to misty mornings and visit some of the exciting waterside destinations offering special October Half Term events, many of them Halloween related.

So, whether you are beginner looking for an easy short break route to test the waters, or a seasoned canal boater looking for a longer more challenging route, take a look at our Top 9 spooky half term destinations this October:

  1. Enjoy a Halloween Monster Mash at the National Waterways Museum – from our boat yard on the Shropshire Union Canal at Bunbury, the National Waterways Museum at Ellesmere Port is a 21-mile, 16-lock cruise away, taking narrowboat holiday-makers through the beautiful Cheshire countryside and ancient City of Chester along the way. The Museum’s historic boat collection, docks, warehouses, forge, stables and workers cottages, bring the past vividly to life with costumed characters and guided tours, and on the 27th and 28th of October the Museum will be hosting a special ‘Halloween Monster Mash’ event with a trick or treat promenade performance from the Boaty Theatre Company.
  2. Experience the Ascarium at Birmingham’s Sea Life Centre – from our canal boat hire base at Tardebigge on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal near Bromsgrove, it’s a five-hour, lock-free journey to moorings at Gas Street Basin in Birmingham City Centre, close to Brindleyplace and its fantastic Sea Life Centre. From the 20th October to the 4th of November, the Sea Life Centre will be hosting its ‘Ascarium’ event, offering visitors the chance to step into the deep and follow an immersive trail past some of the creepiest sea creatures, including the blob fish, goblin sharks and barrel eye fish.
  3. Try Pumpkin Pottery Painting at the World of Wedgewood – on a short break from our canal boat hire base at Great Haywood on the Trent & Mersey Canal in Staffordshire, canal boat holiday-makers can cruise to the World of Wedgewood in around seven hours, passing through 12 locks and travelling 13 miles. From 27th October to the 4th November, the Museum will be hosting special half term activities, including Halloween pottery painting, a Big Draw competition, Factory Tours and Museum Trails.
  4. Unlock bat mysteries at the University of Oxford’s Natural History Museum – take a Thames boating holiday from our Oxford narrowboat rental base, and you can reach moorings in the centre of Oxford in just three hours, passing through four locks along the way. From there, the University of Oxford’s Natural History Museum is short walk away, where an internationally significant collection of natural history specimens is on display, as well as a special exhibition of the studies of UK bat populations in Wytham Woods. Offering a unique insight into the behaviour of these mysterious night dwellers, ‘Bats: The Mystery Beings’ is on until 8th January 2019.
  5. Make a monstrous Gorgon’s head badge at the Roman Baths Museum – from our barge holiday base on the Kennet & Avon Canal at Brassknocker Basin, it’s a four-hour journey, passing through six locks to moorings in the centre of the UNESCO World Heritage City of Bath. Once there, you can explore some of the City’s top attractions, including the Roman Baths where over half term (27th October to 2nd November), as well as learning about this incredible Roman site, families can find out who the Gorgon was and make a Gorgon’s head badge.
  6. Get spooked at Warwick Castle’s Haunted event – in just over seven hours from our canal boat hire base at Stockton on the Grand Union Canal in Warwickshire you can reach the moorings close to the incredible medieval castle on the banks of the River Avon at Warwick. Over the half term break (20th October to 4th November), the Castle is hosting its ‘Spooktacular Haunted Castle’ event with live shows at the Dead Centre Stage, The Witches Tower, spooky Halloween Trail, Flight of the Eagles displays, Horrible Histories Maze, The Castle Dungeon tour and the Mighty Trebuchet in action.
  7. Find out about the Pendle Witches at Barrowford – from our canal boat rental base at Silsden on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, it takes around 15 hours, passing through 20 locks and the mile-long Foulridge Tunnel, to reach the village of Barrowford, home to the Pendle Heritage Centre. Here, visitors will find an exhibition on the famous Pendle Witch Trial of 1612 and walking routes into the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Pendle Hill.
  8. Visit the haunted house of Plas Newydd at Llangollen – on a short break from our canal boat hire base at Trevor on the Llangollen Canal in North Wales, it takes just two hours to reach the idyllic town of Llangollen, home to the remarkable Plas Newydd House.   In the late 18th century this fascinating stone built house was turned into gothic fantasy by its most famous inhabitants, the Ladies of Llangollen. Today visitors can enjoy exploring enchanting gardens and the fascinating oak carved panelled interiors, said to be haunted by ghostly apparitions and heavy dragging sounds from the upper floors.
  9. Step aboard the SS Great Britain for a Victorian fright-fest – from our narrowboat hire base on the Kennet & Avon Canal at Bath, canal boat holiday-makers can travel west to Bristol’s Floating Harbour* in eight hours, passing through 13 locks. Once there boaters can moor up to visit the SS Great Britain and take a night time Spooky Ship Tour, available from 31st October to 3rd November. On these special Halloween tours, goulish guides will take visitors to the darkest nooks and crannies of Brunel’s 175-year old ship to experience eerie sights, sounds and smells and listen to terrible tales told by creepy characters lurking in the shadows. *NB this route is recommended route for experienced boaters and overnight mooring fees will apply.
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Top 9 Autumn Canal Boat Holiday Destinations

Autumn is a great time to get afloat and enjoy the beautiful colours in the trees and hedgerows along our amazing inland waterways network.

All our boats are equipped with the key comforts of home – central heating, hot water, TV, WiFi, well-stocked kitchens, showers and flushing toilets – and our Bond, Constellation and Heritage Class luxury canal boats all provide extra space and comfort. So whether you are beginner looking for a short break easy route to test the waters, or a seasoned canal boater looking for a longer more challenging route, why not book a narrowboat holiday break this autumn and choose from hundreds of fantastic waterside destinations.

Here are our Top 9 destinations to enjoy this autumn:

  1. Experience the acoustic delights of Birmingham’s Symphony Hall. From our canal boat hire base at Tardebigge on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal near Bromsgrove, it’s a five-hour, lock-free journey to moorings at Gas Street Basin in Birmingham City Centre. From there, it’s a short walk to Birmingham’s Symphony Hall, one of the best concert halls in the world and home of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, offering audiences the best in classical music, jazz, world music, folk, rock, pop and stand-up comedy.
  2. Explore arms and armour from across the world at the Royal Armouries Museum. From our canal boat rental base at Silsden on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, it takes 17 hours, passing through 28 locks to reach the Royal Armouries Museum at Leeds Dock – perfect for a week afloat. Home to the national collection of arms and armour, there are thousands of objects to admire across nine galleries, including the ‘Tula garniture’, an 18th century set of decorated hunting weapons that belonged to Elizabeth Petrovana the Empress of Russia in the Hunting Gallery, and a 15th century Ming dynasty sword from the workshop of the Yongle Ming Emperor in the Oriental Gallery.
  3. Take a floating tour of the West Midlands. On a week’s holiday from our Stockton canal boat rental base on the Grand Union Canal in Warwickshire, narrowboat holiday-makers can tackle the 101-mile, 94-lock Warwickshire Ring, which takes around 53 hours. The route takes boaters along sections of the Coventry, Oxford, Grand Union, Stratford and Birmingham & Fazeley canals. Highlights include historic Warwick with its incredible medieval castle on the banks of the River Avon, the magnificent Hatton Flight of 21 locks, the pretty canal village of Braunston and vibrant Gas Street Basin in the heart of Birmingham.
  4. See the Tolkien exhibition at the Bodleian Library. Take a Thames boating holiday from our Oxford narrowboat hire base, and it takes just three hours to reach City Centre moorings at Hythe Bridge. From there, it’s a short walk to many of Oxford’s most famous attractions, including the magnificent Bodleian Library, one of the oldest libraries in Europe. Accessed through the Old Schools Quadrangle of the Divinity School, a breath taking masterpiece of English Gothic architecture, until 28 October 2018 the Bodleian Library is hosting an exhibition of over 200 items from the Library’s extensive Tolkien Archive.
  5. Enjoy panoramic views from Chester’s Roman walls. From our canal boat hire base on the Shropshire Union Canal at Bunbury, the Roman City of Chester is a delightful seven-hour, nine-lock cruise away, travelling through the rolling Cheshire landscape. Once there, boaters can take time to explore this great heritage city, home to the most complete City Walls in Britain which date back 2,000 years to the Roman occupation. There’s a two-mile wall-walking trail, giving visitors the chance to follow in the footsteps of Roman soldiers and enjoy panoramic views on both sides.
  6. Glide across the Stream in the Sky to Whitchurch. On a week’s holiday from our canal barge holiday hire centre at Trevor on the Llangollen Canal in North Wales, boaters can travel to Whitchurch and back, which takes a total of 44 hours, passing through just four locks (two on the way, two on the way back). Along the way, canal boat holiday-makers encounter the incredible UNESCO World Heritage designated Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, which carries the canal in a cast iron trough 38 metres high above the Dee Valley. Once at Whitchurch, boaters can moor up to explore this pretty historic town with half-timbered buildings, independent shops and restaurants, way-marked circular walks, water voles at Staggs Brook, woodpeckers at Brown Moss nature reserve and the award-winning Black Bear pub.
  7. Travel the Birmingham Mini-Ring. On a week’s holiday from our narrowboat hire base at Wootton Wawen on the Stratford Canal, canal boat holiday-makers can travel the Birmingham Mini-Ring, cruising for 35 hours and passing through 83 locks. The route takes boaters through peaceful stretches of the Warwickshire countryside, with quiet villages and historic waterside pubs to enjoy, and then right into the heart of Britain’s Second City. Here there are moorings in Gas Street Basin, the perfect base from which to explore some of the City’s top attractions, including Brindleyplace, the Mailbox Shopping Centre and the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, home to the world’s largest collection of Pre-Raphaelite art.
  8. Visit No 1 Royal Crescent in fabulous Georgian Bath. From our barge holiday base on the Kennet & Avon Canal at Brassknocker Basin, it’s a four-hour journey, passing through six locks to reach moorings in the centre of the UNESCO World Heritage City of Bath – perfect for a short break afloat. Once moored up, boaters can explore some of the City’s top attractions, including the Roman Baths, Bath Abbey and No 1 Royal Crescent where each room offers a fascinating example of Georgian interior design with authentic furniture, paintings, textiles and carpets.
  9. Cruise into the Peak District to enjoy magnificent scenery. On a week’s break from our narrowboat hire base at Great Haywood on the Trent & Mersey Canal, canal boat holiday-makers can cruise into the beautiful Peak District. It’s a 43-hour return journey to Froghall and back, travelling a total of 72 miles (36 each way) through 70 locks (35 each way). The route first takes boaters north along the Trent & Mersey Canal to Stoke-on-Trent, where they can connect onto the peaceful 17-mile long Caldon Canal, which passes through some of the most magnificent scenery in Britain. As the Canal leaves Stoke, it begins to pass through gently rolling hills, wooded areas, past old mills and then alongside the beautiful River Churnet. The route takes boaters through Cheddleton, home to the headquarters of the Churnet Valley Railway, and the village of Consall Forge with the secluded Black Lion pub serving good food and real ales.

To book a holiday or break on any of Anglo Welsh’s fleet, call our friendly booking team on 0117 304 1122.

 

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Top 10 August Bank Holiday Destinations

Canal boat holidays are great for families, offering the change to experience life afloat exploring Britain’s beautiful canal network, watching out for wildlife and stopping off at exciting waterside destinations along the way. Pottering along the waterways at walking pace, narrowboat holidays are said to be ‘the fastest way to slow down’. So why not pack up and ship out over the August Bank Holiday aboard one of our fantastic canal boats, equipped with all the key comforts of home – central heating, hot water, TV, WiFi, well-stocked kitchens, showers and flushing toilets.

Here are our ‘Top 10 August Bank Holiday Family Destinations Afloat’ – all short breaks suitable for beginners:

  1. Visit the Sea Life Centre in Birmingham’s Brindleyplace. From our canal boat hire base at Tardebigge on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal near Bromsgrove, it’s a five-hour, lock-free journey to moorings at Gas Street Basin in Birmingham City Centre. From there Brindleyplace is a short walk away, offering an abundance of shops, restaurants and attractions, including Birmingham’s Sea life Centre, with over 60 displays of freshwater and marine life, and the new Jelly Invaders exhibit offering a glittering underwater wonderland to marvel at.
  2. Explore Sir Titus Salt’s model town at Saltaire. From our narrowboat holiday base at Silsden on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, it takes seven hours, passing through 11 locks to reach Sir Titus Salt’s famous Victorian industrial model town at Saltaire. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sir Titus Salt built the textile Mill and entire village for his mill workers, all in a beautiful Italianate style. Places to visit at Saltaire include the magnificent Salt’s Mill where many examples of the work of Bradford born artist David Hockney are on display, and the Shipley Glen Tramway, the oldest working cable tramway in Britain, which takes visitors a quarter of a mile up through woodlands to a popular local beauty spot.
  3. Take a Thames boating holiday and see the Oxford Dinosaurs. From our Oxford base, it’s a tranquil three-hour cruise along the River Thames to moorings at Hythe Bridge, perfect for exploring Oxford’s city centre, including the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. Some of the most important finds during the pivotal early years in the study of palaeontology were made in Oxfordshire, including the full skeleton of Eustreptospondylus in 1871. Today, visitors to the City’s Museum of Natural History can see this incredible skeleton of a carnivore that once walked on its hind legs and had a large head armed with sharp blade-like teeth.
  4. Watch the African painted dogs at Chester Zoo. From our canal boat rental base at Bunbury on the Shropshire Union Canal near Tarporley in Cheshire, it takes seven hours, passing through nine locks to reach the ancient City of Chester. Once there, narrowboat holiday-makers can visit the award-winning Chester Zoo, home to 21,314 animals from 500 species, including a fascinating pack of rare African Painted Dogs.
  5. Watch the Dragon Slayer Show at Warwick Castle. From our Stockton base on the Grand Union Canal in Warwickshire, it’s a seven-hour journey, passing through 20 locks, to reach the beautiful country town of Warwick, with its magnificent medieval 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, Staterooms and Kingmaker Exhibition to explore, and soaring birds of prey and trebuchet firing displays to watch. And each evening of the August bank holiday weekend (24-27 August), the spectacular Dragon Slayer show will be on, with light shows on the walls of the castle, fire-jousting and live action stunts.
  6. Visit the Shropshire Lake District. On a short break from our canal barge holiday hire centre at Trevor on the Llangollen Canal in North Wales, boaters can reach the Shropshire town of Ellesmere in seven hours, passing through four locks. Along the way, canal boat holiday-makers encounter the incredible UNESCO World Heritage designated Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, which carries the canal in a cast iron trough 38 metres high above the Dee Valley. Once at Ellesmere, boaters can explore the Shropshire Lake District, including the Mere with its Victorian gardens, woodland paths, historic castle and abundance of wildlife.
  7. Discover the secret life of the Tudors in Stratford-upon-Avon. From our narrowboat hire base at Wootton Wawen on the Stratford Canal, it’s a delightful six-hour, 17-lock cruise journey through the Warwickshire countryside to Bancroft Basin in the centre of Stratford-upon-Avon. From there, it’s a short walk to the town’s theatres, shops, restaurants and museums, including Tudor World where visitors can find out what life was really like during Shakespeare’s time, from dining and sleeping, to plague and poo!
  8. Enjoy some historic holiday fun the Black Country Living Museum. From our Tardebigge base on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal near Bromsgrove, it’s an eight-hour, three-lock journey to moorings at the Black Country Living Museum. Visitors to the Museum this summer can discover the hobbies and pastimes that entertained Black Country people from Victorian times to the 1930’s. From cooking demonstrations, silent films, street games, school lessons and a traditional fairground, to pop-up dramas, vintage music and themed evening events, there’s a whole host of period entertainment on offer over the August Bank Holiday weekend.
  9. Marvel at the Caen Hill flight of locks at Devizes. From our barge holiday base on the Kennet & Avon Canal at Brassknocker Basin in Bath, it’s a nine-hour journey, travelling 15 miles and passing through eight locks, to Fox Hanger Wharf at the base of the mighty Caen Hill flight of 29 locks at Devizes. Said to be one of The Seven Wonders of the Waterways, the breath-taking sight of the 16 locks in a row climbing Caen Hill is truly one of the most spectacular of Britain’s inland waterways. Once there, the historic market town of Devizes is a short walk away, with its Wadworth Brewery Visitor Centre and famous shire horses making daily deliveries, plus a range of independent shops, pubs and restaurants, including the ‘Peppermill Restaurant’ and the Bear Hotel.
  10. Get close to nature at Fradley Pool Nature Reserve. From our canal barge holiday base at Great Haywood in Staffordshire, on a short break boaters can cruise along the Trent & Mersey Canal to Fradley Junction at Alrewas near Burton-on-Trent, a journey which takes six hours, travelling 12 miles and passing through five locks. Picturesque Fradley, where the Coventry Canal meets the Trent & Mersey Canal, offers visitors guided walks, a café, two pubs and the award-winning Fradley Pool Nature Reserve, home to an abundance of creatures. Along the way, boaters pass the Shugborough Estate with its stunning Georgian Mansion House and a number of rural family-friendly pubs, including Mossley Tavern at Rugeley.

To book a holiday or break on any of Anglo Welsh’s fleet, call our friendly booking team on 0117 304 1122.

 

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Top 9 Family Canal Boat Breaks

Canal boat holidays are great for families – bringing everyone together for an adventure afloat – soaking up the scenery, learning how to steer the boat and work the locks, watching out for wildlife and stopping-off to visit waterside pubs and attractions.

To celebrate the International Day of Families (15th May), we’ve put together our top 9 narrowboat holidays for families for 2018.

  1. Walk the City Walls in Chester. The ancient City of Chester is a delightful seven hour cruise, passing through nine locks, from our canal boat hire base at Bunbury on the Shropshire Union Canal in Cheshire. Once there, narrowboat holiday-makers can moor up to explore the City, including the largest Roman Amphitheatre in Britain and the almost three kilometre-long City Walls, which were started by the Romans between 70 and 80 AD and formed a complete circuit of the medieval city.
  2. Discover the Witch in a Bottle at the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford. From our Thames boating holiday hire base at Eynsham, it’s a tranquil three-hour cruise to moorings at Hythe Bridge, perfect for exploring Oxford’s city centre. There are excellent shops, many historic buildings and fantastic museums to explore in Oxford, including the extraordinary Pitt Rivers Museum, home to one of the world’s finest collection of anthropology and archaeology, including shrunken heads from the Amazon and the famous ‘witch in a bottle’.
  3. Soak up the Italianate architecture at Saltaire. From our base at Silsden on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, on a short break boaters can travel to Sir Titus Salt’s famous model town at Saltaire, a journey which takes seven hours and passes through 11 locks. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sir Titus Salt built the textile Mill and entire village for his mill workers, all in a beautiful Italianate style. Places to visit include Saltaire Park and the Grade II* listed Salt’s Mill. This homes many examples of work by Bradford born artist David Hockney, as well as collections of books, furniture, jewellery, clothing and the Salt’s Diner restaurant.
  4. Marvel at the Caen Hill flight of locks at Devizes. From our barge holiday base on the Kennet & Avon Canal in Bath, it’s a 10-hour, eight-lock cruise to Fox Hanger Wharf at the base of the mighty Caen Hill flight of 29 locks at Devizes, one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the Waterways’. Once here, the historic market town of Devizes is a short walk away, with its Wadworth Brewery Visitor Centre and famous shire horses making daily deliveries, plus a range of shops, pubs and restaurants, including the ‘Peppermill Restaurant’ and the Bear Hotel. Along the way, narrowboat holiday-makers can stop off to explore historic Bradford on Avon, home to the magnificent 14th monastic stone Tithe Barn, with its amazing timber cruck roof.
  5. Climb the Ramparts at Warwick Castle. From our Stockton canal boat rental base on the Grand Union Canal in Warwickshire, it’s a seven-hour journey, passing through 20 locks, to reach the beautiful country town of Warwick with its magnificent medieval 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 Staterooms to explore. Families can experience the sights, sounds and smells of the medieval period in the Kingmaker exhibition, watch soaring birds of prey and trebuchet firing displays and navigate the Horrible Histories Maze and landscaped gardens.
  6. Glide across ‘The Stream in the Sky’. Just five minutes from our base on the Llangollen Canal at Trevor, boaters encounter the incredible Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, truly one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the Waterways’. Its cast iron trough filled with water, is supported on iron arched ribs and carried 38 metres high above the Dee Valley on 19 hollow pillars. In 2009 the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct was added to the UNESCO World Heritage site list, putting it on a par with the Pyramids and Taj Majhal. On a short break from our canal boat hire yard at Trevor, boaters can cross the aqueduct and then continue east to reach the Ellesmere Lakes, teaming with wildlife. On a week’s break, narrow boat holiday-makers can cruise on to the historic market town of Whitchurch.
  7. Experience the Pirahna Tunnel at Birmingham’s National Sea Life Centre. From our narrow boat holiday hire base on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal at Tardebigge, Gas Street Basin in Birmingham City’s Centre is a five-hour lock-free cruise away, perfect for first-time canal boat holiday-makers. From there it’s a short walk to Brindley place with an abundance of shops, restaurants and attractions, including Birmingham’s Sea life Centre, with over 60 displays of freshwater and marine life, including the new Pirahna Tunnel and Jelly Invaders exhibit.
  8. Get close to nature at Fradley Pool Nature Reserve. From our canal barge holiday base at Great Haywood in Staffordshire, on a short break boaters can cruise along the Trent & Mersey Canal to Fradley Junction and back, a journey which takes six hours and passes through five locks. Picturesque Fradley offers visitors guided walks, a café, two pubs and the award-winning Fradley Pool Nature Reserve, home to an abundance of creatures. Along the way, boaters pass the Shugborough Estate with its stunning Georgian mansion house and walled garden. Families can explore the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust’s Wolseley centre with 26 acres of beautiful grounds and Rugeley with its choice of pubs, including the canal side Mossley Tavern.
  9. Watch a Shakespeare play in the Bard’s home town. From our luxury canal boat hire base at Wootton Wawen on the Stratford Canal, it’s a delightful six-hour, 17-lock cruise journey through the Warwickshire countryside to Bancroft Basin in the centre of Stratford-upon-Avon. From there, it’s a short walk to the town’s theatres, shops, restaurants and museums, including the Royal Shakespeare Theatre where until 18 September Christopher Ecclestone will play Macbeth and Niamh Cusack Lady Macbeth in ‘The Scottish Play’.

To book a holiday or break on any of Anglo Welsh’s fleet, call our friendly booking team on 0117 304 1122.

 

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Come Along to One of Our Open Days

On Sunday 15 April 2018 we’re offering free canal boat holiday taster sessions at five of our canal boat hire bases, giving visitors the chance to find out more about what it’s like to enjoy a narrowboat holiday on Britain’s wonderful inland waterway network.

Our events are being held as part of Drifters’ National Open Day, which is supported by the Canal & River Trust. The taster sessions will include free trips on skippered narrowboats, as well as narrowboat tours, holiday discounts and the chance to find out more about our luxury canal boat hire opportunities. No advance booking is required. The events will open at 11am and close at 4pm.

Here’s a list of our narrowboat hire bases hosting events:

Tardebigge, Worcester & Birmingham Canal
Tardebigge Wharf, Old Wharf
Bromsgrove,
Worcester, B60 1LR
Tel: 01527 873898
Email: tar.base@anglowelsh.co.uk

Wootton Wawen, Stratford Canal
Canal Wharf, Wootton Wawen
Henley in Arden
West Midlands, B95 6BZ
Tel: 01564 793427
Email: wwn.base@anglowelsh.co.uk

Bunbury, Shropshire Union Canal
Bunbury Lock, Bunbury
Tarporley
Cheshire, CW6 9QB
Tel: 01829 260957
Email: bun.base@anglowelsh.co.uk

Trevor, Llangollen Canal
Canal Wharf, Trevor
Llangollen LL20 7TT
Tel: 01978 821749
Email: trevor.base@anglowelsh.co.uk

Great Haywood, Staffs & Worcs Canal
Mill Lane, Great Haywood
Stafford, ST18 0RJ
Tel: 01889 881711
Email: grh.base@anglowelsh.co.uk

For information about all the other canal barge holiday open day events taking place across the country, go to www.drifters.co.uk/openday

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Top 10 Easter Canal Boat Breaks

This Easter, narrowboat holidays offer the chance to explore the Great British countryside as it bursts into life with new leaves, daffodils, bluebells, spring lambs and nesting birds. Set sail aboard your own floating holiday home to enjoy a fantastic family adventure, stopping-off along the way to visit exciting waterside visitor attractions hosting special Easter holiday activities.

Here are our top 10 Easter holiday destinations to visit afloat:

  1. Go on an Easter egg hunt at Kinver Edge. From our narrowboat hire base at Tardebigge on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal near Bromsgrove, it’s a 20-hour, 37-mile, 32-lock journey to Kinver on the Staffordshire & Worcester Canal. Kinver Edge offers visitors miles of wildlife-rich heath land and woods to explore, and starting from the site’s ancient Rock Houses, the National Trust is hosting daily Easter Egg Hunts over the Easter weekend. Kinver is on the route of the Stourport Ring, which can be tackled on a week’s holiday from Tardebigge, travelling a total of 76 miles via Birmingham, Kidderminster, Stourport and Worcester.
  2. See Roman finds discovered by metaldetectorists in Oxford. From our Oxford base, it’s a tranquil three-hour cruise along the River Thames to moorings at Hythe Bridge, perfect for exploring Oxford’s city centre, including the University of Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum of Art & Archaeology. As well as permanent world famous collections from Egyptian Mummies to contemporary art, until 29 April 2018 ‘An Ancient Landscape: Iron-Age and Roman finds from the Berkshire Downs’ explores the story of this site through objects found by metaldetectorists, such as coins, pottery and metalwork, dating from the late Iron Age to the end of Roman Britain.
  3. See a rare baby deer at Chester Zoo. Chester Zoo, home to 21,314 animals from 500 species, can be reached on a short break from our canal boat hire base at Bunbury on the Shropshire Union Canal in Cheshire. New arrivals at the Zoo include a rare tiny Philippine spotted deer fawn, cuter than Bambi, as well as two critically endangered Eastern black rhino calves, seven endangered African painted dog pups and world first breedings of highly threatened Bermudian skinks and Catalonian newts. The journey to Chester takes around seven hours, passing through nine locks.
  4. Glide across ‘The Stream in the Sky’. Just five minutes from our base on the Llangollen Canal at Trevor, boaters encounter the incredible Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, truly one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the Waterways’. Its cast iron trough filled with water, is supported on iron arched ribs and carried 38 metres high above the Dee Valley on 19 hollow pillars. In 2009 the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct was added to the UNESCO World Heritage site list, putting it on a par with the Pyramids and Taj Majhal. On a short break from our boat yard at Trevor, boaters can cross the aqueduct and then continue east to reach the Ellesmere Lakes, teaming with wildlife. On a week’s break, narrowboat holiday-makers can cruise on to the historic market town of Whitchurch.
  5. Take the ‘Bunny’s Trail’ at the Black Country Living Museum. From our Tardebigge base on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal near Bromsgrove, it’s an eight-hour, three-lock journey to moorings outside the Black Country Living Museum. From 24 March until 15 April the Museum will be hosting an array of family activities, including the Bunny’s Trail exploring the Museum’s canalside village, egg rolling competitions, egg and spoon races, displays about Easter traditions in the home including egg dying and traditional recipes, as well as the chance to enjoy freshly baked hot cross buns from the bakery and traditionally cooked fish & chips.
  6. Watch medieval jousting in the heart of Leeds. From our base at Silsden on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, on a week’s holiday, canal boat holiday-makers can travel to Leeds and back, cruising for a total of 34 hours and passing through 56 locks. Here, boaters can moor up and explore the Royal Armouries Museum at Leeds Dock, home of the national collection of arms and armour. From Friday 30 March till Monday 2 April, the Museum will be hosting its Easter Tournament event with authentic medieval jousting in the Royal Armouries’ arena.
  7. Climb the rigging on the SS Great Britain in Bristol. On a short break from our narrowboat hire base on the Kennet & Avon Canal at Bath, canal boat holiday-makers can travel west to Bristol’s Floating Harbour* in eight hours, passing through 13 locks. Once there boaters can moor up to explore the harbour and visit the SS Great Britain where at weekends people are given the opportunity to climb the ship’s rigging. Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel for the Great Western Steamship Company’s transatlantic service between Bristol and New York, from 1845 to 1854 the SS Great Britain was the longest passenger ship in the world.

    *NB this route is recommended route for experienced boaters and overnight mooring fees will apply

  8. Walk in Shakespeare’s footsteps in Stratford-upon-Avon. From our base at Wootton Wawen on the Stratford Canal, it’s a delightful six-hour, 17-lock cruise journey through the Warwickshire countryside to Bancroft Basin in the centre of Stratford-upon-Avon. From there, it’s a short walk to the town’s theatres, shops, restaurants and museums, including Shakespeare’s Birthplace where visitors can walk in the Bard’s footsteps. This Easter (31 March to 15 April) children visiting Shakespeare’s Birthplace can take part in a fun interactive treasure hunt in the gardens, with music and comedy, led by the Museum’s in-house actors Shakespeare Aloud.
  9. Celebrate Spring time at Shugborough Hall. From our base at Great Haywood, on the Trent & Mersey Canal near Stafford, the National Trust’s beautiful Shugborough Hall estate is a short journey away. Here families can explore the historic mansion house and servants’ quarters, as well as visit the working farm to see lambs being born, witness bulbs blooming in the walled garden and wildlife emerging in the parkland. And from 30 March to 15 April, special events are planned to celebrate Spring time at Shugborough with nature inspired activities and trails, including Explorers’ Map, full of 50 Things fun, and canoeing sessions on the River Sow.
  10. Wonder at Warwick Castle. From our Stockton base on the Grand Union Canal in Warwickshire, it’s a seven-hour journey, passing through 20 locks, to reach the beautiful country town of Warwick with its magnificent medieval 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 Staterooms to explore, the sights, sounds and smells of the medieval period to experience in the Kingmaker exhibition, soaring birds of prey and trebuchet firing displays to watch, the Horrible Histories Maze to navigate and landscaped gardens to tour. And this Easter (30 March to 15 April) visitors can join in the 950th anniversary of William the Conqueror’s motte and bailey castle by climbing The Conqueror’s Fortress, a specifically designed interactive exhibition exploring the castle’s fascinating history.

To book a holiday or break on any of Anglo Welsh’s fleet, call our friendly booking team on 0117 304 1122.

 

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Anglo Welsh’s Top 10 Summer Holidays Afloat

Set off together this summer for a micro-adventure afloat, exploring the countryside and visiting exciting waterside attractions in some of Britain’s best-loved towns and cities.

Here are our Top 10 family destinations this Summer to help you plan ahead:

  1. Explore The Big Hoot in Birmingham. From our Tardebigge base on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal near Bromsgrove, it’s a five-hour, lock free journey to moorings at Gas Street Basin in Birmingham City Centre, where this summer (until 7 September) 89 colourful owl sculptures have taken position across the city to form a public trail. All the giant owls have been sponsored by companies and organisations and at the end of the event, they will be auctioned off to raise money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
  2. Visit the Tolkien exhibition at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. From our Oxford base, it’s a tranquil three-hour cruise along the River Thames to moorings at Hythe Bridge, perfect for exploring Oxford’s city centre, including the awe-inspiring Bodleian Library, one of the oldest libraries in Europe and home to over 12 million printed items. The Library’s new exhibition, in the Weston Library, ‘Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth’ (1 June to 28 October 2018) explores the creative genius of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ author, through manuscripts, artwork, maps, letters and artefacts.
  3. Walk the walls of Chester. From our canal boat hire base on the Shropshire Union Canal at Bunbury, the Roman City of Chester is a delightful seven-hour, nine-lock cruise away, travelling through the rolling Cheshire landscape. Once there, take time to explore this great heritage city home to the most complete City Walls in Britain dating back to the Roman occupation 2,000 years ago. During this fascinating two-mile walk, you can follow in the footsteps of the Roman soldiers patrolling the walls and enjoy a unique perspective of Chester with panoramic views on both sides.
  4. Glide across ‘The Stream in the Sky’ in North Wales. Just five minutes by boat from our base on the Llangollen Canal at Trevor, boaters encounter the incredible World Heritage Status Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, truly one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the Waterways’. Its cast iron trough, along which boats travel, is supported on iron arched ribs and carried 30 metres high above the Dee Valley on 19 hollow pillars. On 14 July, the annual ‘Under The Arches Music Festival’, one of Wales’ best-loved music, light, laser & firework shows, will take place beneath Thomas Telford’s stunning Pontcysyllte Aqueduct!
  5. See the ‘Becoming Henry Moore’ exhibition in Leeds. From our base at Silsden on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, on a week’s holiday, canal boat holiday-makers can travel to Leeds and back, cruising for a total of 34 hours and passing through 56 locks. Here, boaters can moor up and visit the Henry Moore Foundation where this summer, the Museum’s ‘Becoming Henry Moore’ exhibition charts Britain’s foremost modern sculptor’s creative trajectory from 1914 to 1930. Tickets to the exhibition include entrance to the sculpture gardens and Henry Moore’s studios (until 2 October).
  6. Enjoy tea and cake at the Jane Austen Centre in Bath. From our base on the Kennet & Avon Canal at the historic town of Bradford on Avon in Wiltshire, boaters can reach Bath Top Lock, in just six hours, travelling through one lock and over two beautiful Bath stone aqueducts. From there, it’s a 15-minute walk into Bath City Centre where visitors can find the Jane Austen Centre, dedicated to celebrating Bath’s most famous resident. Set in a classically decorated Georgian town house, you can get into the Jane Austen spirit by dressing up in the exhibition’s Regency costumes and ordering a cup of real leaf tea and homemade cake at the Regency themed Tea Rooms.
  7. Step back in time at Shakespeare’s Birthplace in Stratford upon Avon. From our base at Wootton Wawen on the Stratford Canal, it’s a delightful six-hour, 17-lock cruise journey through the Warwickshire countryside to moorings in the centre of Stratford-upon-Avon. From here, it’s a short walk to the town’s theatres, shops, restaurants and museums, including the Tudor house where Shakespeare was born and grew up. Here visitors can enjoy hearing tales of Shakespeare’s family life, live theatre performances on demand and seeing rare artefacts from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s collections.
  8. Visit the Food & Drink Capital of Staffordshire. From our base at Great Haywood, near Stafford, it’s a peaceful five-hour, four-lock journey along the Trent & Mersey Canal to the bustling market town of Stone. With an excellent choice of restaurants, pubs and wine bars, regular markets, its own micro ‘Lymestone Brewery’ and a series of exciting ‘foodie’ festivals, Stone is known as The Food and Drink Capital for good reason.
  9. Journey round the Warwickshire Ring. From our Stockton base on the Grand Union Canal in Warwickshire, the 101-mile, 94-lock Warwickshire Ring takes narrowboat holiday-makers on a wonderful tour of the West Midlands, cruising for around 53 hours in total. Highlights include the beautiful country town of Warwick with its jaw-dropping medieval castle on the banks of the River Avon. From 22 July to 3 September, Warwick Castle is holding its ‘Wars of The Roses Live’ event, a new heart pumping, fist thumping, live action show!
  10. Cruise to Devizes for some real ale and cheesecake. From our base on the Kennet & Avon Canal at Sydney Wharf in Bath, boaters can reach Fox Hanger Wharf at the base of the awesome flight of locks at Caen Hill, in 10 hours, travelling through eight locks. Once here, the historic market town of Devizes is a short walk away, where visitors can enjoy the Wadworth Brewery Visitor Centre with its famous shire horses making daily deliveries, and sample delicious food at some of the town’s independent shops and restaurants, including seasonal favourites at the AA 5* ‘Peppermill Restaurant’ and the Devizes Cheesecake at the ‘Dolcipani Bakery’.

To book a holiday or break on any of Anglo Welsh’s fleet, call our friendly booking team on 0117 304 1122.

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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?

More than 55 years providing unique canal boat holidays.
Modern & spacious narrowboat holiday fleet – from 2 to 12 berths.
Wide choice of narrowboat hire locations and canal.
Canal boat holiday routes for novices & experienced boaters.
Flexible holiday booking, no hidden costs.
Family friendly holidays, pets also welcome.

Anglo Welsh. So much more than narrowboats

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

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