Top 9 August Canal Boat Holiday Destinations
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.Tags: barge hire, canal boat hire, canal boat holidays, Grand Union Canal, Kennet & Avon Canal, Llangollen Canal, Narrow boat holidays, narrowboat hire, River Thames, Shropshire Union Canal, Stratford Canal, Thames boating holidays, Trent & Mersey Canal, Worcestershire & Birmingham Canal