Top 7 week-long canal boat cruises through the countryside this Autumn
This Autumn adventure afloat on a canal cruise through the countryside, enjoying the beautiful colours in the trees and hedgerows that line our canals and rivers.
Canal boat holidays are a great way to connect with nature. You can watch-out for plant, animal and bird life along the way, including the hedgerow fruits and berries enjoyed by birds and small mammals.
To celebrate the Autumn colours along the canals, we’ve put together a guide to our top seven week-long cruises through the countryside:
1. Cruise through the Shropshire countryside to Whitchurch
On a week’s break from our canal boat hire centre at Trevor in North Wales, you can travel along the Llangollen Canal to Whitchurch and back. Along the way, you’ll cross the UNESCO World Heritage Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, with amazing views of the Dee Valley. Then it’s on through the Shropshire countryside, passing through Ellesmere, in the heart of the Shropshire Lake District. Once at Whitchurch, you can moor up to explore the Shropshire Wildlife Trust’s Greenfields Nature Reserve, with woodland walks and the chance to spot water voles. The journey from Trevor to Whitchurch and back takes 24 hours and passes through four locks (two each way).
2. Navigate through the Yorkshire countryside to Foulridge Tunnel
On a week’s break from Silsden on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in West Yorkshire, you can cruise through the Yorkshire countryside to Foulridge Tunnel. The journey takes you through a series of historic towns and villages, including Skipton, with its medieval castle and acres of woodland trails to explore. And East Marton with access to the Pennine Way National Trail. The journey from Silsden to Foulridge and back takes 26 hours and passes through 30 locks (15 each way).
3. Boat through the Cheshire countryside to Red Bull Wharf
On a week’s break from Bunbury, you can cruise through the Cheshire countryside to Red Bull Wharf and back. The route will take you along the rural Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal, which runs from Barbridge Junction to Middlewich. This peaceful 10-mile long waterways passing through the pretty village of Church Minshull, with its popular Badger Inn gastro pub. The journey from Bunbury to Red Bull Wharf and back travels 53 miles and passes through 70 locks (35 each way).
4. Meander through the Oxfordshire countryside to Wallingford
On a week’s break from our Oxford canal boat hire base, you can cruise along the River Thames to the historic market town of Wallingford. The journey passes through miles of peaceful Oxfordshire countryside, waterside meadows and woodlands. As well as the City of Oxford, there’s a series of riverside towns and villages to visit along the way, including the historic market town of Abingdon. It takes around 18 hours to cruise from our Oxford base at Eynsham to Wallingford and back, passing through 22 locks (11 each way).
5. Wend your way through the Wiltshire countryside to the Vale of Pewsey
On a week’s break from Monkton Combe on the Kennet & Avon Canal near Bath you can reach Pewsey Wharf. The journey takes you up the 29 locks of the Caen Hill Flight, one of the Seven Wonders of the Waterways. And through the beautiful Vale of Pewsey, part of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Places to visit along the way include the historic market towns of Bradford on Avon and Devizes. It takes around 38 hours to cruise from Monkton Combe to Pewsey and back, passing through 74 locks (37 each way).
6. Journey to Llangollen North Wales and visit the Horsehoe Falls
On a week’s break from Whixall Marina, on the Prees Branch of the Llangollen Canal in Shropshire, you can reach the historic town of Llangollen on the edge of the Berwyn Mountains. Along the way, you’ll travel through the Shropshire countryside to Ellesmere, with its beautiful Mere and woodland walks. You’ll cruise across the magnificent Pontcysyllte and Chirk aqueducts, enjoying incredible views of the Welsh Mountains. At Llangollen, nestled in the Berwyn Mountains, you can visit the famous Horseshoe Falls. The journey from Whixall to Llangollen and back takes around 24 hours and passes through four locks (two each way).
7. Meander along the Ashby Canal SSSI
From our Stockton base on the Grand Union Canal in Warwickshire, you can travel up the North Oxford Canal and transfer onto the tranquil Ashby Canal. This 22-mile long lock-free waterway meanders through the Leicestershire countryside from Marston Junction to Snarestone. The six miles from Carlton Bridge 44 to Snarestone are designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for their aquatic plans. The journey from Stockton to Snarestone and back takes 44 hours and passes through 14 locks (seven each way).
Every year more people take the plunge and set sail on an adventure afloat on Britain’s beautiful inland waterways network.
You don’t need a licence to steer a canal boat and it’s easy for first-timers to learn to operate our boats.
As part of our narrowboat hire, we provide you with expert boat steering tuition. And our series of ‘How to’ videos give step by step instruction on everything from switching the boat engine on to the best way to tie your ropes when mooring up.
When you arrive at one of our boat yards, we’ll take you through our nationally accredited handover. And we’ll make sure you’re comfortable and in control before you set off. As well as our Youtube videos, there is a manual on board every boat if you need to check on anything. And our engineering teams are on hand 24 hours a day to help over the phone, or come out to you if you need them.
So, if you’ve thought about taking a canal boat holiday, but you’re not sure where to begin, here’s a guide to our top 9 summer short breaks for beginners:
1. Head to Birmingham lock-free
With no locks between our canal boat rental base at Tardebigge and Birmingham City Centre, this five-hour cruise is perfect for novice canal boaters. The first half of the journey passes through fields, woods and villages, before gradually becoming more urbanised. Once you reach the centre of Birmingham, there are over-night moorings at Gas Street Basin, with easy access to Brindleyplace waterside restaurants, Sea Life Centre, glitzy Mailbox shopping and other leading attractions.
2. Learn the ropes on the Llangollen
Passing through stunning North Wales landscapes, the Llangollen Canal is one of the most popular on the network. With just two locks along the way, the seven-hour journey from our boat yard at Trevor to Ellesmere offers a fantastic short break holiday for beginners. The route includes the experience of travelling across the incredible UNESCO World Heritage Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, with jaw-dropping panoramic views of the Dee Valley 38 metres below.
3. Dip your toe in the water at Bath
From our base at Sydney Wharf on the Kennet & Avon Canal in Bath, it takes just four hours to cruise 10 miles to the lovely market town of Bradford on Avon. There’s just one lock to pass through and two stunning Bath stone aqueducts to glide across. And there are popular canalside pubs to, including The George at Bathampton, Cross Guns at Avoncliff and Barge Inn at Bradford on Avon.
4. Float gently along to Fradley
From Great Haywood, you can head south along the Trent & Mersey Canal to Fradley Junction, where the Coventry Canal meets the Trent & Mersey. The journey takes around five hours, travelling 12 peaceful miles through the Staffordshire countryside. There are just five locks to pass through, and you’ll pass canalside pubs at Wolseley and Rugeley. At Fradley, you can enjoy refreshments at the Canalside Café or The Swan Inn. And you can enjoy spotting wildlife along the woodland trail and boardwalk at Fradley Pool Nature Reserve.
5. Take to the tiller along the Thames
From our Oxford base at Eynsham, you can enjoy a Thames boating holiday. It takes just over three hours, passing through four locks to reach City centre moorings in Oxford. Many of the locks along the Thames are manned, so there’s often help on hand for newcomers. Once in Oxford, you take time to explore the city, including the famous Bodleian Library, Carfax Tower and Ashmolean Museum.
6. Navigate the Shroppie to historic Chester
It’s a seven-hour, nine-lock journey to the ancient city of Chester from our Bunbury base on the Shropshire Union Canal. The route passes through the beautiful Cheshire countryside and villages. There are historic local pubs to enjoy along the way, including The Ring O’Bells at Christleton and The Shady Oak at Bates Mill Bridge. Once in Chester, you can take time to explore this cosmopolitan ancient city. Attractions include: a Roman Amphitheatre and city walls, Chester Rows shops, 1,000-year old cathedral, racecourse and award-winning Zoo.
7. Cruise along two canals to Hillmorton
From our Stockton base, it takes around seven hours to cruise to the pretty canal village of Hillmorton. Starting on the Grand Union Canal, you’ll transfer onto the North Oxford Canal at Braunston. Along the way, you’ll pass Napton on the Hill, with its popular Kings Head pub. And the canal village of Braunston, home to a choice of places to eat, including the historic Admiral Nelson. The journey to Hillmorton passes through just six locks, including the three locks at Hillmorton, where lock keepers are on hand to help. And there’s a choice of pubs at Hillmorton, including the Stag & Pheasant.
8. Test the waters on the Leeds & Liverpool
Setting off from Silsden on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in West Yorkshire, the journey to Gargrave and back is nice and easy for beginners. The route travels 12 miles through the Yorkshire countryside. It passes through just three locks, and takes around 6½ hours. Along the way, you’ll pass through Skipton, home to one of the best preserved medieval castles in England. At Gargrave, there are plenty of pubs, including The Mason’s Arms and Cross Keys Inn. Gargrave is on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, with over 680 square miles of some of England’s finest walking country to explore.
9. Cross the border into Wales surrounded by breath-taking scenery
From Whixall Marina on the Llangollen Canal in Shropshire, on a short break you can cruise to Chirk and back. The journey to Chirk takes around eight hours and passes through just two locks. The route passes Whixall Moss nature reserve and historic Ellesmere, in the heart of the Shropshire Lake District. At Chirk, where the Llangollen Canal crosses the Welsh border, there’s a choice of canalside pubs and the National Trust’s medieval Chirk Castle to visit.
Best boating holidays for beginners in the West Midlands
Birmingham famously has more canals than Venice, so a canal boat holiday is a great way to explore the West Midlands area.
Our canal boat hire bases at Tardebigge on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal near Bromsgrove, and Wootton Wawen on the Stratford Canal near Henley-in-Arden, offer a great choice of routes for beginners.
Whether you want to experience a rural retreat afloat, or cruise into the heart of Birmingham, there are dozens of destinations to choose from.
You don’t need a licence to steer a canal boat and tuition is included in our holiday hire.
To celebrate the hundreds of miles of waterways and exciting waterside destinations available in the Birmingham area, we’ve published a guide to our top five short breaks for beginners:
1. Navigate to the Black Country Living Museum, home of the Peaky Blinders
From our narrowboat hire base at Tardebigge, it’s an eight-and-a-half hour, three-lock journey to the Black Country Living Museum. Scenes for all six series of the BBC’s epic gangster drama Peaky Blinders were filmed at the 26-acre Museum. As well as walking in the footsteps of the Shelbys, you can explore period shops and homes and have a drink in the ‘Bottle & Glass Inn’. You can also sample the Museum’s famous traditionally cooked 1930’s-style fish and chips and take a trip ‘into the thick’ to experience life in an 1850’s coal mine.
2. Moor up to see a play in Shakespeare’s Stratford
From our canal boat rental base at Wootton Wawen, you can reach Stratford upon Avon on a weekend or mid-week break. There are moorings in the centre of town in Bancroft Basin, next to Bancroft Gardens and the Royal Shakespeare Company. This year’s Royal Shakespeare Theatre productions include As You Like It and Macbeth. Bancroft Basin is just a short walk from Stratford’s excellent choice of shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants, including Carluccios. From Wootton Wawen, it takes around six hours, to reach Shakespeare’s Stratford, passing through 17 locks.
3. Cruise through the countryside to Packwood House
On a short break from Tardebigge, you can cruise to the village of Lapworth, home of the National Trust’s Tudor Manor house, Packwood House. The journey takes you along the Worcester & Birmingham Canal, through the Worcestershire countryside and the remains of the Forest of Arden, to Kings Norton Junction. Next, the route transfers onto the Stratford Canal to reach moorings in Lapworth. From there, it’s a short walk to the 16th century Packwood House, with 150 acres of parkland to explore and stunning gardens, including the famous Yew Garden. The journey to Lapworth takes around seven hours and passes through two tunnels. There are no locks on this route.
4. Moor up in the heart of Birmingham and visit the National SEA LIFE Centre
Departing from Tardebigge, it’s a five-hour, lock-free journey to moorings at Gas Street Basin in Birmingham City Centre. Here you are close to Brindleyplace and its National SEA LIFE Centre. The Centre is home to the UK’s only 360o Ocean Tunnel where you can marvel at sharks, a giant turtle, rays and hundreds of tropical fish. You can also see a group of Gentoo penguins, a pair of sea otters and a fascinating variety of jellyfish.
5. Cruise to the base of the magnificent Hatton Locks
On a short break from Wootton Wawen, you can cruise north along the Stratford Canal, transferring onto the Grand Union Canal to reach the bottom of the flight of 21 locks at Hatton. This lock impressive lock flight is nick-named the ‘Stairway to Heaven’. This is because of the hard work involved in the ascent, followed by an easy run to Camp Hill where the working boat men and women were once paid. Today the journey to Hatton takes you through the Warwickshire countryside and past a series of villages with country pubs. These include: the canalside Fleur de Lys at Lowsonford; and the Navigation Inn at Rowington. From Wootton Wawen, it takes around eight hours to reach the base of the Hatton flight, passing through 17 locks along the way.
Try canal boating at one of our free open day events
On Sunday 23 April 2023, we are offering people the chance to try canal boating for free at six of our canal boat hire bases across England and Wales.
The taster sessions, which are part of the Drifters national open day event, will include free short trips on skippered narrowboats, and the opportunity to look round holiday-hire boats at some locations.
Our open day events will be on from 11am to 4pm at the following locations:
Emma Lovell, Anglo Welsh’s reservations manager, gives an overview of the top canal boat holiday destinations in England and Wales for 2023
There are thousands of miles of navigable waterways to explore in England and Wales, offering the chance to set off on your very own adventure afloat.
You can cruise slowly through the countryside, watching out for wildlife and planning your next stop. There’s a choice of hundreds of waterside destinations to visit, from canalside pubs, restaurants and walks, to museums, theatres and festivals.
To celebrate the new boating season ahead, here’s a guide to our Top 10 narrowboat holidays for 2023:
1. See the rhino calf born at Chester Zoo
On a short break from our base at Bunbury on the Shropshire Union Canal you can reach the ancient City of Chester, home to the award-winning Chester Zoo. Visitors to Chester Zoo will find over 20,000 animals from 500 species, including Jiya, an endangered greater one-horn rhino calf. Jiya was born to Mum Asha after a 16-month pregnancy in October 2022. The journey to Chester from Bunbury takes around seven hours, and passes through nine locks.
2. Cruise to Lechlade on Thames for a great choice of country walks
Setting off on a mid-week break from our Oxford base, you can take a Thames boating holiday to Lechlade. The pretty historic town of Lechlade has a choice of pubs, including the 16th century Swan Inn and riverside Trout Inn. And you can pick up a guide to six local walks at the Post Office or Library, including information about the history of the area. The journey to Lechlade passes through seven locks and takes around nine hours.
3. Visit Birmingham, home of the Peaky Blinders
From our Tardebigge base near Bromsgrove, it’s an eight-and-a-half hour, three-lock journey to the Black Country Living Museum. Scenes for all five series of the BBC’s epic gangster drama Peaky Blinders were filmed at the 26-acre Museum. As well as walking in the footsteps of the Shelbys, visitors can explore period shops and homes and have a drink in the ‘Bottle & Glass Inn’. You can also sample the Museum’s famous traditionally cooked 1930’s-style fish and chips and take a trip ‘into the thick’ to experience life in an 1850’s coal mine.
4. Visit the Fairport Convention folk festival at Cropredy
On a week’s holiday from Stockton, you can cruise along the Oxford Canal to enjoy the festival of folk and rock music at Cropredy (10-12 August). The journey begins on the Grand Union Canal, soon transferring onto the Oxford Canal at Napton-on-the-Hill. Here, there’s a good choice of pubs, including the Kings Head. From there, the route winds gently on through the countryside, passing through 21 locks along the way. The 12-mile journey to Cropredy takes around 12 hours.
5. Moor up to see a play in Shakespeare’s Stratford
From our base at Wootton Wawen on the Stratford Canal, you can reach Stratford upon Avon on a short break. There you can moor up in Bancroft Basin to enjoy the town’s lively markets, shops, restaurants and museums. And you can choose from an exciting theatrical programme, including productions of ‘The Tempest’, ‘Julius Caesar’ and ‘Macbeth’ at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. From Wootton Wawen, it takes around six hours, to reach Shakespeare’s Stratford, passing through 17 locks.
6. Navigate the Four Counties Ring
On a week’s break from our base at Great Haywood in Staffordshire, you can navigate the ‘Four Counties Ring’. This popular circuit will take you along sections of the Trent & Mersey, Shropshire Union and Staffordshire & Worcestershire canals. In total, you’ll cruise 110-miles in around 60 hours, passing through 94 locks. Along the way, you’ll pass through some of the most beautiful landscapes in England, including the Peak District and Cheshire Plains. Highlights include: Wedgewood Pottery in Stoke on Trent; the 1.5 mile long Harecastle Tunnel; the flight of 31 locks at Kidsgrove; the Roman town of Middlewich; and the historic market town of Market Drayton.
7. Pass through the Bingley Five Rise Staircase
From our Silsden base it takes around four hours to reach the Bingley Five Rise Staircase, one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the Waterways’. Completed in 1774, this spectacular staircase of locks on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal raises (or lowers) boats 18 metres in five massive chambers. The locks open directly from one to another, with the top gate of one forming the bottom gate of the next. On a short break from Silsden, you can continue on to Shipley or Saltaire. On a week’s holiday from Silsden, you can reach Leeds.
8. Glide across ‘The Stream in the Sky’
Departing from our base at Trevor in North Wales, you’ll soon encounter the incredible World Heritage Status Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. One of the ‘Seven Wonders of the Waterways’, this incredible structure transports canal boats 38 metres high across the Dee Valley. On a short break from Trevor, you can travel cross the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, and continue cruising along the Llangollen Canal to Ellesmere. The Mere at Ellesmere offers visitors woodland walks, places to eat, a sculpture trail and an adventure playground. The journey to Ellesmere takes around seven hours, passing through two locks.
9. Travel up the Caen Hill Flight
On a week’s break from our base at Monkton Combe near Bath, you can reach Pewsey Wharf, travelling up the famous Caen Hill flight of locks along the way. The route, which is perfect for a week away, takes you along the Kennet & Avon Canal through 37 locks, including the 29 locks of the Caen Hill Flight at Devizes. You’ll also cruise across two dramatic Bath stone aqueducts at Dundas and Avoncliff, through the historic market town of Bradford on Avon and the beautiful Vale of Pewsey, part of the West Berkshire Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
10. Experience the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod afloat
Taking a week’s break from Whixall, you can cruise through the Shropshire Lake District to the Eisteddfod town of Llangollen. Every year, thousands of people descend on the pretty town of Llangollen, nestled in the Berwyn Mountains, to celebrate dance, music, costume and culture. The 2023 Eisteddfod is on from 4-9 July. The journey takes around 12 hours and passes through just two locks
Stan Cullimore reviews his widebeam boat holiday on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal
Earlier this year, Stan Cullimore – journalist, children’s author and member of the 80’s band The Housemartins – took a press trip aboard one of our widebeam boats.
Departing from our canal boat hire base at Silsden, on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in West Yorkshire, he travelled east to Saltaire and back. Along the way, with help from Canal & River Trust volunteer lock keepers, he travelled through the famous Bingley Five Rise Locks.
He describes the beautiful Spring countryside he passed through as “lush, green and gorgeous”, with lambs, bluebell woods and quaint little villages to see along the way.
He talks about the experience of steering a widebeam boat, and how it differs from navigating on a narrowboat. And he takes you on a tour of his widebeam canal boat’s “luxury decadence” and “spacious” interior, including the saloon with a wood burning stove, kitchen area and double cabin.
Stan travelled aboard ‘Bob’s Drum’, our 55ft long widebeam boat with accommodation for up to eight people. ‘Bob’s Drum’ is one of six widebeam boats available to hire from Sildsen, where 2023 prices start at £990 for a short break (three or four nights), £1,505 for a week. There are also 17 narrowboats for hire from Silsden.
Top 7 cosy waterside pubs and restaurants to cruise to this winter
We offer winter cruising* from seven of our canal boat hire bases – providing the opportunity to cruise gently through the quiet winter countryside and stop off at waterside eateries along the way.
You’ll be snug and warm on board as all our boats have central heating and hot water, and some also have multi-fuel stoves.
We offer narrowboat hire over Christmas and New Year, so you can celebrate the festive season afloat with family and friends. Or simply escape from it all with your nearest and dearest, aboard your very own floating holiday cottage.
Here’s a guide to our Top 7 waterside pubs and restaurants to cruise to this winter. Please note that winter maintenance on the canals may affect some routes for part of the winter, so do just check with us when you make your booking:
1. Cruise to the Dusty Miller at Wrenbury Mill, Cheshire
From our base at Bunbury on the Shropshire Union Canal, it takes around seven hours to reach Wrenbury Mill. The route travels through 10 miles of the Cheshire countryside, and passes through 11 locks. You’ll start off on the Shropshire Union Canal, transferring onto the Llangollen Canal at Hurleston Junction. At Wrenbury Mill you can moor up and enjoy a meal at the Dusty Miller. They serve traditional pub food, including chicken in a basket and pie of the day. The pub is dog friendly and they have a guide to local walks on their website.
2. Moor up at the Crown Inn near Alvechurch, Worcestershire
From our barge hire base at Tardebigge, it takes one and a half hours to cruise to the canalside Crown Inn. The journey travels three miles along the Worcestershire & Birmingham Canal. This lovely country pub offers rustic charm and a great choice food and drink. From fish and chips, and burgers, to seafood linguine and Chicken Balti, the team at the Crown pride themselves on serving ‘proper food’.
3. Visit the Boathouse overlooking the Mere, Shropshire
Setting out from our base at Whixall, it takes around three-and-a-half hours to reach the historic market town of Ellesmere in the heart of the Shropshire Lake District. You’ll travel along the beautiful Llangollen Canal, passing a series of lakes, including Cole Mere. Once at Ellesmere, you can moor up and explore the Mere, with its motte and bailey castle, Cremorne Gardens, woodlands and popular Boathouse restaurant over-looking the Mere.
4. Head to the Swan Inn at Fradley Junction, Staffordshire
From our base at Great Haywood it takes around five hours to reach Fradley Junction. The journey travels along the Trent & Mersey Canal for 12 miles, passing through five locks. At Fradley, you can moor up next to the historic Swan Inn, serving ‘home cooked honest meals’. They also have a doggy menu.
5. Visit the Fleur De Lys at Lowsonford, Warwickshire
From our boat yard on the Stratford Canal at Wootton Wawen, it takes around three hours to cruise to the pretty canalside village of Lowsonford. There you can moor up to visit the Fleur De Lys, a 17th century country pub famous for its pies. Eleven different types of pie are served, accompanied by seasonal vegetables, chunky chips and gravy. There are gluten free and vegan options, as well as veggie, meat and fish pies.
6. Take refreshment at the Barge Inn at Seend, Wiltshire
From our canal boat hire base at Bath, you can cruise gently through the countryside to the Barge Inn at Seend. This beautiful pub on the Kennet & Avon Canal offers cosy real fires and classic pub favourites, including great Sunday roasts. It takes around seven hours to cruise the 17 miles to Seend, passing through four locks along the way.
7. Dine out at the Corn Mill in Llangollen, Denbighshire
From our Trevor base on the Llangollen Canal, it takes around two-and-a-half hours to reach the pretty town of Llangollen, nestled in the Berwyn Mountains. Once there, you can moor up in Llangollen Basin and take a short walk to the popular Corn Mill pub. Housed in a 14th century watermill on the banks of the River Dee, there’s a great choice of dishes on offer. From pumpkin tortellini and a sweet potato curry, to a crispy buttermilk chicken burger and rump steak, all are calorie counted.
*Winter maintenance will affect some of the routes some of the time
This Autumn set sail on an adventure afloat, enjoying the beautiful colours in the trees and hedgerows that line Britain’s canals and rivers.
You’ll be self-contained on board your very own floating holiday cottage, equipped with the key comforts of home, including hot water, TV, WiFi*, well-stocked kitchens, showers, flushing toilets and central heating.
Welcome to our guide to our top destinations for Autumn 2022:
Glide across ‘The Stream in the Sky’ to Whitchurch
On a week’s break from our canal boat hire centre at Trevor in North Wales, you can travel to Whitchurch and back. The journey along the Llangollen Canal to Whitchurch takes 22 hours and passes through two locks. Along the way, you’ll travel across the incredible Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. This UNESCO World Heritage structure carries the canal 126 feet high above the Dee Valley. Next you’ll go through the Whitehouses and Chirk tunnels, then across the magnificent Chirk Aqueduct. Then it’s on through the beautiful Shropshire countryside, passing Ellesmere and Cole Mere. Once at Whitchurch, you can moor up to explore this pretty historic town, with independent shops and restaurants, and way-marked walks.
Travel round the Black Country Ring
From our narrowboat hire base at Great Haywood in Staffordshire, you can complete the Black Country Ring. The journey takes around 43 cruising hours, and travels through 79 locks. It navigates sections of the Birmingham & Fazeley, Birmingham Main Line, Coventry, Staffordshire & Worcestershire and Trent & Mersey canals. Highlights include Birmingham city centre’s Gas Street Basin, the Black Country Living Museum, and the waters at Tixall Wide.
Cruise through the Worcestershire countryside to Lapworth
Navigating from our Tardebigge base near Bromsgrove, it’s a gentle seven-hour cruise through the countryside to the village of Lapworth. You’ll be travelling along the Worcestershire & Birmingham Canal. There are two tunnels to navigate through, but no locks. Once moored up in Lapworth, you can explore the village and visit the National Trust’s Packwood House.
Navigate through the Airedale to Gargrave
On a short break from Silsden on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, you can cruise to Highgate Winding Hole, close to the village of Gargrave. The route passes through Kildwick with its White Lion pub, Snaygill, home of the Bay Horse pub, and Skipton with its fascinating medieval castle. The pretty village of Gargrave near the head of the Airedale, offers a choice of pubs, including the Masons Arms. The journey to Highgate Winding Hole and back travels 20 miles and takes around 11 hours.
Float along the Kennet & Avon Canal to Devizes
From our base at Bath it takes around 10½ hours to reach Foxhangers Wharf, on the edge of Devizes. Here you can walk up the magnificent Caen Hill flight of locks, one of the Seven Wonders of the Waterways. Along the way, you’ll pass through eight locks, and over two dramatic Bath stone aqueducts at Dundas and Avoncliff. You’ll also pass a series of canalside pubs, including the Cross Guns at Avoncliff and the Barge Inn at Bradford on Avon. This route is perfect for a short break.
Boat through the Warwickshire countryside to Fenny Compton
On a short break from Stockton, you can reach the pretty canalside village of Fenny Compton. The journey begins on the Grand Union Canal, transferring onto the Oxford Canal at Napton-on-the-Hill, where there’s a good choice of pubs. From there, the route winds gently through the countryside, with a series of locks to negotiate along the way. The journey to Fenny Compton and back takes around 20 hours, passing through 24 locks (12 each way).
Take a Thames boating holiday to Lechlade
From our narrowboat hire base on the River Thames at Oxford, it’s a tranquil nine-hour, journey to the pretty market town of Lechlade. Perfect for a mid-week break, the route passes through seven locks and miles of peaceful countryside. Places to stop off at include the village of Radcot with its 800-year old bridge across the Thames. And Kelmscott Manor, once the Cotswold retreat of William Morris. Lechlade has a choice of pubs, cafes and restaurants, as well as independent shops.
Boat to the ancient City of Chester
On a short break from our Bunbury base near Tarporley in Cheshire, you can reach the historic City of Chester. The 12-mile journey along the Shropshire Union Canal takes you through the rolling Cheshire countryside. It takes around seven cruising hours, and passes through 18 locks. Once in Chester, you can enjoy some of the city’s best loved attractions, including Britain’s most complete Roman and medieval walls and the Tudor open-air galleries.
Navigate the Avon Ring
On a 10-day or two-week break from Wootton Wawen, boaters can navigate the Avon Ring. The 109-mile circuit travels sections of the Stratford Canal, River Avon, River Severn and Worcester & Birmingham Canal. It passes through 131 locks and takes around 58 cruising hours. Highlights include Shakespeare’s Stratford, historic Evesham, Tewkesbury, Worcester and the 30 locks at Tardebigge.
We offer a range of different types of holidays such as City Breaks, Relaxation Cruises and Popular Destinations
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.
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