We have a range of narrowboats to choose from this winter, including cosy two-berths and twelve-berths fit for a party on the canal. Whilst all of our canal boats have central heating and hot water, some have the added advantage of a multi-fuel stove, perfect for keeping warm and toasty during the colder months. With WiFi, a TV and a DVD player on every boat, you can spend your evening relaxing onboard, if you’re not too busy enjoying a canal side pub or three!
Ice Skating in Bath
Mooring close to Pulteney Bridge, you can enjoy everything the beautiful city of Bath has to offer including ice skating in Royal Victoria Park! You can reach the World Heritage city within just a few hours from our Bath base on the Kennet & Avon canal. First you cruise along a section of the Avon Valley and then onwards through a flight of six locks. If you’re not feeling festive, there’s much more to explore, including the Roman Baths and Medieval Bath Abbey.
Skiing in Etruria
On a seven-night holiday from our Great Haywood base, you can make it to Etruria where you can spend a day on the slopes at Stoke Ski Centre. Travelling north up the Trent & Mersey canal, stopping off at the canal town of Stone and the village of Barlaston, you’ll pass through eighteen locks before mooring up to enjoy a family day out. If you’re not up for testing out your skiing skills, there’s much more to do in the area, including Waterworld Aqua Park.
If you fancy a tour of cosy country pubs, this is doable on a short break from our base in Wootton Wawen. On a picturesque six-hour cruise through the picturesque Warwickshire countryside, you can reach Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon Avon. Mooring up at Bancroft Basin, you can enjoy the historic town and its many pubs, restaurants and cafes.
The Stream in the Sky
Our base at Trevor sits on the doorstep of the world famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, so this is easily doable on a short break or even a day hire! On a short break, canal boat holiday-makers can cruise to Ellesmere, in the centre of the Shropshire Lake District, to visit the famous Mere, a haven for wildlife.
If you don’t have time for a boating break, but want to get into the Christmas spirit, our trip boat “Little Star” is offering festive trips across the aqueduct from 10th-24th December. All children aboard will receive a small gift, from our special guest Mary Christmas! With the chance to win a free dayboat, you won’t want to miss out.
Ice Skating in Birmingham
City Centre moorings are just a five-hour, lock-free cruise away from our base at Tardebigge, so why not enjoy some ice skating and a ride on the big wheel in Birmingham? With a German Christmas Market, this is the perfect short break to get you in the Christmas mood!
Our dayboat Emma is also available to book overnight, so provides the perfect excuse for a last-minute winter getaway.
Visit Beeston Castle in Chester
Starting your journey at our base in Bunbury, head north-west through beautiful, peaceful countryside all the way to the village of Beeston. Here you can find the English Heritage site of Beeson Castle which is situated on top of a steep hill (make sure to bring your walking boots with you!). The impressive ruin dates back to the fourteenth century and can be visited by mooring up at bridge 107. Continuing along you’ll eventually spot the spires in Chester; there’s time for a visit if you moor up at bridge 123D and take a short walk into the city centre. Here you can enjoy Chester Cathedral before starting your return journey to Bunbury.
The narrowboat holiday kit list: what to pack for your staycation
Our canal boats are like floating holiday cottages, so you’ll find many of the comforts of home waiting for you on board. This includes a galley kitchen equipped with cutlery, crockery, cooking utensils, saucepans, a gas cooker with an oven and grill and a fridge with a small freezer compartment. Bed linen and towels are supplied and you’ll also find hand towels in the bathrooms and tea towels in the kitchen.
There’s a surprising amount of storage space on board for your belongings, but you should still pack sensibly. To help you prepare for your narrowboat holiday, we’ve put together a list of useful items to pack:
Extra towels – While bath and hand towels are provided on board our boats, we do recommend bringing some extra, especially during the wetter months, or if you’re bringing pets along.
Re-usable items – to help to reduce the amount of plastic you acquire during your holiday, don’t forget to pack your re-useable shopping bags. Re-useable plastic bottles and coffee cups are also recommended to help minimise single-use waste.
DVDs & games – cards and board games are a great way to spend cosy nights afloat. You might also wish to pack some DVDs, as a consistent TV reception cannot be guaranteed on the canals.
A torch – country moorings can get very dark at night, which is fantastic for stargazing, but not so much for finding your way back from the canalside pubs in the evenings!
Extra toilet roll – we supply some toilet roll in our loos, but do bring along extra. Please ensure that they are not quilted and please don’t use wipes.
Shampoo & body wash – the water you use to wash with will empty straight into the canal, which is why we recommend you pack eco-friendly, micro-bead free shampoos, conditioners, face and body washes.
Prepare for all weather types – if it’s wet, you’ll need a reliable waterproof jacket and a large golfing umbrella for the skipper. In sunnier weather, you’ll need a hat, sunglasses and sun cream. Gloves are recommended for working the locks and for steering when it’s cold.
Sensible footwear – trainers or rubber-soled shoes are the best choice for boating and lock working. It’s also a good idea to bring slippers or warm socks to wear on board in the evenings.
Binoculars – wildlife spotting is one of the most special things about a canal boat holiday, so pack some binoculars if you own them to enhance your experience.
A canal map – there are some great canal maps available to buy in advance from our Booking Team or in our boatyard shops, for example the Nicholson’s or Pearson’s guides. You can also plan your trip online using the mapping tools on the Canal & River Trust’s website, but be aware that mobile phone signals can be patchy along the canal network.
Drinks – the water on board is drinkable once boiled, but we recommend that you bring a large bottle for drinking water to top up at water points. If you want to enjoy a glass of wine after a day of exploring all the canals have to offer, boxed wine is a great space saver and safer to transport than bottled wine.
Condiments – the galley kitchens on board our boats are fully equipped for home cooking, but don’t forget to pack some extra flavourings, such as salt & pepper, sauces, herbs and spices.
Phone chargers – our boats have 240 volt 3-pin sockets powered by the onboard batteries so you can charge your phones, tablets and cameras on board. But to avoid draining the batteries, we advise you to only do this when the engine is running as there is a limit to power available. Anything below 1000 watts can be plugged in, for example blenders, cool boxes and hair straighteners, but nothing above 1000 watts is permitted – so no kettles, irons, hairdryers or heaters. See our electrical safety page for more info.
Your pet’s bed – all our boats are pet friendly, and maximum of two pets are welcome on board provided you let us know at the time of booking. Remember to bring your pet’s blanket or basket with you as they are not permitted on the beds or chairs. Don’t forget to bring poo bags, too!
First aid kit – we recommend you pack a basic first aid kit, including antiseptic, plasters & bandages, in case of any cuts, scrapes or sprains. Remember your trusty hand sanitiser, too!
Top 12 Tips for First-Time Narrowboat Holiday Makers
You don’t need to be an expert to enjoy a canal boat holiday, in fact, each year around one fifth of narrowboat hirers are new to the waterways!
It’s easier than you think to take control of a narrowboat, but to help settle any nerves about a staycation afloat, we’ve put together our top 12 canal boating tips for first-timers:
Keep to the right: Unlike what you will be used to when driving, canal boats travel on the right side of our canals and rivers, so when you meet another boat, be sure to keep to the right.
Steering basics: It might sound confusing at first, but really, it’s simple: if you want to go left, push the tiller to the right, and if you want to go right, push it to the left. Put the engine in reverse to stop. You’ll soon get the hang of it!
Lock logistics: Always make sure you have a steerer on the boat when in a lock, and ensure that the boat is kept forward of the gates and cill (step). Be careful of slippery surfaces when pushing the gates open. Take your time and leave slowly to avoid any bumps.
Close the gates behind you: Check that all paddles and gates are shut after you’ve used a lock, unless you can see another boat approaching.
Sharing is caring: If possible, always share a lock with other boats to save water. This works to your advantage, as it means you can share the lock operation, and have a chat with other narrowboaters!
Use your horn: The horn is there to enable you to warn canal boats coming towards you when approaching any sharp bends and when entering a tunnel.
Tunnel tricks: Switch on your headlight before entering a tunnel, and if it’s a one-way tunnel, always make sure there isn’t already a boat inside before you begin to navigate your way through. To be sure, sound your horn upon approach.
Slow down to walking pace: There’s a 4mph speed limit on the inland waterways. If you’re creating too much wash, you’re going too fast. Washes in the canals disturb wildlife and erodes the banks.
Reduce your speed even further: Slow down when you are approaching bridges, locks, bends or junctions, and when passing other canal boats or anglers.
Mooring musts: When mooring up at busy spots, make sure to avoid leaving a big gap between your boat and the bank. Never moor opposite winding holes, on bends, near to bridges, on private property, on lock landings (unless you are waiting to lock through) or at water points (unless you are filling up).
Tying up: To keep your narrowboat secure, you need to tie it to the bank with a rope from both the front and the back of the barge, and on rivers you should fix your upstream rope first.
Enjoy yourself! Above all, relax & enjoy your boating holiday!
Our modern narrowboats are like floating holiday cottages, with hot water, central heating, showers, flushing toilets, comfortable beds and fully equipped kitchens.
In our galley kitchens, you’ll find a sink with hot and cold running water, a cooker with four gas hobs, and an oven/grill beneath. There’s a fridge with a small freezer compartment, a larder, work tops, pots, pans, kettle, cutlery and crockery. Many of our canal boats also have a microwave. So, while the space is relatively small, it’s easy to cook simple and healthy meals on board.
To provide inspiration for your next holiday afloat, we asked some of our experienced narrowboat holiday-makers and colleagues who live on board their own boats, for their favourite recipes afloat.
Stan Cullimore’s Venison Ragu with Tagliatelle
Stan Cullimore was a member of the 80’s band The Housemartins. Now a journalist and children’s author, Stan has been enjoying regular narrow boat holidays for years.
Cooking time: around 1 hr
500g venison mince*
400g chopped tomatoes (tinned)
2 x medium carrots
1 x large onion
1 x bulb of fennel
handful of fresh tarragon (or a large pinch if dried)
200ml beef stock
200 ml red wine
dollop of tomato puree
75g of Tagliatelle per person
*If you prefer, you can replace the venison with pork, beef or Quorn mince. And use vegetable stock instead of beef stock.
Put the venison mince into a frying pan with some olive oil and brown for a few minutes. Whilst it is sizzling away, chop the carrots, onion and fennel.
Remove the mince from the pan, leaving the juices behind. Place the meat to one side in a bowl. Place the chopped vegetables in the pan with the meat juices. Heat and allow to soften for a few minutes.
Return the meat to the pan, with the vegetables, and allow this marvellous mixture to bubble away gently. Add the chopped tomatoes. Stir in the stock, red wine and tomato puree. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
Finely chop the tarragon (if fresh), the chilli and the garlic. Add to the pan. Place a lid on the pan, turn down the heat and leave to simmer for at least 40 minutes. By now, you should have an open bottle of red wine to hand which is still quite full. Pour yourself a glass, sit back and relax. The hard work is over, it’s time to kick back, chill out and enjoy the smells wafting from the cooker. Mmm. Should be good.
Twelve minutes before the ragu is due to be ready, fill the kettle, boil it, then put the pasta on to cook. Should take around ten minutes, but read the pasta packet for details.
Finally, plate up the pasta, spoon a large portion of ragu on top and munch away. With that and another glass of red in hand, you are definitely living your best boat life.
Kevin Yarwood’s Cauliflower, Broccoli & Tomato Gratin
Kevin is our base manager at Great Haywood. He lives aboard his own narrowboat with his wife and two children.
Cooking time: around 40 minutes
1 head each of broccoli and cauliflower, cut into small florets
4 large tomatoes sliced
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan
180g of cream cheese
150ml tub of sour cream
200ml tub crème fraiche
2 teaspoons of English mustard
2 handfuls of grated cheese
bunch of finely chopped spring onions
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Pre heat oven at gas mark 6
Put florets into a pan of boiling water and simmer for 5 minutes
Drain and put into a roasting tin
Mix all topping ingredients together season with salt and black pepper
Spread the mix over the florets
Top with sliced tomatoes and sprinkle over the Parmesan
Bake for 30 minutes, until bubbling and browned on top
Serve with a crisp mixed salad and garlic bread
*This recipe is vegetarian but can be made vegan by exchanging the cheese and dairy products to vegan alternatives.
Matt Lucas Stern’s Scotch Egg Recipe
Matt is our operations manager, and he lives on board his own narrowboat at Wootton Wawen.
“Scotch eggs are great for a cruise on the boat, as you can have them hot in the evening with a salad, and any left-over eggs can be eaten cold the next day, when you are on the move. These home-made scotch eggs are soft boiled, making them far better than the dry ones you buy.”
Cooking time: around 45 minutes
70g pack of Panko breadcrumbs
720g sausage meat
salt & pepper
To soft boil the eggs
Boil a pan of water with a small amount of vinegar.
When on a rolling boil, lower your free range eggs in to the water making sure they are covered by the water.
Time for 6 minutes for soft boiled, longer for harder centres. When time is up, cool immediately in a bowl of cold water and peel and set aside.
To make the outer casing
Mix 180g of sausage meat per egg with pinch of salt, a generous amount of cracked pepper, a pinch of thyme, a tablespoon roughly chopped parsley and a teaspoon of Dijon mustard.
Flatten out the mix and wrap each egg in the sausage meat mixture.
To finish the egg
Preheat oven at gas mark 6.
Make an egg wash dip by whisking an egg and preparing a Panko breadcrumb bath.
Dip the egg and sausage meat ball in the egg first, then the breadcrumbs. Do this twice for an extra crispy outer crust.
Put eggs on a non-stick baking sheet and spray with a small mist of light oil. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown.
Bridget Harrison’s Mars Bar Crunch
Bridget writes for The Times and has been going on regular family holidays on board boats for over 30 years.
“This is an easy recipe that kids can do alone, and makes delicious snacks that you can hand out at tea time, or as rewards to any crew driving or doing locks. But be warned, they are very moreish!”
6 Mars bars
200g Rice Crispies
Cut the butter and Mars bars into chunks and melt in a saucepan over a low heat until liquid.
Put the Rice Crispies in a bowl and add the Mars bar /butter mixture.
Stir well until they are combined. Tip into a baking dish and press down until firm.
Pop in the fridge if you have room, but you may not on the boat, so it’s fine to leave on top also.
When the mixture is set, turn out and cut into squares and store in a Tupperware box.
Howard Fisher’s Bread & Butter Pudding
Howard Fisher has been on a canal boat holiday almost every year for the last 50 years, including around 15 with Anglo Welsh.
“This is for a pudding I’ve made for years. It has been modified over the years, but it always disappears, no matter how much I make!”
6 small slices bread and butter
and optionally 2 tablespoons marmalade
Heat oven to 175°C (Gas mark 6)
Grease dish and line with 3 slices of bread and butter.
Sprinkle with currants, sugar and grated nutmeg. Spoon over marmalade if using.
Anglo Welsh win Bronze award for ‘Self Catering Accommodation of the Year’
We were delighted to receive the Bronze award for ‘Self Catering Accommodation of the Year’ at the 2022 West Midlands Tourism Awards.
Our marketing and bookings team attended the event at the stunning Coombe Abbey in Coventry and enjoyed celebrating the West Midlands tourism industry with other finalists.
Gabby Wood, marketing co-ordinator for Anglo Welsh, says:
“Narrowboat holidays are a fun and unique way to explore the West Midlands and we are so proud to have been recognised for the staycations we provide on the canals.
We had a fantastic time meeting other finalists. It was so great to learn more about the variety of visitor attractions, accommodation and hospitality venues available to tourists in the West Midlands. It’s been a challenging few years for the tourism industry, but it was inspiring and motivating to see the resilience of everyone and to be congratulated for our hard work.
We want to give a special mention to the staff at our boatyards who work extremely hard to keep the boats on top form and who always go out of their way to ensure customers enjoy their narrowboat holiday.”
Interested in exploring the West Midlands by narrowboat? We offer boat hire from locations at Wootton Wawen, Tardebigge and Great Haywood. Our canal boats range from 2-berths to 12-berths and all have well-equipped kitchens, fresh water flushing toilets, hot water showers, comfortable beds, TVs, DVD players and WiFi, and are all pet friendly.
First pets are free on our holidays so you don’t have to leave your furry friend behind!
Narrowboats provide a floating holiday home so it’s possible to take all sorts of pets on the canals.
Canal boat holidays are especially great for dogs, with plenty of towpath walks and dog-friendly canalside pubs to visit, but over the years, we’ve accommodated many other kinds of pets, including rabbits, cats, hamsters, caged birds and goldfish.
First pets go for free on all our holidays, and we charge a £25 supplement for a second pet on a short break, £35 for a week.
Guide dogs go free of charge. We allow a maximum of two pets, plus a guide dog, but all bedding and pet facilities must be provided by the owner(s).
We recommend our cruiser stern boats for holidays with a dog, as there’s more room ‘on deck’ for the dog and the rest of the family to enjoy watching the world go by.
Now for some do’s and don’ts:
Do bring your dog’s bed to help them feel at home and don’t leave your dog unattended on board. Don’t let your dog swim in the canals, especially when there are ducklings, signets, goslings and other water bird chicks about and don’t forget to pack your poo bags!
To celebrate the fact our holidays are pet-friendly, we’ve put together our Top 10 destinations for animal lovers:
Cruise to Cannock Chase for acres of dog walking trails – on a short break from our barge hire base on the Trent & Mersey Canal at Great Haywood in Staffordshire, you can easily reach Cannock Chase Forest where there are miles of walking trails enjoy, as well as a dog activity trail. Once a Royal Forest, Cannock Chase is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with over 6,800 hectares of landscapes to explore. There are mixed deciduous woodlands, coniferous plantations and healthlands, which are home to a wide variety of animals and insects, including a herd of fallow deer, a number of rare and endangered birds, including migrant nightjars, as well as butterflies, bats and reptiles. The Wolseley Centre and Nature Reserve is next to the Trent & Mersey Canal at Wolseley Bridge, just two miles and two locks from Great Haywood, and offers a great gateway to Cannock Chase.
Cruise to the foot of the Caen Hill Flight – from our canal boat rental base at Brassknocker Basin on the Kennet & Avon Canal just outside Bath, on a short break (three or four nights) you can travel to Fox Hanger Wharf, at the foot of the mighty Caen Hill flight of locks in Devizes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Waterways. Along the way, you’ll pass through miles of peaceful Wiltshire countryside, with a series of villages and dog-friendly country pubs to visit along the way, including The Cross Guns at Avoncliff, the Barge Inn at Bradford on Avon and the Barge Inn at Seend. Once at Caen Hill, you can moor up and explore the flight and its large side ponds, which provide a fantastic haven for wildlife. Full of fish, the side ponds provide an ideal habitat for dragonflies, butterflies and many types of water fowl – from swans, ducks and geese, to coots, moorhens, herons and cormorants. The journey to Fox Hanger Wharf and back takes around 19 hours, passing through 16 locks (eight each way).
Cruise to Ellesmere for some heron spotting – from our narrowboat hire base on the Llangollen Canal at Trevor in North Wales, on a short break (three or four nights) you can cruise to the Shropshire Lake District, teeming with water birds and other wildlife. The journey to the medieval market town of Ellesmere, in the heart of the Shropshire Lake District, takes around seven hours, passing through just two locks and over two magnificent aqueducts, including the famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Moscow Island on The Mere in Ellesmere is home to the Heron Watch Scheme, where cameras allow visitors to watch the birds build nests and raise chicks. If you are on a four-night break, you will also have time to cruise to the pretty town of Llangollen, passing The Sun at Trevor, a traditional Welsh country pub and winner of the Rover Dog Friendly Awards in 2019.
Explore the gardens and the ancient topiary at Packwood House – from our canal boat rental base at Wootton Wawen on the Stratford Canal near Henley-in-Arden, it’s a seven-mile, 31-lock and 10-hour journey to Lapworth Lock No 6, a half-mile walk from the National Trust’s beautiful Packwood House. Packwood’s magnificent gardens boast stunning herbaceous borders (including the unusual North African Cabbage Trees), a bountiful Kitchen Garden, Memorial Orchard, wildflower meadows and the iconic Yew Garden, where according to legend, the 350-year old trees represent the ‘Sermon on the Mount’. Dogs are welcome at Packwood on leads in the car park, on public footpaths across the estate, on the café terrace and in the barnyard. The house and formal gardens are only for humans.
Travel round the Stourport Ring and the up the longest lock flight in the country – on a week’s break from our canal boat rental base at Tardebigge on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal near Bromsgrove, you can travel round the Stourport Ring. This popular circuit takes boaters on an 84-mile, 114-lock journey, in around 56 cruising hours. Much of the route is rural, cruising sections of the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal, Worcester & Birmingham Canal Navigation, River Severn, Birmingham Canal Main Line and Stourbridge canals. Rural highlights include: Kinver Edge with its extensive woodlands and National Trust Holy Austin Rock Houses; idyllic stretches of Worcestershire countryside along the River Severn; and the dramatic flight of 30 locks at Tardebigge. Climbing two-and-a-quarter miles with spectacular views of the open countryside all around, Tardebigge is the longest lock flight in the country.
Boat to the historic village of Wrenbury and back -from our canal boat hire base at Bunbury on the Shropshire Union Canal in Cheshire it takes around six hours, passing through 11 locks, to reach Wrenbury Mill on the Llangollen Canal. The journey takes you along 10 miles of waterway through quintessential Cheshire farmland and countryside. The historic village of Wrenbury, which is on the South Cheshire Way offers lots of countryside walks. It’s also a registered conservation area with plenty of wildlife to watch out for, particularly in the gardens of the Grade II listed St Margaret’s Church, and there’s a choice of pubs to visit: the canalside Dusty Miller, and the Cotton Arms in the village of Wrenbury.
Cruise along the River Thames into the Cotswolds – from our narrowboat hire base on the River Thames at Oxford, on a four-night mid-week break, you can take a tranquil nine-hour, seven-lock Thames boating holiday travelling west to the pretty market town of Lechlade on the edge of the Cotswolds. Along the way, boaters travel through miles of peaceful Oxfordshire countryside, with plenty of dog walking opportunities. Places to visit include the village of Radcot with its 800-year old bridge across the Thames, dog-friendly bar in the Ye Olde Swan Hotel and Civil War Garrison Earthworks, and Kelmscott with its Grade I listed Kelmscott Manor, once the Cotswold retreat of William Morris, and popular Plough Inn.
Watch out for wildlife on the Montgomery Canal – from our canal boat rental base at Whixall Marina, on the Prees Branch of the Llangollen Canal in Shropshire, it takes around six hours to reach Frankton Junction, where the Llangollen Canal meets the Montgomery Canal. This beautiful canal, which runs for 38 miles between England and Wales, is recognised as a Special Area of Conservation, making it one of the most important sites for wildlife in Europe. Currently only around half the Montgomery Canal is navigable, including a seven-mile section from Frankton Junction to Gronwyn Wharf. The restoration of a further section from Gronwyn Wharf to Crickheath is expected to be completed later this year. From Whixall, the journey to Gronwyn Wharf and back takes around 20 hours, travelling through 34 miles of beautiful countryside and passing through 16 locks (eight each way). Along the way, you can look out for many types of waterway birds, animals and insects, including dragonflies, damselflies, the shy nocturnal otter, Daubenton’s bats skimming over the water at dusk, and the critically endangered water vole.
Travel round the Warwickshire Ring – from our canal boat hire base at Stockton, on the Grand Union Canal in Warwickshire, you can travel round the Warwickshire Ring, one of the most popular canal cruising circuits in Britain. Cruising sections of the Grand Union, Oxford, Coventry and Birmingham & Fazeley canals, the Warwickshire Ring covers 104 miles, passes through 120 locks and takes around 60 hours to navigate. It can be done in a week, but a 10-day or two-week break gives more time for sight-seeing. Passing through many miles of countryside, with fields and ancient meadows and the occasional sleepy village for much of its length, the route also takes you through the vibrant city centre waterfronts of Birmingham. Destination highlights along the way include: the pretty canal village of Braunston; the awesome flight of 21 locks at Hatton; the splendid medieval Warwick Castle; and Birmingham’s Brindleyplace with its impressive National Sealife Centre.
See David Hockney’s Dachshunds at Saltaire – on a short break from Anglo Welsh’s canal boat hire base at Silsden on the Leeds & Liverpool in West Yorkshire, you can reach the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Saltaire. Founded on the banks of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal near Bradford in 1851 by Sir Titus Salt, as a place for his woollen mill to operate and works to live, today Salts Mill has a number of galleries, including the stunning David Hockney Gallery. This beautiful exhibition space shows both permanent and temporary collections of the Bradford-born artist’s work, including prints of some of the portraits he has made of his beloved Dachshunds, Stanley and Boogie. Unfortunately dogs aren’t allowed in Salts Mill so if you bring your dog, you’ll have to take it in turns to visit.
Our canal boats are like floating holiday cottages so you’ll find many of the home comforts already on board, including a galley kitchen equipped with cutlery, crockery, cooking utensils, saucepans, a four burner gas cooker with an oven and grill, a microwave and a fridge with a small freezer compartment. Bed linen is supplied and you’ll also find hand towels in the bathrooms.
There’s a surprising amount of storage space on board for everything you need to bring with you. To help you prepare for your canal boat holiday, we’ve put together a list of useful items to pack:
Extra Towels – We provide both bath towels and hand towels but bringing some extra will be a good idea, especially in the wetter months!
Shopping bags – remember to pack your re-useable shopping bags as well as re-useable plastic bottles and coffee cups to help limit the amount of plastic you acquire on your holiday afloat.
DVD’s & games – for cosy nights in, bring along some cards and board games, as well some DVD’s as a good TV reception isn’t always available on the canals.
A torch – if you do venture out to the pub for the evening, it’s best to take a torch as country moorings can be incredibly dark at night #greatforstargazing.
Toilet rolls – we supply toilet roll in our loos but do bring along extra
Washing up liquid – pack an eco/aquatic-friendly washing up liquid and hand soap like Ecover or Poddy (which we sell in our boat yard shops), and make sure your shampoos and face washes are microbead free as the water you use to wash up and shower with will empty straight into the canal.
Be prepared for all weather – if it’s wet you’ll need a good waterproof jacket and a large golfing umbrella for the skipper. If it’s sunny, you’ll need a sun hat, sun glasses and sun cream. Gloves are also useful for working the locks and steering when it’s cold.
Footwear – trainers or rubber soled shoes are best for boating and lock working. And it’s a good idea to bring slippers or warm socks to wear on board.
Binoculars – one of the best things about a narrowboat holiday is the wildlife you’ll see along the way, so do pack some binoculars if you own them to enhance your wildlife spotting experience.
A canal map – there are some great canal maps available to buy in advance or in our boat yard shops, for example Nicholson’s guides are available on Amazon. You can also plan your trip online using the mapping tools on the Canal & River Trust’s website, but mobile phone signals can be patchy on the canal network.
Drinks – the water on board is drinkable but it’s worth bringing a large bottle of drinking water to top up with. And wine boxes are great space savers and safer to transport than bottles.
Condiments – if you are planning to cook on board, remember to pack some extra flavourings as well as the main ingredients, including salt & pepper, tomato sauce, herbs and spices.
Phone chargers – our boats have 240 volt 3-pin sockets powered by the on board batteries so you can charge your phones and tablets on board. But we advise you to only do this when the engine is running as there’s a limit to power available and you want to avoid draining the batteries. Blenders, cool boxes and hair straighteners can also be plugged in, but nothing above 1000 watts is permitted – so no kettles, irons, hairdryers or heaters.
Your dog’s bed – pets are welcome on board our boats, but do let us know at the time of booking and remember to bring your pet’s blanket or basket with you as they aren’t allowed on the beds or chairs. Remember to bring poo bags too!
First aid kit – we recommend you pack a basic first aid kit, including antiseptic, plasters & bandages, in case of any cuts, scrapes or sprains.
Top 8 February Half Term canal boat holiday destinations
WINTER HALF TERM CANAL BOAT HOLIDAY DESTINATIONS
Give boredom the push-off and take to the water this winter.
Emma Lovell, Anglo Welsh’s Reservations Manager, believes a narrowboat holiday is the perfect solution for winter break for all the family.
Whether you’re planning a half-term holiday or a winter mini break, this time of year can be tricky. The weather is unpredictable and if it’s cold or raining you can end up spending a fortune on indoor activities to keep everyone amused.
That’s why a narrowboat holiday is a great choice. First off, you can pick a boat which suits your group – from a cosy boat for two to a larger boat for 12 and many size options between – so no problem if you want to invite grandma, your aunties, cousins or friends.
Secondly, everyone can have a role, so there’s no need to be bored. You’ll need a skipper to steer the boat, while the crew can plan the route, open and close the locks, look out for other boats, mooring spaces and wildlife, as well as places to eat and visit.
Thirdly we can guarantee no airport delays, no cancelled trains and no motorway closures. Some parts of the canal network might be closed for winter maintenance in advance – but we can advise you about these when we are planning your route.
Travelling at a pleasing, and environmentally-friendly, four-miles-an-hour, your scenery will change continuously and, depending on where you travel to and from, you can moor in the heart of vibrant cities like Birmingham and Bath, pretty market towns like Whitchurch and Stratford upon Avon, or hundreds of picture perfect villages up and down the country.
Personally I think cosying up on one of our boats (all of which have central heating and some multi-fuel stoves too) is particularly wonderful when the weather is challenging. And as you travel leisurely from place to place, it’s a great opportunity to bond together as a family and reconnect with your kids. The boats do have WiFi – but you don’t need to tell anyone!
For a bit of inspiration, I’ve listed my top five activities and indoor destinations you can reach from our bases;
Travel into Birmingham for culture and the Sea Life Centre – from our canal boat holiday hire base at Tardebigge it takes five hours to cruise into the centre of Birmingham. With no locks to pass through along the way, it’s a great route for narrowboat holiday novices. You can moor up in Gas Street Basin to enjoy the City’s many shops, galleries, museums and attractions such as Sea Life Centre in Brindleyplace.
Look up Shakespeare in Stratford upon Avon – from our narrowboat rental base at on the Stratford Canal at Wootton Wawen, near Henley-in-Arden in Warwickshire, it’s a picturesque six-hour cruise through the Warwickshire countryside to Shakespeare’s Stratford. Once there, you can moor up in Bancroft Basin and visit all five connected sites which tell the full story on the Bard.
Swap the water forthe Steam Railway at Llangollen – from our canal boat rental base at Trevor on the Llangollen Canal in North Wales, it takes just two hours to cruise to the beautiful town of Llangollen, on the edge of the Berwyn Mountains. Once there, you can moor up and take time to explore this pretty town which offers plenty of places to eat and the Llangollen Steam Railway.
Discover Britain’s Secret Nuclear Bunker – from our canal boat rental base at Bunbury on the Shropshire Union Canal in Cheshire, it takes around three-and-a-half hours, travelling nine miles and passing through just two locks, to reach moorings close to the Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker Museum. This fascinating blast-proof underground bunker was once one of the nation’s most secret defence sites.
Cruise to Waterworld for Tropical Aqua Park – heading north from our narrowboat rental base at Great Haywood on the Trent & Mersey Canal near Stafford, you can reach the Festival Park in Stoke on Trent in around 13 hours. From there it’s a 10-minute walk to Waterworld, where you can enjoy a range of thrill seeking rides, including white knuckle flumes, raft rides, and the legendary Thunderbolt.
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.
Anglo Welsh. So much more than narrowboats
...but don't just take our word for it
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