By Kevin Yarwood, manager of our Great Haywood canal boat rental base
We know – through the many comments we get about greener boating and the sales of aquatic-friendly ‘Poddy’ cleaning products in our boat yard shops – that many of our customers are keen to be as environmentally friendly as possible on their canal boat holiday.
Here at Anglo Welsh, we are gradually taking steps to help reduce our footprint, particularly when it comes to designing our new boats. For example all our new Bond, Heritage and Constellation class boats have energy efficient LED lighting and the latest engines with lower emissions.
To help spread the word, here are 10 reasons why narrowboat holidays are a greener holiday option, and the best ways to reduce your impact on the environment while afloat:
Reduce your carbon footprint – an Anglo Welsh holiday has at a 20 times smaller carbon footprint than a two-hour flight, and as soon as you swap your car for one of our well-maintained boats, you’ll be using a third of the fuel and emitting a sixth of the pollution. Plus, by heating your water from the engine and charging your batteries while cruising, you can further reduce your carbon footprint while away.
Enjoy the fresh air – there are over 2,000 miles of navigable canals and rivers in England and Wales, many running through long stretches of countryside where the air is cleaner, fresher and more invigorating.
Get in touch with nature – look out for the many species of wildlife that live on our waterways, including the more frequently sited ducks, swans, damselflies, dragonflies, hedgerow birds and fish, as well as protected species like water voles, otters and kingfishers, and you’ll feel closer to nature.
Recycle more – we offer good recycling facilities at all our yards, so separate your recyclables whilst on the boat and if you miss recycling opportunities on your journey, you can dispose of them responsibly on your return.
Use green cleaning products – be kinder to the environment and aquatic life by using the Poddy cleaning products provided onboard and bring microbead free toiletries with you for your holiday afloat.
Burn greener fuels – if you book one of our boats with a multi fuel stove, burn the environmentally friendly fire logs provided (and also available in our shop at Great Haywood) as these are made from recycled sawdust and wax instead of coal.
Bring your own hot drinks cups – so if you stop off to buy a coffee somewhere on your narrowboat holiday you won’t need a ‘difficult to recycle’ disposable cup.
Reduce your use of plastic bottles – you can use water from the boat’s tank to make a cup of tea but you will need to stock up on drinking water, so we suggest bringing one large bottle or canteen, decanting it into reusable cups and topping up at water points.
Bring your own shopping bags – ready for shop-stops en route and avoid products with excess packaging.
Bag all rubbish – help keep rubbish and plastic out of our waterways by making sure all your bin bags are tied securely so they can’t spill open, and only dispose of your bagged domestic rubbish inside bins marked domestic waste.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Life after a stroke. Friends enjoy an Anglo Welsh canal boat trip
Fourteen stroke survivors from Bromsgrove, together with their families and carers, enjoyed a two-hour boat trip aboard Anglo Welsh’s day boat Emma yesterday (19 June), travelling along the Worcester & Birmingham Canal to Alvechurch and back.
Setting off from our canal boat hire base at Tardebigge, the Life After Stroke Friends were divided into two groups, one taking the canal boat trip in the morning, and the other group in the afternoon. Everyone enjoyed a picnic lunch at Tardebigge Wharf, hosted by the Bromsgrove Lions Club.
A spokesperson from the stroke survivors said: “We are absolutely delighted to be going on another canal boat trip this year and are extremely grateful to both Anglo Welsh and Bromsgrove Lions Club for making these trips possible.
“It’s such a lovely time which everybody enjoys. The boat just cruises gently through the Worcestershire countryside, presenting us with a wonderful opportunity to relax and take time out from everyday life. We especially enjoy watching the wildlife which seems totally unaware of our presence. ”
Keith Godwin, of the Bromsgrove Lions Club, adds: “Thanks to Anglo Welsh, this is the fifth year in a row we’ve been able to offer stroke survivors and their carers a canal boat trip on Anglo Welsh’s day boat Emma. It’s a fantastic opportunity for them to step away from the stresses of everyday life and relax, watching the world go by on the peaceful Worcester & Birmingham Canal.
“A stroke can have a huge impact on someone’s life, and this group really demonstrates how well they are able to combat the effects through mutual support. We are so pleased they can share this great experience together.”
Jonathan Nowell, manager of the Anglo Welsh Tardebigge base, says: “Canals are great places to escape to – the slow pace of travel on a canal boat and the wildlife to watch out for along the way, really helps people to relax and feel happier.
“We are delighted to have again offered our day boat Emma to Bromsgrove Lions Club so that they could take this group of stroke survivors out for another special day together on the canal.”
Emma is available to hire for the day from our canal boat rental centre at Tardebigge. She can take up to 10 passengers and is equipped with cutlery, crockery, a kettle, toilet, cooker and fridge, so hirers can prepare for a picnic afloat or stop-off at a waterside pub along the way. Day hire prices are £99 Monday to Friday, £140 for weekend days and bank holidays.
With accommodation for two adults, Emma can also be hired overnight for £198 plus a fuel deposit during the week, £280 plus fuel deposit at weekends and bank holidays.
To book a day trip, holiday or short break on any of Anglo Welsh’s fleet, call our friendly booking team on 0117 304 1122.
We offer a range of different types of holidays such as City Breaks, Relaxation Cruises and Popular Destinations
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.