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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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’.