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!
Enjoy a family canal boat holiday adventure afloat this summer, closer to home
By Emma Lovell, Anglo Welsh’s Reservations Manager
England and Wales are criss-crossed by hundreds of miles of beautiful inland waterways to explore afloat. They take narrowboat holiday-makers through some of our best loved countryside, and into the heart of some our most famous waterside towns and cities.
Narrowboat holidays are great for families, bringing everyone together for an adventure afloat. From steering the boat, and working the locks, to planning the route and the stops, everyone can get involved.
Pets are welcome aboard all our boats and the first pet travels free, so your dog, hamster or budgie can enjoy the floating holiday home break too!
Anglo Welsh offers narrowboat holidays from 11 starting points across England and Wales. So, whether you want to stay close to home and explore your local waterway, or travel further afield to see another part of the country, we have hundreds of routes and destinations to choose from.
From views of the dramatic Welsh mountains on the Llangollen Canal, to meadows full of birdsong alongside the majestic of the River Thames, we’ve put together a list of our Top 10 narrowboat holidays for families this summer:
1. Cruise to the Shropshire Lake District – from our narrowboat hire base on the Llangollen Canal at Trevor in North Wales, on a short break you can cruise to Ellesmere, in the heart of the Shropshire Lake District. The journey takes around seven hours, passing through two locks, two tunnels and over two magnificent aqueducts, including the famous UNESCO World Heritage Status Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. This Wonder of the Waterways, carries the Llangollen Canal 38 metres high above the Dee valley, with magnificent views of the valley below, and Welsh Mountains beyond.
2. Navigate through Shakespeare country to Stratford upon Avon – from our narrowboat hire base at Wootton Wawen, on the Stratford Canal near Henley-in-Arden, it takes around six hours to cruise through the Warwickshire countryside, which includes passing through 17 locks, to reach overnight moorings in Bancroft Basin in the heart of Stratford upon Avon. Once there, you can walk to all the top attractions in Stratford, from theatres and museums, to pubs and restaurants. This destination is perfect for a weekend away.
3. Travel round the Black Country Ring – on a week’s break from our barge hire base on the Trent & Mersey Canal at Great Haywood in Staffordshire, you can travel round the Black Country Ring. The journey, which travels 75 miles and passes through 79 locks, takes around 43 hours. Highlights along the way include: Gas Street Basin in the heart of Birmingham City Centre; the 21 locks at Wolverhampton; and the tranquil waters at Tixall Wide.
4. Take a Thames boating holiday to Wallingford – from our narrowboat rental base on the River Thames at Oxford, it’s a nine-hour, 11-lock cruise to the historic market town of Wallingford. Along the way, you’ll travel through miles of peaceful Oxfordshire meadows and pastureland. Places to stop off along the way, include the City of Oxford with its world famous museums, and the market town of Abingdon, with its popular waterside pub, The Nag’s Head. This journey is perfect for a four night mid-week break.
5. Potter through the Worcestershire countryside via the Stourport Ring – 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 will take you on an 84-mile, 114-lock journey, cruising for around 56 hours. Highlights include: Gas Street Basin in the centre of Birmingham; Kinver Edge with its extensive woodlands and National Trust Holy Austin Rock Houses; the magnificent Cathedral City of Worcester; idyllic stretches of Worcestershire countryside along the River Severn; and the dramatic flight of 30 locks at Tardebigge.
6. Cruise across the Pennines to Foulridge Tunnel – from our canal boat hire base at Silsden on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in West Yorkshire, it takes just around 13 hours, passing through 15 locks, to reach Foulridge Tunnel. The journey will take you through a series of historic towns and villages, including Skipton, with its medieval fortress and acres of woodland trails to explore, and East Marton with a choice of pubs and access to the Pennine Way. This route is perfect for a week’s holiday.
7. Travel through the Avon Valley and up the Caen Hill Flight – on a week’s break from our canal boat rental base at Monkton Combe on the Kennet & Avon Canal near Bath, it takes around 19 hours to reach Pewsey Wharf. The route will take you through 37 locks each way, including the 29 locks of the Caen Hill Flight at Devizes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Waterways. This journey will also take you over 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.
8. Journey to the Eisteddfod town of Llangollen & back – on a week’s holiday from our canal boat rental base at Whixall Marina, on the Prees Branch of the Llangollen Canal in Shropshire, it takes around 12 hours, passing through two locks, to reach the historic town of Llangollen on the edge of the Berwyn Mountains. Along the way, you’ll travel through the Shropshire Lake District and then across the magnificent World Heritage Status Pontcysyllte and Chirk aqueducts, with incredible views of the Welsh Mountains.
9. Navigate through the Cheshire countryside to The Cathedral of the Canals – on a short break from our canal boat rental base at Bunbury on the Shropshire Union Canal, you can cruise to the Anderton Boat Lift. The journey takes around nine hours and passes through 20 locks. Looking like a giant spider crouched on the hillside, this incredible feat of Victorian engineering moves boats 15 metres up or down between the River Weaver and the Trent & Mersey Canal.
10. Boat to Warwick Castle and back – on a short break from our canal boat hire base at Stockton, on the Grand Union Canal in Warwickshire, you can cruise to moorings close to the magnificent Warwick Castle, said to be Britain’s greatest medieval experience. The journey there and back takes around 14 hours and passes through 40 locks (20 each way).
Top 8 Summer canal boat holiday circuits to explore
…by reservations manager Emma Lovell
Cruising rings are great because they offer journeys along different waterways, take in a wide variety of landscapes and bring you back to your narrowboat hire base without having to travel the same way twice.
Some are seriously challenging, with steep flights of locks and long dark tunnels to negotiate, while others are easier and more suitable for canal boat holiday beginners. All offer a wonderful summer holiday adventure and the chance to explore some of Britain’s best loved countryside from your very own floating holiday home.
Here’s a list of our Top eight Summer Circuits to explore:
1. The Black Country Ring
Setting off from our canal boat rental base at Great Haywood in Staffordshire or Tardebigge in Worcestershire, this circuit can be done on a week’s holiday. Cruising sections of the Birmingham & Fazeley, Birmingham Main Line, Coventry, Staffordshire & Worcestershire and Trent & Mersey canals, highlights along the way include: Birmingham’s Gas Street Basin; the 21 locks at Wolverhampton; and the waters at Tixall Wide. To complete the Black Country Ring from Tardebigge, you will travel 104 miles, passing through 79 locks, which will take around 53 hours. From Great Haywood it’s 75 miles, 79 locks and takes 43 hours.
2. The Four Counties Ring
Departing from our bases at Great Haywood in Staffordshire, Bunbury in Cheshire or Whixall in Shropshire, this popular circuit can be completed in a week. It takes canal boat holiday-makers through the counties of Staffordshire, the West Midlands, Cheshire and Shropshire and highlights along the way include: the 2670-metre long Harecastle Tunnel; flight of 15 locks at Audlem; views of the rolling Cheshire Plains; and the Roman town of Middlewich. To complete the Four Counties Ring from Great Haywood, you will travel 110 miles, pass through 94 locks, which will take around 55 hours. From Bunbury, it will be 115 miles, 96 locks and 58 hours. From Whixall, it’s 137 miles, 132 locks and 86 hours.
3. The Cheshire Ring
Cruising out from our narrowboat hire base at Bunbury in Cheshire, this route, which runs through the heart of Manchester and the Peak District via the Ashton, Macclesfield, Peak Forest, Rochdale, Trent & Mersey and Bridgewater canals, can be completed in a week. Highlights along the way include: the incredible Anderton Boat Lift, one of the Seven Wonders of the Waterways; stunning views of the Peak District from the Top Lock at Marple on the Peak Forest Canal; and Manchester’s China Town. To complete the Cheshire Ring from Bunbury, you will travel 122 miles and pass through 102 locks, which will take about 86 cruising hours.
4. The Stourport Ring
Navigating from our canal boat hire base at Tardebigge in Worcestershire, this ring, which can be completed in a week, takes in sections of the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal, Worcester & Birmingham Canal Navigation, the River Severn, Birmingham Canal Main Line and Stourbridge canals. Highlights include: cruising through central Birmingham; Kinver with its National Trust rock houses; the City of Worcester with its magnificent cathedral; countryside views along the River Severn; and the dramatic flight of 30 locks at Tardebigge, the longest in the country. To complete the Stourport Ring from Tardebigge, you will travel 84 miles and pass through 118 locks in around 52 hours.
5. The Warwickshire Ring
Setting off from our canal boat hire base at Stockton in Warwickshire, this circuit which can be done in a week, cruises sections of the Grand Union, Oxford, Coventry and Birmingham & Fazeley canals. Highlights include: the flight of 11 locks into Atherstone; the pretty canal village of Braunston; the awesome flight of 21 locks at Hatton; and Warwick Castle. To complete the Warwickshire Ring from Stockton, you will travel 104 miles and pass through 121 locks in around 56 hours.
6. The Birmingham Mini-Ring
This popular ring can be completed on a four night short break from our base at Tardebigge in Worcestershire. It takes in sections of the Worcester & Birmingham, Birmingham Main Line and Grand Union canals, and highlights include: the historic village of Bournville, home of Cadbury’s chocolate; Gas Street Basin in central Birmingham; and the flight of 13 locks at Farmers Bridge. To complete the Birmingham Mini-Ring from Tardebigge, you will travel 45 miles and pass through 49 locks, which takes around 27 hours.
7. The Avon Ring
Canal boat holiday-makers can complete this epic circuit on a two week break from our narrowboat hire base at Tardebigge or Wootton Wawen. Navigating sections of the Stratford Canal, River Avon, River Severn and Worcester & Birmingham Canal, highlights include: Shakespeare’s Stratford; the River Avon with its panoramic views; the charming historic town of Evesham; the Cotswold medieval town of Tewskesbury; the City of Worcester with its magnificent cathedral; and the flight of 30 locks at Tardebigge. To complete the Avon Ring from either Tardebigge or Wootton Wawen, you will travel 109 miles and pass through 131 locks, which will take around 58 hours.
8. The East Midlands Ring
On a two week break from our narrowboat rental base at Stockton boaters can journey round the East Midlands Ring, also known as the Leicester Ring. Travelling sections of the Birmingham & Fazeley, Coventry, Oxford, Trent & Mersey and Grand Union canals, as well as the rivers Soar and Trent, highlights include: Saddlington Tunnel; the Foxton Staircase; the pretty canal village of Stoke Bruerne with its Canal Museum; Blisworth Tunnel; the 11 locks at Atherstone; the City of Coventry; and the historic village of Shardlow. To complete the East Midlands Ring from Stockton, you will travel 170 miles and pass through 107 locks in around 84 hours.
Canal boat holidays are great for families, offering the change to experience life afloat exploring Britain’s beautiful canal network, watching out for wildlife and stopping off at exciting waterside destinations along the way. Pottering along the waterways at walking pace, narrowboat holidays are said to be ‘the fastest way to slow down’. So why not pack up and ship out over the August Bank Holiday aboard one of our fantastic canal boats, equipped with all the key comforts of home – central heating, hot water, TV, WiFi, well-stocked kitchens, showers and flushing toilets.
Here are our ‘Top 10 August Bank Holiday Family Destinations Afloat’ – all short breaks suitable for beginners:
Visit the Sea Life Centre in Birmingham’s Brindleyplace. 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 Brindleyplace is a short walk away, offering an abundance of shops, restaurants and attractions, including Birmingham’s Sea life Centre, with over 60 displays of freshwater and marine life, and the new Jelly Invaders exhibit offering a glittering underwater wonderland to marvel at.
Explore Sir Titus Salt’s model town at Saltaire. From our narrowboat holiday base at Silsden on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, it takes seven hours, passing through 11 locks to reach Sir Titus Salt’s famous Victorian industrial model town at Saltaire. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sir Titus Salt built the textile Mill and entire village for his mill workers, all in a beautiful Italianate style. Places to visit at Saltaire include the magnificent Salt’s Mill where many examples of the work of Bradford born artist David Hockney are on display, and the Shipley Glen Tramway, the oldest working cable tramway in Britain, which takes visitors a quarter of a mile up through woodlands to a popular local beauty spot.
Take a Thames boating holiday and see the Oxford Dinosaurs. 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 Oxford University Museum of Natural History. Some of the most important finds during the pivotal early years in the study of palaeontology were made in Oxfordshire, including the full skeleton of Eustreptospondylus in 1871. Today, visitors to the City’s Museum of Natural History can see this incredible skeleton of a carnivore that once walked on its hind legs and had a large head armed with sharp blade-like teeth.
Watch the African painted dogs at Chester Zoo. From our canal boat rental base at Bunbury on the Shropshire Union Canal near Tarporley in Cheshire, it takes seven hours, passing through nine locks to reach the ancient City of Chester. Once there, narrowboat holiday-makers can visit the award-winning Chester Zoo, home to 21,314 animals from 500 species, including a fascinating pack of rare African Painted Dogs.
Watch the Dragon Slayer Show at Warwick Castle. From our Stockton base on the Grand Union Canal in Warwickshire, it’s a seven-hour journey, passing through 20 locks, to reach the beautiful country town of Warwick, with its magnificent medieval 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, Staterooms and Kingmaker Exhibition to explore, and soaring birds of prey and trebuchet firing displays to watch. And each evening of the August bank holiday weekend (24-27 August), the spectacular Dragon Slayer show will be on, with light shows on the walls of the castle, fire-jousting and live action stunts.
Visit the Shropshire Lake District. On a short break from our canal barge holiday hire centre at Trevor on the Llangollen Canal in North Wales, boaters can reach the Shropshire town of Ellesmere in seven hours, passing through four locks. 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 Ellesmere, boaters can explore the Shropshire Lake District, including the Mere with its Victorian gardens, woodland paths, historic castle and abundance of wildlife.
Discover the secret life of the Tudors in Stratford-upon-Avon. From our narrowboat hire base at Wootton Wawen on the Stratford Canal, it’s a delightful six-hour, 17-lock cruise journey through the Warwickshire countryside to Bancroft Basin in the centre of Stratford-upon-Avon. From there, it’s a short walk to the town’s theatres, shops, restaurants and museums, including Tudor World where visitors can find out what life was really like during Shakespeare’s time, from dining and sleeping, to plague and poo!
Enjoy some historic holiday fun the Black Country Living Museum. From our Tardebigge base on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal near Bromsgrove, it’s an eight-hour, three-lock journey to moorings at the Black Country Living Museum. Visitors to the Museum this summer can discover the hobbies and pastimes that entertained Black Country people from Victorian times to the 1930’s. From cooking demonstrations, silent films, street games, school lessons and a traditional fairground, to pop-up dramas, vintage music and themed evening events, there’s a whole host of period entertainment on offer over the August Bank Holiday weekend.
Marvel at the Caen Hill flight of locks at Devizes. From our barge holiday base on the Kennet & Avon Canal at Brassknocker Basin in Bath, it’s a nine-hour journey, travelling 15 miles and passing through eight locks, to Fox Hanger Wharf at the base of the mighty Caen Hill flight of 29 locks at Devizes. Said to be one of The Seven Wonders of the Waterways, the breath-taking sight of the 16 locks in a row climbing Caen Hill is truly one of the most spectacular of Britain’s inland waterways. Once there, the historic market town of Devizes is a short walk away, with its Wadworth Brewery Visitor Centre and famous shire horses making daily deliveries, plus a range of independent shops, pubs and restaurants, including the ‘Peppermill Restaurant’ and the Bear Hotel.
Get close to nature at Fradley Pool Nature Reserve. From our canal barge holiday base at Great Haywood in Staffordshire, on a short break boaters can cruise along the Trent & Mersey Canal to Fradley Junction at Alrewas near Burton-on-Trent, a journey which takes six hours, travelling 12 miles and passing through five locks. Picturesque Fradley, where the Coventry Canal meets the Trent & Mersey Canal, offers visitors guided walks, a café, two pubs and the award-winning Fradley Pool Nature Reserve, home to an abundance of creatures. Along the way, boaters pass the Shugborough Estate with its stunning Georgian Mansion House and a number of rural family-friendly pubs, including Mossley Tavern at Rugeley.
To book a holiday or break on any of Anglo Welsh’s fleet, call our friendly booking team on 0117 304 1122.
Anglo Welsh’s canal boat hire base at Tardebigge on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal near Bromsgrove offers narrowboat holiday-makers the chance to explore some of the most beautiful parts of the West Midlands – including the Forest of Arden, Shakespeare country, Tolkein country and the River Severn Valley. It also offers boaters the option to travel right into the heart of Birmingham – Britain’s vibrant second city with more canals than Venice.
Jonathan Nowell, Anglo Welsh’s manager at Tardebigge, says, “Our Tardebigge base enjoys an idyllic rural setting and is the perfect place to start a leisurely cruise around some of the gorgeous countryside to be found in the Heart of England.
“Perhaps the most popular route for beginners from Tardebigge is to take a short break and travel into Birmingham and back. There are no locks between here and the centre of Birmingham and it takes just five hours to potter along the Worcester & Birmingham Canal to moorings in Gas Street Basin, close to Brindleyplace and a host of exciting City centre attractions.
“And along the way, boaters pass Cadbury World in the historic village of Bournville, where visitors can find out how chocolate is made and explore the World’s biggest Cadbury Shop!
“Narrowboating newcomers wanting a more rural experience can connect onto the Stratford Canal at Kings Norton Junction and travel to the pretty canal village of Lapworth and back – which takes around 14 hours in total, again with no locks.
“Another popular short break route is to travel into Birmingham to visit the Black Country Museum, often used as a film set for the BBC’s Peaky Blinders. Here visitors can step back in time where the world’s first industrial landscape emerged and meet costumed characters, explore period shops and houses, enjoy a fair ground ride, take a 1912 school lesson, eat traditional fish & chips and visit the Bottle & Glass Inn.
“From Tardebigge, more experienced boaters on longer breaks can enjoy there-and-back cruises to Stratford upon Avon, Warwick or Worcester. Shakespeare’s Stratford is probably our most popular destination for people on a week’s canal barge holiday from here. The journey takes boaters along the beautiful Stratford Canal with its distinctive barrel-roofed cottages, peaceful countryside and fantastic choice of canalside pubs – including the Fleur de Lys at Lowsonford, which is famous for its homemade pies.
“There’s also a choice of circuits to navigate from Tardebigge, including the popular Stourport Ring, which can be done in a week and involves travelling 74 miles, through 118 locks, passing through Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Stourport and the lovely Cathedral City of Worcester.
“As part of this journey, boaters get to tackle the mighty Tardebigge flight of 30 locks – the longest in the country. The locks are spread out over two and a quarter miles and allow boats to ascend or descend 67 metres in height. To recognise this major waterway landmark, the Canal & River Trust offers a certificate to boaters who complete their passage through the flight.
“On this route, narrowboat holiday-makers also have the option of taking a short cut along the newly restored Droitwich canals and experience narrow locks, staircase locks, wide beam locks and swing bridges all in a single seven-mile stretch.
“Luxury canal boat hire options here at Tardebigge include the 65ft long four-berth Constellation Class ‘Hydra’, and the 67ft six-berth Bond Class ‘Braithwaite’ – both of which have semi-traditional sterns, two shower rooms with toilets, plus two cabins which can be configured as a double bed or two single beds. In its spacious saloon, ‘Braithwaite’ also has a bench seat and table which can be converted into either a double or two singles in the evening.”
To book a holiday or break on any of Anglo Welsh’s fleet, call our friendly booking team on 0117 304 1122.
Canal boat holidays are great for families – bringing everyone together for an adventure afloat – soaking up the scenery, learning how to steer the boat and work the locks, watching out for wildlife and stopping-off to visit waterside pubs and attractions.
To celebrate the International Day of Families (15th May), we’ve put together our top 9 narrowboat holidays for families for 2018.
Walk the City Walls in Chester. The ancient City of Chester is a delightful seven hour cruise, passing through nine locks, from our canal boat hire base at Bunbury on the Shropshire Union Canal in Cheshire. Once there, narrowboat holiday-makers can moor up to explore the City, including the largest Roman Amphitheatre in Britain and the almost three kilometre-long City Walls, which were started by the Romans between 70 and 80 AD and formed a complete circuit of the medieval city.
Discover the Witch in a Bottle at the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford. From our Thames boating holiday hire base at Eynsham, it’s a tranquil three-hour cruise to moorings at Hythe Bridge, perfect for exploring Oxford’s city centre. There are excellent shops, many historic buildings and fantastic museums to explore in Oxford, including the extraordinary Pitt Rivers Museum, home to one of the world’s finest collection of anthropology and archaeology, including shrunken heads from the Amazon and the famous ‘witch in a bottle’.
Soak up the Italianate architecture at Saltaire. From our base at Silsden on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, on a short break boaters can travel to Sir Titus Salt’s famous model town at Saltaire, a journey which takes seven hours and passes through 11 locks. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sir Titus Salt built the textile Mill and entire village for his mill workers, all in a beautiful Italianate style. Places to visit include Saltaire Park and the Grade II* listed Salt’s Mill. This homes many examples of work by Bradford born artist David Hockney, as well as collections of books, furniture, jewellery, clothing and the Salt’s Diner restaurant.
Marvel at the Caen Hill flight of locks at Devizes. From our barge holiday base on the Kennet & Avon Canal in Bath, it’s a 10-hour, eight-lock cruise to Fox Hanger Wharf at the base of the mighty Caen Hill flight of 29 locks at Devizes, one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the Waterways’. Once here, the historic market town of Devizes is a short walk away, with its Wadworth Brewery Visitor Centre and famous shire horses making daily deliveries, plus a range of shops, pubs and restaurants, including the ‘Peppermill Restaurant’ and the Bear Hotel. Along the way, narrowboat holiday-makers can stop off to explore historic Bradford on Avon, home to the magnificent 14th monastic stone Tithe Barn, with its amazing timber cruck roof.
Climb the Ramparts at Warwick Castle. From our Stockton canal boat rental base on the Grand Union Canal in Warwickshire, it’s a seven-hour journey, passing through 20 locks, to reach the beautiful country town of Warwick with its magnificent medieval 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 Staterooms to explore. Families can experience the sights, sounds and smells of the medieval period in the Kingmaker exhibition, watch soaring birds of prey and trebuchet firing displays and navigate the Horrible Histories Maze and landscaped gardens.
Glide across ‘The Stream in the Sky’. Just five minutes from our base on the Llangollen Canal at Trevor, boaters encounter the incredible Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, truly one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the Waterways’. Its cast iron trough filled with water, is supported on iron arched ribs and carried 38 metres high above the Dee Valley on 19 hollow pillars. In 2009 the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct was added to the UNESCO World Heritage site list, putting it on a par with the Pyramids and Taj Majhal. On a short break from our canal boat hire yard at Trevor, boaters can cross the aqueduct and then continue east to reach the Ellesmere Lakes, teaming with wildlife. On a week’s break, narrow boat holiday-makers can cruise on to the historic market town of Whitchurch.
Experience the Pirahna Tunnel at Birmingham’s National Sea Life Centre. From our narrow boat holiday hire base on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal at Tardebigge, Gas Street Basin in Birmingham City’s Centre is a five-hour lock-free cruise away, perfect for first-time canal boat holiday-makers. From there it’s a short walk to Brindley place with an abundance of shops, restaurants and attractions, including Birmingham’s Sea life Centre, with over 60 displays of freshwater and marine life, including the new Pirahna Tunnel and Jelly Invaders exhibit.
Get close to nature at Fradley Pool Nature Reserve. From our canal barge holiday base at Great Haywood in Staffordshire, on a short break boaters can cruise along the Trent & Mersey Canal to Fradley Junction and back, a journey which takes six hours and passes through five locks. Picturesque Fradley offers visitors guided walks, a café, two pubs and the award-winning Fradley Pool Nature Reserve, home to an abundance of creatures. Along the way, boaters pass the Shugborough Estate with its stunning Georgian mansion house and walled garden. Families can explore the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust’s Wolseley centre with 26 acres of beautiful grounds and Rugeley with its choice of pubs, including the canal side Mossley Tavern.
Watch a Shakespeare play in the Bard’s home town. From our luxury canal boat hire base at Wootton Wawen on the Stratford Canal, it’s a delightful six-hour, 17-lock cruise journey through the Warwickshire countryside to Bancroft Basin in the centre of Stratford-upon-Avon. From there, it’s a short walk to the town’s theatres, shops, restaurants and museums, including the Royal Shakespeare Theatre where until 18 September Christopher Ecclestone will play Macbeth and Niamh Cusack Lady Macbeth in ‘The Scottish Play’.
To book a holiday or 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?
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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