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Top 6 festive cruising destinations

This winter we are offering winter cruising* from seven of our canal boat hire bases, giving narrowboat holiday-makers the chance to can set sail to a choice of exciting waterside towns and cities, all offering special festive events and fantastic Christmas shopping opportunities.

From a cosy narrowboat for two to a family canal boat for 12, all our boats have central heating, hot water, WiFi, TV and DVD players, so it’s always warm, cosy and welcoming on board.  Some of our boats also come with multi-fuel stoves for that extra injection of winter warmth.

Our winter cruising hire boat yards offer a choice of routes, so this winter, whether you want to head to a fun-filled festive destination or escape from it all in a quiet rural backwater, Christmas on the canals offers a very special experience.

Christmas prices start at £495 for a short break, £705 for a week.

Here are our Top 6 festive destinations for 2018:

  1. Ride the Big Wheel in Birmingham – from our narrowboat hire base at Tardebigge on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal near Bromsgrove, it’s a five-hour, lock-free cruise to reach city centre moorings. From here you can use your canal boat as a base to enjoy some of the many exciting Christmas events in Britain’s exciting second city, including incredible shopping at the Mailbox and Bull Ring, the Frankfurt Christmas Market at Victoria Square (15 Nov to 23 Dec) and indoor ice rink and big wheel on New Canal Street (15 Nov to 27 Jan).
  2. Enjoy an Elf Adventure at Trentham Shopping Village – from our canal boat hire base at Great Haywood on the Trent & Mersey Canal in Staffordshire, it takes around 10 hours to reach Trentham, travelling 13 miles and passing through 13 locks along the way.  Once there, you can moor up and explore the beautiful Trentham Gardens with its enchanting woodland fairy trail, and visit Trentham Shopping Village where the Elf Adventure Challenge gives families the chance to take part in festive themed games, join in the music and listen to Elves tell their tales (selected dates from 15 to 24 Dec).
  3. Revel in swash-buckling Panto fun at Theatre Royal Bath – it takes just two hours to reach moorings in Bath City Centre from our narrowboat hire base, Sydney Wharf, on the Kennet & Avon Canal. From our base at Monkton Combe at Brassknocker Basin, the cruise is a short four-hour cruise. From there, it’s a 15-minute stroll into the City where the Peter Pan family pantomime will be on at the Theatre Royal (13 Dec to 13 Jan), as well as carols by candlelight at Bath Abbey, skating on the outdoor Bath on Ice rink.
  4. Be transported to Lapland aboard the Llangollen Steam Railway – from our canal boat hire base at Trevor on the Llangollen Canal in North Wales, on a short break narrowboat holiday-makers can travel to the pretty town of Llangollen and back, home of the Llangollen Steam Railway. The Railway will be running Santa Christmas Specials on selected dates from Sat 1 Dec to Mon 24 Dec, offering the chance to board a specially decorated steam train travelling from Llangollen Station to Carrog – temporarily renamed Lapland for Santa’s visit.  On board children receive a special gift and grown-ups can look forward to a mince pie and tipple from Santa’s Little Helpers.
  5. Visit the Real Father Christmas in Stratford upon Avon – it’s a picturesque six-hour cruise to Shakespeare’s Stratford from our narrowboat hire base at Wootton Wawen, near Henley-in-Arden in Warwickshire. Once there, you can moor up in Bancroft Basin to enjoy all the festive fun dealt out each year by the home of Bard, including stunning Christmas lights, fantastic markets, atmospheric carol singers and, at Magic Alley ‘The most authentic Father Christmas in the country’.
  6. Go skiing at Etruria – from our canal boat rental base at Great Haywood in Staffordshire, on a week’s break boaters can travel north up the Trent & Mersey Canal to Etruria in Stoke-on-Trent. The journey takes around 11 hours, travelling 18 miles and passing through 18 locks.  Once at Etruria, you can moor up to enjoy a choice of family activities, including the Tropical waters of the Waterworld Aqua Park and the much colder dry ski slopes of the Stoke Ski Centre.

*Winter cruising routes can be affected by stoppages and closures as a result of winter maintenance work

 

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Top 5 international canal adventures

Our 2,000-mile network of navigable canals and rivers pass through some of the most picturesque scenery and exciting towns and cities in Britain, offering canal boat holiday-makers the chance to set sail on an inspiring travel adventure closer to home.

To give you an idea of what you can experience, here at Anglo Welsh we’ve put our heads together to come up with our Top 5 “international” themed canal boat adventures:

  1. Cruise the canals like you are in Venice – with more canals than Venice, Birmingham offers narrowboat holiday-makers the chance glide through Britain’s vibrant second city and moor up in its centre for some sight-seeing. The Pre-Raphaelite collection in Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery is the best in the World and there’s even a couple of Canalettos on display (though they are paintings of Warwick Castle rather than the Grand Canal).  From our canal boat hire base on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal at Tardebigge near Bromsgrove, it takes just five hours to reach Birmingham City Centre.
  2. Travel the Kennet & Avon like you are in the Loire Valley – the beautiful Avon Valley in Bath and Wiltshire offers a mini version of France’s stunning Loire Valley. With historic sites like Bath Abbey and the Tithe Barn in Bradford on Avon, gourmet experiences like the Ivy Bath Brasserie and Michelin starred Olive Tree in Bath, nature trails in the ancient Savernake Forest and even a Vineyard at Pewsey, a cruise along the Kennet & Avon Canal can provide canal boat holiday-makers with a fantastic cultural and natural environment escape.
  3. Glide through the Peak District like you are in the Appalachians – the picturesque Caldon Canal in Staffordshire takes narrowboat holiday-makers into the Peak District, for an Appalachian-style experience. On a week’s break from our narrowboat hire base at Great Haywood on the Trent & Mersey Canal, it’s a 43-hour return journey to Froghall Basin and back, travelling a total of 72 miles through 72 locks.  After connecting onto the Caldon Canal at Etruria in Stoke on Trent, the journey passes through gently rolling hills and wooded areas and into ever more remote countryside, with plenty of wildlife to watch out for.
  4. Voyage like you are on the Canal du Midi – from our narrowboat rental base at Oxford, you can enjoy a fabulous Thames boating holiday, passing historic riverside towns and villages, and fortresses at Oxford and Windsor, rivalling the charm of the Canal du Midi in southern France. And with restaurants like the three Michelin-starred Waterside at Bray and Le Clos at Wallingford serving top class French cuisine, the gastronomy can be matched too!  On a 10-day break from our Oxford base, boaters can voyage to Windsor and back, travelling a total of 148 miles, passing through 52 locks and cruising for around 46 hours.
  5. Visit Roman ruins like you are in the Eternal City – from our Bunbury canal boat hire base on the Shropshire Union Canal in Cheshire, it’s a seven-hour, nine-lock journey to the ancient city of Chester, once a stronghold of the Roman Empire. With the largest Roman amphitheatre and biggest Roman fort in Britain to explore, plus extensive city walls to walk, blink and you might imagine you’re in Rome!  Award-winning tours provide exclusive access to remains in basements with guides dressed up as Roman soldiers.  And there are some lovely Italian restaurants to dine at in Chester, including The Yard and La Fattoria, so you don’t have to compromise on the quality of your pasta or pizza.

 

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Top 8 luxury canal boats for hire in 2018

Today’s canal boats are fully equipped with all the essential mod cons – central heating, hot water, TV, fully-equipped kitchens, showers and flushing toilets. To create ever higher standards of accommodation, the length of boat per berth is increasing and new canal boats for hire are arriving on the network with extras like baths, drinks fridges, larger showers, fuel stoves, King-sized beds and WiFi.

Here at Anglo Welsh we’ve been investing in the construction of top class narrowboats, all boasting exacting standards of craftsmanship, comfort and finish.

Our ‘Bond’, ‘Constellation’ and, new for 2018, ‘Heritage’ Class narrowboats are the stars of our fleet, with full-size showers; a range of flexible and private berths; fuel stoves on the four and six berth boats; a large TV and Wifi; spacious kitchens with modern fittings and lighting; and a stylish new livery.

We now offer luxury canal boat hire from eight of our bases, with boats providing top class narrowboat accommodation for either four, six or twelve people.

Here are our Top 9 luxury canal boats for hire in 2018:

  1. Float across ‘The Stream in the Sky’ aboard ‘Lily’. The brand new luxury four-berth ‘Lily’ Heritage class boat is now available to hire from our canal boat rental base at Trevor, on the Llangollen Canal in North Wales.  This 66ft long semi-traditional stern narrowboat offers ‘heritage’ features, including a Belfast sink, port holes and a fuel stove in the saloon, alongside modern home comforts, including two showers and two toilets, two double beds (one of which can be made into twin beds) in separate cabins, LED lighting, full radiator central heating and WiFi. On a short break from Trevor, canal boat holiday-makers can travel to Ellesmere and back, passing over the incredible World Heritage Status Pontcysyllte Aqueduct along the way. On a week’s break, boaters can reach Whitchurch and Wrenbury. Prices for ‘Lily’ start at £740 for a short break, £1,060 for a week.
  2. Travel to Stratford aboard ‘Aries’. The beautiful brand new four-berth Constellation Class ‘Aries’ is now available to hire from our Wootton Wawen narrowboat hire base on the Stratford Canal. This 65ft semi traditional stern narrowboat features two showers, two toilets, full central heating, a traditional fuel stove, well-equipped galley and flexible accommodation in two cabins ranging from two doubles to four singles, full radiator central heating and WiFi. On a short break (three or four nights) from Wootton Wawen, narrowboat holiday-makers can travel to Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon and back. On a week’s holiday, boaters can reach historic Warwick or Birmingham’s City Centre. Prices for ‘Aries‘ start at £730 for short break (three or four nights), £1,045 for a week.
  3. Charter ‘Cassiopeia’ to Chester. The super 67ft six-berth Constellation Class ‘Cassiopeia’ is based at Bunbury on the Shropshire Union Canal near Tarporley in Cheshire. ‘Cassiopeia’ has a spacious semi traditional stern, two showers, two toilets, full central heating, a traditional fuel stove, well-equipped galley and flexible accommodation ranging from three doubles to six singles. It takes just seven hours by boat to reach the historic city of Chester, perfect for a short break. While on a week’s holiday, hirers can travel to the pretty Eisteddfod town of Llangollen and back. Cassiopeia’s 2018 hire prices start at £750 for short break, £1,070 for a week.
  4. Cruise the Kennet & Avon Canal aboard ‘Phoenix’. The brand new 66ft four-berth Constellation Class ‘Phoenix’ is available to hire from our canal boat hire base on the Kennet & Avon Canal at Bath. ‘Phoenix’ has a spacious semi traditional stern, two showers, two toilets, full central heating, a traditional fuel stove, well-equipped galley and flexible accommodation in two cabins ranging from two doubles to four singles. From Bath, it takes around 10 hours to reach Fox Hanger Wharf at the base of the Caen Hill Flight of locks, perfect for a short break. On a week’s holiday, boaters can travel on to Pewsey. 2018 prices for ‘Phoenix’ start at £730 for a week, £1,045 for a week.
  5. Travel the Trent & Mersey in style aboard ‘Centaurus’. The new Constellation Class ‘Centaurus’ will be available to hire for the 2018 boating season from our narrowboat hire base at Great Haywood on the Trent & Mersey Canal from the beginning of July. This luxury 65ft four- berth boat has a spacious semi traditional stern, two showers, two toilets, full central heating, a traditional fuel stove, well-equipped galley and flexible accommodation in two cabins ranging from two doubles to four singles, full radiator central heating and WiFi. There are a variety of short break routes from Great Haywood, including the option to travel south along the Trent & Mersey Canal to the historic market town of Stone. On a week’s holiday, boaters can travel to Market Drayton, home of the gingerbread man. Prices for ‘Centaurus‘ start at £730 for short break (three or four nights), £1,045 for a week.
  6. Explore Warwickshire aboard ‘Lynx’. The 69ft 12-berth Constellation Class ‘Lynx’ is available to hire from our canal boat rental base at Stockton, on the Grand Union Canal in Warwickshire. ‘Lynx’ has a spacious semi traditional stern, two shower rooms with a toilet in each, two dinette doubles in the lounge, four single bunks and four singles in two cabins. On a short break from Stockton, boaters can reach the beautiful county town of Warwick and its stunning Castle on the banks of the River Avon. On a week’s holiday, canal boat holiday-makers can travel to Banbury on the Oxford Canal or Foxton on the Leicester Line. 2018 prices start at £825 for short breaks on ‘Lynx’, weekly hire from £1,175.
  7. Hire ‘Hydra’ and head to Birmingham. The 65ft long four-berth Constellation Class ‘Hydra’ is available to hire from our narrowboat hire base on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal at Tardebigge. ‘Hydra’ has a semi-traditional stern, two shower rooms with a toilet in each, plus two doubles or four singles in two cabins. From Tardebigge, it’s a five-hour, lock free journey to Birmingham City Centre, perfect for a short break. On a week’s holiday from Tardebigge, narrowboat holiday-makers can head to Stratford, Warwick or Worcester, or travel the Stourport Ring. 2018 hire prices for ‘Hydra’ start at £730 for short break (three or four nights), £1,045 for a week.
  8. Enjoy a Thames boating holiday with ‘Delphinus’. The 69ft 12-berth Constellation Class narrowboat ‘Delphinus’ is available from our Oxford base, on the River Thames at Eynsham. ‘Delphinus’ has a spacious semi traditional stern, two shower rooms with a toilet in each, two dinette doubles in the lounge, four single bunks and four singles in two cabins. From our luxury canal boat hire base on the River Thames, it takes just over three hours to reach moorings at Hythe Bridge in Oxford City Centre, perfect for a short break. On a week’s holiday, boaters can continue along the Thames to Henley. 2018 short breaks on ‘Delphinus’ start at £825, weekly hire from £1,175.

To book a holiday or break on any of Anglo Welsh’s fleet, call our friendly booking team on 0117 304 1122.

 

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Anglo Welsh’s Top 9 Luxury Boats

Boasting exacting standards of craftsmanship, comfort and finish, our ‘Bond’ and ‘Constellation’ Class boats are the stars of our fleet.

These beautiful narrowboats all have full-size showers, a range of flexible and private berths, a large TV, WiFi, spacious kitchens with modern fittings and lighting, and a smart new livery. And for that extra bit of comfort in the colder months, the four and six berth boats also have solid fuel stoves.

Over the last four years, we’ve been introducing these luxurious boats at nearly all of our bases, so here are our narrowboat heroes:

 

  1. Travel to Stratford aboard ‘Aquila’ – the beautiful four-berth Constellation Class ‘Aquila’ arrived at our Wootton Wawen base on the Stratford Canal in 2016, and she’s already proving to be a favourite. On a short break (three or four nights) narrowboat holiday-makers booking ‘Aquila’ travel through the beautiful Warwickshire countryside to Shakespeare’s Stratford. On a week’s holiday, boaters can reach historic Warwick or Birmingham’s City Centre, while on a two-week break, they can complete the Avon or the Warwickshire ring. ‘Aquila’s 2017 hire prices start at £695 for short break (three or four nights), £995 for a week.
  2. Cruise the K&A on the luxurious ‘Langton’ – the majestic 12-berth Bond Class ‘Langto’n can be hired from our Bradford on Avon base, on the Kennet & Avon Canal in Wiltshire. From there, it’s a six-hour cruise to moorings close to Bath City Centre, perfect for a short break. Or head west to Fox Hanger Wharf at the base of the magnificent Caen Hill Flight of locks in Devizes. On a week’s holiday, boaters can reach Pewsey Wharf, or with two weeks to cruise, the Thames at Reading. 2017 short breaks on ‘Langton’ start at £785, weekly hire from £1,120.
  3. Charter ‘Cassiopeia’ to Chester – the super six-berth ‘Cassiopeia’ is based at Bunbury on the Shropshire Union Canal near Tarporley in Cheshire. It takes just seven hours by boat to reach the historic city of Chester, perfect for a short break. While on a week’s holiday, hirers can travel the Four Counties Ring, or head to the Llangollen or Macclesfield Canal, and with two weeks away, complete the Cheshire Ring. ‘Cassiopeia’s 2017 hire prices start at £715 for short break, £1,020 for a week. ***The four-berth Constellation Class ‘Carina’ is also available from Bunbury.
  4. Enjoy a break on the Thames with ‘Delphius’ – this 12-berth Constellation Class narrowboat is available from our Oxford base, on the River Thames at Eynsham. It takes just over three hours to reach moorings at Hythe Bridge in Oxford City Centre. Other short break options from this base include heading east along the Thames to Wallingford or west to Lechlade. Or transfer onto the Oxford Canal at Oxford and head up to Lower Heyford. Weekly cruise destinations include Henley on Thames and Banbury, and in two weeks, boaters can reach Little Venice and Paddington Basin in London. 2017 short breaks on ‘Delphius’ start at £785, weekly hire from £1,120. ***The 12-berth Constellation Class ‘Orion’ is due to arrive at Oxford next September.
  5. Admire Telford’s Aqueduct aboard ‘Aquarius’ – our four-berth Constellation Class ‘Aquarius’ is available to hire from Trevor on the Llangollen Canal in North Wales. This base is just minutes away from Thomas Telford’s masterpiece of Victorian engineering, the World Heritage Status Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. On a short break, travel east across the Aqueduct to Ellesmere or Whitchurch. With a week to hire, boaters can reach Wrenbury and with two weeks, they can tackle the Cheshire Ring. 2017 short breaks on ‘Aquarius’ start at £695 for a short break, £995 for a week.
  6. Glide to Bristol and back on ‘Gloria’ – the four-berth Bond Class ‘Gloria’ is available from our canal boat hire base at Sydney Wharf in Bath. From there, it’s a ten-hour journey through Bath and along the Bristol Avon to Bristol’s Floating Harbour, with Brunel’s SS Great Britain and Blue Reef Aquarium. On a week’s holiday, boaters can head east to Pewsey and back, travelling through the magnificent Caen Hill flight of locks at Devizes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Waterways. ‘Gloria’s 2017 hire prices start at £695 for short break, £995 for a week. ***The luxury six-berth Bond Class ‘Bradbury’ and 12-berth Constellation Class ‘Andromeda’ will also be available to hire from Bath in 2017.
  7. Travel along the Trent & Mersey aboard the lovely ‘Leo II’ – the four-berth Bond Class ‘Leo II’ is available to hire from our Great Haywood base, on the junction of the Trent & Mersey and Staffordshire & Worcester canals. Here there are many short break routes available, including the option to travel south along the Trent & Mersey Canal to Fradley Pool Nature Reserve and back. On a week’s holiday, boaters can travel to Market Drayton or Drayton Manor Theme Park, or tackle the Four Counties Ring. ‘Leo II’s 2017 hire prices start at £695 for short break, £995 for a week. ***The new four-berth Constellation Class ‘Pegasus’ is due to arrive at Great Haywood in April 2017.
  8. Hire ‘Hydra’ and head to Birmingham – from April 2017, the four-berth Constellation Class ‘Hydra’ will be available from our Tardebigge base, on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal near Bromsgrove. From there, it’s a five-hour, lock free journey to City Centre moorings at Gas Street Basin, perfect for a short break. On a week’s holiday from Tardebigge, narrowboat holiday-makers can head to Stratford, Warwick or Worcester, or travel the Stourport Ring. On a two-week break they can travel the Warwickshire or Avon ring. 2017 hire prices for ‘Hydra’ start at £695 for short break (three or four nights), £995 for a week.
  9. Explore Warwickshire aboard ‘Lynx’ – from June 2017, the brand new 12-berth Constellation Class ‘Lyn’x will be available to hire from our base at Stockton, on the Grand Union Canal in Warwickshire. Short break routes from Stockton include Warwick and its stunning Castle, said to be Britain’s greatest medieval experience. On a week’s holiday, boaters can reach Banbury on the Oxford Canal or Foxton on the Leicester Line. With two weeks to cruise, boaters can reach Oxford or travel the Leicester Ring. 2017 short breaks on ‘Lynx’ will start at £785, weekly hire from £1,120. ***The six-berth Constellation Class ‘Perseus’ is due to arrive at Stockton in August 2017.

 

To make a booking or to get friendly advice on canal holidays, please call our Booking Office on 0117 304 1122.

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Anglo Welsh’s Class of 2016 oozes ‘Star’ Quality

Many canal devotees love to enthuse about vintage narrowboats, and understandably so, but here at Anglo Welsh few things get our pulses racing more than a spanking new hire boat, especially when it’s suited and booted to our very own specifications.

In recent years, we’ve grown accustomed to narrowboat connoisseurs waxing lyrical about our Bond Class boats. But to paraphrase a 007 movie trailer, ‘Bond is back, and it’s better than ever’. In fact, it even has a new name! Ladies and gentleman, we proudly present the Anglo Welsh Constellation Class – six brand-new narrowboats that are all set to make a big splash in 2016 and beyond.

As the latest evolution of our customised fleet, the Constellation Class combines the proven layout of the Bond Class with upgraded facilities and striking new livery. And we’ve tried to spread the joy around! The 12-berth ‘Andromeda’ is based at our Bradford on Avon base, the 12-berth ‘Delphinus’ at Oxford, the 6-berth ‘Cassiopeia’ at Bunbury, and the 4-berth trio ‘Aquarius’, ‘Aquila’ and ‘Carina’ at Trevor, Wootton Wawen and Bunbury respectively.

“The Bond Class has been an incredibly popular hire over the years,” says Wootton Wawen base manager Alistair King, but we’ve really pushed the boat out … excuse the pun … with the Constellation. Built by one of Britain’s oldest established boat builders using Anglo Welsh’s own bespoke specs, they’re among the finest narrowboats you’ll see anywhere on the UK’s waterways.”

 

“Below deck, light ash interiors and reflective white ceilings create a really spacious feel, and as an added bonus, the Constellation Class is highly adaptable, with double beds easily converting into singles and vice-versa. ‘Aquila’ enjoyed its maiden voyage in March and we’ve already received great feedback. The only thing we can’t agree on is the pronunciation, though for now we’re going for ‘Aquila’ rhyming with ‘Tequila’!”

As well as being built to order, the Constellation Class was also ‘christened’ by the Anglo Welsh team. So why Constellation? “Despite the fact our narrowboat fleet already includes a boat called ‘Enterprise’ the name has nothing to do with ‘Star Trek,” confesses Alistair with a smile. In fact, stargazers will have already spotted that Aquarius, Aquila, Carina, Cassiopeia, Andromeda and Delphinus are all named after constellations. “Apparently Aquarius even means water-carrier in Latin,” adds Alistair, “though I prefer to think of it as an amphibious people carrier!”

To which we can only add, the Constellation Class is undoubtedly the new ‘star turn’ on the UK’s waterways and we’re confident that these magnificent boats will carry people on some memorable canal journeys!

To book one of the new Constellation Class narrowboats, please contact our dedicated Booking Team on 0117 304 1122.

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Be Inspired

We offer a range of different types of holidays such as City Breaks, Relaxation Cruises and Popular Destinations

City Breaks
Rural retreats
Popular places

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.

Anglo Welsh. So much more than narrowboats

...but don't just take our word for it

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