Anglo Welsh’s Top 10 Foodie Finds Afloat

Visiting local markets and independent shops to find fresh ingredients for cooking on board can be a fun and inspiring element of a holiday afloat. The 2,000 miles of navigable waterways that criss-cross England and Wales pass through dozens of market towns and cities, offering exciting local produce and a welcome break from the usual weekly supermarket shop.

Here are our top 10 destinations for foodies looking for special treats and ingredients:

  1. Snugburys ice cream shop at Hurleston. This famous ice cream shop making award winning ice cream is close to the Shropshire Union Canal at Hurleston near Nantwich. Located on the Snugbury family farm, this wonderful shop offers 55 mouth-watering flavours, all made from fresh British cream, including chocolate brownie, raspberry pavlova, crème brulee, clotted cream vanilla, amaretto and Turkish delight. From our canal boat hire base at Bunbury, it takes just one hour to reach Hurleston Junction, and from there it’s a short walk to Snugburys.
  2. Stone Farmers Market. Renowned as the ‘foodie capital’ of North Staffordshire, on the first Saturday of every month (except January), Stone’s popular Farmers Market lines the town’s pretty Georgian High Street. With over 50 stalls offering locally-reared meats, breads, preserves, cakes, honey, cheese, fruit, vegetables and smoked fish, it’s a mecca for foodies. From our narrowboat hire base at Great Haywood on the Trent & Mersey Canal it takes five hours to reach Stone.
  3. The Cheese Shop at Bradford on Avon. Located in the heart of historic Bradford on Avon, this little shop is bursting with flavours and aromas, pure heaven for cheese lovers. As well as an impressive range of fine cheeses, there Cheese Shop offers exciting lunch options from its well-stocked deli, including delicious home-made quiches, prepared and baked daily, as well as a large selection of local chutneys to go perfectly with the cheese. From our narrowboat rental base at Bath, it takes just four hours to reach Bradford on Avon.
  4. Stratford’s Farmers Market. On the first and third Saturday of each month, Stratford upon Avon’s Farmers Market meets in Rother Street, selling a wide range of local produce. From rare breed and game meats, organic vegetables, eggs, cheese, freshly baked bread and cakes to wine, confectionery, jams and pickles. There’s also a fantastic hot food stand offering outdoor bred roasted pork, bacon and sausage. From our canal barge hire base at Wootton Wawen on the Stratford Canal near Henley-in-Arden it six hours to reach Stratford upon Avon.
  5. Bailey’s Deli in Llangollen. The pretty town of Llangollen on the edge of the Berwyn Mountains, offers a range of independent shops, including Bailey’s Deli. Located in the Town Hall, Bailey’s offers a great range of pies, sausage rolls, Welsh Oggies, Scotch eggs, cooked butcher’s meat, cakes, farm ice cream, chocolates, fudge, sandwiches, cheeses, mustards, jams and marmalade, as well as ales, whiskies, spirits and mead. From our boat yard at Trevor on the Llangollen Canal in North Wales, it takes just two hours to reach Llangollen.
  6. The Covered Market in Oxford. This fabulous historic market space in the centre of Oxford offers products from a large number of specialist independent traders, offering crafts, food and drink. Edible fare includes fresh fruit, vegetables, breads, cakes, meats and cheeses. Moorings at Hythe Bridge, just a short walk from the Covered Market can be reached from our Thames boating holiday base at Eynsham, near Witney.
  7. Keelham Farm Shop in Skipton. Showcasing the region’s best locally grown and reared produce, Keelham Farm Shop on Gargrave Road in Skipton stocks produce from over 400 local suppliers in dedicated butchers, greengrocer, bakery and delicatessen sections. It also has an ale house offering beers from more than 20 local breweries. Skipton can be reached in just three hours from our narrowboat hire base on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal at Silsden.
  8. Fresh fish at the Bull Ring Indoor Market. The indoor market at Birmingham’s magnificent Bull Ring is home to one of the UK’s largest fish markets. Open from Monday to Saturday, 9am to 5.30pm, as well as an impressive choice of quality fish and seafood, visitors to the indoor market and also buy meat, exotic fruits and vegetables. From our canal boat hire base at Tardebigge on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal near Bromsgrove, it takes five hours to reach city centre moorings in Gas Street Basin.
  9. Aubrey Allen’s butchers in Leamington Spa. Offering outstanding quality cooked and uncooked meat, as well as deli products and artisan cheeses, this multi-award winning family business on Warwick Street is one of the best known butchers in the Midlands. Leamington Spa can be reached in six hours from our Stockton boat yard on the Grand Union Canal in Warwickshire.
  10. Treacle Market in Macclesfield. Named after a centuries old incident when a treacle wagon overturned in Macclesfield’s cobbled town centre, Treacle Market offers exceptional food and drink, including local farm cheese, great north pies, sourdough, apple juice and fresh farm eggs. The market takes place the last Sunday of the month, from 10am to 3.30pm. The journey to Macclesfield takes 21 hours from our canal boat hire base on the Trent & Mersey Canal at Great Haywood.


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Top 6 Christmas canal boat holidays

Best canal boat holidays Christmas 2016

Christmas Canal Boat Holiday Recommendations from Anglo Welsh:

Anglo Welsh offers winter cruising* from six bases, giving narrowboat holidaymakers the chance to celebrate Christmas or New Year afloat, joining in the festive celebrations at exciting waterside towns and cities and stopping off at rural pubs with roaring log fires.

From a cosy boat for two to a party boat for 10, we’ve got a range of boats to choose from.  Christmas prices start at £470 for a short break (three or four nights), weekly hire from £670.

All our boats have central heating, hot water, Wi-Fi, TV and DVD players and some also have multi-fuel stoves, so it’s always warm and cosy on board.

Here are our Top 6 festive destinations for 2016/17:

1.  Wonder at the Animal Lanterns at Chester Zoo –  from our Bunbury base on the Shropshire Union Canal in Cheshire, it’s a seven-hour, nine-lock journey to the historic walled city of Chester.  With 3D Christmas Lights, Christmas parades, a sparkly Christmas Market with dozens of gift and festive-fare filled chalets, carol concerts at Chester Cathedral and the magical ‘Lanterns at Chester Zoo’ event, Chester is a great place to celebrate Christmas.

2.  Visit the award-winning Christmas market in Bath – 
from our base in the historic town of Bradford on Avon on the edge of the Cotswolds, it’s a delightful six-hour cruise along the beautiful Kennet & Avon Canal to moorings close to the centre of World Heritage city Bath.  With an award-winning Christmas market, carol services at Bath Abbey, stunning Georgian architecture, world class museums and top restaurants, Bath is a fantastic place to get Christmassy!

Watch a panto in Birmingham –  With its famous German Christmas Market, ice rink and big wheel, excellent shopping, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, National Sea Life Centre, incredible new library and Christmas shows, including ‘Treasure Island’ at the Birmingham Rep and ‘Dick Whittington’ at the Hippodrome, Birmingham is a great place to visit at Christmas time.  City centre moorings at Gas Street Basin, close to Brindleyplace, can be reached in just five hours from our narrowboat hire base at Tardebigge on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal.

 Enjoy the Christmas Festival at Stratford upon Avon – from our base at Wootton Wawen near Warwick, it’s a picturesque six-hour cruise through the Warwickshire countryside to Shakespeare’s Stratford.  Once there, boaters can moor up in the town’s canal basin to enjoy the marvellous Christmas lights, Christmas markets, Christmas grotto with the Real Father Christmas (from 24 Nov), intriguing Ebenezer Scrooge Grotto (from 28 Dec), carol singers, traditional pubs, ghost walks, museums, shops, Swan Theatre and cosy restaurants.

 Experience a ‘Santa Special’ at the Llangollen Railway – our canal boat hire base at Trevor on the beautiful Llangollen Canal in North Wales is just minutes away from the incredible 40m high and 30m long Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.  As a World Heritage designation, this incredible feat of Industrial Revolution engineering has been put on a par with the Taj Mahal, Great Wall of China and the Pyramids.  On a short break from our narrowboat holiday base at Trevor, boaters can reach the pretty town of Llangollen, nestled in the hills, to enjoy Christmas celebrations at the Llangollen Railway, which is running ‘Santa Specials’ on 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 22, 23 and 24 December.

 See an Outdoor Christmas Nativity in Market Drayton –  from our Great Haywood base at the junction of the Staffordshire & Worcestershire and Trent & Mersey canals in Staffordshire, on a week’s cruise, canal boat holidaymakers can travel to Market Drayton in North Shropshire.  Said to be home of the Gingerbread man, this historic market town offers visitors lively street markets, beautiful architecture and the ‘Buttercross to Bethlehem’ outdoor nativity acted by people and animals, to be held in the Buttercross stone portico in Cheshire Street, 18 December at 4.30pm.


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


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

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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?

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

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