1. Navigate through the Cheshire countryside to ancient Middlewich
From Bunbury on the Shropshire Union Canal, it’s a peaceful five-and-a-half-hour cruise through the Cheshire countryside to Middlewich. After travelling south two miles to Barbridge Junction, home of the Olde Barbridge Inn, you can transfer onto the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal. This quiet canal, with just four locks along its 10-mile length, travels peacefully through the Cheshire countryside. You can stop off along the way at Church Minshull, where the popular Badger Inn is a short walk from the canal. And there’s a choice places eat and drink in Middlewich, which dates back to into pre-history and the first hunter gatherers.
2. Head into Birmingham City Centre lock-free
With no locks between Tardebigge and Birmingham City Centre, this five-and-a half-hour cruise is perfect for a two-night break. You’ll cruise for 14 miles along the Worcester & Birmingham Canal. The first half of the journey passes through fields, woods and villages, before gradually becoming more urbanised. There are four tunnels to navigate through, including the 2,726-yard long Wast Hill Tunnel. Once you reach the centre of Birmingham, there are over-night moorings at Gas Street Basin, with easy access to Brindleyplace waterside restaurants, Sea Life Centre, Mailbox shopping centre and other leading attractions.
3. Cruise across the Stream in the Sky to historic Ellesmere
The seven-hour journey along the Llangollen Canal from Trevor to Ellesmere, in the heart of the Shropshire Lake District, offers a fantastic two-night route. The route includes the experience of travelling across the incredible UNESCO World Heritage Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, with jaw-dropping panoramic views of the Dee Valley 38 metres below. There are two locks, two tunnels and two aqueducts along the way.
4. Boat through the Staffordshire countryside to Fradley Pool Nature Reserve
From Great Haywood, you can head south along the Trent & Mersey Canal to Fradley Junction. The journey takes around five hours, travelling 12 peaceful miles through the Staffordshire countryside. There are just five locks to pass through, and you’ll pass canalside pubs at Wolseley and Rugeley. At Fradley, you can enjoy spotting wildlife along the woodland trail and boardwalk at Fradley Pool Nature Reserve. And the Canalside Café and Swan Inn offer waterside refreshments.
5. Navigate through Shakespeare country to Stratford-upon-Avon
From Wootton Wawen on the Stratford Canal, it takes around six hours to reach overnight moorings in Bancroft Basin in the heart of Stratford-upon-Avon. The route through the Warwickshire countryside takes you across the Edstone Aqueduct and through 17 locks. Once there, you can walk to all the top attractions in Stratford, from theatres and museums, to pubs and restaurants.
6. Navigate the Llangollen Canal to historic Whitchurch
From Whixall, it takes around three-and-a-half hours to cruise to visitor moorings on the Whitchurch Arm, perfect for a relaxing two-night break. The route to Whitchurch travels along the Llangollen Canal through six peaceful miles of Shropshire countryside. There are no locks but there are two lift bridges. Once moored up, you can walk into Whitchurch to explore the town with its half-timbered buildings, independent shops, way-marked circular walks and Brown Moss nature reserve. There’s a good choice of places to eat and drink, including the popular Black Bear pub.
7. Take a Thames boating holiday to Oxford
From our Oxford base at Eynsham, it takes just over three hours, passing through four locks, to reach City centre moorings in Oxford. Along the way, you’ll pass through the ancient village of Wolvercote, home to the ruins of Godstow Priory. The 17th century riverside Trout Inn, famous for being a regular watering-hole for Collin Dexter’s Inspector Morse and Lewis Carroll, is also at Wolvercote. Once in Oxford, you take time to explore the city, including Oxford Castle, the Bodleian Library and Ashmolean Museum.
8. Cruise through the countryside to visit Packwood House
On a two-night break from Tardebigge, you can cruise lock-free to the village of Lapworth, home of the National Trust’s Packwood House. The journey takes you along the Worcester & Birmingham Canal, through the remains of the Forest of Arden, to Kings Norton Junction. You then transfer onto the Stratford Canal to reach moorings in Lapworth. From there, it’s a short walk to the Tudor Packwood House, with 150 acres of parkland and gardens to explore, including the famous Yew Garden. The journey to Lapworth takes around seven hours and passes through three tunnels.
9. Travel through the Shropshire Lake District to Ellesmere
From Whixall, on a two-night break you can cruise to historic town of Ellesmere and back. The lock-free journey travels seven miles of the Llangollen Canal and takes around three-and-a-half hours. You’ll pass a series of meres and mosses, including Whixall Moss nature reserve, Lyneal Moss and Cole Mere. Once at Ellesmere, you can take time to explore the Mere with its Victorian gardens, woodland paths, sculpture trail and historic castle, as well as places to eat, drink and picnic.
Wide beam canal boat hire on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal
Janet, office manager of our Silsden canal boat hire base, on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal near Keighley in West Yorkshire, outlines the variety of boats and routes available from our newest boat yard.
Embarking on a canal boat holiday from Silsden, offers the chance to enjoy the stunning scenery of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. From vibrant city centres, industrial history and mills, to rugged hills, wooded valleys and moors, there’s a wide variety of landscapes to see.
Here at Silsden, we offer the choice of 18 narrowboats and six wide beam boats for hire. Our narrowboats for hire range in size from boats for five, up to nine people. And our wide beam boats offer flexible accommodation for up to eight people, with en-suite bedrooms, spacious lounges and even wood burning stoves.
The Leeds & Liverpool Canal is the longest single canal in the country
At 127 miles, with 93 locks and two tunnels, the Leeds & Liverpool Canal is the longest single canal in the country. It crosses the Pennines and links the wide waterways of Yorkshire with those of Lancashire and the River Mersey.
The scenery of this historic waterway varies dramatically. It takes canal boat holiday-makers into the heart of the vibrant centres of Leeds, Liverpool, Wigan and Burnley. And through awe-inspiring vast areas of open space, including the moorlands at the canal’s summit, and the woodlands of the Aire Valley.
Silsden offers a great choice of destinations.
On a short break or week long canal boat holiday from Silsden, there are dozens of destinations to choose from. Here are two of our most popular routes:
1. Take a short break to Gargrave, on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales
On a short break from Silsden, you can head west towards Liverpool to the pretty village of Gargrave. This is a great route for beginners, with the journey to Gargrave taking around seven hours and passing through just three locks.
Heading away from Silsden, you’ll first pass canalside warehouses, enjoying views of Airedale’s steep green hills. There’s a series of historic swing bridges along this section of the canal, each needing to be unlocked and lifted. Within two miles, the canal passes through the village of Kildwick, with its 17th century coaching inn, The White Lion.
Next you’ll continue along the valley of the River Aire, with stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Two miles later the village of Bradley has an excellent pub – the Slaters Arms, serving homemade food and real ale.
Visit Skipton and its medieval castle
A mile later, the route passes the Bay Horse pub at Snaygill, before reaching the outskirts of Skipton. Here a little arm (the Springs Branch) branches off the canal to moorings outside Skipton Castle. Dating back to 1090, this motte and bailey castle is one of the best preserved medieval castles in England, and is well worth a visit.
Skipton also offers visitors a range of places to eat, including The Yorkshire Rose pub, Royal Shepherd, French Bistro des Amis, Bean Loved coffee bar and Cock & Bottle pub.
Heading west out of Skipton, you’ll travel a further three miles through the hills to Gargrave. There are three locks to pass through before reaching moorings and a winding hole in the centre of the village.
Gargrave is on the River Aire on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, where you can access 680 square miles of some of England’s finest walking country. In Gargrave there are plenty of pubs, including The Mason’s Arms. There are also shops and a post office.
2. Enjoy a week afloat, visiting Saltaire and Leeds afloat
Heading east from Silsden, on a week’s break you can cruise to Leeds and back. The journey to Leeds takes around 17 cruising hours and passes through 28 locks. Destinations along the way include:
The famous Bingley Five staircase, one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the Waterways’
These cavernous locks raise (or lower) boats 18 metres. They open directly from one to another, with the top gate of one forming the bottom of the next. It takes around one-and-a-half hours to pass through and there are lock keepers on hand to help.
The World Heritage model town at Saltaire
The fascinating model town at Saltaire, near Bradford, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was founded in 1851 by Sir Titus Salt, a leading industrialist in the woollen industry. Salt wanted his workforce to be healthier, happier and more productive, so he moved his five mills to a new green site away from the overcrowded town centre of Bradford. The mills were housed in beautiful Italianate buildings. And he built neat stone houses for his workers with community facilities, including a hospital, library, school and park.
Today, Saltaire is a popular tourist destination with shops, restaurants, cafes and galleries, including the wonderful David Hockney Gallery
The Royal Armouries in Leeds
The best place to moor up to enjoy visiting the Royal Armouries in Leeds, and other city centre attractions, is Leeds Dock. The Royal Armouries is home to the national collection of arms and armour. There are thousands of objects from across the world to admire across nine galleries. Some of the most famous objects include: Henry VIII’s ‘Horned Helmet’; and the ‘Swords of Middle Earth’, based on the prop weapons used in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Hobbit’ movies.
The city of Birmingham has more canals than Venice, so it’s not surprising that eight of the 13 venues for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games are on or very close to a canal.
Taking place from 28 July to 8 August, the Games will see around 4,500 athletes from 72 nations and territories compete in 19 different sports and eight Parasports. To celebrate the opportunity to visit the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and their venues on a narrowboat holiday, we’ve published our Top 8 Games destinations afloat:
1. Travel the Birmingham Mini Ring from Tardebigge
From our Tardebigge base on the Worcestershire & Birmingham Canal near Bromsgrove, you can navigate the Birmingham Mini Ring. This circuit takes you into the heart of Birmingham, travelling sections of the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal, Birmingham Canal Old Main Line, Tame Valley Canal and Wyrley & Essington Canal. The route travels 45 miles, passes through 49 locks and takes around 27 cruising hours. Games venues on or close by the route include: Birmingham Arena next to the Birmingham Canal Old Line (Gymnastics); Alexander Stadium next to the Tame Valley Canal at Perry Barr (Athletics); and Sandwell Aquatics Centre close to the Tame Valley Canal (Diving and Swimming).
2. Cruise to Cannock Chase Forest from Great Haywood
From our canal boat hire base at Great Haywood on the Trent & Mersey Canal near Stafford, Cannock Chase Forest is less than two hours away. The journey to over-moorings at Rugeley navigates five miles of the Trent & Mersey Canal and passes through two locks. Cannock Chase Forest will be used for the Mountain Biking event.
3. Travel to Coventry Stadium from Stockton
From our narrow boat hire base on the Grand Union Canal at Stockton, it takes 15 hours to reach Coventry Basin, travelling 36 miles and passing through seven locks. The route navigates up the North Oxford Canal and joins the Coventry Canal at Hawkesbury Junction. Coventry Stadium will be hosting the Judo, Rugby Sevens and Wrestling events.
4. Navigate to the Alexander Stadium from Tardebigge
It takes around 13 hours, travelling 28 miles and passing through eight locks to reach Perry Barr Top Lock from our Tardebigge base. The journey begins on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal, and transfers onto the Birmingham Canal Navigations at Worcester Bar. Alexander Stadium will host the Athletics events.
5. Cruise to St. Nicholas Park in Warwick from Wootton Wawen
From our base at Wootton Wawen on the Stratford Canal, it takes around 12 hours, cruising 14 miles and passing through 38 locks to reach moorings at Saltisford in Warwick. Myton Fields, the other side of the river to St. Nicholas Park will be used for the Birmingham 2022 Cycling Road Race.
6. Travel round the Stourport Ring from Tardebigge
From our Tardebigge base, on a week’s break you can navigate the Stourport Ring. The journey passes through 118 locks and takes around 44 hours. It takes in sections of: the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal; Worcester & Birmingham Canal Navigation; the River Severn; Birmingham Canal Main Line; and Stourbridge canals. It takes boaters close to Egbaston Stadium, where the Cricket T20 will take place, and the Birmingham Arena where the Gymnastics will take place.
7. Cruise to Victoria Park in Leamington Spa from Stockton
From our Stockton base on the Grand Union Canal it takes around seven hours, travelling seven miles and passing through 20 locks to reach Frost’s Wharf in Leamington. Victoria Park in Leamington Spa will host the Lawn Bowls and Para Lawn Bowls events.
8. Navigate the Warwickshire Ring from Stockton
From our Stockton base you can navigate the Warwickshire Ring. This popular circuit travels 104 miles, passes through 94 locks and takes around 53 hours. It can be done in a week, but it’s best to allow 10 days or two weeks so that you’ll have time to visit places along the way. The Warwickshire Ring travels sections of the Grand Union Canal (passing through Leamington Spa and Warwick), the Coventry Canal and Birmingham & Fazeley Canal. Games venues on or close by the route include: Birmingham Arena (Gymnastics); Edgbaston Stadium (Cricket); Coventry Stadium and Arena (Judo, Rugby Sevens, Wrestling); St Nicholas Park in Warwick (Cycling Road Race); and Victoria Park in Leamington Spa (Lawn Bowls).
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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