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Celebrate the King’s Coronation with a boat trip across the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Little Star trip boat crossing the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Across all three May bank holiday weekends, including the King’s Coronation weekend (6-8 May), our ‘Little Star’ trip boat will be operating five trips a day, offering the chance to enjoy skippered cruises across the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.

Also known as ‘The Stream in the Sky’, at 300 metres long and 39 metres high, the awesome Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is the longest and highest aqueduct in Britain.

Opening in 1805, it took over 500 men and 10 years to build, using wooden scaffolding and simple cranes.

In 2009 it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, putting it on a par with the pyramids in Egypt and the Taj Mahal in India.

Our ‘Little Star’ daily boat trips across the incredible Pontcysyllte Aqueduct offer the chance to cruise across this incredible structure and to experience amazing views across the Dee Valley, and make some fantastic family memories celebrating the King’s Coronation weekend.

Our knowledgeable team provides commentary on board about the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and the Llangollen Canal, which is a great way to learn more about the fascinating history of the site as you cruise gently along.

Trips depart daily at 11am, 12 noon, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm from Canal Wharf, Trevor, Llangollen LL20 7TT.

‘Little Star’ (‘Seren Fach’ in Welsh) offers space for up to 48 passengers. Adult tickets are priced at £10 each, children (aged under 16) are priced at £6.  Family tickets for two adults and two children are priced at £25 each.  Refreshments are available to purchase on board, including hot and cold drinks.

For more information and to book in advance, visit www.anglowelsh.co.uk/little-star, or call us on 0117 304 1122.

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Top 12 Tips for First-Time Narrowboat Holiday Makers   

You don’t need to be an expert to enjoy a canal boat holiday, in fact, each year around one fifth of narrowboat hirers are new to the waterways!

It’s easier than you think to take control of a narrowboat, but to help settle any nerves about a staycation afloat, we’ve put together our top 12 canal boating tips for first-timers:

  1. Keep to the right: Unlike what you will be used to when driving, canal boats travel on the right side of our canals and rivers, so when you meet another boat, be sure to keep to the right.
  2. Steering basics: It might sound confusing at first, but really, it’s simple: if you want to go left, push the tiller to the right, and if you want to go right, push it to the left. Put the engine in reverse to stop. You’ll soon get the hang of it!
  3. Lock logistics: Always make sure you have a steerer on the boat when in a lock, and ensure that the boat is kept forward of the gates and cill (step). Be careful of slippery surfaces when pushing the gates open. Take your time and leave slowly to avoid any bumps.
  4. Close the gates behind you: Check that all paddles and gates are shut after you’ve used a lock, unless you can see another boat approaching.
  5. Sharing is caring: If possible, always share a lock with other boats to save water. This works to your advantage, as it means you can share the lock operation, and have a chat with other narrowboaters!
  6. Use your horn: The horn is there to enable you to warn canal boats coming towards you when approaching any sharp bends and when entering a tunnel.
  7. Tunnel tricks: Switch on your headlight before entering a tunnel, and if it’s a one-way tunnel, always make sure there isn’t already a boat inside before you begin to navigate your way through. To be sure, sound your horn upon approach.
  8. Slow down to walking pace: There’s a 4mph speed limit on the inland waterways. If you’re creating too much wash, you’re going too fast. Washes in the canals disturb wildlife and erodes the banks.
  9. Reduce your speed even further: Slow down when you are approaching bridges, locks, bends or junctions, and when passing other canal boats or anglers.
  10. Mooring musts: When mooring up at busy spots, make sure to avoid leaving a big gap between your boat and the bank. Never moor opposite winding holes, on bends, near to bridges, on private property, on lock landings (unless you are waiting to lock through) or at water points (unless you are filling up).
  11. Tying up: To keep your narrowboat secure, you need to tie it to the bank with a rope from both the front and the back of the barge, and on rivers you should fix your upstream rope first.
  12. Enjoy yourself! Above all, relax & enjoy your boating holiday!

For more tips and advice ahead of your narrowboat holiday, check out our YouTube channel where we have a series of virtual boat handover clips: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcFikWqY-NcnYsWpOE7osrA

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Moor up at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

Canal boat holidays in Birmingham

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).

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Try narrowboating for free at an Anglo Welsh Open Day

Day boat hire on the canals

On Thursday 2 June 2022, the first day of the bank holiday weekend celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, we are hosting open days at four of our narrowboat hire bases, offering you the chance to try canal boating for free!

The events will run from 10am to 4pm, so come and visit us to take a free short trip on a skippered day boat, ask our expert staff for advice on all things boating, learn what to expect from a canal boat holiday and enter a competition to win a free day boat trip!

The open days will take place at:

–          Whixall on the Prees Branch of the Llangollen Canal in Shropshire;

–          Bunbury on the Shropshire Union Canal in Cheshire;

–          Great Haywood on the Trent & Mersey Canal in Staffordshire; and

–          Wootton Wawen on the Stratford Canal in Warwickshire.

Emma Lovell, reservations manager for Anglo Welsh, explains:

“We are looking forward to welcoming visitors to our open days to enjoy spending time by the water and a free taster session on aboard one of our day boats.

“No booking is required and trips will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.”

Here at Anglo Welsh, we offer day boat hire with prices starting at £10 per person. It’s a great opportunity for those new to canal boating to get the hang of steering, mooring up and working the locks.  All day boats are equipped with cutlery, crockery, a kettle, fridge, cooker and a toilet. Day boats are suitable for up to 10 passengers. Up to two dogs are welcome on board, but they do count as passengers.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

 

Whixall Marina, Alders Lane, Whixall, Shopshire, SY13 2QS

Anglo Welsh at Bunbury, Bunbury Locks, Bunbury, Tarporley, Cheshire, CW6 9QB

Anglo Welsh at Great Haywood, Mill Lane, Great Haywood, Stafford, ST18 0RJ

Anglo Welsh at Wootton Wawen, Canal Wharf, Wootton Wawen, Henley-in-Arden, West Midlands, B95 6BZ

 

*We had initially planned an Open Day at Tardebigge but are sorry to announce this can no longer go ahead. Those planning to visit Tardebigge could instead visit Wootton Wawen.*

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Best pet friendly short break canal boat holidays

Best pet friendly canal boat holiday short breaks

To celebrate National Pet Month, here at Anglo Welsh we are waiving our second pet price of £25 – £35, on canal boat holidays booked to depart throughout April. To claim this offer, please quote ‘National Pet Month’ when booking!

Your first pet already goes free as part of all our holiday packages. Narrowboat holidays are especially great for dogs – with plenty of towpath walks and dog-friendly canalside pubs.

As well as dogs, we’ve accommodated many other kinds of pets aboard our floating holiday homes, including cats, guinea pigs, tortoises, lizards, caged birds and even goldfish.

To celebrate our April offer, we’ve listed our Top 7 short break staycations for dog owners this Spring:

Cruise along the Trent & Mersey Canal to Cannock Chase –  From our barge hire base at Great Haywood in Staffordshire, you can visit Cannock Chase Forest, with miles of walking trails and a special dog activity trail.  Once a Royal Forest, Cannock Chase is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with over 6,800 hectares of landscapes to explore.  The Wolseley Centre and Nature Reserve is next to the Trent & Mersey Canal at Wolseley Bridge and offers a great gateway to Cannock Chase.

Navigate the River Thames to Lechlade –  From our narrowboat hire base on the River Thames at our Oxford base, you can cruise west to the pretty market town of Lechlade on the edge of the Cotswolds.  Along the way, you’ll pass through miles of peaceful Oxfordshire countryside, with plenty of dog walking locations. In the village of Radcot, there’s a dog-friendly bar in the Ye Olde Swan Hotel, and at Lechlade there’s a choice of dog-friendly pubs, including the Swan Inn.

Float along the Kennet & Avon Canal to Caen Hill –  From our canal boat rental base at Monkton Combe near Bath, you can travel to Foxhanger Wharf, at the bottom of the Caen Hill flight of locks at Devizes.  Along the way, you’ll pass through miles of peaceful Wiltshire countryside, with a series of charming villages and dog-friendly country pubs to visit along the way.  These include: The Cross Guns at Avoncliff; The Barge Inn at Bradford on Avon; and The Barge Inn at Seend.  Once at Caen Hill, you can moor up and explore the flight of 29 locks, one of the Seven Wonders of the Waterways.

Cruise the Leeds & Liverpool Canal to Saltaire –  From our canal boat hire base at Silsden in West Yorkshire, you can reach Saltaire, near Bradford.  This World Heritage Site was founded on the banks of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in 1851 by Sir Titus Salt, as a place for his woollen mill to operate and workers to live.  Today, Salts Mill has a number of galleries, including the David Hockney Gallery with portraits of the artist’s beloved Dachshunds, Stanley and Boogie.  The nearby Hirst Wood Nature Reserve is a great place to exercise your dog, with a dog friendly café nearby for refreshments.

Navigate the Llangollen Canal to Ellesmere –  From our narrowboat hire base at Trevor in North Wales, you can cruise to the stunning Shropshire Lake District.  Along the way, you’ll pass over the UNESCO World Heritage Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and a series of dog-friendly pubs, including The Bridge Inn at Chirk Bank.  When you reach Ellesmere, there are lots of walking trails to choose from, including waterside routes at The Mere.

Take the Stratford Canal to Packwood House –  From our canal boat rental base at Wootton Wawen in Warwickshire, you can cruise to the National Trust’s beautiful Packwood House.  Packwood’s magnificent gardens include herbaceous borders, a Kitchen Garden, Memorial Orchard, wildflower meadows and 350-year old Yew Garden.  Dogs are welcome at Packwood on public footpaths across the estate, on the café terrace and in the barnyard.

Cruise the Shropshire Union & Llangollen canals to Wrenbury –  From our base at Bunbury in Cheshire, you can reach the historic village of Wrenbury.  The South Cheshire Way passes through it, so there are lots of countryside walks to enjoy.  And there’s a choice of pubs to visit, including the dog-friendly canalside Dusty Miller.

Book your pet-friendly boating holiday by calling our Booking Team on 0117 304 1122. Please note: pets are not permitted on soft furnishings on board, so please bring along their own beds and blankets.

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Anglo Welsh win Bronze award for ‘Self Catering Accommodation of the Year’

Self catering accommodation of the Year

We were delighted to receive the Bronze award for ‘Self Catering Accommodation of the Year’ at the 2022 West Midlands Tourism Awards.

Our marketing and bookings team attended the event at the stunning Coombe Abbey in Coventry and enjoyed celebrating the West Midlands tourism industry with other finalists.

Gabby Wood, marketing co-ordinator for Anglo Welsh, says:

“Narrowboat holidays are a fun and unique way to explore the West Midlands and we are so proud to have been recognised for the staycations we provide on the canals.

We had a fantastic time meeting other finalists. It was so great to learn more about the variety of visitor attractions, accommodation and hospitality venues available to tourists in the West Midlands. It’s been a challenging few years for the tourism industry, but it was inspiring and motivating to see the resilience of everyone and to be congratulated for our hard work.

We want to give a special mention to the staff at our boatyards who work extremely hard to keep the boats on top form and who always go out of their way to ensure customers enjoy their narrowboat holiday.”

Interested in exploring the West Midlands by narrowboat? We offer boat hire from locations at Wootton Wawen, Tardebigge and Great Haywood. Our canal boats range from 2-berths to 12-berths and all have well-equipped kitchens, fresh water flushing toilets, hot water showers, comfortable beds, TVs, DVD players and WiFi, and are all pet friendly.

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Our Top 11 Wonderful Waterside Pubs

Best pubs to visit on a canal boat holiday

There are hundreds of historic pubs alongside the inland waterways of the UK, that offer perfect spots for canal boat holiday-makers to moor up, relax and enjoy some great food and drink.

In fact, many who enjoy a narrowboat staycation say that visiting canalside pubs is one of the best things about a holiday afloat on Britain’s beautiful inland waterways!

You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to charming canalside pubs and restaurants. So, to celebrate the start of the 2022 canal boat holiday season, we’ve put together a guide to our Top 11:

  1. The Barge Inn at Seend – this beautiful pub on the Kennet & Avon Canal in Wiltshire has a large waterside beer garden offers classic pub favourites, including great Sunday roasts. The Barge Inn is next to Seend Lock no.18. It takes around seven hours to reach this pub from our canal boat hire base at Bath.  The journey travels 17 miles, through 4 locks and passes over the magnificent Bath stone aqueducts at Dundas and Avoncliff.
  2. The Bay Horse at Snaygill – on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal near Skipton, this popular country pub dates back to 1822. It’s a Vintage Inn serving country pub classics and cask ales.  From our boat yard at Silsden, it takes just under three hours to reach The Bay Horse.
  3. The Crown Inn at Alvechurch – this country pub on the Worcestershire & Birmingham Canal close to the village of Alvechurch offers great food and drink, rustic charm and a lovely pub garden. The Crown Inn is just three miles from our boat yard at Tardebigge.  Just an hour and a half away, it’s a good first night stopping point when heading towards Birmingham.
  4. The Bridge Inn at Chirk Bank – also known as the last pub in England, this traditional pub on the Llangollen Canal in the village of Chirk Bank offers visitors fantastic views of Chirk Aqueduct. The Bridge Inn is just a two-and-a half hour cruise from our canal boat rental base at Trevor so it’s a great place to stop on the first night of your canal boat holiday, if you are heading to Ellesmere or beyond.
  5. The Blue Lias at Stockton – this historic pub on the Grand Union Canal at Stockton in Warwickshire is well known for its great beer and canalside garden. It was named after the limestone and clay quarried locally. This is derived from material laid down in the early Jurassic seas, when dinosaurs roamed the earth.  The Blue Lias is less than a mile away from our canal boat hire base at Stockton, but you need to go through eight locks, so it takes around one hour and forty minutes to cruise there.
  6. The Fleur De Lys at Lowsonford – this pretty 17th century country pub in the Warwickshire village of Lowsonford is famous for its pies and beer garden on the banks of the Stratford Canal. Choose from eleven different types of pie, accompanied by seasonal vegetables, chunky chips and gravy. The Fleur De Lys just over three hours from our narrow boat centre at Wootton Wawen.
  7. The Nag’s Head in Abingdon – this award-winning pub on the River Thames offers drinkers and diners a peaceful retreat in its riverside gardens. The Nag’s Head serves gourmet cuisine and wood fired pizzas.  It takes around five hours to reach the Nag’s Head from canal barge base on the Thames at Oxford.  Along the way, you’ll travel 15 miles, passing through six locks.
  8. The Horse & Jockey at Grindley Brook – this family owned pub on the Llangollen Canal at the bottom of Grindley Brook Locks near Whitchurch offers great food, drink and service. It takes around four and a half hours to reach The Horse & Jockey from our canal boat rental base at Whixall Marina.  The journey travels seven miles and passes through five locks.
  9. The Plume of Feathers at Barlaston – this popular pub on the Trent & Mersey Canal in Staffordshire is part-owned by the actor, Neil Morrissey. Sample some of Neil’s beers and ales, and choose from a menu of homemade dishes made from fresh local ingredients.  It takes just over seven hours to reach The Plume of Feathers from our Great Haywood base.  The journey travels 12 miles through the Staffordshire countryside, passing through 12 locks and the town of Stone.
  10. The Olde Barbridge Inn near Nantwich – this historic pub on the Shropshire Union Canal sells local ales brewed at its own local brewery and serves classic British food made with local produce. The Olde Barbridge Inn is an hour’s cruise from our narrow boat hire base at Bunbury.
  11. The Cross Guns at Avoncliff – this 17th century Wiltshire inn has riverside pub gardens with panoramic views of the foothills of the Cotswolds. It’s next to the Kennet & Avon Canal’s beautiful Bath stone Avoncliff Aqueduct. The Cross Guns serves a selection of British pub favourite food, local ales, cider and craft beer and it’s less than an hour away from our narrow boat hire base at Monkton Combe.

 

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The Bald Hiker’s Unforgettable Experience on the Llangollen Canal

Last October, Paul Steele AKA The Bald Hiker, took a press trip on the Llangollen Canal, setting off from our base at Trevor.

In his blog, Paul describes his holiday as “an experience you shall never forget and will forever change your perception of people who live and work on the canals”.

Paul travelled aboard our 65ft Bond Class narrowboat ‘Anna’, with his friend and fellow author, Paul Taylor.  As all of our hire boats are pet friendly, his two dogs, Malc and Pete, were able to join in on the fun, too.

They cruised from the Anglo Welsh base at Trevor and crossed over the UNESCO World Heritage Status Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.  Paul’s fantastic photos capture the breath-taking beauty of the aqueduct and surrounding scenery, and give an idea of the scale of this incredible feat of engineering, which dates back over 200 years.

They then travelled on to Chirk, navigating through Chirk Tunnel and over Chirk Aqueduct.  The next day, they went back to Trevor and then on to the delightful town of Llangollen.  At Llangollen, they moored up to explore the town, finding “plenty of places to find a bite to eat or get a drink or two.”

To read Paul’s full account of his canal boat holiday, and see all the beautiful images, go to https://www.baldhiker.com/2022/01/13/a-narrowboat-trip-on-the-llangollen-canal/

 

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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

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

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