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Best August bank holiday boating breaks

Top 10 short break canal boat holidays

Canals and rivers take narrowboat holiday-makers through some of Britain’s best-loved countryside, and into the heart of some our most famous waterside towns and cities.

Canal boat 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 watching out for wildlife, there’s plenty to get involved in.

Pets are welcome aboard all our boats, so all the family can enjoy a relaxing staycation together.  And there’s everything you need on board for a self-catering holiday afloat if you want to keep your costs down.

There are hundreds of waterside destinations in England and Wales to choose from.  To celebrate the upcoming August bank holiday, we’ve put together a guide to our top 10 weekend boating breaks.

1. Cruise along the Llangollen Canal to Ellesmere

On a weekend away from Trevor in North Wales, you can cruise to Ellesmere, in the heart of the Shropshire Lake District.  The journey takes you across the UNESCO World Heritage Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, 39 metres high above the Dee valley. At Ellesmere, you can moor up to explore this historic market town and its ancient mere, with woodland walks and places to eat.  The journey to Ellesmere takes around seven hours, crosses two aqueducts, and passes through two locks and two tunnels.

2. Navigate the Stratford Canal to Stratford-upon-Avon

From Wootton Wawen it takes around six hours to cruise along the Stratford Canal to Shakespeare’s Stratford.  The route takes you through the Warwickshire countryside to reach overnight moorings in Bancroft Basin in the heart of Stratford upon Avon.  Once there, you can walk to top attractions, including the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Shakespeare’s Birthplace.  There are 17 locks to pass through along the way, and you’ll cross the impressive Edstone Aqueduct, the longest aqueduct in England.

3. Take a Thames boating holiday to Oxford

From our Oxford base on the River Thames at Eynsham, it takes just over three hours to reach Oxford City centre.  There are just four locks to pass through along the way and some are manned, offering help to newcomers.  Along the way, you’ll pass through Wolvercote, home of the popular riverside Trout Inn.  Once in Oxford, you take time to explore the city, including the Bodleian Library, Carfax Tower and Oxford Castle.

4. Travel along the Trent & Mersey Canal to Fradley

From Great Haywood, you can head south along the Trent & Mersey Canal to Fradley Junction.  The journey takes around five hours, travelling 12 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 refreshments at the Canalside Café or The Swan Inn. And you can take a wildlife-spotting walk along the woodland trail and boardwalk at Fradley Pool Nature Reserve.

5. Cruise along the Shropshire Union Canal to Chester

On a weekend away, from Bunbury you can navigate to the ancient city of Chester.  Cruising along the Shropshire Union Canal, the route passes through beautiful Cheshire countryside and a series of canalside villages.  There are historic local pubs along the way, including The Ring O’Bells at Christleton and The Shady Oak at Bates Mill Bridge.  Once in Chester, you can to explore some of the City’s attractions, including the Roman Amphitheatre, city walls and Chester Rows shops. The journey to Chester takes around seven hours and passes through nine locks.

6. Float along the Kennet & Avon Canal to Bradford on Avon

From our base at Sydney Wharf near Bath, it takes just four hours to reach the lovely market town of Bradford on Avon. There’s just one lock to pass through and stunning Bath stone aqueducts to glide across at Dundas and Avoncliff.  You’ll pass a series of canalside pubs along the way, including The George at Bathampton and Cross Guns at Avoncliff.  Once in Bradford on Avon, you can moor up to visit Historic England’s medieval Tithe Barn.  And there’s a great choice of places to eat, including the riverside Timbrell’s Yard.

7. Cruise along the Leeds & Liverpool Canal to Gargrave

From Silsden, you can cruise through the Yorkshire countryside to Gargrave on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.  The route travels 12 miles and passes through Skipton, home to the medieval Skipton Castle and Woods.  At Gargrave, there are plenty of pubs to enjoy, including The Mason’s Arms and Cross Keys Inn.  The route to Gargrave passes through three locks, and takes around 6½ hours.

8. Glide along the Llangollen Canal to Chirk

On a weekend break from Whixall Marina in Shropshire, you can cruise through the countryside to Chirk, on the border between England and Wales.  The journey takes around eight hours and passes through just two locks.  Along the way, you’ll pass Whixall Moss nature reserve and the historic market town of Ellesmere. At Chirk, there’s a choice of canalside pubs and the National Trust’s medieval Chirk Castle to visit.

Click here to book a holiday, or call our friendly booking team on 0117 304 1122.

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School children enjoyed boat trip across Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Wrexham school children enjoy boat trip across the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

On Thursday 9 November a class of Year 4 and 5 pupils from St Anne’s Catholic Primary School in Wrexham enjoyed a boat trip aboard our ‘Little Star’ (‘Seren Fach’) trip boat.

The 45-minute boat trip took them along the Llangollen Canal and across the UNESCO World Heritage Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.

The famous aqueduct carries the Llangollen Canal 38 metres above the Dee Valley.

Our knowledgeable team provided commentary on board, so the children were able to learn about the aqueduct and the history of the Llangollen Canal as they cruised gently along.

Rebecca Hughes, a teacher at St Anne’s Catholic Primary School, said:

“The children had a lovely time on Seren Fach. The tour guide was fantastic – so enthusiastic and bubbly and the children really engaged with her.

“We were given lots of information that was pitched just right for the age of the children. What an amazing experience to cross the aqueduct on such a lovely boat. Diolch yn fawr!”

Anglo Welsh is offering free boat trips to local schools in November and December.

‘Little Star’ offers space for up to 48 passengers and over the winter, public trips are running at weekends only.

For more information about Little Star and to book tickets, go to https://www.anglowelsh.co.uk/little-star/ or call our bookings office on 0117 304 1122.

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Top 8 places to celebrate Halloween on a canal boat holiday

Best destinations to celebrate Halloween on a barge holiday

Canal boat holidays offer the chance to enjoy a family staycation afloat this October Half Term, spending time together and visiting waterside destinations hosting spooky Halloween events.

Your floating holiday cottage will be equipped with the key comforts of home, including central heating and hot water, so it’s always nice and cosy on board.

All our boats also have fully equipped kitchens, so you can enjoy a self-catering holiday afloat.

To celebrate the October Half Term holiday, we’ve put together a guide to our top 8 narrowboat holiday destinations hosting Halloween events*:

1. Take The Sinister Side of Shakespeare Walking Tour’ in Stratford-upon-Avon

From our basw on the Stratford Canal at Wootton Wawen, it takes around six hours to reach moorings in the centre of Shakespeare’s Stratford.  You can book online to experience ‘The Sinister Side of Shakespeare’s Stratford Walking Tour’ where you’ll learn about the town’s infamous witches, and discover the real-life tragedies that inspired Shakespeare.  The journey to Stratford and back takes around 12 hours and passes through 24 locks (12 each way).

2. Explore the ‘Half Term Halloween Trail’ at Chirk Castle

From Trevor on the Llangollen Canal in North Wales, you can reach Chirk Bank in around one-and-a-half hours.  From there it takes around 30 minutes to walk up to the National Trust’s Chirk Castle, where you can take part in a ‘Half Term Halloween Trail’, 21-31 October 2023.  The event sends you on a quest to protect the castle from the evil spirits, elves and goblins that lurk around. The journey from Trevor to Chirk and back takes around three hours, and passes over the UNESCO World Heritage Pontcysyllte Aqueduct along the way.

3. Get spooked at a ‘Halloween Night’ at the Black Country Living Museum

On a short break from Tardebigge on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal you can reach the Black Country Living Museum.  On Saturday 23, Friday 29 and Saturday 30 October, the Museum will host special ‘Halloween Nights’, giving you the chance to trick-or-treat your way round spooky streets, spot fantastical characters and dress-up to go to the monster’s ball.  The journey from Tardebigge to the Black Country Living Museum and back takes 16 hours and passes through six locks (three each way).

4. Follow the Halloween Trail at Chester Zoo

On a short break from Bunbury on the Shropshire Union Canal, you can reach Chester, home of the award-winning Chester Zoo.  This October, Chester Zoo which is home to over 27,000 animals, will be hosting an interactive Halloween Trail across its 128 acres of zoological gardens.  The journey from Bunbury to Chester and back takes around 14 hours and passes through 18 locks (nine each way).

5. See ‘The Lost Boys’ at the Shugborough Estate outdoor cinema event

Our base on the Trent & Mersey Canal at Great Haywood is less than an hour’s cruise away from the National Trust’s Shugborough Estate.  At 7.30pm on Tuesday 31 October, the Estate is hosting an outdoor screening of the vampire classic ‘The Lost Boys’, starring Kiefer Sutherland.

6. Experience Warwick Castle’s ‘Haunted Castle’ event

On a short break from Stockton on the Grand Union Canal in Warwickshire, you can reach moorings close to Warwick Castle.  From 21 October to 5 November, the Castle’s ‘Haunted Castle’ event features a series of spooky experiences, including the Castle Dungeon and the Horrible Histories Maze.  The journey from Stockton takes seven hours and passes through 20 locks.

7. Go on a Spooky Tour at Oxford Castle

On a short break from our Oxford base on the River Thames at Eynsham you can reach overnight moorings in Oxford City Centre.  From there, it’s a short walk to Oxford Castle where from 16-31 October 2023 you can experience an evening Spooky guided tour of the 1,000 year-old haunted castle.  From our Oxford base, it takes three-and a-half-hours, passing through three locks to reach moorings in Oxford city centre.

8. Visit Mary Shelley’s House of Frankenstein in Bath ‘After Dark’

On a short break from Monkton Combe, you can reach moorings in Bath City Centre. There you can visit Mary Shelley’s House of Frankenstein to experience its ‘After Dark – nights to die for’ Halloween event, on from 20-31 October 2023. The experience offers the chance to venture through rooms cloaked in darkness and features live actors, games and special effects.  From our Monkton Combe base it takes four hours, passing through six locks, to reach moorings in Bath City Centre.

*NB Most of the events listed need to be booked in advance via the venue’s website

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Take a boat trip across the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct this Autumn

Take a boat trip across the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in North Wales

In September and October, our ‘Little Star’ trip boat will be operating five trips a day across the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.

The trips offer passengers panoramic views of the beautiful Autumn colours across the Dee Valley.

Experience this World Heritage site afloat

The UNESCO World Heritage Pontcysyllte Aqueduct carries boats 126 feet high across the Dee Valley.

Our daily skippered boat trips aboard ‘Little Star’ offer the chance to cruise along the Llangollen Canal and across this incredible structure.

This Autumn, passengers can enjoy amazing views across the Dee Valley, seeing the changing colours in the trees.

Onboard commentary is provided

Our knowledgeable team provides commentary on board about the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and the Llangollen Canal.

It’s a great way to learn more about the fascinating history of this UNESCO World Heritage site as you cruise gently along.

Trip times and access

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

There’s a public car park nearby at LL14 3SG.

Ticket prices and booking

‘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, and ice creams.

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

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Enjoy a summer holiday boat trip across the Stream in the Sky

Little Star trip boat crossing the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Over the school summer holidays, our ‘Little Star’ trip boat will be operating five trips a day, offering the chance to enjoy a skippered cruises across the UNESCO World Heritage Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.

Described by Sir Walter Scott as a ‘stream in the sky’ where ‘fish swim above birds’, the aqueduct carries the Llangollen Canal 19 metres high across the Dee Valley in North Wales.

Enjoy a fantastic family day out this summer

This ‘bucket list’ journey give you the chance to experience amazing views across the Dee Valley, and make some fantastic family memories over the school summer holidays.

Trips depart daily at 11am, 12 noon, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm from Canal Wharf, Trevor, Llangollen LL20 7TT.  There’s a public car park nearby at LL14 3SG.

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.

For more information and to book in advance

Go to www.anglowelsh.co.uk/little-star or call us on 0117 304 1122.

 

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Celebrate Father’s Day with a boat trip across the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Our ‘Little Star’ trip boat will be operating five skippered boat trips on Father’s Day (18 June), offering the chance to enjoy an unforgettable family day out together at the UNESCO World Heritage Pontcysyllte Aqueduct site.

Also known as ‘The Stream in the Sky’, the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct carries the Llangollen Canal high above the Dee Valley.

At 300 metres long and 39 metres high, it’s the longest and highest aqueduct in Britain.

Opening in 1805, its name, which is pronounced ‘Pont-ker-sulth-tay’, is the Welsh for ‘the bridge that connects’.

Our 45-minute-long return boat trips offer the chance to cruise across this incredible structure, experiencing amazing views across the Dee Valley, and making some fantastic Father’s day memories to treasure.

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

Refreshments are available to purchase on board, including hot and cold drinks, and ice creams.

From 1 April to 30 September 2023, trips depart daily at 11am, 12 noon, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm from Canal Wharf, Trevor, Llangollen LL20 7TT.

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.

For more information and to book in advance, click here www.anglowelsh.co.uk/little-star, or call the bookings team on 0117 304 1122.

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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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Enjoy a Mother’s Day boat trip across the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Little Star trip boat crossing the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Emma Lovell, Reservations Manager for Anglo Welsh, explains why a boat trip across the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is a great way to treat Mums this Mother’s Day.

Across the Mother’s Day Weekend (18-19 March 2023) our ‘Little Star’ trip boat will be operating skippered cruises across the UNESCO World Heritage Status Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.

The 45-minute return trips will take passengers along the Llangollen Canal and across the incredible 38-metre-high Pontcysyllte Aqueduct to enjoy amazing views across the Dee Valley.

‘Little Star’ trips will depart at 11am, 12 noon, 1.30pm and 2.30pm on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 March.

Treat your Mum to an unforgettable experience

Spending time with the family doing something special is one of the loveliest ways to treat your Mum on Mother’s Day.  And a trip across the incredible Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is an unforgettable experience to enjoy together.

As you cruise gently along, our knowledgeable team provides commentary on board about the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and the history of the Llangollen Canal. Refreshments are available to purchase on board, including hot and cold drinks.

Daily trips commence from 1 April 2023

From 1 April to 30 September 2023, ‘Little Star’ (‘Seren Fach’ in Welsh) will be operating five trips every day, firmly establishing the trip boat as a ‘must do’ experience at this incredible World Heritage site.

Trips will depart at 11am, 12 noon, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm

Ticket prices

‘Little Star’ 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.

Trips depart from Canal Wharf, Trevor, Llangollen LL20 7TT.  Booking in advance is advised.

More information & to book tickets

For more information and to book visit www.anglowelsh.co.uk/little-star, or call the bookings 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?

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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