Instagram
YouTube

Best August bank holiday boating breaks

Top 10 short break canal boat holidays

The August bank holiday weekend is a great time to take to the water for a boating break

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.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Top 6 week-long canal boat cruises through the countryside this Autumn

Best Autumn canal boat holidays

This Autumn adventure afloat on a canal cruise through the countryside, enjoying the beautiful colours in the trees and hedgerows that line our canals and rivers.

Canal boat holidays are a great way to connect with nature.  You can watch-out for plant, animal and bird life along the way, including the hedgerow fruits and berries enjoyed by birds and small mammals.

To celebrate the Autumn colours along the canals, we’ve put together a guide to our top six week-long cruises through the countryside:

1. Cruise through the Shropshire countryside to Whitchurch

On a week’s break from our canal boat hire centre at Trevor in North Wales, you can travel along the Llangollen Canal to Whitchurch and back.  Along the way, you’ll cross the UNESCO World Heritage Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, with amazing views of the Dee Valley.  Then it’s on through the Shropshire countryside, passing through Ellesmere, in the heart of the Shropshire Lake District.  Once at Whitchurch, you can moor up to explore the Shropshire Wildlife Trust’s Greenfields Nature Reserve, with woodland walks and the chance to spot water voles. The journey from Trevor to Whitchurch and back takes 24 hours and passes through four locks (two each way).

2. Navigate through the Yorkshire countryside to Foulridge Tunnel

On a week’s break from Silsden on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in West Yorkshire, you can cruise through the Yorkshire countryside to Foulridge Tunnel.  The journey takes you through a series of historic towns and villages, including Skipton, with its medieval castle and acres of woodland trails to explore. And East Marton with access to the Pennine Way National Trail. The journey from Silsden to Foulridge and back takes 26 hours and passes through 30 locks (15 each way).

3. Boat through the Cheshire countryside to Red Bull Wharf

On a week’s break from Bunbury, you can cruise through the Cheshire countryside to Red Bull Wharf and back.  The route will take you along the rural Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal, which runs from Barbridge Junction to Middlewich.  This peaceful 10-mile long waterways passing through the pretty village of Church Minshull, with its popular Badger Inn gastro pub. The journey from Bunbury to Red Bull Wharf and back travels 53 miles and passes through 70 locks (35 each way).

4. Meander through the Oxfordshire countryside to Wallingford

On a week’s break from our Oxford canal boat hire base, you can cruise along the River Thames to the historic market town of Wallingford. The journey passes through miles of peaceful Oxfordshire countryside, waterside meadows and woodlands.  As well as the City of Oxford, there’s a series of riverside towns and villages to visit along the way, including the historic market town of Abingdon. It takes around 18 hours to cruise from our Oxford base at Eynsham to Wallingford and back, passing through 22 locks (11 each way).

5. Wend your way through the Wiltshire countryside to the Vale of Pewsey

On a week’s break from Monkton Combe on the Kennet & Avon Canal near Bath you can reach Pewsey Wharf.  The journey takes you up the 29 locks of the Caen Hill Flight, one of the Seven Wonders of the Waterways. And through the beautiful Vale of Pewsey, part of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  Places to visit along the way include the historic market towns of Bradford on Avon and Devizes. It takes around 38 hours to cruise from Monkton Combe to Pewsey and back, passing through 74 locks (37 each way).

6. Journey to Llangollen North Wales and visit the Horsehoe Falls

On a week’s break from Whixall Marina, on the Prees Branch of the Llangollen Canal in Shropshire, you can reach the historic town of Llangollen on the edge of the Berwyn Mountains.  Along the way, you’ll travel through the Shropshire countryside to Ellesmere, with its beautiful Mere and woodland walks. You’ll cruise across the magnificent Pontcysyllte and Chirk aqueducts, enjoying incredible views of the Welsh Mountains. At Llangollen, nestled in the Berwyn Mountains, you can visit the famous Horseshoe Falls. The journey from Whixall to Llangollen and back takes around 24 hours and passes through four locks (two each way).

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Our new two-night deals offer the chance for a quick escape!

Canal boat holidays in England and Wales

For the first time ever, we are offering two-night breaks from our canal boat hire bases at:

  • Trevor in North Wales;
  • Bunbury and Whixall in Shropshire;
  • Tardebigge in Worcestershire;
  • Wootton Wawen in Warwickshire;
  • Great Haywood in Staffordshire; and
  • Oxford on the River Thames.

So whether you are time-short and just looking for 48 hours away, or a newcomer to canal boat holidays wanting to test the waters, our new two-night deals are a great way to get afloat.

Starting at £643 for a boat for up to four people, these special deals need to booked and taken by 14 September 2023.

You’ll be able to pick your boat up from 2.30pm on the Friday afternoon, and return it by 2.30pm on the Sunday.

Prices for our two-night specials

Price band A B C D E F G H
23 Jun – 6 Jul £593 £643 £673 £807 £883 £917 £990 £1,097
7 Jul – 24 Aug £707 £760 £810 £957 £1,057 £1,153 £1,297 £1,433
25 Aug – 14 Sep £593 £643 £673 £807 £883 £917 £990 £1,097

**Please note, prices quoted do not include the damage waiver of £50, and fuel deposit of £70 for a short break.

To book one of these special deals

Call the Booking Team on 0117 304 1122 or email us on bookings@anglowelsh.co.uk

Top 9 two-night break destinations

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.

To book one of these special deals

Call the Booking Team on 0117 304 1122 or email us on bookings@anglowelsh.co.uk

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Top 10 Spring canal boat holidays 2023

Best Spring canal boat holidays in England and Wales

Spring is a fantastic time to take a narrowboat holiday on Britain’s beautiful inland waterways, when the countryside is bursting with new life.

With blossoming waterside trees and hedges, busy nest-building birds, ducklings bobbing on the water, spring lambs playing in the fields, and carpets of bluebells in waterside woodlands, there’s so much to look out for on a Spring adventure afloat.

To celebrate Spring and the wildlife that makes its home on our canals and rivers, we’ve put together our Top 10 Spring canal boat holiday destinations for 2023:

1. Drift through the beautiful prehistoric Vale of Pewsey

On a week’s break from our canal boat rental base at Monkton Coombe you can cruise through the beautiful Vale of Pewsey, part of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. You’ll travel along the Kennet & Avon Canal passing through miles of peaceful Wiltshire countryside, and a series of villages and country pubs along the way.  You’ll travel up the mighty Caen Hill Flight of 29 locks at Devizes and along the edge of the ancient Savernake Forest and then on through the Vale of Pewsey.  The journey to Pewsey and back takes around 38 hours, passing through 74 locks (37 each way).

2. Cruise to the gateway of the Yorkshire Dales to explore Skipton Castle Woods

From our barge holiday hire base at Silsden on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal it takes just over three hours to reach Skipton, the ‘Gateway to the Dales’.  Here, Skipton Castle Woods with acres of woodlands trails, is a great place to explore in the Spring.  For nearly a thousand years the woods provided fuel, food and building materials for castle inhabitants.  Today there are at least 18 species of trees flourishing there, and hundreds of flowering plants, including wild orchids and bluebells in the Spring.  The journey along the Leeds & Liverpool Canal to Silsden passes through the typical Yorkshire stone built villages of Kildwick and Farnhill.  And on into a dense wooded area famous for its bluebells and deer.  The journey to Silsden and back travels 13 miles and takes around seven cruising hours.

3. Travel to Llangollen on the edge of the Berwyn Mountains

On a week-long holiday from our canal boat rental base at Whixall Marina, on the Prees Branch of the Llangollen Canal in Shropshire you can reach the pretty town of Llangollen.  Along the way, you’ll travel through the beautiful Shropshire Lake District and across the incredible World Heritage Status Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.  Once in Llangollen, you can moor up to enjoy exploring this pretty town nestled on the edge of the Berwyn Mountains. There are regular markets packed with local produce, a choice of independent shops and restaurants, and the famous Horseshoe Falls.  The journey to Llangollen and back takes around 24 cruising hours, and passes through just four locks (two each way).

4. Wend your way to Fradley Pool Nature Reserve

On a short break from our base on the Trent & Mersey Canal at Great Haywood near Stafford, you can reach Fradley Pool Nature Reserve.  Fradley Pool is home to a variety of water birds and it’s a great place to spot bats swooping across the water at dusk.  There are walking trails, sculpture trails, places to picnic and a choice of places to eat and drink, including the historic Swan Inn.  The journey to Fradley and back travels 24 miles, passes through 10 locks (five each way) and takes around 12 hours.

5. Navigate the Four Counties Ring for stunning views of the Cheshire Plains

On a week or 10-day break from our narrowboat rental base at Bunbury you can cruise the popular Four Counties Ring through some of England’s best loved countryside.  The route takes you through the counties of Staffordshire, the West Midlands, Cheshire and Shropshire.  It cruises sections of the Trent & Mersey, Staffordshire & Worcestershire and Shropshire Union canals.  There panoramic views to enjoy from the flight of 31 locks between Middlewich and Kidsgrove on the Trent & Mersey Canal.  And stunning views of the rolling Cheshire Plains on the Shropshire Union Canal.  From Bunbury, completing the Four Counties Ring takes around 58 cruising hours and passes through 96 locks.

6. Take part in #BlossomWatch at Packwood House

On a short break from our Tardebigge base near Bromsgrove, you can cruise to the village of Lapworth, home of the National Trust’s Packwood House.  The route takes you through the Worcestershire countryside along the Worcestershire & Birmingham Canal to Kings Norton Junction.  There you can transfer onto the Stratford Canal to reach the village of Lapworth.  At Packwood House every Spring blossom spreads across the garden and parkland, including on the cherry and apple trees in the orchard.  The National Trust’s #BlossomWatch invites visitors to share pictures of spring blossom on social media.  The journey to Lapworth and back takes around 14 hours.

7. Enjoy bird spotting at Ellesmere in the heart of Shropshire Lake District

From our narrowboat hire base on the Llangollen Canal at Trevor in North Wales, on a short break you can reach the medieval market town of Ellesmere.  Along the way, you’ll cross over the famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, 38 metres high above the Dee Valley.  The Mere at Ellesmere is a large lake packed with wildlife.  There are woodland walks, places to eat, drink and picnic, a sculpture trail and adventure playground.  You can spot many of types of birds, including kingfishers, yellow hammers, tree sparrows, lapwing, sand martins and ringed plovers.  There are also wading birds such as curlew, greenshank, godwit and whimbrel, as well as herons using the heronry on Moscow Island.  The journey to Ellesmere and back takes around 14 hours and passes through four locks (two each way).

8. Cruise along the River Thames past riverside woodlands and meadows

On a short break from our Oxford base, you can enjoy a Thames boating holiday to the historic market town of Abingdon.  Along the way, you’ll cruise through the outskirts of the ancient City of Oxford.  Then on through beautiful stretches of Oxfordshire countryside, with lush riverside meadows and the chance to hear cuckoos calling.  There are also riverside woodlands with carpets of bluebells to look out for.  Once moored up at Abingdon, you can enjoy exploring riverside walks, parks and eateries, including the popular waterside Nag’s Head.  The journey to Abingdon and back takes around 10 hours, passing through 12 locks (six each way).

9. Travel through the Northamptonshire countryside to Stoke Bruerne

On a mid-week or week-long break from our base at Stockton, you can cruise to the pretty Northamptonshire village of Stoke Bruerne.  The journey along the Grand Union Canal takes you gently through the countryside and the 2,813-metre long Blisworth Tunnel.  You can moor up in Stoke Bruerne to enjoy a choice of canalside pubs and browsing the intriguing waterway history collections at the Canal Museum.  And there’s a wonderful woodland walk and sculpture trail alongside the canal to explore, with the chance to spot a wide variety of woodland birds.  The journey to Stoke Bruerne and back takes around 25 hours and passes through 34 locks (17 each way).

10. Navigate the Avon Ring through some of England’s best loved countryside

On a 10-day break from Wootton Wawen, you can complete the Avon Ring.  This 109-mile circuit travels through some of the most beautiful countryside in England.  You’ll first travel along the pretty Stratford Canal to Shakespeare’s Stratford.  Here you can transfer onto the River Avon to begin cruising through idyllic countryside, to Evesham and Tewkesbury, with panoramic views of Warwickshire and the Cotswolds beyond.  At Tewkesbury you’ll lock onto the River Severn, and later transfer onto the Worcestershire & Birmingham Canal at Diglis.  Completing the Avon Ring from Wootton Wawen takes around 58 hours and passes through 131 locks.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New canal boats for hire in 2023

Best canal boat holiday circuits and rings

Every year, we commission new boats to add to our fleet, and we like to take into account customer feedback when designing our boats.  This winter we are building three new 60ft Gem Class narrowboats ready for hire this spring, featuring reverse layouts and cruiser sterns.

Our three new boats with cruiser sterns – ‘Onyx’, ‘Garnet’ and ‘Citrine’ – will offer accommodation for up to six people. This style of narrowboat has more of an open feel, ideal for entertaining and summer evenings on the canal.  Semi traditional boats have a more enclosed space at the back.

The boats will have a reverse layout – meaning the galley is at the rear and the main sleeping areas are at the front and middle of the boat. Reverse layouts are handy for the skipper to be passed drinks and snacks from the crew!

The modern galley will include extra features such as a microwave, LED lighting and toasters – perfect for that quick breakfast. The flexible sleeping accommodation will be in two cabins, ranging from two doubles to four singles, with the dinette area which can be converted into a double bed.

Gem Class boats will each have two shower/toilet rooms, full central heating and a larger TV in the lounge area.

‘Onyx’ will be based at Whixall

From 3 April 2023, ‘Onyx’ will be available to hire from our narrowboat hire base at Whixall, on the Prees Branch of the Llangollen Canal in Shropshire.  On a short break from Whixall, you can travel to the historic town of Ellesmere in the heart of the Shropshire Lake District.  On a week’s holiday, you can continue on to Llangollen, crossing the UNESCO World Heritage Pontcysyllte Aqueduct along the way.  Or head in the other direction, transferring onto the Shropshire Union Canal to visit Nantwich, Market Drayton or Chester.

‘Garnet’ will be available from Monkton Combe

From 3 April 2023, ‘Garnet’ will be available to hire from our canal boat hire base at Monkton Combe, on the Kennet & Avon Canal near Bath.  On a short break from Monkton Combe, you can travel west to Bath City Centre or east to Devizes, via Bradford on Avon.  On a week’s holiday, you can continue east, travelling up the Caen Hill Flight, then on to Pewsey or Great Bedwyn.

‘Citrine’ will navigate from Oxford

From 27 June 2023, ‘Citrine’ will be available to hire from our base on the River Thames at Oxford.  On a short break from Oxford, you can travel west to Lechlade or east to Wallingford, via Oxford and Abingdon.  On a week’s holiday, you can continue travelling east along the Thames to Henley, or transfer onto the Oxford Canal to travel up to Banbury.

 

2023 Gem Class prices will start at £865 for a short break, and from £1,200 for a week.

To see the Gem Class boat layout, scroll to boat 20 here https://www.anglowelsh.co.uk/our-boats/5-8-berth/

 To check availability, go to https://www.anglowelsh.co.uk/

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Top 9 August Canal Boat Holiday Destinations

Best Easter canal boat holidays

We are offering discounts of up to 20% on our holidays departing in August 2022.  To celebrate, reservations manager Emma Lovell, has put together a guide to our top family canal boat holiday destinations this summer.

Canal boat holidays are great for families, offering the change to experience life afloat exploring Britain’s beautiful canal network.  Along the way, you can watch out for wildlife and stop off at exciting waterside destinations.

Our narrowboats are like floating holiday cottages, with everything you need for a self-catering staycation afloat. This includes comfy beds, hot water, TV, WiFi, well-stocked kitchens, showers and flushing toilets.

To celebrate our offer, we’ve listed our Top 9 family destinations this summer, all suitable for beginners:

1. Enjoy a free theatre performance in Stratford-upon-Avon

Setting out from our base at Wootton Wawen, it’s a delightful six-hour journey through the Warwickshire countryside to Bancroft Basin, in the centre of Stratford-upon-Avon.  The journey along the Stratford Canal passes through 17 locks. From Bancroft Basin, it’s a short walk to the Dell, an outdoor stage in Avonbank Gardens.  A series of free outdoor theatre performances are taking place in the Dell this summer.  These include the Merchant of Venice performed by the Edinburgh Graduate Theatre Group, 27-28 August.

2. Visit the National Sea Life Centre in Birmingham

Cruising from our canal boat hire base at Tardebigge, it’s a five-hour journey to Birmingham City Centre.  You’ll cruise along the Worcester & Birmingham Canal to find moorings at Gas Street Basin.  From there Brindleyplace, home to the National Sea life Centre, is a short walk away.  Here you can experience the UK’s only 360 degree Ocean Tunnel, see the Penguin Ice Adventure and meet the UK’s first Sea Otters.

3. Take a Thames boating holiday and visit the quirky Pitt Rivers Museum

From our Oxford base, it’s a tranquil three-hour cruise along the River Thames to moorings at Hythe Bridge.  This is the perfect base for exploring Oxford’s city centre.  One of the City’s most popular attractions is the fascinating Pitt Rivers Museum.  Here thousands of archaeological and ethnographic objects from all over the world are on display.  Some of the most famous exhibits include a 17th Witch Bottle and an 11-metre high totem pole.

4. See the new penguin chicks at Chester Zoo

Setting off from our narrowboat rental base at Bunbury, it takes seven hours to reach the ancient City of Chester.  The journey along the Shropshire Union Canal passes through nine locks.  Once there, you ca visit the award-winning Chester Zoo.  The Zoo is home to 21,314 animals from 500 species, including nine adorable new penguin chicks born there.

5. Watch the Wars of the Roses Show at Warwick Castle

On a narrowboat holiday departing from our Stockton base, it’s a seven-hour journey to Warwick.  You’ll travel along the Grand Union Canal, passing through 20 locks along the way.  Once there, you can visit the magnificent medieval Warwick Castle on the banks of the River Avon.  The Castle offers a fantastic family day out with ramparts to climb, the Castle Dungeon, Great Hall and Kingmaker Exhibition to explore.  There’s also soaring birds of prey and trebuchet firing displays to watch.  And this summer there will also be daily live Wars of the Roses shows, recreating the historic jousting battles of the 15th century.

6. Travel across the Stream in the Sky to Ellesmere

Departing from our Trevor base on the Llangollen Canal in North Wales, you can reach the Shropshire town of Ellesmere in seven hours.  Along the way, you’ll travel across the UNESCO World Heritage Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.  This incredible structure, also known as ‘The Stream in the Sky’, carries the canal 38 metres high above the Dee Valley.  Once at Ellesmere, in the heart of the Shropshire Lake District, you can take time to explore the Mere.  The Mere has Victorian gardens, woodland paths, historic castle and lots of wildlife.

7. Meet historic characters at the Black Country Living Museum

Navigating from our Tardebigge base, it’s an eight-hour journey to the Black Country Living Museum.  The route travels along the Worcester & Birmingham Canal and passes through three locks. Visitors to the Museum this summer will find history brought to life by historic characters, telling the story of what it was like to live and work in one of the first industrial landscapes in Britain. Families can enjoy watching live demonstrations, taking part in old fashioned street games, visiting the vintage cinema, and enjoying traditional fish and chips.

8. Visit the Caen Hill flight of locks at Devizes

From our base on the Kennet & Avon Canal at Monkton Combe near Bath, it takes around nine hours to reach the base of the Caen Hill flight. The journey travels 15 miles and passes through eight locks. The breath-taking sight of the 16 locks in a row, part of a total of 29 locks, is truly one of the most spectacular of Britain’s inland waterways.  The historic market town of Devizes is a short walk away, with its Wadworth Brewery Visitor Centre and famous shire horses making daily deliveries. Devizes also has a great range of independent shops, pubs and restaurants, including the Bear Hotel.

9. Get close to nature at Fradley Pool Nature Reserve

Setting off from our Great Haywood base near Stafford, it takes around six hours to reach Fradley Junction.  The journey travels 12 miles along the Trent & Mersey Canal, and passes through five locks.  Picturesque Fradley, offers visitors guided walks, a café, two pubs and Fradley Pool Nature Reserve, home to an abundance of wildlife.  Along the way, you’ll pass the National Trust’s Shugborough Estate and Cannock Chase. As well as a number of rural family-friendly canalside pubs, including the Wolseley Arms near Rugeley.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Stan Cullimore’s canal boat holiday on the River Thames

Stan Cullimore's canal boat holiday on the River Thames

One of my happiest places is when I’m standing on the back of a narrowboat, chugging along, drinking in the scenery, smiling as the world slides on by. All done at walking speed. Sometimes on a canal, sometimes on a river and always, just loving the thrill of it all.

The joy of booking a weeks holiday starting from Anglo Welsh’s Oxford base, is that you get to choose which ever watery adventure you want. You can either head up the Oxford Canal, which is a thing of beauty in of itself, or you can drift on down the River Thames. Which is rather sublime.

We arrived at the boatyard one early October afternoon, to find it bathed in beautiful autumnal sunshine.

According to the forecast, there was a full weeks worth of sun ahead of us. Deciding we wanted to take advantage of the glorious weather to pootle through the wide open spaces of a river, we headed downstream, following The Thames. Wanting to see how far we could get before turning round in time to return the boat early the next Saturday morning.

The first afternoon we only managed a couple of hours gentle travel before tying up for the night next to the picturesque ruins of Godstow Priory, opposite The Trout Inn. Which meant we got to walk the dogs through pretty meadows before heading out for a welcome pint or two at the pub. After that we headed back onboard to enjoy a celebratory supper of carbonara and cava.

Next day started early as we let the dogs out and got chatting to a happy crowd of college friends who had moored nearby.

We had all set off from the Oxford base at the same time and compared notes on just how fab the whole experience was. To make things even sweeter, they gave us a cup of sugar, because we mentioned in passing that we had forgotten to bring any along for the tea. Was a reminder of just how friendly and welcoming most people are when you enter the world of waterways. Smiling, waving and chatting is par for the course when you’re on a boat.

After a pretty perfect days cruising we reached Abingdon.

A really nice market town nestled on the bank of the river, with a glorious golden stone bridge arching over our heads. Since the sun had been beaming down on us all day, I decided to have a nice cooling swim in the river, with one of the dogs to keep me company. Turned out to be a bit cooler than either of us expected. Definitely made me grateful for the hot showers, central heating and wood burning stove onboard our boat, the good ship, Trossachs. Bond Class. That evening, as the sun set, the moon came up and the bridge lights twinkled, it felt for all the world as if we had drifted into a Parisian scene.

By now we were all well into our stride when it came to cruising along, mooring up and working the locks.

Actually, since nearly all the locks are operated by lock keepers, it didn’t take that much team work to make our way through them. We just turned up, smiled and held on to the rope whilst the lock was worked for us. Most marvellous.

Next day was another beauty, just right for being out and about on the water.

We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast before setting off, slowly passing through miles of magnificent scenery. When the sun shines and the birds sing, it is easy to believe you are travelling through the prettier parts of France or Holland on this stretch of the river. Though some of the fabulous houses and gardens you drift past are very much English country living at it’s most luxurious.

Being keen on birdlife, the week was turning out to be bumper one. Every day brought plenty of sightings; Kingfishers by the dozen, Red Kites at almost every turn, an assortment of songbirds along with plenty of geese which ever way you looked.

Next day we moored up for the night at Wallingford.

Another pretty market town with a square, a High Street full of fine shops and yet another glorious stone bridge soaring over the river. Since we were moored near the Boathouse Inn, we went for a stroll round town, then treated ourselves to a pub dinner of Beef and Ale pies with chips. Mmm. Delicious. Just what the doctor ordered. Next morning we woke to the sound of a gentle knock on the window as a friendly council lady came to collect our £11 mooring fee.

By now, it was Tuesday, so we set off downriver, heading for Goring.

Arriving in time for lunch, tying up just a stones throw away from the cottage where George Michael used to live. After a delightful couple of hours pottering round yet another pretty waterside town, we got back onboard, turned the boat round and began the gentle trek back to base. Didn’t get very far, as we saw a couple of mooring pins stuck in the bank, in the middle of open greenery, so decided to “wild camp,” for the night.

Over the next couple of days we retraced our journey, revisiting Wallingford and Abingdon to pick up fresh food supplies. Another perk of a holiday afloat, is that you can eat out, on shore, or you can stay at home on the boat and treat yourself to whatever you want to cook. In our case, thanks to the sunshine, we enjoyed plenty of home made salads along with shop bought sausage rolls, scotch eggs and pork pies. Mmm. Just right for the life aquatic.

When we got back to the boatyard on Saturday morning, we were all sorry to say goodbye to our floating home from home. The good news is, I’m sure we won’t have to wait too long for our next trip with Anglo Welsh. Only question is, where to go next?

Tags: , , , , , ,
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

media-quote-trimmed-1
media-quote-trimmed-2
media-quote-trimmed-3
media-quote-trimmed-4