Top 9 October Half Term canal boat holiday destinations

Best October Half Term canal boat holidays

Canal boat holidays offer the chance to set off on a family adventure afloat, working together to steer the boat, work the locks and plan the stops.

You’ll be self-contained on board your very own floating holiday cottage – with the key comforts of home, including hot water, TV, WiFi*, well-stocked kitchens, showers, flushing toilets and central heating.

We’ve put together a guide to our Top 9 narrowboat holiday destinations and Halloween events** this October Half Term holiday:

1. Have some Halloween Fun at Mary Arden’s Farm

From our boat yard on the Stratford Canal at Wootton Wawen, it takes just under two hours to reach moorings close to Mary Arden’s Farm in the village of Wilmcote.  On 25, 27 and 29 October, the home of Shakespeare’s mother, run by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, will be hosting a special ‘Halloween Fun at the Farm’ event.  The event will give families the chance to explore the traditions that people in medieval and Tudor England took part in to keep the spirits at bay.

2. Travel through the Dee Valley by steam train

Setting off from our base on the Llangollen Canal at Trevor in North Wales, it takes just two hours to reach moorings at Llangollen Basin.  From there, you can use your floating holiday cottage as a base to explore the area, including taking a trip on a steam train.  The Llangollen Railway line is located within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).  The Railway is running its Llangollen return service 26-30 October, travelling 10 miles through the Dee Valley, with breath-taking views of some of the most beautiful scenery in Wales.

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

From our narrowboat hire base on the Worcestershire & Birmingham Canal at Tardebigge, it takes just eight hours, passing through three locks to reach the Black Country Living Museum.  At 6.30pm from 26 to 29 October, the Museum is hosting its Halloween Nights event.  Visitors can follow the trick or treat stations around the 26-acre site, discovering spooky spectacles along the way.

4. Follow the ‘Around the World in 8 Trees’ trail at Shugborough Estate

Our base on the Trent & Mersey Canal at Great Haywood is less than an hour’s cruise away from the National Trust’s magnificent Shugborough Estate.  Across the October Half Term holiday, visitors to the Estate can wander around the gardens following the ‘Around the World in 8 Trees’ trail and the Pumpkin Hunt.

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

From our base at Stockton on the Grand Union Canal in Warwickshire, it takes around seven hours, passing through 20 locks, to reach Warwick.  From 22-31 October, the Castle’s ‘Haunted Castle’ event will feature mysterious mazes, eerie entertainment and frightful delights for the whole family.  Visitors can experience the Castle Dungeon, Haunted Hollows Halloween trail and special spooky live shows.

6. Visit the IF Oxford science and ideas Festival

From our Oxford base on the River Thames at Eynsham, it takes just three-and a-half-hours (passing through three locks) to reach overnight moorings in Oxford City Centre.  From there, you can explore some of the many IF Oxford events planned at venues across the City Centre, 6-29 October 2022.  For example, at the Oxford Playhouse on 26 October at 7pm, the ‘Braintastic! Mastering Memory’ interactive science show explores how memories stored in the brain can play tricks on you through a series of memory games and quizzes.

7. Experience the interactive Halloween Trail at Chester Zoo

On a short break from our Bunbury base on the Shropshire Union Canal near Tarporley, you can reach the historic City of Chester, home of the award-winning Chester Zoo.  The journey to Chester cruises 12 miles, passes through 18 locks and takes around seven hours.  From 1-31 October, Chester Zoo will be hosting an interactive Halloween Trail.  You’ll be asked to help Luna the witch to find her lost spell, carefully crafted with the most powerful poisons and venoms from the world of nature.

8. Enjoy an Autumnal Woodland Walk at Chirk Castle

From our canal boat rental base at Whixall, on the Prees Branch of the Llangollen Canal, you can reach Chirk in around eight hours.  The journey passes through just two locks.  From visitor moorings on the canal at Chirk it takes around 30 minutes to walk up to the National Trust’s Chirk Castle.  In the Castle’s beautiful grounds, there’s a 2.5 mile Woodland Walk trail to follow.  The walk has spectacular views of the parkland and takes you past the ancient Sweet Chestnut Tree, dating back over 500 years to the time of King Henry VIII.

9. Explore the Roman Baths by torchlight

From our base at Monkton Combe near Bath, it takes around four hours, passing through six locks, to cruise into Bath City Centre.  From there, you can visit one of Bath’s many museums offering special half term activities, including the Romans Baths ‘Lighting up the Great Bath’ event.  Taking place on 26 October, from 6.30pm to 9pm, this thrilling special event offers the chance to explore the Roman Baths by torchlight and celebrate the Festival of Lights.

*NB Our Silsden boats don’t have WiFi

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

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