Experience canal boat holidays in Great BritainWith over 2,000 miles of inland waterways in the UK, the choice for a canal boat holiday is almost endless. Enjoying a relaxed pace, while passing beautiful scenery and historic towns on the canals is one of the best ways to travel. The only major exercise is operating the canal locks and swing bridges – the rest of the time, sit back and relax on deck, while journeying to interesting and historic spots along the way.
There is so much choice when it comes to inland waterways, here are some highly recommended routes to help with your decision-making when planning canal boat holidays across Great Britain.
1. Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal, WalesThe Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal is an isolated and beautiful waterway in Wales. The only canal boats for hire here are electric narrowboats, which make for a quieter journey, plus the speed limit here is 2 mph, giving time to admire the beautiful Brecon Beacons as you pass. One perfect spot to explore is at Depot Lock, where you can hike through the beech forest in the Brecon Beacons National Park with mountain views. At the top of Tor y Foel, the scenery of the Usk valley below and the canal make for a beautiful view indeed.
2. The Avon RingThis waterway offers 109 miles of canal and 131 locks, through which centuries of history can be explored. Make a stopover in Stratford-Upon-Avon by mooring opposite the Swan Theatre, after passing through a mile-long tunnel which leads to the Stratford-Upon-Avon canal. Gaze at the beautiful and historic mills along the River Avon. Head to Tewkesbury, and then cruise along the River Severn in Worcester.
On the Worcester and Birmingham
canal enjoy a little hard work, while ascending through Britain’s longest
flight of locks. At Edstone, you can experience the longest aqueduct on
the British canals. If you are lucky, you may see the Shakespeare’s
Express steam train chuffing by.
3. River Severn and the Gloucester docksThe Gloucester docks are beautifully preserved and date back to the 19th century. Head out from here on the River Severn, the longest river in Britain, which runs for 220 miles from the mountains of Wales through Shropshire and Worcester to the flatlands in the Severn estuary. Along the way, stop at Worcester to visit the Cathedral or Tewkesbury to explore the Norman abbey.
4. Lough Erne and the River Erne, Northern IrelandHeading to Northern Ireland and Lough Erne, the River Erne is connected to what is virtually a maze of sheltered bays, as well as 150 islands. On one such island is the beautiful medieval walled town and castle at Enniskillen.
The waterways are wonderful for a canal boat holiday, with many birds to be seen and great fishing, while passing ruined castles and monasteries. Stop over for a drink in one of the pubs along the way. For a little adventure, head on a canal linking to the Shannon.
Enjoy your narrowboat holiday on the canals of Great Britain. Make memories of a life time as you relax and explore the beautiful scenery and history the UK has to offer.
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Latest update: February 18, 2019