Here at Waterways holidays we thought it would be helpful for those of you considering your first boating holiday to put a few frequently asked questions together. Previous experience is not required so a boating holiday is an exciting, fun option to consider when choosing your holiday. It is a perfect way to discover the British countryside at a slow and relaxing pace, taking in the scenery as you cruise along. [caption id="attachment_4741" align="aligncenter" width="495"] Canalside Pub[/caption] How many people can you fit on a narrow boat? 12 people is the maximum number allowed on a hire boat, this includes infants. Can you go boating ...
If you are thinking about trying your first family boating holiday, the Norfolk Broads is a great location to get afloat. Consisting of a series of rivers and open Broads (connected lakes) the Broads extend from North Norfolk all the way down to the Suffolk borders, offering you 125 miles of easy lock free cruising. With stunning scenery, beautiful thatched waterside cottages, a good choice of waterside pubs, an abundance of wildlife and a rich history, the Broads is a truly unique holiday destination. [caption id="attachment_4718" align="aligncenter" width="495"] Boating on the Norfolk Broads in Coltishall[/caption] As the newest of the UK's family ...
A boating holiday is a unique way to discover Shakespeare’s Stratford, courtesy of Waterways Holidays. The River Avon joins the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal at Bancroft Basin in the very heart of the town, close to the RSC’s Swan Theatre which has productions throughout the season. Bancroft Basin is also within walking distance of Shakespeare’s Birthplace, the Schoolroom where he was taught to write as well as New Place (his home in later life) and Holy Trinity Church where he is buried. Anne Hathaway’s Cottage is a short bus ride or 30 minute walk from the Avon, and Mary Arden’s Farm lies ...
We now have our 2016 holidays available to book on the Waterways Holidays website and thought we would share 10 great reasons as to why a holiday on the canals is a perfect holiday for families. Two-in-one holiday. Canal boats are a great combination of accommodation and transportation. Making a boating holiday the equivalent of a cottage that allows you to wake up in a new location every morning! The canal boats we offer may be ‘narrow’ but they can be quite long (max of 70ft) which means there is room for all the family! Boats are fully equipped with all the ...
Trudi, part of our team here at Waterways Holidays, has been gracious enough to write up her experiences of the River Avon on her most recent canal boat trip: On a lovely bright Saturday afternoon in May, we collected the narrowboat ‘Ostentatious’ from our boatyard just outside Pershore on the River Avon, which flows between the historic towns of Tewkesbury and Stratford-upon-Avon (home of William Shakespeare). Onboard were Captain Ken, my Mum and Dad (both in their 70’s) and myself. This was my parents’ first narrowboating holiday….would they enjoy it? Ostentatious is a 52 ft. long, 2 to 6 berth narrowboat, with ...
'Lucy May', sleeping up to 6 people, has been designed to accommodate families with infants. Located on the Warwickshire Canals from Stockton Top Marina. Stockton is a popular starting point for boating holidays, as there are so many varied route options available including cruising the Grand Union Canal east to Warwick or west towards Northampton. You can cruise the North Oxford Canal towards Rugby or explore pretty villages along the South Oxford Canal. Or head up the Leicester Arm of the Grand Union to navigate the Foxton Locks. [caption id="attachment_4592" align="aligncenter" width="480"] Lucy May[/caption] It is sometimes tricky to fit travel cots ...
NEW for 2015: Book your next holiday on a 1930s sailing yacht starting at the village of Ludham off the River Thurne on the Norfolk Broads. [caption id="attachment_4567" align="aligncenter" width="470"] Tradtional Sailing Holidays on the Norfolk Broads[/caption] The historic mahogany yachts are part of the Norfolk Heritage Fleet Trust and have traditional gaff rig sails. There are 14 boats available for holiday hire, sleeping up to 4 adults. Each of the boats offers competent sailors an unforgettable holiday. At least one person in group needs to have sailing experience. The yachts handle easily and the gaff rig makes these boats well suited to the ...
Boating holidays with WiFi are becoming increasingly popular and the trend is set to continue into 2015. We'll have WiFi on over 30% of our narrowboats and Broads cruisers next year. Here's some useful information about using WiFi on your next boating break: WiFi is normally free of charge, you may be asked to leave a security deposit on arrival WiFi is perfect for browsing the web and for looking up local pub & restaurant menus If you can't leave the office behind, WiFi enables you to check your emails more easily You'll be able to use the apps on your tablet that require ...
Summer 2014: New base at Penton Hook on the River Thames. Penton Hook Marina is situated near to the vibrant town of Staines-on-Thames and about a mile downstream from Runnymede where King John signed the Magna Carta. The marina is ideally situated for cruising through Surrey villages on the Royal River, spotting wildlife and mooring beside the many waterfront pubs. The majority of the locks on the River Thames are electronic and manned, making it a perfect location for those wishing just to relax whilst taking in the picturesque scenery. As an example of what’s available, 'Mississippi' is a 6 berth narrow boat ...
The River Wey is one of Surrey's best kept secrets. Today the 20 mile navigable stretch of the river and its 16 locks, are owned and maintained by The National Trust. The River Wey holds both surprises and untold stories round every bend, it offers people the chance to experience and see the lovely countryside of Surrey from a completely different direction. A narrow boat holiday provides holiday makers of all ages and with any level of experience to relax and unwind from everyday life. When will you make your own mark on the River Wey? Holidays on the River Wey run ...
Celebrate the re-opening of the Trent & Mersey Canal following the canal breach last year, and go on a boating holiday on the Cheshire Ring. This two week cruising ring takes your boat crew onto several canals, floating through Cheshire countryside, and the Peak National Forests, past the Anderton Boat Lift and through Manchester City.
Which Canals make up the Cheshire Ring?
Although not the most lock heavy ring route, we would recommend two weeks to navigate to allow time for exploring the various attractions on route.
Commencing on the Trent & Mersey Canal you can choose to travel south, and complete the Cheshire Locks first before navigating onto the Macclesfield Canal, or you can choose to cruise north onto the Bridgewater Canal cruise into Manchester City.
We will start by cruising south and stopping off for a quick detour onto the River Weaver via the Anderton Boat Lift. A very popular attraction on the waterways, built by Edwin Clark in 1875, an amazing piece of engineering which lifts your hire boat over 60ft from the Canal onto the River running alongside. This is something not to be missed if you have the time, a unique Victorian experience, giving the whole crew a chance to take a tour through iconic British history.
Cruising down the Trent & Mersey Canal you will pass several towns such as Middlewich and Sandbach, this area is home to an impressive collection of garden landscapes and historic halls, such as Little Moreton Hall, one of the most famous Tudor Halls in England. Cruising Cheshire, you can expect to see salt mountains along the waterways on the Trent & Mersey Canal, remains from the Roman salt sites. Passing these you will reach the Cheshire Locks before navigating onto the Macclesfield Canal. The Cheshire Locks are a flight of 26 locks dating back to the 1770′s. The lock flights, often called ‘Heartbreak Hill’ raise the canal to the Summit Level at Kidsgrove through the Cheshire Plains.
Joining onto the Macclesfield Canal travelling North you begin to run near the Peak District National Parks, enjoying quite a lot of lock free cruising, once past the Bosley Locks of twelve. The canal will lead you past the Gawsworth Mill and Paradise Mill Museum where you can stop to see experts demonstrating the process of weaving on the traditional handlooms, and then into Macclesfield town centre, here you will find plenty to see and do with various eateries and the Macclesfield Silk Museum & Heritage Centre. Leaving the town centre after spending the evening you will benefit from 4 hours or so of lock free cruising.
Cruising into Manchester you will float past Marple, a cobbled stone village with the marple locks and aqueduct, running alongside the River Goyt. There are plenty of pubs if you wish to stop off here for a spot of lunch before commencing onto the Ashton Canal to reach Manchester. Manchester City Centre has plenty to offer if you have time to spend the afternoon off your hire boat. Home to a selection of eateries and interesting shops, you can dine out here, spend time shopping or exploring Manchester’s rich Heritage, before returning to you canal boat hire. After departing Manchester, your hire boat will make its descent to the Trent & Mersey Canal via the Bridgewater Canal, built for the transportation of coal during the Industrial Revolution. The navigation is completely lock free, so perfect for catching up your cruising, especially if you have spent a touch too long exploring the sites!
Click to search all our boating holidays on the Norfolk Broads.
Enjoy a peaceful break on the southern waterways of the Norfolk Broads this summer and save up to £150.00 off a Broads boating holiday. The southern rivers offer a rich mix of attractions, with something for everyone to enjoy. Relax and unwind, meandering past weeping willow trees and a variety of wildlife tending to their nests in the reed beds, and discover Norwich city centre, offering a rich mix of heritage, shopping opportunities and eateries.
Explore the variety of boating attractions on offer on the southern Broads waterways including Suffolk’s seaside town, Lowestoft, visiting the sandy beaches, Victorian seaside gardens and restaurants. Discover Oulton Broads by boat, popular for those who enjoy water sports, including sailing, canoeing and rowing adventures. If you have some spare time, explore the many heritage buildings and castles, including Norwich Castle, built by the Normans 900 years ago, now home to a collection of fine art and archaeology.
This summer, you can save up to £150.00 off holidays between the 1st June and the 30th August, applicable to seven night and four night breaks. This discount applies to two motor cruisers ‘Jay’ and ‘Kingfisher’, ideal holiday cruisers for a family group or friends. Enjoy the relaxed pace of Britain’s magical waterland, starting your holiday at the village of Chedgrave on the River Chet.
Picture above by Evelyn Simak [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
This summer, enjoy the picturesque Grand Union Canal on a traditional narrowboat from Braunston and take advantage of savings of up to £75.00 off your boating holiday when booked by the 30th April 2013.
Cruising options are plentiful from the marina. You can take your hire boat east along the Grand Union Canal, navigating the Braunston & Blisworth Tunnels, before arriving at the Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne. Cruising this stretch of the waterway you can expect to enjoy views of the woods of Brockhall Park which give way to plenty of picturesque fields and farmlands. You can also head north after the Braunston Tunnel and take your traditional narrowboat to the Foxton Locks for an active holiday on the Northampton section of the Grand Union Canal.
On a seven night holiday you can take the family boating west of the marina, working the flights of locks leading to Warwick before spending a relaxed day exploring the many attractions at Warwick Castle. Or choose to relax and unwind, cruising the picturesque South Oxford Canal. Join this canal south of Napton junction and cruise through rolling countryside, following the hedgerows alongside the towpath, which provide a safe haven for an abundance of wildlife. Passing Napton on Hill, the canal begins to meander, weaving your hire boat past stone villages such as Fenny Compton, Wormleighton and Cropredy.
The Braunston marina offers a selection of boating holiday routes suitable for novices and experienced boaters alike. For an example of the narrowboats on offer from this location, 50ft hire boat ‘Clent, a four berth semi traditional narrowboat is available for the seven nights starting on the 27th July, 3rd August and 13th August 2013. The discounted hire charge of £1,160.00 includes a £75.00 discount when booked by the 30th April 2013.
The 2013 Crick Boat Show & Waterways Festival takes place over the May Bank Holiday weekend – 25th to 27th May. The festivities will be held at Crick Marina, with the main hub of activity occuring south of the famous Foxton Locks on the Leicester Section of the Grand Union Canal. The Crick Boat Show, located in the heart of England, offers holiday goers the chance to combine a narrowboat holiday with a host of canal boating festivities!
Tickets can be purchased in advance online on Crick Boat Show’s offical website, saving up to 29 per cent on gate prices. Family tickets (two adults and two children aged 5-16) are £24 if bought in advance or £32 on the gate. Entry is free for under 5’s on all three show days and all children (16 or under) go free on the Monday (27 May).
Enjoy half price moorings at the Crick Boat Show when you book your boating holiday with Waterways Holidays! The moorings are online just outside Crick Marina with a bridge across the canal directly into the Show Site. The normal mooring price is £1.86 per foot.
Attractions and exhibitions include:
To visit the Crick Boat Show over a weekend, you can hire a narrowboat from North Kilworth or Braunston. Alternatively over a seven night break, you can give yourself a longer cruise to Crick, starting from Stockton, Napton, Hillmorton, Rugby, Gayton, Clifton on Dunsmore, Stretton under Fosse or Market Harborough.
Picture above by David Merrett from Daventry, England (Crick Boat Show Uploaded by Oxyman) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The River Wey & Godalming Navigations runs from Godalming to Weybridge, just below Shepperton Lock, where the navigation meets the River Thames. The Wey Valley offers a rich source of interest and natural beauty, the meandering waterway follows the yellow fields on the North Downs and passes under the dappled shade of willow trees. These navigations have provided commercial transport and leisure boats twenty miles of waterway connecting Surrey Villages like Godalming, Send, Farnham and Ripley with the bustling River Thames to London for over 350 years.
Cruising north from our marina at Farncombe village you can expect to meander through pretty countryside, passing Mill houses, meadows and St Catherine’s Hill, before arriving at Guildford’s centre within approximately an hour’s cruise. Here you’ll find a selection of classic pubs on the waterfront. Alternatively you can moor just outside Debenhams and cross Town Bridge to the bottom of the main high street where you can choose from several other restaurants, the cinema, theatre and shopping facilities.
Leaving Guildford behind, you pass a series of parks and gardens, including Loseley Park and Sutton Place Gardens. There are a selection of excellent walks in the area, including the North Downs Way which stretches from Farnham to Dover. The scenery becomes more rural, with an abundance of fields of cattle and woodlands. Passing Send village to Pyrford village from Guildford takes approximately three to four hours by boat, meandering through the countryside. Here you will find a waterfront pub next to the Pyrford Lock, if you are looking to stop for the night.
On a short break you can expect to experience the full River Wey & Godalming Navigations, turning in the winding hole just south of Weybridge. Alternatively cruising for seven nights will allow you to continue your cruise past Weybridge onto the River Thames navigating to Windsor, visiting the Windsor Castle or cruising to Hampton Court and returning down the picturesque River Wey.
Click to search for all our canal boat holidays availability or to search for Norfolk Broads boat hire.
To speak directly to one of our friendly team at Waterways Holidays Ltd, call us on 01252 796400, open 7 days a week.
Cruise through the pretty Warwickshire countryside this spring and enjoy savings of up to £100.00 off selected boats from our Stockton and Warwick marinas. Savings are applicable to Easter holiday bookings, a perfect get away for the family during the school holidays.
Seven night cruising options include visiting Warwick Castle and navigating the famous Hatton Flight of locks or cruising east towards Gayton through the Braunston and Blisworth Tunnels.
Book four berth, five star graded hire boat ‘Molly May’ for a midweek break commencing 1st April 2013 for an all inclusive price of £635.00 (saving £50.00)
Click to search all our boating holiday special offers.
Cruise the Cheshire Plains and enjoys savings of up to 20% on all narrowboats hired from the base at Congleton on the Macclesfield Canal.
20% saving apply to holidays completed before 01 June 2013. For example, a week’s hire during the Easter holidays (30 March to 15 April 2013) on ‘Bosley’ – 44ft narrowboat sleeping four – now costs £696 (saving £173). Or a short break holidays are reduced to £472 (saving £117).
Alternatively, families looking further ahead to the school summer holidays can take advantage of a 15% saving on holidays completed between 26 July and 02 September. With this offer, the discounted cost of seven nights’ hire of ‘Hazelhurst’ or ‘Bosley’ is £1020 (saving £179). To take advantage of this special offer, book and pay a deposit by the 31st March 2013.
Heading South from the base at Congleton, families can cruise down the pretty Macclesfield Canal to Kidsgrove Junction, where you meet the Trent & Mersey Canal, here you will find the extraordinary Harecastle Tunnel (1.6625 miles in length). Passing through the tunnel you will pass through our famous ‘Potteries’ – so-called due to the area’s fame for pottery manufacture ever since the industrial revolution. Just after Stoke On Trent, turn left onto the peaceful and scenic Caldon Canal, with just a few locks on the way to it’s end at Froghall Wharf, you can take a taxi to Alton Towers, which is very close by and spend a day there (an excellent idea if you have children with you).
Alternatively you can cruise North of the marina to the Peak Forest Canal. This lovely, peaceful countryside route is a joy, with much added interest provided by the historic buildings and warehouses dotted along the canal, many of which have now been converted. Wind your way through old stone bridges and past green forested areas, open fields and immense mill buildings such as Goyt Mill at Marple and Clarence Mill at Bollington and the Hovis Mill at Macclesfield. The canal is well kept with plenty of character – a real pleasure. There are even a few locks and a couple of aqueducts thrown in!
Click to search all our boating holidays on the UK Canals and Norfolk Broads.
A canal boat holiday is a perfect spring getaway, feeding the ducklings and spotting the kingfishers in the reeds, with the sun shining and picturesque views. There are several boat festivals taking place across the canals to celebrate all things boating over the early May Bank Holiday weekend, offering plenty of family based activities and entertainment. Why not combine your boating holiday with a boat festival, and give the family an experience to remember.
Canalway Cavalcade at Little Venice on the Regents Canal:
A community based festival that has been arranged by the IWA since 1983. Located just off Edgeware Road in Central London, the event is free of charge and runs from Saturday the 4th May until Monday the 6th. Events include a selection of music and a boat procession on Sunday the 5th from 8pm. Over the weekend there will be a selection of stalls and trade shows, offering an opportunity for water lovers to take a look at the selection of boats moored at Little Venice. Other activities include morris dancers, a real ale bar, children’s activities, bands and plenty of snacks and food.
South Pennines Boat Club Rally on the Calder and Hebble Navigation:
A pirate themed rally running over the weekend from Saturday the 4th May on the Calder and Hebble Navigation. a perfect excuse to dress up for under 16’s, as there is a best dressed competition for the most convincing pirate, so come prepared! Other activities include a selection of stalls promoting local charities, entertainers hosting a variety of childrens games, an array of snacks including BBQ’s, live music, and a real ale bar.
Vines Park Water Festival:
Celebrating the reopening of the Droitwich Canals in 2011. Vines Park will be celebrating its first festival following the grand opening of Droitwich Spa Canal, over the May bank holiday from the 3rd to 6th May, 10am – 4pm. Attractions include a large selection of canal boats and working boats as well as a collection of crafts, trade and information stalls open to the public.
Loughborough Canal and Boat Festival:
Enjoy the festival over Saturday the 4th May to Sunday the 5th, from 10.30 am until 5.30pm. This event has been being held annually since 1997, a selection of stalls and hundreds of boats will gather at the canal bank, the Wharf and Schwabisch Hall Way. Originally held as a protest rally to help save the Canal Wharf at Loughborough, which at the time was being threatened by a proposed planing idea to build an inner relief road. After the success of the rally it has become an annual event celebrating the canal.
Norbury Canal Festival:
Promising to be bigger than ever this year! Entertainment includes a fun fair, a bouncy castle, face painting, clown and performers, an education tent and assorted stalls spread over the canal wharf and CRT yard; this festival offers a perfect family outing. Refreshments can be found in the stalls located in the Norbury Junction Inn gardens. There is a large marquee, offering a selection of live music on the saturday and sunday evening. You may be able to spot the very popular cheese boat moored in front of the Junction Inn.
Standedge Family Fun Day:
Visit Standedge Tunnel visitor centre on Sunday the 5th May, for a family activity day! On arrival you will be met with an array of arts and crafts stalls, a bouncy castle and petting zoo. You will also have the opportunity to take a canal boat through Britain’s longest, deepest and highest canal tunnel; Or just enjoy a snack on the canal tow path!
Click for more information and availability on all our canal boat holidays. To speak directly to one of our friendly team at Waterways Holidays Ltd, call us on 01252 796400, open 7 days a week.
‘Carlton’ and ‘Measham’ are now available for short break hire on selected holidays in March 2013. Both hire boats are located on the picturesque Ashby Canal, offering a lock free cruise through rich forests and rural scenery, passing the field in which the Battle of Bosworth took place.
‘Carlton’ is perfect for small parties and couples with a fixed double cabin and easy chairs in the saloon. The boat (pictured below) is decorated to a high standard with light wood furnishing, providing a fresh and airy feel.
‘Measham’ offers a high level bunk in the back cabin, so perfect for families with small children looking for a weekend break on the UK waterways. A cruiser stern boat, there is plenty of seating at the front for all the family, whilst a seat at the rear offers a chance to relax if you are the skipper!
Just introduced to Waterways Holidays 2013 availability are four brand new sports and sedan cruisers located at Brundall on the River Yare, near Norwich on the Norfolk Broads.
‘Cadet’ is a perfect boat for couples with a fixed double cabin in the bow. This cruiser has a very contemporary feel, it is decorated to a high standard with a stylish light wood interior. There is a media centre with MP3 connectivity, flat screen TV and DVD player. Other mod cons include a bow thruster for easy manoeuvring, 240 volts and shore power hook up.
‘Captain’ is ideal for small families or two couples with a fixed walk around double cabin and optional dinette double in the saloon. This modern cruiser offers a spacious contemporary saloon, with glass bi folding doors accessing the large rear sundeck with seating. Perfect for dining alfresco on those warm summer evenings and offering picturesque views of the Norfolk Broads whilst cruising.
Click to search all our boating holidays on the Norfolk Broads.