If airport delays, rail strikes and the general state of world stability is putting you off trips abroad, perhaps you are considering a holiday close to home.
A narrowboat holiday is certainly one way to see England from a new angle. Whether you are meandering through our rural landscapes or winding your way through the towns of our industrial past, the canals can give you a whole new perspective on this wonderful country.
Up close with the wildlife
We are so familiar with the view whizzing by through a car windscreen that it can seem strange to see all the nature up close. You travel at the heady top speed of four miles an hour on a narrowboat. This means that there is time to really immerse yourself in a beautiful view, or chat to the cows and sheep as you pass them at the water’s edge.
Make friends with the ducks and swans outside your window and thrill at the flash of teal from a kingfisher. Damselflies will dance over the boat as you cruise along. Herons, too, are a frequent friends and will fly ahead of the bow, zigzagging from one side of the canal to another. Perhaps this is a side of the English countryside remembered from childhood. But if you don’t recall ever experiencing nature this way, perhaps the time is now.
A new perspective on your home town
Passing through a familiar town or city from a different angle can be very refreshing. If you are taking a holiday close to home, it can be fascinating to see the secret views from behind buildings you thought you knew. Peer into the back gardens which slope down to the canal. Or feast your eyes on the heritage wharves and canal buildings which once were a hub for grain and cloth sellers. This really does feel like you are a million miles from home.
Switching off on a holiday close to home
Airport queues, traffic jams and overnight stops can all bring down the mood when it comes to planning a long-distance holiday. With a holiday close to home you know can relax from the minute you set off, knowing that there are fewer miles in which things can go wrong.
You have more hours in which to actually switch off, too. Less time spent on planning the journey there and back, and more time to enjoy the precious days of your true vacation. Our experienced trainers will go through the routes when you arrive. We teach you how to navigate the waterways, too, so there is very little preparation needed for novices.
The heritage of home
Many features of the canals – including the structure of the canals themselves – were built in the 18th and 19th centuries. A canal boat holiday near home is a genuine trip into our historic past. You will be cruising the routes, waiting in the lock pounds and navigating the same tunnels as those who lived and worked here before you. Keep a look out for the date and mileage stones which provide a glimpse into the past lives of boaters.
Experiences on your doorstep
You may not have ever tried operating a lock, navigating through a tunnel or stopping traffic to manoeuvre a swing bridge. Perhaps you’ve seen narrowboats on a day trip to Foxton Locks, and wondered how on earth you turn one round. Or perhaps you’ve spent hours following YouTube narrowboaters, wishing it could be you. Don’t pass by the experiences on your doorstep in favour of new ones further away. They are just as good (and some of them are better.) You can read more about what our guests say on Tripadvisor.