A canal boat holiday sounds like an enticing way to take in autumnal splendours on offer along waterways throughout the UK.
Narrowboats are like floating holiday cottages, with everything holiday-makers need on board for a self-catering adventure and canal boat specialists, Drifters, offer a fabulous choice for travellers.
Drifters fleet of 550 narrowboats is available for hire from 45 bases across England, Wales and Scotland and there’s still time to get on board for the autumn.
Top canal boat holiday destinations include:-
The Shropshire countryside to Market Drayton – from Drifters’ boat hire base at Autherley on the Shropshire Union Canal, it takes around 12 hours to reach the historic market town of Market Drayton, home of the gingerbread man.
Along the way, boaters pass through 26 miles of beautiful Shropshire countryside, seven locks, and wildlife havens. The route passes through the historic villages of Brewood, Wheaton Aston and Gnosall, and a series of canalside pubs, including the Junction Inn at Norbury and the Hartley Arms at Wheaton Aston.
Georgian Bath – On a four-night mid-week break from Devizes on the Kennet & Avon Canal in Wiltshire, boaters can travel to the World Heritage Status City of Bath and back. The journey to Sydney Wharf takes around 10 hours, travelling across two magnificent aqueducts and passing through 10 locks.
Cruise to Manchester & back – on a week’s break from Acton Bridge, canal boaters can cruise to Manchester and back. The route passes through a mixture of urban and rural landscapes, travels 68 miles of waterway (34 each way) and there’s just one lock to negotiate.
Places to stop off along the way include Stockton Heath, with a choice of shops, boutiques, restaurants and pubs, and the historic village of Lymm.
Glide across The Stream in the Sky – From Wrenbury Mill on the Llangollen Canal in Shropshire, boaters can cruise through the Shropshire Lake District to the pretty town of Llangollen. The journey takes 19 hours, passes through 12 locks, two tunnels and crosses over the magnificent World Heritage Status Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, with amazing views across the Dee Valley and the Welsh Mountains.
Cruise through the Scottish lowlands to Ratho – From the Falkirk Wheel boat lift, a peaceful eight-hour cruise along the Union Canal takes boaters to the historic village of Ratho. The route also passes close to the historic town of Linlithgow, home to the ruins of Linlithgow Palace, the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots.
A licence isn’t required to steer a canal boat and all Drifters operators provide hirers with boat steering tuition as part of their holiday packages.
For more information about Drifters boating holidays call 0344 984 0322 or visit www.drifters.co.uk.
More information about the canal network is available at www.canalrivertrust.org.uk