Canal FAQ

Canal Holiday Advice

Everyone Can Enjoy The Canals...

Canal Boat Holidays Can Be Enjoyed By Anyone, From The Youngest To The Oldest, Individual Travellers To Groups.

Do Canal Boats Have Disabled Access?

Wheelchairs can present problems because of getting on and off the boat, changes in levels and negotiating within the restricted confines of the boat. Some hotelboats and hire boats can cope, be clear about your access to canalsrequirements and most companies will go out of their way to accommodate you, or recommend somebody who can.

Towpaths too can be uneven and not particularly wheelchair friendly. However even if you don’t help with locks you can still enjoy watching the world float by, meeting new people and going to new places.

A few hire firms do have boats specially adapted with wheelchair lifts and aids for people with a range of disabilities.

How Do We Get To The Canals?

If you're not familiar with Britain, it is a fairly compact country and has efficient transport systems. The northern most English canals are no more than 3 hours by train from London and if you fly into Manchester or Birmingham airports for instance you could be at any one of dozens of canalside boatyards by taxi or bus in under an hour. If you rent a boat or join a hotelboat cruise you will get detailed information on how to reach them.

Where Can We Park Our Car If We Go On A Canal Holiday?

Most hire firms operate from boatyards or marinas that have car parking. Often the marina gates will be locked overnight to give some security, though most companies will warn you that they are not liable for any losses. Sometimes there may be a charge, or limitation on the number of cars your party can park. Hotelboats can be joined from a range of locations around the canal system, but they can usually offer advice about where to leave a car, and costs. You will often have to use public transport to get back from the end of the cruise to the departure point.

Can We Reach The Canals By Public Transport?

Due to the nature of how and why they were built, many of the canals pass through cities, which makes access by public transport very easy. However, it's not just the canal you need to reach, but the hire company. Hire companies commonly operate out of marinas. Some of them are in the middle of countryside, others are a stone's throw from a railway station, some will pick you up from a station or airport, so do your research before booking.

Will My Mobile Phone Work?

Mobile phones will work from much of the system, though there are areas where reception is poor and local black spots caused by being in a cutting etc. If you are cruising you should get a signal most days, though some networks are better than others. You may find that reception is poor inside a modern steel cabined boat and you have to go outside to get a good signal. It is possible to buy an antenna to fit on the boat roof.

Can I Get Internet Access?

If you can get a mobile phone signal then you can probably access your emails and the Internet. However download may be very slow unless you are in a 3G or 3.5G area, not the case yet with much of the rural canal system. You can either use a laptop computer connecting through your mobile phone, a laptop with a wireless broadband modem, or a mobile phone with Internet facilities.

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