Canal FAQ

Canal Holiday Advice

Plenty To Do On The Canals...

So Much To Do On A Canal Holiday.

If you fancy cruising through the countryside with your mind empty and a half-full cup of tea in your hand, curling up with a good book by the barbeque as the sun sets and sleeping a deep and richly deserved sleep, then you’re in the perfect place – a canal cruise has to be one of the most relaxing holidays you can take. But if you’re interested in history, walking, the environment, nature, folk-art, canoeing, photography, drawing, different cultures, ambling through rural villages, eating and drinking, or even going clubbing in some of England’s most vibrant cities then the canals can offer those too. And don't forget just enjoying fresh air and good company!

Some people choose canal holidays for the pleasure of cruising for cruising’s sake, but you may have a specific agenda. Perhaps you want to travel through a specific area of interest, see familiar territory with fresh eyes or visit special places, such as museums, historic towns, tunnels, viaducts, ‘gatherings’, festivals or fishing tournaments. With a bit of planning, your canal holiday can be tailored to your own tastes.

Can We Go Fishing In The Canals?

Fishing is the most popular sport in the UK, much of it in canals which are normally well stocked with fish. Permits are needed in most cases, your hire boat or hotel boat firm will advise.

Can We Swim In The Canals?

Swimming is not allowed, canals are fairly clean but shallow and often muddy and can contain underwater objects. There is also the danger of catching Weil’s disease if you have open cuts.

What Can The Children Do?

If you want some ideas about keeping the younger members of the family occupied see our Family Holidays FAQ.

Can We Go Shopping?

There are lots of canalside gift shops selling painted canalware and holiday mementos. In some places you can find art galleries or pottery workshops. Or your holiday boat could even provide the ideal city centre base for a 'shop till you drop' session!


Can We Take The Bikes?

Many of the canal towpaths of England and Wales are bike-friendly and having access to a bike is a good way to open up the countryside around the canals. Bikes can sometimes be stored on a deck or even the roof of the boat, lashed down and well-secured against theft. However roof storage can be a problem with low bridges and tunnels, and if your bike damages the boat roof the cost will not be met by the hire firm’s insurance. You must check with the hire company prior to departure.

Where Can We Visit?

There are lots of castles, stately homes, gardens, nature reserves, golf courses and other attractions canalside or within easy walking distance. See our Places to Visit FAQ.

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