Canal FAQ

Canal Holiday Advice

A Great Way To Re Unite Friends...

Is Canal Boat Hire A Good Holiday For Groups?

It’s a great holiday for everyone (see left) and certainly a magic way to get re united with friends you've not seen for ages, with old school pals or work mates. A chance to leave all the hassle behind, chill out and spend some quality time relaxing and re-bonding! By day you’ll be working as a team to get the boat through the locks, taking it in turns to steer, open the gates, moor up and cast off. By night you’ll be sat round the barbeque with glasses of wine or in the pub with local ales and good company. An ideal way to refresh friendships and forge lasting memories. And next year a different route!

We Just Don't Want To Sit About, How Can We Be A Bit Adventurous?

If you want more of a boating challenge you could tackle one of the circular routes – the ‘rings’. The rings vary in length, but they all involve several different canals or rivers and offer a greater variety of surroundings than single canal cruising ever can, whilst incorporating the challenge of getting to where you’re going in time! With enough planning and enough time, you’ll get there, but it is recommended that at least one person in the party has some prior experience.

Canal Boating Holiday

Some examples of rings are The Cheshire Ring which circumnavigates the county of Cheshire and takes in the bustle of Manchester city centre, and the Four Counties Ring which combines the wide open spaces of Shropshire and Staffordshire with the Potteries district and includes the 3000 yard long Harecastle Tunnel. If you’re really feeling adventurous, you can dig out a map of the network and make up your own ring. Seek advice from the hire firm to make sure it’s viable in your timescale. See our Canal Guides for more info.

Don’t forget you don’t have to stay on the boat, visit golf courses, organise walks or runs, go orienteering, all from your friendly cosy canal boat base!

Can We Have A Stag-Do Or Hen Night On A Canal Boat?

It depends what kind of party you want! If the focus is on spending time with friends, then it’s ideal, but if you’re more inclined to the traditional clubbing approach, then perhaps not. Some hire companies have a no-hen/stag policy or don’t allow single sex groups to hire, others specialise in it, so make sure you check first and go with a stag/hen friendly company.

Can We Drink Alchohol On The Canal Boat?

Of course, but preferably in the evening when you’re moored up and not going anywhere. It’s worth pointing out the obvious – that you’re on a boat and that boats are surrounded by water, so take care. As far as drinking and driving go you should take the same care as if you were driving a car, one which weighs a few tons and takes a few hundred meters to stop. But as you should not really be cruising after dusk anyway, you’ve plenty of time to indulge in a safe tipple.

What About Noise At Night?

It depends where you moor. If you’re in the middle of nowhere you might be able to make noise and nobody will hear you, but if you’re moored up hull-to-bow in a row of boats or near houses, you need to be considerate of others in the same way you would be if they were your neighbours – because that’s what they are. Most people choose canal holidays for peace and quiet, so if you do want to turn up a stereo and have a dance on the towpath, find a secluded wood and get your dancing shoes on where nobody will disturb you. And remember that sound carries much further over water.

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