View Full Version : Canal Boating

pisstin broke
14th May 2013, 08:11
For those that have experience, what is your favourite English canal boat trip?

green granite
14th May 2013, 08:41
A week on The Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal. Beautiful countryside one or two good pubs, well there were the last time I was on it 25 years ago.

Monmouthshire, Brecon & Abergavenny Canals Trust - Welcome (http://www.mbact.org.uk/)

14th May 2013, 08:45
Chester / Shropshire Union Canal. goes through some lovely places, Chester being the best, and plenty of pubs and restaurants to keep anyone in fuel.

im from uranus
14th May 2013, 09:10
For me, the best canal has to be the Llangollen Canal. But that starts in Wales so I guess it's not included. :rolleyes:

Also, not included, is the Caledonian Canal, which I cruised about 2 weeks ago in a hire boat. Loch Ness can be a bit choppy! :eek:

Beautiful scenery and brilliant fun :ok:

14th May 2013, 12:57
The Caldon canal

14th May 2013, 13:11
Kenneth Grahame summed it up so well.

"Then the two animals stood and regarded each other cautiously.

`Hullo, Mole!' said the Water Rat.
`Hullo, Rat!' said the Mole.
`Would you like to come over?' enquired the Rat presently.
`Oh, its all very well to TALK,' said the Mole, rather pettishly, he being new to a river and riverside life and its ways.

The Rat said nothing, but stooped and unfastened a rope and hauled on it; then lightly stepped into a little boat which the Mole had not observed. It was painted blue outside and white within, and was just the size for two animals; and the Mole's whole heart went out to it at once, even though he did not yet fully understand its uses.

The Rat sculled smartly across and made fast. Then he held up his forepaw as the Mole stepped gingerly down. `Lean on that!' he said. `Now then, step lively!' and the Mole to his surprise and rapture found himself actually seated in the stern of a real boat.

`This has been a wonderful day!' said he, as the Rat shoved off and took to the sculls again. `Do you know, I`ve never been in a boat before in all my life.'
`What?' cried the Rat, open-mouthed: `Never been in a--you never--well I--what have you been doing, then?'

`Is it so nice as all that?' asked the Mole shyly, though he was quite prepared to believe it as he leant back in his seat and surveyed the cushions, the oars, the rowlocks, and all the fascinating fittings, and felt the boat sway lightly under him.

`Nice? It's the ONLY thing,' said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward for his stroke. `Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING--absolute nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing,' he went on dreamily: `messing--about--in--boats; messing----'"


14th May 2013, 13:14
+1 for the Caldon Canal although the Shropshire comes a close second.
Parts of the River Soar are extremely pleasant.

14th May 2013, 14:42
It used to be an evening trip on the Slough arm of the Grand Union Canal back to the boat yard at Iver, armed with copious gin and tonics, having taken the boat to Slough from Iver the previous evening.

14th May 2013, 14:44
..and what could be nicer than leaving Slough ? :)

14th May 2013, 15:00
Worcester - Birmingham* - Wolverhampton* - Stourport - Worcester

(* Quick as possible through that bit)

14th May 2013, 16:49
South Oxford from Oxford to Napton Junction. Single locks and quiet!

Saab Dastard
14th May 2013, 19:39
Another vote for the Shropshire Union canal.


14th May 2013, 20:16
It used to be advertised by the boat hire companies that a useful trip was Brentford, up the Grand Union to I suppose Birmingham, down the Oxford canal to, believe it or not, Oxford, then down the Thames to Brentford again . All this was meant to take 2 weeks and was a handy holiday jaunt. Anyone done it? Is it worth doing? I suppose the Thames bit is a bit boring in a narrowboat.

Sir George Cayley
14th May 2013, 22:28
Kennet and Avon. Bradford on Avon to the Bristol Floating Harbour and return.


15th May 2013, 00:01
I've only been on the grand union canal going through the blisworth tunnel. Had a great weekend.

15th May 2013, 09:24
Worcester - Birmingham* - Wolverhampton* - Stourport - Worcester

I would recommend that one too.

You can skip Wolverhampton off that route if you go up the Stourbridge Canal and through the Netherton Tunnel - makes it a more leisurely trip for a week. Though still quite hard work as you go down the Tardebigge Flight of 30 locks in two and a half miles.

Going through Birmingham on the canals you see a completely different view of the city and if you time it right you just pass through in a day and spend the night before and after in pleasant places with good pubs.

15th May 2013, 09:38
I've done quite a few canal holidays and I think most of the canals are good once you get away from the towns and cities.

I've just bought a 57ft narrow boat for semi-retirement. I'll be moving it from the Coventry canal to the South Oxford canal next week.
It's named "STEELAWAY" and is red and black with stainless steel hand rails, so if you see it come and say hello.

pisstin broke
15th May 2013, 20:00
Will keep an eye out for you. Don't know the name of our boat but it will probably be the one parked outside a pub !

15th May 2013, 20:55
one of my favorites, Caco!

here's another:
We found ourselves short of water at Hambledon Lock; so we took our jar and went up to the lock-keeper’s house to beg for some.
George was our spokesman. He put on a winning smile, and said:
“Oh, please could you spare us a little water?”
“Certainly,” replied the old gentleman; “take as much as you want, and leave the rest.”
“Thank you so much,” murmured George, looking about him. “Where—where do you keep it?”
“It’s always in the same place my boy,” was the stolid reply: “just behind you.”
“I don’t see it,” said George, turning round.
“Why, bless us, where’s your eyes?” was the man’s comment, as he twisted George round and pointed up and down the stream. “There’s enough of it to see, ain’t there?”
“Oh!” exclaimed George, grasping the idea; “but we can’t drink the river, you know!”
“No; but you can drink some of it,” replied the old fellow. “It’s what I’ve drunk for the last fifteen years.”
George told him that his appearance, after the course, did not seem a sufficiently good advertisement for the brand; and that he would prefer it out of a pump.

pisstin broke
21st Jul 2013, 21:35
Hey Dixi
Bumped into you - literally ! Just north of Copredy
Not me driving I might add in defence!
I asked if you were a pruner but I think the dunnunda accent threw you. Plus you were busy polling off ! (The boat that is)

Lon More
22nd Jul 2013, 08:54
Aqueduct Song - Long Way Down - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9mXAT590T0U#at=24)
Best time I ever had was on mate´s boat moored just down from the Three Locks pub near Linslade. With the then GF, didn´t leave the mooring for 48 hours. I think she liked the way I rocked her boat

22nd Jul 2013, 09:23
Staffs and Worcs. Down the Bratch. Or the Shroppie or the K&A or the L&L...

I will admit that I haven't been to Chester for probably 15 years, but the only really good pub was the Oddfellows Arms, which got demolished to make way for a roundabout. There was a Sam Smiths pub which was OK. However, you have to remember that even in about 1100, Chester had a reputation for poor ale, and my experience was that it hasn't changed!

22nd Jul 2013, 10:17
The Erewash Canal is worth a couple of days surprisingly. Well maintained locks and towpaths and pleasant countryside in places.
A dearth of decent canalside pubs although the Great Northern at Langley Mill Basin where you turn to come back is ok as are the Steam Boat and Trent Lock at the Trent Lock End.