The charity making life better by water

Nine reasons to take a boating holiday this year

Research shows that people can feel happier and healthier by the water, which makes a canal boat the ideal staycation choice. Are you ready to take the most relaxing holiday you’ll ever have?

Illustration of a narrowboat moored up on the canal

1. It's the fastest way to slow down

With speed limits of 4mph and 2,000 miles of tranquil, calming canals to cruise along, your stress levels are reduced and a whole new, much steadier pace of life takes over.

2. Get a taste of freedom

The majority of our canals and rivers offer boating holiday-makers free moorings, so there's plenty of choice of where to stop for the night.

3. Use your muscles

Working locks, exploring local footpaths, cycling along the towpaths and standing at the tiller enjoying the fresh air are great ways to get your body moving and shake off your normal routine.

Family opening a lock gate at Foxton

4. It's a greener way

A boating holiday is estimated to be some 20 times better for the planet than spending two hours flying for a holiday overseas. As soon as you swap your car for a boat, you'll be using a third of the fuel and emitting a fifth of the pollution.

5. Quality time together

Working as a team to crew your boat will bring you closer to the family or friends you're travelling with. Everyone can help, regardless of their age or ability, from acting as a look-out during mooring to making sure the skipper has a cup of tea.

6. A journey through history

Thousands of historic structures are spread throughout the canal and river system. The soaring majesty of Pontcysyllte Aqueduct has been recognised with World Heritage Site status, and the awe-inspiring three-mile long Standedge Tunnel cuts through the Pennines.

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct from above

8. Lap up the luxury

Modern canal boats are fully equipped with all the essential mod cons: central heating, hot water, TVs, DVD players, showers and flushing toilets. Many boats now offer WiFi too.

9. Try something new

It's easy to learn how to drive a boat and navigate the waterways. Your hire boat company will explain everything you need to know when you arrive, and they'll make sure you feel confident controlling the boat before you set off on your own.

Last Edited: 19 November 2021

photo of a location on the canals
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