Unlocking our waterway treasures

Have you ever found yourself waiting in a long queue at a lock flight on a popular cruising route day-dreaming of a quieter alternative? At some busy locations, especially during the school holidays, you can find yourself waiting an hour or more for passage. In this series of features we explore alternatives if you want to escape the crowds with routes less travelled and treasures waiting to be discovered.

Boating through leaves on the Chesterfield Canal

Without a doubt our waterways are more popular than they've ever been before as people discover that life's better by water. With around 34,000 boats on the network it's going to get busy in places, particularly in peak holiday time.

Some locks on the network such as Hillmorton on the Oxford Canal and New Marton on the Llangollen Canal see thousands of lockages each year and many destinations such as the Anderton Boat Lift or Foxton Locks are a "must do" especially for a first time holiday boater.

If you've hired before or you've had your own boat on the water for a while, why not seek somewhere new for your next boating adventure?

Last date edited: 30 January 2019