Our canals and rivers are open and accessible for everyone to use and enjoy every day. And we’re not just talking about those popular, rural, Sunday afternoon hotspots.
You’ll find as many miles of relaxing, calming waterways through our towns and cities as you will out in the countryside. In places like Birmingham and the West Midlands, arguably more towpaths pass built up cityscapes than open fields.
The truth is, canals are places to spread your wings and find your own mindful moments wherever you are because the experience is highly personal to you.
Take a dreary Tuesday lunchtime in Liverpool. Instead of lunch at your desk again, stroll down to the Liverpool Link Canal, which runs through several of Liverpool’s docks. That ten minute breather will set you up for your afternoon of meetings.
Your walk to work (and home again) in Wigan could take you along the 21 locks that lead up to the famous pier. And it might just give you a fresh perspective on that urgent report you’ve been struggling with.
Collecting the kids from nursery? Choose to stroll with them along the Coventry Canal. Along the towpath you'll find the Coventry sculpture trail with its nod to the local industrial past. Plus, there’s plenty of traffic-free places to feed the ducks.
For bigger kids on a post-school afternoon in Bradford or Leeds city centre, get them off the tablet and into a kayak. There’s all sorts of waterborne adventures following the trails led by the canoeing and kayaking clubs springing up along our waterways. Not least the family-orientated Desmond Family Canoe Trail all the way along the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.
And what about those long, summer evenings in London? Ever thought about spending them fishing? Instead of packing into the local pub, pack a picnic and just release the day’s tensions as you release your tenth perch, chub or roach back into the Regent's Canal.
It’s extraordinary but being by one of our canals or rivers regularly could just be your way to a happier, healthier life. Our research is showing that being by the water makes you feel better.
So, take another look and your local canal. Because our canals and rivers are great spaces to… relax, think, exercise, picnic, walk, commute and much, much more.
Last date edited: 22 May 2018