Make the most of canals this Christmas

Christmas is a time of good cheer, but many of us could benefit from having somewhere to escape to during the festive season. Some place where we only hear the sweet sound of chirping birds and the slow trickle of water. Where exercise means sauntering along a frosty towpath, not chasing the little ones around the tree.

Friends walking by the canal in winter Friends walking by the canal in winter

Christmas can be chaotic. Over the next few weeks we'll be cooking the perfect turkey, entertaining the guests, finding the tree decorations and juggling those last minute dashes to the supermarket. With so much going on, taking time for yourself can be difficult.

Here's our guide to how and why you should leave the house and make the most of our canals this Christmas.

We have an escape plan and it involves some time, your walking shoes and a jacket. It's that easy.

Seven reasons why life's better by water at Christmas

1. You've eaten too much food

Christmas brings goose fat, mince pies, boxes and boxes of chocolates, sherry, gingerbread and whatever else you thought was a good idea at the supermarket.

As you rest your bag of chocolate-coated Brazil nuts on your over-inflated stomach, you wonder if you'll ever move again. It's time to put down the treats and get some fresh air. It's ok to let go and indulge, it is Christmas after all, but going for a walk will definitely make you feel better. Our canals have miles and miles of path just waiting for you.

2. It's the morning after the night before

A little tipple here and there through the day is pretty normal for a festive celebration, but when the tipples turn into tumbles, you may need some help the following day! 

Fresh air along our canals will help that foggy feeling go away. Walking will help make your body work harder to rid the toxins in your system. 

3. It's time to clear up

We get it. You've worked hard all Christmas to get everything ready, endless tidying, shopping, wrapping and planning, and when the big day is over, there's no way you want to do any more clearing up.

Why not offer to take the dog out for an extra long walk, or take the kids out, or escape alone?

4. There's nothing on TV

Don't be bored silly with TV shows and specials. Just because it's Christmas, doesn't mean you should sit down and watch rubbish repeats or films.

If there's a serious threat of someone finding the Monopoly you've hidden, get out of the house. This is a must for the whole Christmas period. A walk or run outside will reinvigorate you. You could feed the ducks or look out for some winter wildlife.

Couple down by the canal during winter Couple down by the canal during winter

5. The kids are running wild

Excited for more-or-less, the whole of December, your kids, and everyone else's kids will probably be packed full of sugar, E numbers and fizzy pop - just bursting with energy. Put that buzz to good use and instead of groaning while they run wild in the living room, let them run free outside. Burn off some of those calories. Even better if it snows, a snowman or two later the children will be tired and ready for a quiet evening (or at least quieter).

6. Christmas itself

We've decided it's ok to just want an hour or two off, an hour or two of peace without the constant background of Christmas songs and family bickering. 

Listen to your iPod and take a walk, cycle a few miles taking in the peace and quiet of your local canal. When you go back, you'll be recharged and ready for more festive fun. 

7. You want to feel free

It's lovely to dress up over the Christmas period, but you don't have to look fancy for our canals. On the towpath, no one is going to judge your hair or what you're wearing.

Our canals and rivers are a haven for peace and wildlife, so when you need to get away after 14 mine pies too many, this is the place to be.

Merry Christmas everyone, we hope to see you over the holidays.

Winter walking Winter walking

Last date edited: 9 December 2019