Record numbers of people have made a trip to the nation’s canals and rivers this summer. During August, 5.4 million people visited a canal or river over our busiest fortnight, breaking previous visitor records as people took advantage of the good weather to come down to the waterside.
Simon Salem, marketing director of the Canal & River Trust, comments: “The nation’s canals are great places to visit and it is fantastic to see more people using them. This summer we’ve seen more people walking along their local towpath, running and cycling, taking advantage of the nice weather to ditch the car and travel canal-side instead, or just enjoying the calm and tranquillity offered by our waterside environment.
“With half term approaching, there is still plenty to see and do at this time of year as the seasons change and autumn’s colours are displayed. I’d encourage people to come and enjoy it for themselves.”
Bernard Donoghue, director of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, comments: “Britain has so much to offer for a good day out. It’s great to see people visiting their local canal or river. And like the results for the waterways, we’re expecting to see a surge in visitor numbers when we report back early next year on how busy the country’s biggest attractions have been throughout 2013.”
The previous record visitor numbers to the canals and rivers across England and Wales were in August 2009 when an average of 5.1m people visited in the peak fortnight.
The Trust also measures the number of boats using its canals and rivers. While definitive figures for summer 2013 will be available in the New Year, early indications are that there were more boaters out taking advantage of the sunshine compared with 2012.