News article created on 22 March 2018

Try canal boating at Drifters national open day

On Sunday 15 April 2018, we're teaming up with Drifters Waterway Holidays to offer people the chance to try canal boating for free at 19 locations across England and Wales.

Drifters Open Day, Sowerby Bridge 2017

The taster sessions will include free short trips on skippered narrowboats, as well as boat tours and holiday discounts. People of all ages are encouraged to take part and no advanced booking is required.

Tim Parker, chairman of Drifters Waterway Holidays, explains: "Travelling at just 4mph through peaceful countryside, sleepy villages and vibrant waterside towns and cities, canal boat holidays are often described as ‘the fastest way to slow down’. 

"Close to 400,000 people go canal boating each year, almost double the number 10 years ago* and there are now more canal boats on our waterways than at the height of the Industrial Revolution.

"Last year, over 3,800 people got afloat at our one of our open day events and we look forward to welcoming thousands more visitors this year, to discover why canal boat holidays are so special."

Gareth Stephens, our National Boating Business Manager says, "We believe that waterways have the power to make a real difference to people’s lives. Spending time by water makes us all healthier and happier and early research is showing evidence of this.

"Thousands of people already enjoy boating holidays on our beautiful 2,200-mile network of inland waterways, and these free canal boat taster sessions are a great way to see if this sort of holiday could be for you, before committing to a weekend or longer break."