View Full Version : pleasure cruising on british waterways

Paul Pless
06-03-2016, 09:14 AM

06-03-2016, 09:33 AM
Something I'd like to do.

06-03-2016, 10:33 AM
According to Wikipedia "British Waterways" has recently become the "Canal & River Trust" and manages 2000 miles of navigable waterways. Sounds like a great vacation to me.

Hopefully one of our UK members can chime in here.

06-03-2016, 10:51 AM
On our first trip abroad, about 20 years ago, SWMBO & I drove from London to Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon, and up into Wales. We crossed many of these waterways, and saw quite a few canal boats. In Stratford, I had a chance to speak with some of the folks on the these boats. Lots of low-speed motoring, hand-operated locks, and best of all, lots of pubs along the way! Would love to get back there and rent one for a week or two.

06-03-2016, 10:59 AM
Did it with my girlfriend and kids about 15 years ago. A great vacation! Boats are very well equipped, prices are reasonable. Ours was 70'x7', cost somewhere around $1200 for a week. We did a loop that included a mile (or two?) long tunnel, about 50 locks. The trick was to slow down before the lock, throw the kids out with the lock valve handles, have them run ahead and open gates. Every town has a place to tie up, a store and a pub. Mooring was great; boat has one line attached mid ships and centered on the cabin top. You get a stake and a mallet. Pound on stake, tie off. Where's it going to go? Four cylinder diesel pushes it along a perhaps five knots. Very easy,idyllic, scenic. I'd do it again anytime.

ron ll
06-03-2016, 11:09 AM
Did a canal barge vacation in France, the Canal du Midi. Great vacation! We had bicycles on the boat and could stop anywhere and tie to a tree or stake and bicycle nearby villages, vineyards, etc. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

S.V. Airlie
06-03-2016, 11:44 AM
Gota Canal for me! Hand driven locks! Great trip!

06-03-2016, 11:59 AM
There are a number of great canals in Scotland which can accommodate yachts and commercial vessels, unlike much of the Welsh and English system which was designed for narrow boats. There are exceptions in England, such as the Norfolk Broads.

I can recommend the Caledonian Canal. 60 miles from Inverness through to the West Coast at Fort William, it has spectacular mountain scenery, two large lochs which you can sail large boats in (Loch Ness and Loch Lochy) and a smaller very pretty loch called Loch Oich. The locks are all manned and the lock keepers in my experience are very helpful and friendly. You can sleep aboard at virtually any of the lock pontoons, camp in various places, or leave your boat and go walkabout.

06-03-2016, 12:21 PM
Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness. A few miles down the loch on the other side is Foyers, site of Alastair Crowley's Boleskine House.


S.V. Airlie
06-03-2016, 12:23 PM
Ah, memories Isla! I wish I had done the canals there! Typical Scottish castle! Thanks!

Jim Bow
06-03-2016, 12:43 PM