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Header photo credit: Canal & River Trust

What is the 'Stairway to Heaven' Canal Lock

Hatton Locks are located on a stretch of waterway known as the Grand Union Canal. The state-of-the-art locks were originally built in Hatton to fight off tough competition from the roads and railways. The Hatton flight of locks coined its local nickname, ‘Stairway to Heaven’, due to what workers felt was a hard ascent to the top of the steep Hatton lock flight, followed by relief with an easier jo...

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Things to do in Bath by canal

The City of Bath is a UNESCO world heritage site and is famous for it’s Roman Baths. Since the first century AD Bath’s been a top destination for holidaymakers. Relax in the hot springs, explore the city’s ancient history and Georgian architecture. In this guide, we’ll list our top picks of things to do in Bath by canal. Take in the water The Roman Baths With over 2,000 years of history the Rom...

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Top 10 Christmas narrowboat gifts for canal enthusiasts

With Christmas around the corner, it’s time to think presents. As some may thrive in the last-minute hustle and bustle of gift buying, some take on a more organised approach with a Christmas shopping list. We have compiled our top ten Christmas gifts all themed on narrowboats and canals which will make a wonderful gift for any boating enthusiast - to help you narrow down your search and make your...

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Top 5 canal boat experiences in the UK

Whether you are new to boating, an enthusiast looking to see some wonders of the waterway or simply want a UK family getaway – there is something for everyone. From pet friendly trips in a lush Welsh hideaway to a romantic canal cruise in Bath with fine dining and historic scenery, there are many canal routes to explore. Top experience for beginners Lymm and return from Anderton Marina First on...

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Halloween Canal Boat Holidays

Looking for a spooky break this Halloween? Here at ABC Boat Hire, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re interested in the stories of the many ghosts on the waterways or looking for Halloween fun activities for the family, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Famous ghosts on the canal The waterways are said to be home to lots of supernatural goings on, from Victorian ghosts, Roman centurion...

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A guide to canal boat etiquette

Just like the rules of the road, there are rules of the waterway that you should be aware of. In this helpful guide, we’ll explain some of the do’s and don’ts of canal boat etiquette to help you have the most fun on your boating holiday while avoiding any etiquette pitfalls. If it’s your first time on board a narrow boat – don’t worry! For all our bookings here at ABC Boat Hire, we’ll provide you...

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Boating at night - what you need to know

Can I drive a canal boat at night? If you own a canal boat, it is not illegal to drive your canal boat in the dark – however, if you are renting from a canal boat supplier, such as ABC Boat Hire, these hire boats are not permitted to be driven at night. Here at ABC Boat Hire, our boating hours are from dawn to dusk – meaning these times change throughout the year, depending on what time the su...

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A guide to narrowboats with a baby

Looking at booking your first family break with a new baby? If you’re researching holiday ideas with babies, you might be wondering what preparations you’ll need to take before you go away, or you might just be wondering if a narrowboat holiday is suitable for a baby. In this helpful guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about travelling on a narrowboat with a baby.     Can you take a...

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What's the difference between an aqueduct and a viaduct?

Aqueducts are structures that carry water and viaducts are structures that carry road or railway traffic. What is an aqueduct? Aqueducts are structures that carry a large quantity of flowing water across a valley or a hollow. They are artificial channels typically in the form of a bridge, often found on canals. It uses gravity to keep water moving from its source to its main distribution point....

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What is the longest canal tunnel in UK?

Standedge Tunnel is the longest, highest and deepest tunnel here in the UK. Situated beneath the Pennines, Standedge Tunnel is 5,210 meters in length and tunnels for over 3 miles. The tunnel originally took 16 years to construct and cuts through solid rock. Positioned at number four on the 7 wonders of the waterway, it’s a renowned narrowboat hotspot for avid boaters and a must-see for first-time...

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