Top 5 canal boat experiences in the UK

21st October 2022

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 our list for beginner boaters, is the popular Lymm and return cruise from Anderton Marina. With a total of 3 nights and only 2 locks, this beginner friendly cruise has an average cruising time of only 7 to 9 hours per day. You will set off from Anderton Marina, a great place to head off as it gives you the chance to explore the local feature, the Anderton Boat Lift, and tick off one of the seven wonders of the waterway on your journey. The short leisurely route offers beautiful countryside views, tunnels to drift through and an aqueduct to admire. This cruise is also birthplace to Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice in Wonderland.

Top experience for enthusiasts

The grand ring from Aldermaston Wharf

For the boating enthusiast, the grand ring from Aldermaston Wharf requires at least two weeks to fully embark on this glorious rural and urban route through the southern waterways. You will sail through many charming towns and cities such as Banbury, Oxford and Leighton Buzzard as well as the River Thames and Oxford Canal. Packed with excitement and discovery you can expect to see two tunnels, several aqueducts and 198 locks. With many activities on the cards including bird watching, code cracking and rowing – this is the ultimate getaway for avid boaters. It is worth noting that you are required to show that you have a suitable amount of experience to undertake this route before you book.

Top experience for couples 

Bath and return from Hilperton Marina

This short, picturesque route from Hilperton Marina offers the perfect romantic getaway for couples. The historic city of Bath offers a variety of sights to explore such as Palladian mansions, Jane Austen and many chic shopping destinations. With plenty of places to wine and dine, this 3–4-night break offers the ideal haven for your next extended date night.

Top experience for families

Stourport ring from Alvechurch Marina

This popular one-week cruise through Britain’s industrial and cosmopolitan cities of Birmingham and Worcester from Alvechurch Marina is an ideal choice for families, with lots of exciting sights and attractions on offer for kids. Whilst exploring parts of River Severn and sailing through Birmingham’s canal navigations, you can find attractions such as the Sea Life Centre – an epic aquatic adventure land, or Thinktank – a thrilling science museum. Not to mention Cadbury World - an exciting chocolate filled day trip perfect for the whole family, on the Worcester and Birmingham canal route.

Top experience for pets

Monmouthshire and Brecon from Goytre Wharf

This hidden Welsh canal in the Brecon Beacons is the perfect scenic and tranquil escape for boaters with pets. Setting sail from Goytre Wharf, this water trail is accompanied by plenty of mountain views, open spaces, and sheep – a real breath of fresh air. This 7 night cruise is great for those who wish to bring their pets along as the route allows for complete tranquillity, with lots of locations along the way for your pets to run free to enjoy the blaze of colours that change with each season. If you’re considering taking your pet with you on a waterway adventure, you can read more about our top tips for boating with pets here. What’s more, here at ABC, we don’t charge any extra for pets although we do have some requirements which you can read all about here.

This a just a glimpse of the many routes we have at ABC Boat Hire. Take a look through the many locations you can explore with us or contact our helpful team today to find out more.  

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