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Top UK canal boat locations to visit

2nd September 2019

Looking for the best location for your next canal boat holiday? Whether you want to embark on the waters to visit the scenic wonderland of the Welsh countryside, enjoy a family day out at Cadbury World with the kids, or experience culture in the heart of Edinburgh, our guide on the best locations to visit while on your narrowboat holiday has you covered. From the best canals in the UK to things to do in each city, learn more now.

best canals in uk

Best canal boat holidays in the UK

1. Chester

What better place to stop off than somewhere that can cater to animal lovers, historians and lovers of picturesque countryside all in one city? Chester is a fantastic place to visit, and one of the most famous canals in the UK for action-packed adventure for the whole family.

chester canal


Not only this, but you’ll be able to discover a wealth of Roman history along the way. All of these exciting things to do in Chester are available while cruising along our Chester and return canal route.

2. Stratford-Upon-Avon

stratford canal

Incapsulating culture in the heart of a bustling city centre, Stratford is the home to Shakespeare, and the world-renowned Royal Shakespeare Theatre Company (RSC). Take a trip to the RSC and journey back in time with one of Shakespeare’s classic plays. And if you still haven’t got your culture and history fix, visit the birthplace of William Shakespeare himself – his house perfectly preserved in one of the quaint streets of Stratford-upon-Avon.

Alternatively, explore the city centre which boasts a wide number of charismatic pubs and restaurants, alongside a plethora of popular shops to browse. Stratford-upon-Avon can be reached from our Stratford and return canal route.

3. Birmingham

birmingham canal

And what better place to take the kids on your next canal boat trip than to the world of chocolate? Situated on the Birmingham and return route, any chocoholic’s dream is to venture in through the doors of the Cadbury World factory, taking in the chocolatey smell and learn about the history of chocolate (not to mention the chocolate samples, too!).

Yet, for those who don’t have as much as a sweet tooth, Birmingham’s Brindley Place is a located right on the canal – and a perfect spot to get off the boat and explore. Minutes away from Birmingham’s iconic central library, Brindley Place is home to a wealth of bars and restaurants – perfect for a canal boat holiday pit stop!

4. Edinburgh

edinburgh canal

Home to the world-famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Edinburgh Castle and Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh has a lot to offer – and is a great canal boat holiday location to visit. Whether it’s exploring the history of the castle or taking on the hilly walk up to Arthur’s Seat, the city is full of life – and ideal for couples, big groups or families to explore.

JK Rowling also has hinted her inspiration for Harry Potter comes from this iconic city – and restaurants and cafes in Edinburgh, such as The Elephant House and Spoon, are places she is said to have written parts of the novel in. Diagon Alley is also said to be influenced by the iconic Victoria Street in the heart of the city centre. Edinburgh can be reached on our Falkirk and return canal route.

5. Llangollen

llangollen canal

Want to escape to the Welsh countryside? Llangollen offers the opportunity to do just that – with the pull of a small town to capture your heart at the same time. Explore quaint pubs and countryside restaurants, all a stone’s throw away from the local village.

Horseshoe Falls, situated just outside of the Llangollen canal route stop off, is a weir on the River Dee which is perfect for admiring the stunning views of the Welsh countryside. If you enjoy a walk, the mile and a half walking route is an easy way to explore the local landmarks and surrounding wildlife. Visit Llangollen on our Llangollen and return route.

Browsing for more of the best canals in the UK for your next trip? Whether you’re searching for scenic canal routes, canal routes for beginners or the best family narrowboat holidays, ABC Boat Hire have you covered. Get in touch with a member of our expert team today for more information on the best canals in the UK today.

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