The UK boasts an impressive selection of canal routes, all of which have their own unique qualities. We’ve selected the 5 best canal routes in the UK – let’s find out what separates them from the pack…

1. Kennet and Avon Canal

This is considered one of the most visually stunning canal routes in the UK. Despite the canal falling into disrepair during the early 1900s, it has been gradually restored over the years thanks to the creation of the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust in the early 1960s.

Originally built as a link between London and Bristol, this canal is tranquil and has plenty of quiet towpaths. It’s ideal for families looking for a quiet break and people who want plenty of options for their hiking trip.

2. Oxford Canal

The Oxford Canal has a bit of everything for people who enjoy cruising on their narrowboat. The route starts in the historic town of Oxford, where there are plenty of impressive sights and beauty spots.

Along the way, you’ll spot a number of impressive canal-side pubs and restaurants where you can take a break and relax.

This canal route is also renowned for being the home of a range of endangered wildlife, including the European water vole. You won’t find many more adorable creatures than this (Google “water vole” if you don’t believe us).

3. Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal

If you’re a nature lover, this is the ideal canal for you. Running through the Brecon Beacons National Park, this route contains some impressive sights, including the Black Mountains.

It’s also lined with beautiful ancient trees, which gives the route a burst of seasonal colour. One of these trees, the Giant Redwood, is believed to be more than 150 years old and, at 126 ft tall, is twice as tall as the average rugby goal post.

This canal is also a favourite among walkers and cyclists. The Limekins Trail is a must-visit if you like cycling, canoeing or woodland walks.

4. The Llangollen Canal

Widely regarded as one of Wales’ most picturesque canals, the Llangollen Canal provides a whole host of impressive sights, along with plenty of nature and wildlife. As soon as you enter this route, you’ll see mountains and impressive open natural areas all around you.

Part of this route also passes over the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, which is 38 metres high and passes over the River Dee. If you can handle looking down, you’ll certainly have some impressive views of the countryside around you.

5. Forth and Clyde Canal

The Forth and Clyde Canal flows from Glasgow to Edinburgh and boasts plenty of impressive countryside and nature along the way. Built for Scottish fishing fleets making their way between the east and west coasts, it’s notably more spacious than many other canals.

Where this canal flows through Glasgow, it’s easy to access pubs and restaurants and even walk along the city streets.

Furthermore, this canal offers a chance to engage in many activities, such as walking, running, cycling and fishing.

Find out more about the canal’s fascinating history by watching the video above.

Specialist narrowboat insurance from Insure4Boats

You need the right insurance in place before exploring any of these impressive routes.

At Insure4Boats, we offer specialist narrowboat insurance to suit your needs. Simply complete our simple online quote process and you will be fully covered. Then, you can spend more time enjoying the scenery and less time worrying about what you would do if the worst happened.