With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, we believe there’s no better place to spend it than on our waterways. Life slows to a walking pace when cruising along these liquid highways that were once reserved for cargo vessels, so there’s no better way to spend some quality time with your loved one.
We’ve cumulated our pick of the most romantic waterways destinations that the UK’s canals have to offer. Where will you be visiting on February 14th?
1. The Llangollen Canal
The Llangollen Canal crosses the border between England and Wales and is like a living heritage museum. There’s a steam railway, a horse-drawn narrowboat and, nearby, the “stream in the sky” that is Telford’s famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.
Its combination of picturesque countryside and breath-taking engineering make it the perfect romantic spot. However, it’s probably not the best choice if either you or your partner are scared of heights!
2. The Lancaster Canal
The Lancaster Canal is one of the few coastal canals in the UK and hugs the coast so closely that you can see Morecambe bay’s shores. As well as beautiful coastal views, the canal also features some of the UK’s most impressive canal architecture.
Having spent most of its life in isolation, it really has developed its own unique character, offering 41-miles of lock-free cruising. This set up is perfect for spending quality time with your loved one rather than manoeuvring heavy locks!
3. The Peak Forest Canal
If wildlife is your thing, the Peak Forest Canal is the waterway for you. Widely considered to be one of the UK’s prettiest waterways, it runs alongside the scenic River Goyt and is a haven for plants and wildlife.
The canal also houses the spectacular Marple locks – one of the steepest flights in Britain. You can experience the beautiful countryside surrounding Marple Aqueduct by taking a 20-minute walk up to the towpath. This makes the Peak Forest Canal the picture-perfect place for a romantic stroll.
4. The Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal
The Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal is the ideal spot for a slower romantic cruise along a tranquil waterway. It’s one of the UK’s most peaceful canals, due to the (quieter) electric narrowboats that are available to hire.
The canal also has a speed limit of 2mph, rather than 4mph as with other canals, meaning you and your partner will have plenty of time to sit back and admire the Brecon Beacons.
5. Valentine’s Day Afternoon Tea and Cruise
If you really want to push the boat out (pardon the pun), the Canal & River Trust’s Valentine’s Day afternoon tea and cruise is a great way to treat your partner. You wrap up warm, cruise along the Shropshire Union Canal, enjoy a glass of prosecco and listen to a live commentary.
The day then finishes with afternoon tea at the Waterside Café in the National Waterways Museum – what more could you want from a romantic afternoon?