You can travel the country by plane, train, car, bike or caravan – but none compare to seeing the UK by narrowboat. There are over 2,000 miles of navigable inland waterways to choose from, all with their own secrets and hidden gems. Here’s why you simply can’t beat narrowboating as a mode of travel…
A unique view
Instead of a motorway service station or dingy railway station, narrowboating shows you a different side of cities and countryside alike. From their origins in moving goods to a more modern role as a calming leisure pursuit, the canals offer stunning views and scenic routes. What’s more, it’s all from your very own boat.
A more relaxed pace of life
You might think that narrowboating is a bit of a slow way to see the country – but you’ll soon relax into the more sedate pace – and before long you won’t want to go back to speeding around the country at all!
Travelling at narrowboat speed will let you savour and enjoy the countryside, your surroundings and, especially, the company. It lets you catch your breath and get away from the modern world for a bit.
We live in an increasingly isolated world, with people enclosed in their cars and houses, and engrossed in their smartphones. Narrowboating gives back some of the community spirit that we’ve left behind in much of modern life. From canal side pubs to friendly marinas and bustling quaysides, you’ll find plenty of like-minded people amid your fellow travellers.
The canals are inextricably linked to the industrial revolution – and as such you can’t travel a mile down a canal without encountering a piece of living history.
Whether it’s historic pubs, locks and aqueducts or rapidly expanding suburbs and cities, narrowboating will take you on a journey through time and show you how far the waterways, and the world around them, have changed. Heritage areas like Gloucester Docks and the Llangollen Canal are among the most beautiful, and historic, and again, all seen from your own boat.
There are few better ways to arrive in a city than by water. No park and ride, no gridlocked traffic – you can glide into the centre of some of Britain’s most vibrant cities in style.
Birmingham, for instance, is undergoing a ‘waterway’ renaissance – and is close to having more miles of canal than Venice! If you need other stops, take in some Shakespearean theatre with a mooring next to the theatre in Stratford upon Avon, or how about heading for Manchester – with its great shopping and entertainment venues?
Near the top of the list has to be Bath, another historic town to visit by boat, and you can step off your narrowboat right near the centre of this great Roman city – with a cosy floating home to return to when your feet begin to ache.
Whatever you plan to use your narrowboat for, make sure it’s fully insured. Give Insure4Boats a call today for unbeatable savings on narrowboat insurance.