Canal boat holidays in UK to restart on July 4 – here’s why they’re the ‘perfect getaway’

Canal boat holidays are back on the cards for Britons from July 4. Like campsites, caravan and holiday parks, canal boat companies have been forced to put their businesses on hold since the coronavirus lockdown began in March. This week, the government announced that staycations will be allowed in England from July 4.


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While many Britons are taking the chance to book breaks at caravan parks and campsites, a canal boat holiday might just offer British tourists something a bit different.

Waterways and wellbeing charity Canal & River Trust and Drifters, a consortium of hire boat companies, are urging people to take a voyage of discovery around the nation’s canals and rivers this summer.

Lazily drifting down a river or waterway this summer may give Britons the chance to feel as though they’re riding a gondola in Venice.

The charity believes that UK-based hire boats offer a safe and relaxing staycation, with everything holiday-makers need to get away from it all.

Richard Parry, chief executive at Canal & River Trust, said research suggests that being by the water makes you happier.

He said: “Research shows that simply being by the water makes people feel happier.

“As lockdown measures ease and allow overnight stays away from home, what better way to see the countryside and soothe away the stress of the past few months than a cruise around the UK’s waterways?

“Hire boat holidays offer a perfect getaway while staying safe and avoiding international travel.

“Instead of a cruise round the Caribbean or the Med, now’s the perfect time to get aboard your own boat and discover the magic of the nation’s canals and rivers.”

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Nigel Stevens, Drifters director said that they also offer the best routes to people, even if they’re beginners.

He said: “Canal boat holidays offer self-contained, self-catering holiday accommodation and the chance to explore the British countryside afloat.

“We are looking forward to welcoming holiday-makers back and have introduced new procedures to ensure social distancing at our boat yards, as well as extra cleaning.

“A licence isn’t required to steer a canal boat and all our operators provide hirers with boat steering tuition as part of their holiday packages.

“For anyone thinking of taking a canal boat holiday for the first time, we can recommend the best routes.”

The Trust has also listed the best cruise rings in England.

From stunning landscapes to a rich heritage, these routes are some of England’s finest.

Number one on the Trust’s list is the Droitwich Ring which covers 21 miles and passes thigh 33 locks.

The route takes 16 hours and is the only one in Europe which can be completed on a short break.

Some of the highlights include the historic Spa town of Droitwich; the Hanbury flight of locks; and the beautiful City of Worcester.

Another favourite on their list is the Warwickshire Ring which is around 100 miles-long, passes though 94 locks, takes around 48 hours.

This is definitely a long route that is meant for a week to two-week break.

The beautiful waterway passes through some of England’s highlights which include the pretty canal village of Braunston and the city of Warwick.

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