If you have ever been aboard a narrow boat or canal barge and experienced the leisurely slow pace at which they travel up and down the peaceful stretches of canal around England, then you will understand why so many people choose one of these watercraft as their vacation vehicle. Cargo vessels were the forerunners of the modern canal barge and they travelled the canal waterways long before the railways came along. Nowadays the most up to date barges have all the modern facilities you could ever dream of! With a fully fitted kitchen, static beds, showers, toilets and heating to keep their guests warm even in the coldest of winters. Experience for yourself the thrill of travelling through long, dark tunnels, encountering locks that must be carefully negotiated and gliding sedately over aqueducts that can be as high as 120 feet off the ground!
The hulls of these slow moving beauties could be coated with a Thermal Plasma Spray by a company such as https://www.poeton.co.uk/advanced-treatments/apticote-800-thermal-plasma-spray/ to help stop them becoming rusty due to the long exposure to canal water. The effortless way in which these boats glide through the tranquil canal waters at no more than four miles an hour could be a reason why these leisurely holidays are described as “The quickest way to slow down”. If you have never been on a canal boat vacation before and fancy trying your hand at negotiating the locks and tunnels for yourself, why don’t you start with a weekend away? This short but sweet introduction to life on the waterways could be the start of much longer, adventurous weeks away, as you travel the canals of England or maybe Ireland.
There are many tried and trusted routes that you could choose to travel on your narrow boat or canal barge, the Cambridge Waterways is one of the favourites for beginners as it has very few locks to negotiate and takes you through some beautiful, rural landscapes, ideal for a novice captain and crew. Or if you want something a little more adventurous then how about the Grand Union canal? This direct scenic route goes between The Oxford Canal at Braunston to the River Thames in London. Slowly cruising alongside rolling countryside with a patchwork of green fields, quaint villages and superb pubs. No wonder this style of holiday is becoming more and more popular with every generation, ethnicity and gender.