Canal boat holidays UK: The best routes on waterways in the UK revealed

Holidays are currently on hold for Britons both in the UK and abroad. But that doesn’t mean Britons can’t plan for the future. And with more Britons than ever before planning a staycation getaway, a canal holiday might be the perfect option for those who don’t want to go camping or stay in a caravan.


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In fact, canal boats offer you the chance to live in luxury yet traverse some of the UK’s most scenic destinations in almost complete isolation.

For the moment, canal boat owners are not allowed to holiday on their boat, but can take short boat trips.

The Canal and River Trust (CRT) said: “You may undertake short boat trips only, avoiding the use of locks and any staff-operated structures if possible, providing that you do not stay away from home overnight and that you return to your home mooring (where you have one).

“This is based on current Government guidance.”

The CRT also said that people not living on their barge should not stay the night and return home on the same day.

Although a canal boat holiday is just a dream right now, here’s a list of the best waterway spots in the UK.

Brecon Beacons & Monmouthshire

The Brecon Beacons National Park is beautiful but not everyone likes a hiking holiday.

The alternative is the Beacons’ stunning waterway which offers incredible mountain views and the chance to gaze up at the stars in the evenings.

It does get cold, so do remember to bring plenty of warm clothing.

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To get to the historic city of Bath, you can go from Bradford on Avon on the Kennet and Avon Canal in Wiltshire.

The route passes some picturesque pubs which are perfect for a Sunday lunch.

Once in Bath, you can stop off and visit the Roman baths and some of the city’s shops and cafes.

The Avon Ring

The Avon Ring includes 109 miles and 131 locks.

The huge waterway covers some very historic sights including Worcester, Tewkesbury and Stratford upon Avon.

Oxford Canal

Oxford is home to one of the prettiest waterways in England.

And the South Oxford canal is also linked to the Thames and the Midlands, meaning that the possibilities are endless once you are on board.

The canal leads you past beautiful countryside villages, green scenery and some charming pubs.

Cheshire Ring

The Cheshire ring gives you the best of both worlds because you get the bustle of the city and the sleepy riverside villages.

You get to see the busy streets of Manchester and the rolling Pennines in one journey, without having to go back on yourself.

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