Cruise Barge Canals in England and Wales – Episode 315

categories: europe travel

Cruise Barge Canals in England and Wales (Podcast)

The Amateur Traveler talks to Richard Graw about his experiences cruising the canals of England in a canal boat (or narrow boat). The canals traverse through tunnels, up staircases of locks, and even up over aqueducts.

Richard talks about the following 3 trips:

  1. First Trip (Shakedown Cruise):
    • Route: Started and ended on the Stratford upon Avon Canal, near Stratford-upon-Avon.
    • Duration: Approximately 5 days.
    • Experience: A beginner-level introduction to canal cruising for the speaker, undertaken with his grandmother. The trip focused on enjoying the leisurely pace and local interactions, particularly around pubs and small towns.
  2. Second Trip:
    • Route: From Langollen in the north of England to Marple, traveling east on the Langollen Canal.
    • Duration: 6-7 days.
    • Highlights: This trip featured more adventurous elements like crossing the famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, navigating through dark tunnels, and managing numerous locks.
    • Experience: This one-way rental allowed for new scenery daily, enhancing the journey through varied landscapes and historic mill towns.
  3. Third Trip:
    • Route: From Wooten Waven, just outside Stratford, along the Stratford upon Avon Canal to Warwick, and back.
    • Occasion: Celebrating the speaker’s parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.
    • Duration: Not specified, likely similar to previous trips.
    • Highlights: Included visits to significant locales like Warwick and its castle, offering both historical insights and beautiful town experiences.

General Experience of Canal Cruising:

  • Canal cruising in England is described as a very English pastime, providing a leisurely way to explore the countryside at three miles per hour. The experience is enriched by operating the boat through various locks and bridges and interacting with locals and other cruisers.
  • The narrowboats used are typically about 65 feet long and less than 7 feet wide, designed to fit the narrow canals and locks.

Overall, these trips offer a blend of relaxation, historical exploration, and physical activity, appealing to those looking to immerse themselves in the English landscape and heritage in a unique and intimate way.


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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

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