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Try a canal boat holiday this year for the ultimate in relaxation

Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  Photo Amsterdam by Jason Gullifer / CC BY-NC 2.0 

There is probably nothing more relaxing and romantic than a canal boat holiday and there are many excellent destinations to choose from, perfect for couples heading off on their own or families. When you head on a canal boat adventure, you are the captain and crew, allowing you to choose where to go and where to stop off along the way. 

Allow us to introduce you to three excellent locations, perfect to climb aboard and cruise away, while relaxing on deck and watching the passing parade onshore. It’s not all relaxation of course, as you also get fit as you head through each lock along the way. You will find that you operate some locks yourself, while others are operated by lock-keepers, but either way, it’s all part of the experience.

Canal boat holidays in the Loire Valley in France

The Loire Valley in France
Photo Châtillon-sur-Loire by Daniel Jolivet /CC BY 2.0

France has many options and destinations for a great onboard holiday and one of the most beautiful areas to visit is the Loire Valley.

Situated right in the heart of France, the region is well known for its superb gastronomy, making some perfect stopovers on a canal boat trip. One of the best canals to cruise is the Canal Lateral à la Loire, where you can spend your days puttering along the waterways, relaxing ashore with picnics in charming parks and gardens, or exploring the stunning architecture and quaint villages of the region.

England and the home of poet and playwright William Shakespeare

Stratford-Upon-Avon, U.K.
Photo Stratford-Upon-Avon by Freddie Phillips CC BY 2.0

Heading to England, what better destination for those interested in theatre and history than Stratford-Upon-Avon, home of William Shakespeare? In 2016, Stratford-Upon-Avon has been celebrating the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death with many events on offer.

The birthplace of Shakespeare is one of the most important cultural areas of Britain, offering many charming sights to see, including Shakespeare’s home, Anne Hathaway’s cottage and the famous Royal Shakespeare Theatre, where regular performances of the Bard’s famous works are on offer. The town also offers many guided tours where visitors can learn more about Shakespeare’s life and work.

According to Black Prince, you can actually moor your narrowboat right on the edge of the theatre, making it an ideal spot to stop over and tour the town. With the beautifully preserved architecture and lovely riverside views, nothing could be better.
Friesland, The Netherlands

The Netherlands – Land of canals and lakes

When visiting the Netherlands, Friesland is the perfect destination with its many lakes and waterways. 

The region is criss-crossed by several canals and rivers and is well known for the beautifully wild and untouched scenery along the way.

For stopovers, most towns or villages have a waterfront where you can moor your narrowboat and explore. Among these is Stavoren, the oldest town in the region - a fascinating spot, with its pastel-coloured houses reflecting on the water, its fishermen’s’ cottages and pretty, rustic farmhouses.

As the area is popular with the Dutch, the summer months see many festivals and events to enjoy and in general there is so much to do for the whole family in this charming region.

So this summer, why not hop on board and cruise away for the canal boat holiday of a lifetime?

Photo Friesland by Santi Molina/


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