We are delighted that Channel 5 are running this new canal documentary with celebrities exploring the waterways and discovering the history along their journeys. Here are the summaries as provided by the RadioTimes
Episode 1 Bill Oddie, Jennie Bond, Anne Diamond and Pete Waterman travel along three of Britain’s most famous waterways. They begin on the Leeds and Liverpool canal, for a journey along the longest single canal in the UK. After getting to grips with their barges, they visit the model village at Saltaire and discover how a mill that was one the largest textile factory in the world has been reinvented as an art gallery and hi-tech production line.
Episode 2 Travelling along the Leeds and Liverpool canal, Bill Oddie, Jennie Bond, Anne Diamond and Pete Waterman eventually leave Yorkshire behind them and head into Lancashire. Pete and Anne discover a Polish war memorial and learn about the role canals played in the Second World War. Bill goes in search of an elusive kingfisher, while Jennie walks in Charlotte Brontë’s footsteps. Later, Anne samples a Fat Rascal, Pete tries to turn Bill into a steam engine nut and the entire quartet disappear into the dripping darkness of Foulridge Tunnel, where they find out about a famous cow who once swam it.
Episode 3 Bill Oddie, Jennie Bond, Anne Diamond and Pete Waterman cross Scotland from the west coast to the east on its oldest canal, the Forth and Clyde. On their way, they learn about the role Clydesdale horses played on the waterway and find out how pleasure boats began to use the canal in the late-1800s, transporting people out of the city to the countryside on day trips.
Episode 4 On the second part of the Scottish leg, Bill Oddie, Jennie Bond, Anne Diamond and Pete Waterman join the Glasgow and Edinburgh Union Canal, rising lock, stock and barge up the Falkirk wheel before heading east. Anne and Jennie encounter the ghost of William Burke – of Burke and Hare fame – as they travel through the Falkirk tunnel, which he helped build as an Irish navvy. Pete goes digging for industrial treasure at an old railway terminus and Bill gets to look down on the birds for once as the barges take to the air on the longest aqueduct in Scotland.
Where to Watch? You can watch this broadcast on Friday nights (8:30 or 9pm) on Channel 5, or catch up on My5
Whether or not you are a celebrity, you can have your own adventure discovering the history around the waterways. If you are new to narrow boating, or already know you love it, we’d be delighted to welcome you aboard with Long Term Narrowboat Hire and show you the ropes! Perhaps you can even make your own documentary along the way!
If you’re considering cruising down one of the UK’s beautiful inland waterways for your next holiday, then look no further.
Whether you want to relax and take in constantly changing views of the British countryside or spend your afternoons spotting a variety of Britain’s birds, then there’s no better way to do it than from the comfort of a canal boat. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next destination, we’ve done the research for you and come up with our top 10 UK canals. Article from Owatrol Coatings UK.
1) The Cheshire Ring
Head up to the north west of England and spend a week cruising this circular canal route.
At just under 100 miles long, there’s no chance of you getting bored! You’ll pass through a variety of different landscapes, from the metropolis of Manchester city centre to the magnificent landscape of the Peak District. What’s more, you’ll be able to spend time spotting the variety of different types of wildlife which call this canal their home.
Plus, as you start and end your journey at the same place, there’s no need to worry about pick-up and drop-off of cars.
2) Kennet and Avon Canal
This is our top pick for lovers of the English countryside.
As you cruise along this 87-mile long canal, you can soak in the views of traditional villages and open countryside. You’ll pass through the Cotswolds and get the chance to visit one of England’s most beautiful cities, Bath, by boat.
There are also a number of pubs dotted along the canal, including one which used to be a 12th-century monastery, so there are plenty of opportunities to stop and admire your canal boat, with a chilled drink in your hand.
3) Oxford Canal
If gliding from one pub to the next down a gentle waterway sounds like your idea of heaven, then the Oxford Canal is the one for you.
Add to this the opportunity to wind through beautiful landscapes from your starting point in the historic city of Oxford and that is why this canal came in at our number 3 spot.
Keep an eye out for endangered wildlife, including the European water vole.
4) The Grand Union Canal
The UK’s longest canal, the Grand Union Canal is a unique way to see London.
As you cruise along this canal, you will pass through the heart of the capital, then on up to Birmingham through rolling countryside and tranquil villages.
If you choose to travel along this canal, you won’t need to make a choice between city and country, as you can have both!
5) Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal
If you’re a nature lover, this canal could be your ideal choice for a summer getaway.
With 35 miles of countryside to cruise along, through the Brecon Beacons National Park where you can admire stunning views of the mountains from your boat, you’ll always have something beautiful to look at.
Plus, as there are electric narrowboats to hire, rather than diesel and the speed limit is only 2mph. Compared the normal 4mph, you can spend more time admiring the special landscape which surrounds you, in peace.
6) The Llangollen Canal
If you have a head for heights, then this is the canal for you.
Part of the journey includes passing over the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, which crosses the River Dee. At 38 metres high and no barrier on one side, you’ll get beautiful views of the valley, if you can bear to look. Some say that you will feel as if you are floating above the earth.
You’ll also cruise through the picturesque countryside and get to see a steam railway. Sounds good to us!
7) The Lancaster Canal
If your idea of a canal trip includes relaxation in complete tranquillity, then look no further than the Lancaster Canal.
You won’t be far from the sea when meandering along this canal, so you can spend your time spotting a real variety of wildlife.
Even better, it’s 41 miles of lock-free cruising, so you can just sit back and relax. That’s the longest lock-free stretch of manmade waterway in the UK.
8) Worcester & Birmingham Canal
If you’re after a city break, there’s no what better way to see Birmingham than from the water. Enjoy the contrasting cityscape of old factories next to modern bars from the comfort of your canal boat.
Moor at Gas Street Basin and enjoy Birmingham’s range of museums and restaurants. Or why not go for a night out at the theatre?
What’s more, Birmingham boasts more miles of canals than Venice. You can’t say fairer than that.
9) Forth & Clyde and Union Canals
No ‘top UK canals’ list would be complete without a visit to Scotland.
The Forth & Clyde and Union canals go all the way from Glasgow to Edinburgh and include three aqueducts and a whole load of beautiful Scottish countryside in-between.
There’s also a rotating boat lift, the Falkirk Wheel, which has to be seen to be believed.
10) The South Pennine Ring
Last on our top 10 UK canals list, is the South Pennine Ring.
Cross through the Pennines on a 70-mile circular route, taking in the breathtaking scenery as you go.
As well as the wonderful views, you’ll also get to pass through the famous Standedge Tunnel, the UK’s longest canal tunnel at just over 3 miles long. This tunnel also boasts more than its fair share of highs and lows, as it’s 636 feet underground at its deepest and 643 feet above sea level at its highest point.
Beware though, there are a whopping 197 locks to navigate on this route! It does make it ideal for more experienced canal enthusiasts who are looking for a challenge though.
Britain has over 2,000 miles of navigable inland waterways to suit all holiday requirements. Whether you’re looking for a city break on the Worcester & Birmingham canal or a hair-raising experience boating over the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, we can assure you that you will not be disappointed.
This article was written for the Otwatol Coatings (who manufacture boat paint) and can be found here on their website. We are delighted to see that our home base ranks highly and that that you can navigate to all these spectacular canals from the comfort of you Long Term Narrow Boat Hire with us!
Although the traditional Holiday Hire companies close for business over winter, here at Long Term Narrowboat Hire we hire all year – through all the seasons. Yes the winter months are colder in Britain, but if you are wanting a taste of real life aboard then this is the perfect way try it out. Hire in the colder months much lower than in the summer. All the boats have central heating and log burners so you can keep your boat as warm as you want it!
The canal can freeze if the temperate falls low enough for long enough, but usually defrosts quickly. You may be iced in for a day or so, just as you might get snowed in, but this is real boating. The canals are so very peaceful at this time of year. If you need to slow down and find yourselves again, this could be the adventure you’ve been waiting for.
Thinking os a life afloat? Contact us to discuss your plans and we will help steer you along your way!
Beat the January Blues by planning a new adventure aboard your “own” narrowboat. With grey skies above and the Christmas festivities over, we look to the new year and start thinking about things that we have always wanted to do. Have you ever thought about buying your own boat and cruising the British Waterways? But what if you only want to do this for a few months or so? Perhaps you have recently retired and want a complete change for a while?
Here at Long Term Narrowboat Hire we have the perfect stepping stone solution that will either give you the adventure you are looking for, or help you make up your mind to buy your own boat! We hire for a minimum of a month to however long you require. We are designed so that you can have your own boat and live aboard without the hassle of buying and selling or insuring and licensing. We take care of everything, and then the boat is yours to have as your own, and cruise where you want. We will instruct you in everything you need to do whilst aboard, but of course we are just a phone call away if you need help and advice.
Our boats are painted in the stylish blue livery and have many comforts aboard including full kitchen with washing machine. They are designed to be your home from home, so whether you are taking an extra-long holiday or seeing if you love the life afloat, we have made long term hire affordable and easy.
To find out more about availability, pricing, or just for a chat do please contact us.
Ok, so all life carrying craft are traditionally female, but The Squire, The Count and The Laird are named with masculine titles. And don’t they look handsome in their beautiful blue coats? We are pleased that they are popular and already on their way investigating the British Waterways.
Sometimes you may want to try a completely different life and escape from the rat race. Perhaps go completely off grid and give yourself time to relax away from all the political dramas that continue to dominate lives. A few months afloat may even see us awake after Brexit! Who knows. What we can be sure of is that the stunning countryside will still be here to explore and we are delighted to welcome people from England, The British Isles, Europe, Asia, Africa Australia, New Zealand, America… yes you name it we’d be delighted to welcome you aboard! Life afloat is set at a different pace, allowing you to unwind and slow down to an enjoyable pace cruising your boat wherever you like.
If you think that you want to sell up and live aboard, then hiring for a few months with us may answer all your questions. If you have just retired and want a complete change for a while (but still want to be able to see the grandchildren occasionally), come aboard. If you want to tour Britain, but want an adventure that doesn’t involved carting your luggage from hotel to hotel, then this is ideal!
We have been enjoying the Canal Boat Diaries documentary currently showing on the BBC. If you would like to get a real taste for life afloat and all the wonderful characters you may meet then catch up on BBC iPlayer (available for the next 28 days).
Introducing our most recent member of the fleet, “The Count”, which joins our other two narrowboats The Squire and The Laird.
The Count is a 56ft standard layout narrowboat with the bedroom at the back of the boat, and the kitchen and dining area at the bow. There is a huge lounge with dining table and armchairs making a long term hire aboard this narrowboat a comfortable and homely experience. We are currently refitting the count ready for November, so if you are interested in hiring any of the fleet please do email us or fill in the contact form.
Living aboard any moving home allows you to explore much further. Be it a camper van or canal boat, you have the freedom to travel to new places and experience the beauty and individuality of each place before moving on. Unlike a camper van, being aboard a narrowboat gives you a totally different aspect of life. You can moor up anywhere you find space and so don’t need to locate a campsite. Then you are ready to explore.
On a normal holiday afloat you would probably spend a week travelling perhaps 30 or 40 miles, and then returning to your hire base. A lovely break but sometimes you are not ready to go home! If you fancy seeing much more of our wonderful country then hiring longterm is an ideal way to achieve this without all the hassle and cost of buying your own boat. And what an adventure you could have! From the beauty of the Llangollen in Wales, across to Chester, down to Stratford, through Oxfordshire, all around London, along the Great West Way starting at Windsor and travelling to Bath and Bristol…. basically if it’s on the connected waterways you could go!
Introducing our latest addition to the fleet, The Laird, which will be cruising the waterways in early 2020 with its beautiful new paintwork. The photo below shows the Laird’s spacious cruiser stern but please follow the link to see all the information about our latest member of the Long Term Narrowboat Fleet.
The Squire remains popular, so much so that we decide to add to this fleet and acquired The Laird so that more people can live their dream and try the life ablaut for a while. Much interest comes from ex-pats who would like to return to England for a few months but not have to constantly impose on friends and family, or travel form hotel to hotel.
If you are thinking of hiring a boat for a while I would be delighted to chat to you about your plans and see if hiring with us would begin your adventure. Contact us for further discussions!
Many people ask “Do I have to return the boat to Heyford?”. Well we now have the option of renting The Squire ONE WAY for ONE MONTH, allowing you to travel between Heyford and Bradford on Avon, without having to do the return trip! Minibus transfer included to bring you back to your starting location and free car parking whilst you are on holiday with us.
This is ideal for EXPATS and visitors from abroad wanting to cruise England and have their own place for a while.
A very adventurous holiday with 100 locks over 100 miles of cruising.
Contact us if you would like to learn more about One Way Hire, or would like to discus renting the Squire for longer.
The Squire has been completely repainted and looks perfect, inviting you inside to view the rest of the makeover. Looking stunning in the classic blue with white sign-writing, a crisp and stylish look for our long term rental narrowboat.
If you are thinking of living aboard permanently and want to try out the lifestyle to confirm your decision, or if you would like to travel the British Waterways for a few months, then this is the ideal opportunity. If you are on holiday in England and would like your own mobile base on the water, instead of a camper van, then a longer hire of The Squire may be just what you need!
Many South Africans, Australians and New-Zealanders come on narrowboat holidays in the UK, but sometimes a week or two is not enough. To really enjoy the variation in seasons and meander through the ever changing British landscapes, a month or longer aboard The Squire will allow you to relax with your own cruising-base.
To discuss your plans or for a better idea of a long term holiday rental then please contact us for more information.