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1 minute ago, Chris Welch said:

What is the best guide to get for the canal network?  

Thanks in advance. Chris

 

For what purpose? Each set of guides have their strengths and weaknesses. For some people a simple map might be all that is needed. for others the guies on the CaRT website will suffice.

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If you are looking for  a 'guide to the network' then it could get quite expensive.

 

Each guide tends to cover one or two waterways only so you could be looking at buying 10 or 20 guides.

 

Where are you looking to cruise ?

Just buy that guide initially and then as your area expands, buy the next book,

 

I prefer Pearsons :

 

Pearson's Canal Companions - Official Website (jmpearson.co.uk)

 

 

 

Screenshot (374).png

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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As a bit of a map nerd I use three different systems. 

 

For finding mny way as we cruise along I use the Nicholson's guides - they are based on OS maps so you can clearly see where you are and what is immediately around you.

 

I use Pearson mostly for it's quirky, amusing and informative text about the places you are travelling through - I don't find them much use for navigation.

 

Finally we have the online waterways guides (www.waterwayroutes.co.uk). These are much the best for up to date details on services and particularly on mooring places. You can get regular updates, each month if you want. We tend to do an annual update at the start of our season.

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We initially ( 20+ years ago) bought a couple of Nicholson's guides, but soon switched to Pearson's because of their clearer mapping and good ancillary information.

We don't use on-line guides as we don't have a computer on the boat.

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29 minutes ago, John Wareing said:

I use Pearson mostly for it's quirky, amusing and informative text about the places you are travelling through - I don't find them much use for navigation.

 

I find that (like with trains and railways) there is not a lot of navigation to do on the canals, you simply go where the canal goes to.

The branches / junctions, bridge numbers and lock numbers / names are shown in the Pearsons so no chance of getting lost.

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The waterway routes app sits on an old iPad which stays on the boat.

 

Obviously both Pearson’s and Nicholson’s will tell you where you are and there’s not much chance of getting lost. But for example, Nicholson’s had enough mapping to show us a footpath into a little local nature reserve which 2 weeks ago was full of bluebells. You can’t get that from Pearson’s unless he tells you it’s there.

  • Happy 1
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I like Pearson's as something interesting to read but find Nicholson's better for navigation for three main reasons:

 

1. North is always at the top of the page which, for me, makes it easier to follow.

2. The maps are real maps (OS-based), not drawings.

3. The ring binding makes them easier to handle whilst on the move 

 

Worth checking Amazon or eBay for good condition used copies. Can be significant savings, especially if it's an earlier edition. Might not be bang up to date but most stuff won't have changed and the stuff that might (e.g. pubs) can't be relied on even in the latest version. I would always check the WWW for such things anyway.

 

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1 hour ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

I find that (like with trains and railways) there is not a lot of navigation to do on the canals, you simply go where the canal goes to.

The branches / junctions, bridge numbers and lock numbers / names are shown in the Pearsons so no chance of getting lost.

 

The CRT web site has its own schematic maps for every waterway. Beyond that, there is a lot to be said for a subscription to Ordnance Survey online mapping (£20 a year).

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2 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

I find that (like with trains and railways) there is not a lot of navigation to do on the canals, you simply go where the canal goes to.

The branches / junctions, bridge numbers and lock numbers / names are shown in the Pearsons so no chance of getting lost.

The only boating area I've found sufficiently complex to need a proper map to get my head around is the BCN. I use Nicholson's as I'm used to the OS 1:25,000 mapping from tramping around the countryside and up hills. For the tidal river Trent and Ouse, I use the Boating Association guides as well.

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10 minutes ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

The only boating area I've found sufficiently complex to need a proper map to get my head around is the BCN. I use Nicholson's as I'm used to the OS 1:25,000 mapping from tramping around the countryside and up hills. For the tidal river Trent and Ouse, I use the Boating Association guides as well.

 

Agreed, in the 'old days' I taught orienteering at international Scouting Jamborees using 1" and 6" to the mile maps. It was there I first came across the Metric compass with 400 degress instead of the usual 360 degrees. That was confusing.

These days for hiking I use my GPS 'SatMap' with Platinum SD cards giving 1:10,000, 1:25,000 and 1:50,000. The 1:10,000 is 'street level' and if you zoom in further it almost gets you down to invidual house gardens.

How things have changed.

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14 hours ago, IanD said:

You can also use OpenCanalMap on your phone, free and useful.

I prefer the Nicholson books, though the above software is good. I did buy a piece of software, the name of which escapes me, which was excellent, it had an up to date list of blockages and problems. I'm trying to locate the programme again, but since I have changed phones and tablets since I sold the boat it's proving difficult to find. I'll come back here when I locate it.

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8 minutes ago, manxmike said:

I prefer the Nicholson books, though the above software is good. I did buy a piece of software, the name of which escapes me, which was excellent, it had an up to date list of blockages and problems. I'm trying to locate the programme again, but since I have changed phones and tablets since I sold the boat it's proving difficult to find. I'll come back here when I locate it.

Opencanalmap shows up-to-date stoppages and problems. And it's free ?

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As a map addict I end up with multiples.

 

my Favourite maps in terms of showing what’s where are the waterways routes ones.

 

the pdf versions on iPad and old Android tablet (as well as laptops etc) I also print them out and pop in a folder.

 

I find the maps in the Nicholson’s  guides not so easy to read, eye site not so good especially in poorer light and the blue text is harder to read. But I like how they are overlaid onto OS maps

 

i like the Heron maps as you get the route on a fold out map , so you get a good overview. But I find the symbols fit lots of things small and unclear Less useful if looking at whilst at the helm though.

 

if you want an overview of the network, the online CRT map is fine. And there are paper ones from Heron, Nicholson’s and Imray (among others)

 

In find Open Canal Map ok, but lacks things like a search, the display can be clutttered and unclear

Edited by Galoka
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1 hour ago, buccaneer66 said:

Surely you only needs one guide book, this one.

 

51wrZtIgSlL._SX250_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

 

Or similar

Agreed, if only it was updated.

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