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P_Est

Route suggestions (next June)

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7 hours ago, Captain Pegg said:

I think that post was just information in answer to a query. I have hired in various places over many years but other than one trip to the Kennet & Avon it’s all been centred around the narrow canals of the Midlands. To me those are the archetypal English canals. I note you have started a thread of your own on the subject. I often give a view based on my own experience and particularly in relation to questions regarding the Midlands canals on such threads. Your thread is broad so I have deliberately avoided throwing more suggestions in to the mix that are unlikely to help you make a decision.

 

JP

 

Thank you, JP. I see that that I posted incorrectly. I meant to ask the OP which route she chose and meant to reference your post about stern types in trying to find more boats with the Napton Narrowboat type stern.

6 hours ago, OldGoat said:

Napton NBs were the first and IIRC the only hire boats to have an extended cruiser stern in their range, but then they cater for large 'crews' on their boats.

When cruising I've never seen the whole 'company'  assembled on the rear deck at once! It seems to be split some on the foredeck and some at the stern.

However, for you a cruiser stern may work well. My vies of a semi-trad are different... (worst of both worlds - unless, again OK if the sides are replaced by lower railings - as they are on some of Napton's smaller boats. It's possible to sit on the seats without the sides catching your shoulder blades! 

Thank you, OldGoat.  I have seen some cruiser sterns with a narrow strip on the rail for sitting and that would be a fine option too.  The semi-trads with high sides do look uncomfortable.

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On 09/10/2018 at 19:10, P_Est said:

Hello everyone. I am looking for suggestions for a canal holiday next June.  We are from the United States, but we will be visiting family in London this summer.  I hired from the Wyvern Shipping company two summers ago in August. I was a solo adult with my then 11yo and 13yo children.  Thanks in part to the advice in this forum, we had a fantastic time for our four days --we didn't get very far (and had a few mishaps), but we enjoyed ourselves immensely and met a few lovely and friendly people along the way. We went north from Leighton Buzzard and did not quite get to Blisworth tunnel though if we had pushed ourselves harder, we might have made it.

 

I would like to return next summer. The kids will be even older (13 and 15) and thus even more able to help. Though honestly, even at 11 & 13, my kids actually grasped how to steer the boat and work the locks far more quickly than I did!  However, I am not entirely sure where to go. We would like to have more time since four days wasn't quite enough. I am thinking more like 7-10.  We enjoyed working the locks, but we don't particularly want or need a lot of them. Ahead of our trip, I thought we'd do a lot of eating at pubs, but we actually only ate out once. Instead, we cooked on the boat itself. Mostly, we just liked the gorgeous scenery and spending slow lazy time together as a family. Really we just read, chatted, played games, listened to music, went on a couple of walks, and watched the scenery go by. That plus learning to actually operate the boat was quite enough for our four days. Still, I do wonder if the kids might get bored during a 7-10 day trip and want some more variety beyond just cruising especially now that they will both be teenagers, but I don't really know. 

 

Anyway, having tried to do some research, I was considering the following canals:

  • Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal --seems very scenic and pretty with not too many locks
  • The Llangollen Canal --again seems scenic. From what I read, it will be busier than the others, but still pretty quiet in June.
  • The Lancaster Canal --I like the idea of seeing the sea shore from the canal. Is that true?

 

But I am very open to suggestions. Part of me would like to try the South Oxford or the Stratford-Upon-Avon Canal or The Union Canal in Scotland just because all three of those might let us see places that we would enjoy visiting like Oxford, the Royal Shakespeare Company and Edinburgh. But it sounds like they all might be harder to navigate and it might be difficult to find places to moor. We have almost a month in the UK and maybe it is better to keep the narrowboat portion of our trip separate from the city sight-seeing.

 

I don't really know what I am asking here except advice for choosing a route now that we are no longer quite novices but still aren't experienced narrowboaters. We loved it enough to do it again, but we don't really know where. Maybe a route that offers a few places to stop and explore, but we don't need a lot. And as a woman alone with two kids, I do want to feel safe and I'd like to hire from a company that will be helpful and friendly. Wyvern was really great. We could also just do Leighton Buzzard again under the theory if it worked well once, why not repeat. Thanks!

We are planning a narrowboat cruise for next June and are looking for some of the same things as you...beautiful scenery, enough locks to be interesting but not so many as to be a chore, and interesting things to do/see along the way.  There are a lot of great suggestions in this thread and I'm wondering what route you ultimately chose...

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looking at the preceding post -

The Mon and Brec is landlocked so you only have a choice of one hire company (?) and something makes me think yo can only moor in specific places

The Lancaster has no locks and isn't all that long

Minimal List has jus cruised / has yet to publish the last bit of the Llangollen - and it looks so different from when we were last there (many years ago) I'm tempted...

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27 minutes ago, OldGoat said:

The Mon and Brec is landlocked so you only have a choice of one hire company (?) and something makes me think yo can only moor in specific places

A quick online search has brought up 5 different hire companies. 

 

Castle Narrowboats -  https://castlenarrowboats.co.uk

ABC's Redline Boats - http://www.redlineboats.co.uk

Beacon Park -  https://beaconparkboats.com

Country Craft Narrowboats -  https://countrycraftnarrowboats.co.uk/index.html

Road House Narrowboats -  http://narrowboats-wales.co.uk

 

Castle Narrowboats have some full electric boats, they have hook up points along the canal so with those boats you would obviously have to moor at the hook up points but I think there's quite a lot of them. 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Tumshie said:

A quick online search has brought up 5 different hire companies. 

 

Castle Narrowboats -  https://castlenarrowboats.co.uk

ABC's Redline Boats - http://www.redlineboats.co.uk

Beacon Park -  https://beaconparkboats.com

Country Craft Narrowboats -  https://countrycraftnarrowboats.co.uk/index.html

Road House Narrowboats -  http://narrowboats-wales.co.uk

 

Castle Narrowboats have some full electric boats, they have hook up points along the canal so with those boats you would obviously have to moor at the hook up points but I think there's quite a lot of them. 

 

 

Apologies - reading too much into a video on U-tube (the contributor said you could only stop in certain places) I must have missed the fact that he had a 'leccy boat.

Sounds great (pun not intended)

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Just now, OldGoat said:

Apologies - reading too much into a video on U-tube (the contributor said you could only stop in certain places) I must have missed the fact that he had a 'leccy boat.

Sounds great (pun not intended)

The leccy boat does look quite fun to try. I rather fancy hiring on the Mon&Brec, it's such a beautiful area. 

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1 hour ago, Tumshie said:

The leccy boat does look quite fun to try. I rather fancy hiring on the Mon&Brec, it's such a beautiful area. 

Not more beautiful than The Pennines? ;) 

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27 minutes ago, smwhitaker said:

Not more beautiful than The Pennines? ;) 

I'm a bit like a kid in a sweetie shop when it comes to scenery, I get a little overwhelmed by busy noisy places but I do like to go visiting new places. 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Tumshie said:

I'm a bit like a kid in a sweetie shop when it comes to scenery, I get a little overwhelmed by busy noisy places but I do like to go visiting new places. 

 

 

I'm looking at photos of the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal now and the scenery really is lovely.  And Beacon Park Boats have some lovely boats for hire.  I have been seriously considering the Leeds & Liverpool canal. Should I consider this canal too?  Do you have any insights on each for comparison?

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14 minutes ago, smwhitaker said:

I'm looking at photos of the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal now and the scenery really is lovely.  And Beacon Park Boats have some lovely boats for hire.  I have been seriously considering the Leeds & Liverpool canal. Should I consider this canal too?  Do you have any insights on each for comparison?

The problem is there are so many lovely canals and they all have their own unique features and once you start to explore the possibilities they all look very inviting. This does not need to be the only canal holiday you ever have so you can have a canal holiday bucket list. :D

 

I used to go to Wales a lot when I was younger but I haven't been for a lot of years. The Mon & Brec is a very unique canal and not just because it's land locked from the rest of the network but because it's build quite differently from the other English and Welsh canals. A fair amount of it is build on a pretty elevated position that you don't see so often on the other canals. Like the north of England Wales was very Industrial and has a huge amount of history connected to that.  

 

I think the two canals will give you very different experiences, but whether one would be better than the other I'm not so sure. 

 

 

https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/canal-and-river-network/monmouthshire-and-brecon-canal

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monmouthshire_and_Brecon_Canal

 

There are quite a few narrowboaters who keep video diaries of their cursing and searching youtube brings up quite a few vids for the Mon&Brec. 

 

So much to explore and you haven't even left home yet. :D

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1 hour ago, Tumshie said:

The problem is there are so many lovely canals and they all have their own unique features and once you start to explore the possibilities they all look very inviting. This does not need to be the only canal holiday you ever have so you can have a canal holiday bucket list. :D

 

I used to go to Wales a lot when I was younger but I haven't been for a lot of years. The Mon & Brec is a very unique canal and not just because it's land locked from the rest of the network but because it's build quite differently from the other English and Welsh canals. A fair amount of it is build on a pretty elevated position that you don't see so often on the other canals. Like the north of England Wales was very Industrial and has a huge amount of history connected to that.  

 

I think the two canals will give you very different experiences, but whether one would be better than the other I'm not so sure. 

 

https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/canal-and-river-network/monmouthshire-and-brecon-canal

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monmouthshire_and_Brecon_Canal

 

There are quite a few narrowboaters who keep video diaries of their cursing and searching youtube brings up quite a few vids for the Mon&Brec. 

 

So much to explore and you haven't even left home yet. :D

Thank you, Tumshie.  I agree they do all look so inviting!  The UK canals are all too beautiful to choose just one!  We don't get to take big trips like this one very often so I want to choose wisely.  I am having fun with all of the research.  If you have any narrowboating video diaries of cursing, please send me the links ;) :D ;) 

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30 minutes ago, smwhitaker said:

If you have any narrowboating video diaries of cursing, please send me the links ;) :D ;) 

Fluddy spell checker :rolleyes:

 

:giggles:

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14 hours ago, Tumshie said:

I rather fancy hiring on the Mon&Brec, it's such a beautiful area. 

Here is the weather forecast for the Brecon area:

 

If you can see the top of the hills: it's going to rain.

If you can't see the top of the hills: it's raining already.

 

;)

 

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2 hours ago, Sea Dog said:

If you can see the top of the hills: it's going to rain.

As where I live it's rained constantly and incessantly since easter I'd love a day where it was only maybe going to rain. ?

 

Actually that's a lie, we've had maybe three days where it hasn't rained, it would have been nice if they had been three days all together. ?

Edited by Tumshie

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After my earlier gaffe - I thought best to do some research.

Most boater crash along from one watering hole to another - and then miss a lot of what's going on around the track.

From the scenic point of view there are loads of videos on Youtube  - so mebe have a look there.

FWIW on the M&B you are 'in the scenery'; on the L&L you look at the scenery from afar...  

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4 hours ago, Tumshie said:

As where I live it's rained constantly and incessantly since easter I'd love a day where it was only maybe going to rain. ?

 

Actually that's a lie, we've had maybe three days where it hasn't rained, it would have been nice if they had been three days all together. ?

Oh dear, I so feel your pain! Wet winter, wet summer, wet winter - it got so bad down here in Devon I dread to think how depressed I'd have been if we hadn't had that hot summer last year! (That said, we spent it cruising up around the Peak Forest Canal)

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8 hours ago, OldGoat said:

After my earlier gaffe - I thought best to do some research.

Most boater crash along from one watering hole to another - and then miss a lot of what's going on around the track.

From the scenic point of view there are loads of videos on Youtube  - so mebe have a look there.

FWIW on the M&B you are 'in the scenery'; on the L&L you look at the scenery from afar...  

Well put, OldGoat.  I noticed that difference in watching videos of both areas.

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