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Archive for Waterways Holidays

January 22, 2018

Waterways Holidays expands choice of Classic Boats

Waterways Holidays is adding a beautifully restored wooden cruiser to its line-up of classic boats for 2018, making www.waterwaysholidays.com a one-stop shop for classic boat hire on Britain’s inland waterways.

The company now offers 50 different classic boats for holidays afloat, ranging from the 1897 Broads sailing yacht Zoe to the newly-refurbished Thames motor cruiser Claudette.

Claudette is a 1965-built 30 feet cruiser with a polished mahogany and oak interior, a retracting roof for sunny days and accommodation for two to five people. Following its refurbishment this winter it will be available to hire from the Oxfordshire village of Benson.

Claudette’s vintage charms are being updated to include a reversing camera and bow-thruster technology for easier manoeuvring.  While the boat is easy enough to manage, Waterways Holidays recommends previous experience of Britain’s waterways.

“It is 110 years since The Wind in the Willows was published,” says Nigel Richards, the company’s managing director.

“Kenneth Grahame spent his childhood beside – and often on – the Thames,” says Nigel, “and it is clearly Grahame’s voice as Ratty telling Mole ‘there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats’.”

A week’s hire of Claudette this season starts at £870, including initial damage waiver fee, tuition, buoyancy aids and car parking at the base during the holiday.  Just pay for fuel as used.

The diesel-powered boat also has warm air heating, a refitted galley and large shower and wc. A rear cabin has two single beds, which may be turned into a pull-out double and extra single, while the comfortable saloon can accommodate +2 by converting the seating. 21st century features include TV/DVD, DAB Radio/CD player, USB ports and quadrophic speakers.

—ENDS—

Release written and distributed by Beacon PR: 01572 748 800

Waterways Holidays’ spokesman is managing director Nigel Richards: 01252 796400

Waterwaysholidays.com offers live availability on more than 1800 narrowboats, cruisers and sailing yachts operated by the UK’s leading boat operators and with more than 80 different start locations.  The website offers advice on boating holidays as well as featuring listings of the latest special offers. Boating holidays in France and Portugal also available.

 

December 21, 2017

Coventry by Canal Boat with Waterways Holidays

The spotlight is on Coventry, Britain’s City of Culture in 2021, and a rewarding weekend destination right now, according to Waterways Holidays, which suggests hiring a narrowboat to gain an extra appreciation of the city’s contribution to our industrial heritage.

Coventry Canal Basin is at the head of the Coventry Canal, built in 1769 by famous engineer James Brindley. It connects with the Trent & Mersey, North Oxford, Ashby and the Birmingham and Fazeley canals, and played a vital role in getting goods from Birmingham to London for almost 200 years.

The Canal Basin survived the WW2 bombing, and today the Listed buildings around the Basin are full of cafes, restaurants and independent shops, making it a great base for a weekend. From here, it is only a six minute walk to the excellent Coventry Transport Museum and 12 minutes to the Cathedral – both the evocative ruins and the glorious new building.

An afternoon’s exploration along the Coventry Canal, perhaps branching off onto the North Oxford Canal, gives a sense of the city’s location in the heart of England, where quiet towpaths and canal-side pubs are waiting to be discovered.

In Spring 2018, a three-night rental of Dove Valley, a 58-feet long narrowboat, costs from £660 fully-inclusive of fuel, parking at base, instruction, loan of buoyancy aids and damage waiver. There’s also a welcome pack of essentials, including a bottle of wine.

Centrally-heated, and fully-equipped for self-catering, there are two cabins and two bathrooms (one shower) to comfortably accommodate two couples or a family, with convertible seating in the saloon for ‘plus two’.

 

Release written and distributed by Beacon PR: 01572 748 800

Waterways Holidays’ spokesman is managing director Nigel Richards: 01252 796400

 

Waterwaysholidays.com offers live availability on more than 1800 narrowboats, cruisers and sailing yachts operated by the UK’s leading boat operators and with more than 80 different start locations.  The website offers advice on boating holidays as well as featuring listings of the latest special offers. Boating holidays in France and Portugal also available.

December 13, 2017

Waterways Holidays answers First-timers FAQs

Waterways Holidays, the UK’s leading boating holidays agency, has answered the questions it is most often asked in a blog post titled Newbie’s Guide to Boating

Waterways Holidays introduced over 16,000 ‘newbies’ to boating holidays in 2017.  The company credits TV programmes like ‘Great Canal Journeys’ and ‘Celebrity Carry On Barging’ for bringing holidays afloat to a new audience, and predicts further growth for 2018.

“We speak to many people planning their first boating holiday on Britain’s waterways, and as a team of experienced boaters ourselves, we know the answers to pretty much all the questions a newcomer may have. We can also add guidance on the most suitable choice of location to match our customers’ holiday aspirations.”

The most common questions – and the answers – are:

  1. Do I need previous experience? No: full training is always given on arrival.
  2. How many people can a boat accommodate? Narrowboats sleep a maximum of 12 people.
  3. Can I bring a pet? Dogs are welcome on the majority of boats. Other pets may also be accepted. “We have even had a tortoise, and a duck!” says Nigel.
  4. How long is a narrowboat? Boat length ranges from 32-70 feet. We usually recommend sticking to 60ft for your first hire.
  5. What about home comforts? Radiator central heating, a TV/DVD player, and WiFi can be found on many boats.
  6. What about self-catering? A full kitchen has an oven, hob and grill, along with all the cutlery and crockery needed.
  7. What about power? A lot of boats will have 240 volt electricity supply, so mobile phones can be charged using a regular three-pin socket. Other boats have a 12 volt system, or USB charger point.
  8. What about showers and loos? Bathrooms contain a toilet, shower and sink.
  9. How fast does a boat go? The maximum speed is 4mph, but it is polite to slow down when passing moored boats.
  10. What is it like? Boating is all about slowing down, so take your time, relax and enjoy the experience.

Narrowboat hire in 2018 through Waterways Holidays starts at £355 for a three-night weekend.

01252 339023, www.waterwaysholidays.com

Prices and availability correct at date of issue.
Release written and distributed by Beacon PR: 01572 748 800

Waterways Holidays’ spokesman is managing director Nigel Richards: 01252 796400

Waterwaysholidays.com offers live availability on more than 1800 narrowboats, cruisers and sailing yachts operated by the UK’s leading boat operators and with more than 80 different start locations.  The website offers advice on boating holidays as well as featuring listings of the latest special offers. Boating holidays in France and Portugal also available.

October 9, 2017

Is the ‘Shroppie’ Britain’s Spookiest Canal?

Waterways Holidays, the UK’s leading boating holidays agency, reckons the Shropshire Union Canal is the most haunted in Britain, making a few days afloat a novel getaway for Halloween!

The canal runs for just over 66 miles from Ellesmere Port to Wolverhampton, winding through Cheshire, Shropshire and Staffordshire countryside and market towns. Ghostly sightings are well-documented, and the southern stretch, where the canal passes through moss-covered cuttings, beneath looming embankments are particularly atmospheric!

Chester is the place to spot the ghost of a Roman Centurion guarding the old Northgate at the point where the canal was cut into the city’s moat. Near Market Drayton the ghost is heard rather than seen, with many stories in the canal community of a ‘shrieking spook’ at Betton Cutting. Sadly, a more ‘modern’ ghost has been spotted at Little Onn in Staffordshire, where an American pilot crashed his plane beside the canal.

At Tyrley Middle Lock, near Market Drayton, a friendly ghost is said to help out late-night boaters by pushing the lock gates shut after the narrowboat has passed through.  As cruising after dark is no longer permitted, the ghostly lock-keeper now has little work to do!

The ghastliest ghost is certainly the monkey-like beast – or man – who lurks around Bridge 39, a bridge constructed in 1832 close to Norbury Junction. The ‘monkey man’ is said to be the ghost of a drowned boatman, with one of the earliest documented sightings in 1879.

More recently, in the 1980s, a family on a narrowboat holiday was preparing lunch in the galley while dad stayed at the helm. When he steered the boat under Bridge 39 he looked up to see a “huge black hairy monkey” staring back at him! He shouted, but by the time the family came up on deck, the boat had passed through and there was nothing to see.

Waterways Holidays can suggest half a dozen different start points on the spooky Shroppie, with – for example – a four-night hire of a narrowboat called Python from Norbury starting 30 October costing as little as £645. The 56-feet long narrowboat can sleep up to six people at maximum occupancy and is equipped with everything needed for a self-catering break afloat. Except a ghost-buster!

01252 339023, www.waterwaysholidays.com

 

Prices and availability correct at date of issue.

Release written and distributed by Beacon PR: 01572 748 800

Waterways Holidays’ spokesman is managing director Nigel Richards: 01252 796400

 

Waterwaysholidays.com offers live availability on more than 1800 narrowboats, cruisers and sailing yachts operated by the UK’s leading boat operators and with more than 80 different start locations.  The website offers advice on boating holidays as well as featuring listings of the latest special offers. Boating holidays in France and Portugal also available.

September 25, 2017

October Half Term on England’s Canals

Waterways Holidays, the UK’s leading boating holidays agency, is highlighting the Heart of England for October half term holidays afloat, with breaks from £696 for a family of four.

Napton-on-the-Hill in Warwickshire is a pretty village with a church, two pubs, a village store and cafe. It is also a major waterways junction where the North and South Oxford Canals meet with the Grand Union Canal.

“Napton is a fantastic start point with a big choice of routes, and a range of narrowboats to suit both small and extended family groups,” says Waterways Holidays’ managing director Nigel Richards.

Even a short break of three or four nights offers a choice. Head west along the Grand Union Canal to elegant Leamington Spa and historic Warwick; take a cruise through rural scenery on the North Oxford Canal to visit the market town of Banbury, or head east to Braunston then decide whether to follow the Leicester arm of the Grand Union Canal north, or head south into rural Northamptonshire, stopping at canal-side pubs along the way.

AS AN EXAMPLE OF PRICE, a three-night break at half term on a Princess Class 4 narrowboat costs from £696 for a family of four (with convertible seating sleeping +2 if wanted). The boat is well-equipped with central heating and WiFi and prepared with everything needed for self-catering, including bedding/linen and towels. Hire includes initial tuition, car parking at Napton, loan of buoyancy aids and damage waiver; just pay for fuel as used during the cruise.

In a full week’s ‘self-drive’ narrowboat holiday, families can travel out and back towards historic Stratford to the west, or south through Oxfordshire, or head to Northampton and the nationally-important Waterways Museum at Stoke Bruerne.

The circular ‘Warwickshire Ring’ is also possible, linking Grand Union with the North Stratford Canal, the Birmingham and Fazeley, the Coventry and the North Oxford canals to make an energetic route with a host of great sights along the way.

A WEEK’S HIRE of a Princess Class 4 narrowboat (sleeping four) from Napton on Saturday 21 October, costs from £1040, including all the benefits listed above.

01252 339023, www.waterwaysholidays.com
Release written and distributed by Beacon PR: 01572 748 800

Waterways Holidays’ spokesman is managing director Nigel Richards: 01252 796400

 

Waterwaysholidays.com offers live availability on more than 1800 narrowboats, cruisers and sailing yachts operated by the UK’s leading boat operators and with more than 80 different start locations.  The website offers advice on boating holidays as well as featuring listings of the latest special offers. Boating holidays in France and Portugal also available.

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