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June 6, 2018

Top 5 Lock-free Canal Cruises from Waterways Holidays

Waterways Holidays, the online booking portal and authority on holidays afloat, has chosen its top five routes for easy boating weekends on Britain’s canals.

“If you’re considering a narrowboat holiday but the idea of operating the locks is a little daunting, we can recommend weekend cruising routes that involve no locks at all,” says managing director Nigel Richards.

  1. Ashby Canal

This lock-free canal runs for 22 miles through scenic countryside and pretty villages. From the base at Stoke Golding places of interest within easy reach include the site of the Battle of Bosworth and the steam railway society at Shackerstone. Three nights’ hire starts at £720

  1. Lancaster Canal

This is a ‘contour canal’ which follows the line of the land so no locks are required along its 41 miles. A choice of bases means boaters may visit the City of Lancaster or lovely Morecambe Bay. A three-night weekend starts at £435

  1. Basingstoke Canal

A superb canal for wildlife lovers, with up to 25 dragonfly species to spot, crested grebe and other waterfowl plus water voles, and even bats which roost in the Greywell Tunnel.  Weekend hire from £590 For three nights.

  1. Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal

The ‘Mon & Brec’ arguably boasts the most picturesque views of Britain’s canal network, as it winds through the Brecon Beacons National Park. From the base at Goytre it’s lock-free cruising all the way to Llangyndir. A three-night weekend starts at £623

  1. Worcester and Birmingham Canal

Great for city sightseeing!  Moor in Gas Street Basin and explore the many attractions Birmingham has to offer, from the Sea Life Centre and Cadbury World to the amazing Library and the famous Bullring Shopping Centre. Weekend hire from £645 For three nights.

Further information and advice from Waterways Holidays on 01252 339023,


June 4, 2018

Peak season savings from Coastal Cottages of Pembrokeshire

Coastal Cottages of Pembrokeshire has announced savings on selected properties during the peak season weeks of July and August.

Deals include seven nights in The Snug – a cosy cottage on the edge of the Preseli Hills – now priced at £563, saving £141.  The property sleeps four in two bedrooms and has an open-plan living area which retains traditional features such as beams and white-washed stone walls.  The Preseli Hills are criss-crossed with extensive footpaths, cycle tracks and bridleways and, for a day out at the seaside, a 20-minute drive leads to Newport, with its sandy beach, shops, restaurants and galleries.

Situated in the unspoilt village of Landshipping and just yards from the Cleddau Estuary is Ivy Cottage, where a week’s peak season holiday now costs £1251, a reduction of £139.  This spacious property sleeps seven in four bedrooms and has a large open-plan living area with French doors leading onto a balcony overlooking the waterway.  A number of beaches such as Saundersfoot and Tenby are within a short drive and family-fun attractions close by include Folly Farm and Oakwood Theme Park.

Or, for large families or groups of friends, a peak season week in Skomer View – sleeping 10 in four bedrooms – is now priced at £1739, saving £92.  This spacious property enjoys glorious views over St Brides Bay and has a first floor sitting room with a glazed wall to maximise the view.  The beautiful sandy beach at Newgale – popular with surfers – is just two miles away.

Reservations:  01437 772760,

June 4, 2018

PGL Summer Camps: 50% off for First Timers

Since it was founded in 1957, hundreds of thousands of children have enjoyed A PGL ‘summer camp’ without their parents, trying out new activities and making new friends.

To encourage a new generation of kids to experience PGL for the first time, the company is now offering 50% off all its ‘First Timer’ multi-activity weeks this summer.

The offer – which must be booked by 18 June 2018 – saves up to £319 per child on a week-long residential stay.

Head of Holidays, Steve Hougham says “We understand it is a big thing for a parent to commit to their child’s first holiday away from home. But we know that children gain so much – especially in self-confidence – that it’s worth it, and this special offer makes the decision easier!”

All ‘First Timer’ holidays are just that: holidays exclusively for children who have not experienced PGL ‘unaccompanied’ before. Children who have been on a school trip or family holiday are eligible for the offer.

The half-price offer is on seven-night residential holidays on selected dates this summer at adventure centres in Surrey, Sussex, Wiltshire, the Isle of Wight, Devon, Dorset, Herefordshire, Shropshire and Lincolnshire.

Each is owned and run year-round by PGL, with trained staff taking care of everything from dawn to dusk – and beyond. Single-sex accommodation, all meals, activities every day, equipment, instruction and supervision are all included in holiday prices.

Specific examples of discount First Timer holiday weeks include:

Marchants Hill, Surrey: 4 Aug week for seven to 10 year olds was £639 now £319.50

Caythorpe Court, Lincs: 28 July & 4 Aug week for seven to 10 year olds was £639, now £319.50

Boreatton Park, Shrops: 18 & 25 Aug week for 10-13 year olds was £609, now £304.50

Liddington, Wilts: 11, 18 & 25 Aug week for seven to 10s or 10-13s was £609, now £304.50

Osmington Bay, Dorset: 21 July week for seven to 10s was £625, now £312.50

Little Canada, IoW: 18 Aug week for 10-13s or 13-16 year olds was £589, now £294.50

To take advantage of the offer, book by 18 June and take out PGL’s special activity holiday insurance (£27 per child).


0333 321 2114,

May 31, 2018

Loveboats: self-steer UK cruises just for two!

Waterways Holidays, the one-stop-online-shop for holidays on Britain’s inland waterways, is highlighting canal boats just for two: perfect for a romantic break or even a honeymoon with a difference!

In the country, a tranquil towpath mooring is easy to find, while canals also run through the heart of elegant towns like Bath, Stratford, Oxford and Chester.

“We have a great choice of boats suited for a couple looking to enjoy quality time in the country or city, with stunning scenery or historic sights, canal-side pubs and romantic walks,” says Nigel Richards, managing director of Waterways Holidays.

Couple-friendly boats available from Waterways Holidays include:

  • Casanova is aptly named! The 45-feet long boat has a romantic cabin with TV and luxurious king-sized bed, plus a welcome pack including wine and the option to have a supermarket shop delivered in advance. Based at Nantwich on the Middlewich arm of the Shropshire Union canal, there is a choice of cruising routes, with three-night weekends from £1007.
  • Bath2, based at pretty Bradford-on-Avon, an easy cruise from Georgian Bath. This 47-feet boat is cosy with double bed, two armchairs and folding table and chairs for indoor or outdoor dining. Three-night weekends start at £519.
  • Cheviot is a very traditional boat: colourful paintwork, a multi-fuel stove and a comfy sofa that pulls out to create the double bed, and a covered bow for indoor/outdoor living. This tiny boat – only 35 feet – based at Braunston on the Warwickshire/Northants border offers a classic, budget option with weekends from only £645.
  • Oxford is based at Sowerby Bridge in the heart of the Pennines. Honeymooners are welcomed with a bottle of champagne, and this comfy 42-feet long boat has a double bed and plenty of space, with armchairs in the saloon and a bath (with shower over) in the bathroom. Three nights’ hire starts at £685.

In all cases above, hire charges are fully-inclusive of damage waiver, fuel, use of buoyancy aids, initial tuition and car parking while cruising.

“A boating holiday makes an ideal romantic getaway. We’re also increasingly helping customers plan and book their perfect honeymoon, and with many boats being pet friendly, your four legged best friend is welcome too,” says Nigel.


01252 339023,

May 30, 2018

NEW villas with pools in the South of France with peak season availability

For families who have not yet booked their peak season getaway, villa specialist, Vintage Travel has just expanded its portfolio in the South of France, with each new property having excellent peak season availability.
Additions include Mas des Issarts, a stone farmhouse set in the rolling hills above St Tropez and the Cote d’Azur packed full of original features such as wooden beams, exposed stone walls and recessed alcoves.    The house, which sleeps up to eight people, is private and secluded and is around five kms from the pretty Provencal village of Callas with its cafes and restaurants.

In its spacious grounds with open terraces, there is a private heated infinity pool, a solar shower, table tennis and a built-in barbeque.  The coast at Frejus and St Raphael is only 35 kms away and the bustling towns of Cannes and Nice are also easy day trips.  A seven-night holiday in June is priced from £2896, rising to £3750 in the peak weeks of July and August.

Or, enjoying uninterrupted, panoramic views towards the Bay of St Tropez and its beaches, is La Mente, a single storey villa centred around a beautiful enclosed courtyard.  This smart property sleeps eight in four bedrooms (one en suite) and in its terraced garden there is a private swimming pool, a boules court and a poolside covered summer kitchen.

From La Mente guests can access on foot a network of footpaths and cycle tracks through oak and chestnut woods and a five-minute drive leads to the village of Garde-Freinet (five kms) with its cafes, restaurants and twice-weekly market.  A seven-night holiday in the peak weeks of July and August is priced at £4998.

Flights and car hire can be arranged by Vintage Travel on request.

01954 261431,




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