We’ve been offline for a while, but are back and hope to be able to update the blog more regularly. However, we have a good excuse because we were on a narrow boat for the last week with no internet access. “Narrowboat” may need some explanation because I had never heard of them just a year ago. Throughout England, Wales, and Scotland there are hundreds of miles of canals and rivers that were once used for transporting coal and other goods. While those days are long gone, the routes remain and there are thousands of boats that you can rent to cruise them. The boats are fitted out in style with cabins, kitchens, bath, and saloon. They range from about 30 to 70 ft. long, but to fit through the canals are less than 7 ft. wide, hence the name “narrow.”
My parents met us for a vacation in England and we decided this might be a unique way of seeing a different part of country. We opted for a 65 ft boat, which proved to be a challenge around corners, but was otherwise a very comfortable way to travel. You don’t cover much distance in narrow boats – they only go about 4 mph – but it does give you a lot of time to enjoy the views of the countryside, the ducks, the swans, and the other boats. We followed parts of the Ashby, Coventry, and North Oxford canals during the week, stopping most nights near some of the pubs along the way for hearty food and a pint. It was generally a pretty relaxing week, aside from a few moments of excitement each day when one of us would drive the boat a little too close to a bridge or a tree (I swear those scratches were there before!).
Here are a few pictures to help explain our week. You really can get almost anywhere on the canals…
This a view of the tight squeeze at one of the locks. We only had to do four of these each way, but it was a good workout – the gates can be heavy to open.
A more serene moment along the way.
Tags: England, Travel, Tag Index