UK Narrowboat Holidays with Chas. Hardern

A selection of possible routes for your Canal Holiday

How far you go depends a lot on how energetic you want to be. Canal boat cruising from dawn to dusk will certainly cover a greater distance than a plan which includes stops and time to explore. Also a route with many locks will be much more energetic than one with very few.

The routes suggested here are not exhaustive, but give you a sample of the sort of canal boat holiday hire you might have.
Speed travelled is approximately 3-4 miles per hour, and the same applies to number of locks per hour, but you are not in a hurry to get anywhere – the enjoyment is in the plodding along gently and admiring the scenery and wildlife, stopping at canalside pubs and exploring the towns and villages along the way.

Circular routes may seem attractive at first sight, but they entail a cruising schedule that you may not wish to keep to later in your week. A return journey back along a canal will look quite different from the outward trip, and gives an opportunity to visit places, shops and pubs that you may have missed on the way out.

We have a brochure available with details of activities and places to visit close to the canal. Please enquire.

We have included mileage and locks for each route and (in brackets) approximate cruising time (one way) from our boatyard to places mentioned. Don’t forget to allow the same return time!

Possible Routes for your Canal Hire Cruise:-

Click any for more details.



signLlangollen Canal

signShropshire Union Canal

signBridgewater Canal and the River Weaver

signFour Counties Ring

signCheshire Ring


The choice is endless, but here are a few suggestions. Any group of one week trips could be used, of course, but other alternatives include:

Other Routes

For the adventurous, the Leeds and Liverpool is built on a grand scale. Deep wide locks carry the canal from Liverpool through Wigan, along Lancashire’s valleys and around the edge of the Yorkshire dales. This is definitely a 2 or 3 week trip from Beeston.

The Caldon canal branches off from the Trent and Mersey at Stoke on Trent. You travel along over 20 miles of the Staffordshire uplands on probably the most scenically beautiful canal to reach Froghall and Leek.

From the southern end of the Shropshire Union, one can cruise the beautiful Staffs and Worcester canal which continues down a rocky valley to Stourport and the River Severn

The rivers Severn and Avon ring may be cruised past Worcester, Tewkesbury and Stratford on Avon.

For the enthusiast the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) are a rewarding experience.

And for the real canalcoholic, the Huddersfield canal is now fully open, and with the Rochdale canal was also reopened in summer 2002, there are several combinations of hardworking long distance routes available.




Affordable Narrowboat Hire on England’s canals