New Ideas for your Holiday: Is Canal Boating for You?

 Everyone wants to have a perfect holiday and of course it helps if it’s one that’s friendly to your budget and fun for the whole family to enjoy. If you like the great outdoors, then canal boating is a fairly natural fit- it really allows you to spend the majority of your time outside. It does have its own special set of requirements, however, so if you’re wondering if a holiday on the canals is for you, read on for our best tips.

Family and Space Considerations

Canal boats are often touted as a family-friendly holiday options; they can offer sleeping arrangements for any size group and are a good way for everyone to spend quality time together. But, as with any boat, they do have limited space, which can be a bit difficult when you’re travelling with active young children or don’t get along well with those you’ve brought with you.

The solution? Keep kids occupied by providing a good balance of time spent on board and land-based activities. Have things to do in the evenings, such as playing board games or watching films. Also, choose the right group to go with. Anyone who is difficult to get along with or not very easy-going may be better left at home.

Handling of the Boat

There are no special requirements for hiring a canal boat and they go a maximum of about four kilometers per hour. While they may not be very challenging in the way of speed, there is a certain level of skill required for manoevering and mooring the boat.

Most canals have locks to pass through and these may take a bit of getting used to. Thankfully, you’ll often find a good level of support from other more experienced boaters when necessary. You can also choose a route that either has no locks or only drawbridges to pass through.

Keep in mind that it’s best to have several able-bodied people to help steer, manage the boat and keep a lookout for any obstacles.

Weather Conditions

The weather is going to be a huge factor in your enjoyment of your canal boating holiday. Even in typically mild places like the South of France, unexpected rain storms can cause you to have to spend the evening on board or hole up in a waterside pub.

Plan to go to the right place at the right time of year and you can save yourself a world of hassle, especially if travelling with the afore-mentioned children. It’s also best to have a backup plan and meal ingredients ready in case you can’t go ashore.

Cooking and Self Catering

Speaking of cooking, most canal boaters do plan to self-cater for at several, if not most of their meals. You’ll need to factor in a good bit of time and planning for meal preparation, as even if you plan to enjoy as much of the local restaurant cuisine as possible, you may still need to have at least basic breakfast, lunch and dinner ingredients on hand in case you don’t find a suitable eatery or pub.

With these considerations in mind, canal boating makes for a wonderful holiday for the right type of traveler. Find out more at