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Are you tired of the relentless downpour and gray skies that seem to have taken up permanent residence in the UK? The recent weeks might have felt like a never-ending cycle of umbrellas and rain boots, but fear not! Change is on the horizon, quite literally. As we bid adieu to the gloomy weather and usher in the promise of warmer, sunnier days, there’s no better time to start planning your next getaway. And what better way to embrace the sunshine than by booking a holiday on the tranquil waterways of Warwickshire?

The British weather, with its unpredictable temperament, often leaves us yearning for a respite. But fret not, for the forecast is looking brighter by the day. As the days grow longer and the sun peeks out from behind the clouds, it’s time to shake off the winter blues and embark on a new adventure. And what better way to do so than by immersing yourself in the idyllic beauty of Warwickshire’s canal network?

Picture this: cruising along serene waters, surrounded by lush greenery and quaint countryside vistas. With each gentle ripple, feel the stresses of everyday life melt away, replaced by a sense of peace and tranquility. A narrowboat holiday offers a unique opportunity to slow down, reconnect with nature, and create cherished memories with loved ones.

But why choose Warwickshire for your canal boat escapade? Nestled in the heart of England, this picturesque county boasts some of the most scenic waterways in the country. From the historic Stratford-upon-Avon Canal to the breathtaking Grand Union Canal, there’s no shortage of routes to explore and sights to behold.

Booking a narrowboat with Warwickshire Narrowboats ensures that your holiday is not only memorable but also hassle-free. With a fleet of well-maintained boats equipped with all the amenities you need, from cozy cabins to fully-equipped kitchens, you can focus on enjoying your journey without a worry in the world.

One of the joys of canal boat holidays is the freedom to chart your own course. Whether you’re craving a leisurely week-long voyage or a short weekend getaway, the choice is yours. Explore charming canal-side villages, indulge in delicious local cuisine, or simply bask in the beauty of your surroundings – the possibilities are endless.

And let’s not forget the attractions that await you along the way. From historic landmarks to quaint waterside pubs, each stop offers a glimpse into the rich tapestry of Warwickshire’s heritage. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or simply seeking relaxation, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

So, as the sun begins to reclaim its rightful place in the sky, why not seize the opportunity to book your next holiday? Escape the mundane and embrace adventure on the tranquil waterways of Warwickshire. With Warwickshire Narrowboats as your trusted companion, the journey promises to be nothing short of magical.

Don’t let the dreary weather dampen your spirits any longer. Embrace the sunshine, pack your bags, and set sail on a voyage of discovery. Your next great adventure awaits – book your Warwickshire narrowboat holiday today and let the memories begin.

Ah, the British weather – as unpredictable as ever, yet somehow adding its own charm to every adventure. When it comes to holidaying on a canal boat, there’s no such thing as bad weather, only different ways to enjoy the journey. So, grab your raincoat, sunscreen, or scarf, because no matter the forecast, the joys of canal boat holidays await!

Let’s start with the classic British scenario: rain. While some might see rain as a dampener on their holiday plans, canal boat enthusiasts know better. There’s something oddly soothing about the pitter-patter of raindrops on the water’s surface as you navigate the serene canals. Cozy up inside your snug cabin, perhaps with a hot cup of tea or cocoa, and watch as the rain transforms the landscape into a glistening tapestry of greens. Plus, rainy days offer the perfect excuse to indulge in onboard activities like board games, reading, or simply lounging in comfort.

Now, onto brighter days – quite literally! When the sun decides to make an appearance, canal boat holidays take on a whole new level of enchantment. Bask in the warm glow as you cruise along, soaking up the vitamin D and admiring the picturesque scenery. It’s the perfect opportunity to soak up some rays on the deck, enjoy a leisurely picnic by the water’s edge, or even try your hand at fishing. And let’s not forget the stunning sunsets that paint the sky in hues of orange and pink, casting a magical spell over the tranquil canals.

But what about those chilly winter days, you ask? Fear not, for canal boat holidays are a delight in every season – yes, even winter! Picture a scene straight out of a postcard: a dusting of snow blanketing the canal banks, transforming the landscape into a winter wonderland. Wrap up warm and embrace the crisp, bracing air as you venture out to explore quaint canal-side villages adorned with festive lights. And after a day of winter adventuring, return to the cozy warmth of your narrowboat, complete with crackling fireplaces and steaming mugs of mulled wine. It’s a holiday straight out of a storybook.

As spring arrives and nature awakens from its slumber, canal boat holidays take on a whole new vibrancy. The countryside bursts into bloom, with vibrant wildflowers carpeting the meadows and birdsong filling the air. It’s the perfect time to embark on leisurely strolls along the towpaths, stopping to admire the abundance of life that surrounds you. And with longer daylight hours, there’s ample time to explore hidden gems along the canal, from quaint pubs serving hearty fare to historic landmarks steeped in lore. Springtime canal boat holidays are a feast for the senses, offering a glimpse into the beauty of nature’s rebirth.

No matter the weather, the joys of holidaying on a canal boat are as boundless as the waterways themselves. So, whether you’re cruising under clear blue skies or navigating through a gentle drizzle, embrace the moment and savor every experience that comes your way. After all, it’s not the weather that makes the holiday – it’s the memories you create along the way. So, pack your sense of adventure and embark on a weatherproof journey of discovery on the picturesque canals of Warwickshire. The forecast may be uncertain, but one thing’s for sure – a canal boat holiday is always a good idea!

Exploring Serenity: Warwickshire Narrowboat Hire Unveils the Charm of Canal Living

Seeking a vacation that’s not just about the destination but the journey itself?

Warwickshire Narrowboat Hire beckons with a unique experience through Narrowboat Holidays, Canal Boat Holidays, and Narrowboat Day Hire. Prepare for a tranquil escape that promises relaxation, adventure, and timeless moments, all against the scenic backdrop of the English countryside.

Embarking on a narrowboat holiday unveils a world of enchantment along the serene canals of Warwickshire. These narrowboats, with their distinctive allure, act as your floating sanctuary, allowing you to navigate the waterways at your own pace. The unhurried movement of the boat creates an atmosphere of calm, making it an ideal getaway for families, couples, or solo travelers.

What sets a narrowboat holiday apart is the liberty to shape your own journey. Whether opting for a week-long exploration or a leisurely day trip, you have the freedom to design your adventure. Imagine leisurely cruising through picturesque canals, passing through quaint villages, and immersing yourself in the beauty of Warwickshire’s countryside. Every bend in the canal unfolds new surprises, from charming pubs to historical landmarks, offering a perfect blend of discovery and tranquility.

For families, a narrowboat holiday transforms into a shared expedition, fostering quality time and creating memories that linger. Children actively participate in steering the boat, operating locks, and absorbing the rich history of the canals. With numerous scenic spots along the way, families can relish meals together amidst breathtaking scenery, strengthening bonds against nature’s canvas.

Couples, yearning for a romantic escapade, will find the narrowboat experience equally enchanting. Picture yourselves gliding along the serene canals, hand in hand, surrounded only by the soothing sounds of water and nature. Each day presents opportunities to moor in secluded spots, providing an intimate setting for quiet evenings under the star-lit sky. The leisurely pace allows for uninterrupted conversations, rekindling the flame of romance amidst picturesque waterways.

A Warwickshire Narrowboat Hire experience is more than a journey; it’s a chance to connect with local culture. As you navigate through Warwickshire, encounters with friendly locals, visits to traditional pubs, and explorations of charming market towns become integral to your adventure. The journey becomes not just about the destination but an immersion into the heart of the region.

When planning your narrowboat holiday, Warwickshire Narrowboat Hire ensures your comfort on board. Well-appointed kitchenettes, snug sleeping quarters, and modern amenities transform the narrowboat into a home away from home, allowing you to focus on savoring the journey.

Discover the enchanting allure of Warwickshire’s waterways with our exclusive luxury canal boat hire in Warwickshire. Warwickshire Narrowboat Hire invites you to experience the epitome of canal living through our meticulously crafted narrowboats

In conclusion, Warwickshire Narrowboat Hire offers an exclusive and unforgettable way to uncover the hidden gems of Warwickshire. Whether you’re seeking a family adventure or a romantic retreat, the canals provide an idyllic setting for a serene and rejuvenating holiday. So, set sail and let the unhurried allure of narrowboat living unveil the beauty of Warwickshire in a manner that’s both unique and unforgettable.

Exploring Warwickshire’s Waterways: A Navigation Guide

Create Lasting Memories with Family-Friendly Canal Adventures

Embarking on a narrowboat holiday in Warwickshire promises a journey through idyllic landscapes, historic sites, and charming villages. Whether you’re planning a family adventure, a small-group getaway, or a romantic escapade for two, the picturesque canals of Warwickshire offer a unique and tranquil setting. In this guide, we’ll explore the routes and attractions that make Narrowboat Holidays in Warwickshire truly special, along with essential tips on planning your trip and what to bring.

Choosing Your Route:

  1. Grand Union Canal:
    • One of the longest canals in the UK, the Grand Union Canal winds its way through Warwickshire, offering diverse scenery and historic sites.
    • Recommended stops: Warwick Castle, Hatton Locks, and the charming town of Leamington Spa.
  1. Stratford-upon-Avon Canal:
    • This canal is famous for its association with William Shakespeare and passes through the picturesque town of Stratford-upon-Avon.
    • Must-visit attractions: The Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Anne Hathaway’s Cottage.
  1. Oxford Canal:
    • Navigate the serene Oxford Canal and enjoy the peaceful countryside as you travel through Warwickshire.
    • Explore Braunston, a historic canal village known for its traditional narrowboats and marina.

Planning Your Trip:

  1. Booking Your Narrowboat:
    • Reserve your narrowboat in advance, considering the size of your group and the amenities you desire.
    • Many operators in Warwickshire offer user-friendly online booking platforms for convenience.
  1. Itinerary and Attractions:
    • Plan your route, factoring in attractions and picturesque spots along the way.
    • Warwickshire boasts a mix of historic landmarks, cozy pubs, and scenic moorings – plan for stops that suit your group’s interests.
  1. Navigating Locks:
    • Familiarize yourself with the operation of locks, a unique aspect of narrowboat holidays.
    • Warwickshire’s Hatton Locks are a highlight and a fascinating experience for all ages.

What to Bring:

  1. Essentials:
    • Pack essentials like clothing suitable for varying weather, toiletries, and any necessary medications.
    • Don’t forget your camera to capture the picturesque landscapes and memories.
  1. Provisions:
    • Stock up on groceries before setting sail, and plan meals that are easy to prepare onboard.
    • Warwickshire’s canalside villages often have local markets where you can replenish supplies.
  1. Entertainment:
    • Bring books, games, or musical instruments for onboard entertainment during leisurely cruises.

Conclusion:

A narrowboat holiday in Warwickshire is a delightful blend of adventure and relaxation, offering a unique way to explore this picturesque region. With careful planning, an itinerary tailored to your interests, and a well-equipped narrowboat, you’re set for a memorable journey through the heart of England. So, gather your crew, set sail on Warwickshire’s waterways, and let the charm of the canals weave a tapestry of memories for your next holiday.

Navigate through the captivating world of Warwickshire’s waterways and discover the stories that shaped the size of narrowboats.

Why Canal Boat Holidays Are Perfect for Families

Luxury Narrowboat Holidays in the UK

Embarking on a canal boat holiday is like entering a world where time slows down, and the journey becomes the destination. Whether you’re a family seeking quality time, a small group of friends ready for adventure, or a couple craving a romantic getaway, canal boat holidays offer a unique blend of relaxation and excitement. In this post, we’ll explore the joys of navigating the waterways and uncover the reasons why Canal Boat Holidays are an ideal choice for your next holiday adventure.

Benefits of Canal Boat Holidays:

  1. Flexibility and Freedom:
    • Canal boats grant you the freedom to cruise at your own pace, creating a flexible itinerary that suits your group’s preferences.
    • Explore charming villages, historic landmarks, and scenic landscapes, all while setting your own schedule.
  1. Quality Family Time:
    • Disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with your family on the tranquil waters.
    • Bond over shared experiences, whether it’s navigating a lock together or enjoying a picnic on the boat’s deck.
  1. Adventure for Small Groups:
    • Small groups can revel in the camaraderie of navigating the canals, sharing laughter, and creating lasting memories.
    • Experience the thrill of working together to navigate locks, tunnels, and aqueducts.
  1. Romantic Getaway for Couples:
    • Escape the ordinary and enjoy a romantic getaway surrounded by the picturesque scenery of the waterways.
    • Cozy up on the boat’s deck under the stars or explore charming waterside pubs and restaurants.
  1. Scenic Beauty and Tranquility:
    • Cruise through breathtaking landscapes, surrounded by nature, picturesque villages, and historic sites.
    • Wake up to the gentle lapping of water and the serenity of your secluded canal-side mooring.

First-Hand Experience: A Review

“I never imagined a holiday on a canal boat could be so enchanting! From the moment we set sail, it was a perfect blend of adventure and relaxation. Navigating the locks was surprisingly fun, and we enjoyed the freedom of charting our own course. Our family had quality time together, exploring charming villages and enjoying the tranquility of the canals. It was a unique experience that brought us closer, and we’re already planning our next canal boat adventure!”

Canal boat holidays offer a refreshing alternative to traditional holidays, providing a perfect mix of adventure, relaxation, and quality time with loved ones. Whether you’re a family, a small group of friends, or a couple seeking a romantic escape, the waterways await your exploration. So, set sail on a memorable journey, and let the canals be your guide to an unforgettable holiday experience.

Trust Warwickshire Narrowboat Hire for comprehensive guidance on planning, booking, and enjoying your first canal boat holiday, creating memories that will last a lifetime. Discover a myriad of Fun Activities in Warwickshire with Narrowboat Hire. Our guide to the region’s exciting events and attractions ensures that your canal boat holiday extends beyond the waterways.

 

Discover Must-Have Features for an Unforgettable Narrowboat Holiday

If you are planning to hire a narrowboat for your next holiday, then you will have a wonderful journey of discovery ahead of you. You will find a whole new way of life as you observe the workings of our heritage canal system from the inside, getting to grips with locks and bridges, not to mention all of the wonderful wildlife of the waterways. 

You may even encounter some historic examples of working narrowboats, that are a legacy of the era when the canals were the arteries of the industrial revolution. In the heyday of the Canal Age between 1760 and 1840, Britain’s 2,000 miles of canals carried commercial boats loaded with coal and goods 24 hours a day. Here’s how to spot a legacy canal boat.

Livery

The colour scheme that a working boat is painted with is referred to as a livery. This made it easy to identify the boat and its carrying company from a distance. The Grand Union Canal Carrying Company (who operated on the principle Grand Union Canal between the Midlands and London) had four liveries, to represent the main company and its subsidiaries. 

These included the two-tone green livery of the original company, followed by a two-tone blue and then a regal red, white and blue livery to celebrate the coronation of King George VI in 1937. By this time, there was significantly less demand for canal boat transport because most goods were now moved by rail.

Registration number 

All narrowboats have to be licenced and registered, and working boats displayed the town where they were registered along with the registration number on the side of the cabin. This was a legal requirement of the Canal Boats Act 1877, which also gave local authorities the power to inspect boats to make sure they were fit for human habitation.

The act was brought to Parliament by the campaigner George Smith, who made personal sacrifices to improve the lives of canal boat children. It restricted the age at which they could sleep or work on the boat, and required that all children received a basic standard of education. 

Gunwales 

The gunwale is the upper edge of planking on the side of the boat, and gained its name from military ships that had reinforced sides to help them withstand the extra strains of gunfire. This feature can be seen on working barge boats, either as a solid strip of metal or wood that continues around the cabin.

Decorative cabins

The cabins of working boats were usually highly decorative, featuring examples of English Folk art. This is a realistic and naive style of painting that features naturalistic scenes such as castles, flowers, and landscapes. The cabin would also feature decorative signwriting to display the name of the carrying company and the fleet number and address. Our narrowboat holidays offer a unique opportunity to navigate the picturesque Warwickshire Ring, uncovering hidden gems along the way. Additionally, discover the unexpected link between canals and English folk art, adding a touch of cultural richness to your canal adventures. 

Exploring the Fascinating Link Between Canals and English Folk Art

Find the Perfect Amenities for Your Narrowboat Adventure

At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be much connection between the history of England’s canals and folk art. However, the great canal network that was constructed during the height of the Industrial Revolution gave birth to a distinctive branch of narrowboat folk art. 

This tradition can still be seen today in the brightly coloured artwork and lettering of some canal boats that are often hired as leisure craft. 

This legacy is all the more surprising as the rapid industrialization of the era led to many traditional crafts falling by the wayside. One explanation is that when the canal transport network was challenged by the advent of the railways, profitability and therefore boatmen’s wages took a hit. 

It became common for a boat captain to take his wife and children on boat journeys, because he could no longer afford to employ a crew. The wife would perform the unpaid labour of managing the horse and so on, and the whole family would live permanently on the boat to save the cost of buying a house on land. 

This led to a rather isolated way of life. The children had no formal education and lived in extremely cramped conditions, as the boats also had to carry goods or raw materials. In response to these challenging circumstances, the boat people developed a distinct culture of their own, and took extra pride in creating beautifully clean and decorative living quarters.

The barge homes were carefully painted with bright colours, adorned with lace curtains and highly polished brasses, and decorated with floral motifs, animals, or romanticised scenes. One theory is that this proud richness of colour, texture and pattern was intended to compensate for a lifestyle that was lacking in any other material riches. 

The folk art of England’s waterways in the mid nineteenth century is sometimes referred to as ‘Roses and Castles.’ Almost every surface, from drinking vessels to furniture and walls, was painted with naturalistic flowers or landscape scenes. The style might be described as ‘chocolate box’ as it was purely decorative rather than serving any higher artistic ambitions.

The boats themselves were painted with bright colour schemes and motifs, which is thought to be a way of identifying the locality of the boat. Some surfaces of the boat might be decorated with vibrant primary colours and chequerboard patterns, flowers, hearts, diamonds, crosses, or crescent moons. 

Signwriting developed as a distinctive craft for barges and narrowboats, in order to display the name of the boat owner or carrying company, their hometown, and the name of the boat. The best examples of lettering are decorative as well as functional, with stylised fonts and shadowing to create a three dimensional effect.

The lettering may be surrounded by decorative borders featuring roses or even landscape scenes. The colourful art of the boat people may be described as naive as they lacked any formal education or training, but considering how little spare time and space they had to work in, it is remarkable to see what they achieved.

Essential Safety Tips for Your Luxurious Narrowboat Getaway

Delve Deeper into the Artistic Heritage Along the Canals

A canal boat holiday is a wonderful way to enjoy the beauty of the English countryside at a leisurely pace. You will have whole days to spend observing wildlife, or just pleasantly passing the time with a good book. Depending on your route, you can also stop off at some interesting urban points and enjoy some of the attractive heritage architecture of the canals.

It’s a truly memorable experience, but for many people it will be their first encounter with being a canal boat passenger or in charge of steering a vessel. Of course, it’s a very calm and controlled environment and nothing like navigating the stormy high seas! 

Nonetheless, there are always certain dangers presented by bodies of water. Your hire company should help you become familiar with the boat and they will inform you of essential rules at handover. To make sure that you stay safe and get the most out of your holiday with no unwelcome surprises, here are some general safety tips to remember.

Wear non-slip shoes

This is perhaps the most important piece of advice: wear comfortable shoes with non-slip soles. There will be a lot of stepping on and off the boat, to navigate locks, operate swing bridges, make shopping trips, and so on. Even when you are just moving around on the deck, it will often be wet and slippery.

A slip resulting in a wretched ankle or muscle sprain is the last thing you need on holiday, so put fashion concerns to one side and invest in some good quality deck shoes.

Do not jump into or swim in the water

If the weather is very hot, it might seem tempting to take a cooling dip in the water. However swimming in canals is dangerous, as they may contain submerged objects and weeds that you can become entangled in. Canals are also very cold even in the middle of summer, so you will risk cold water shock and hypothermia.

Keep arms and legs inside the vessel at all times

When the boat is moving, always keep limbs inside the vessel to avoid the risk of catching them on solid objects. When you are sitting on deck, also keep an eye out for overhanging tree branches and upcoming tunnels and bridges. 

Have emergency equipment to hand

There should be a well-fitting life jacket for every person on board, and it is good practice for children to wear these at all times. Remind youngsters not to run about on the deck or go too near to the edges of the boat, or to play on locks and bridges.

Always observe the canal rules

Canal boats are subject to certain rules to maintain safe passage for everyone. These will be in place for passing through tunnels, opening swing bridges, and navigating locks. Stick to the speed limit (usually 3 or 4 mph) and observe any mooring restrictions. Do not moor near bridges, locks, weirs, bends, marina entrances, or other junctions. Our day boat hire option is designed for those seeking a brief escape, allowing you to experience the unique charm of canal life without committing to an extended journey.

Essential Packing Tips for Your Summer Canal Boat Holiday

Prioritize Safety with These Key Tips for a Canal Holiday

Summer is the perfect time to hire a narrowboat, as you can enjoy cruising down the canal on long, warm evenings, watching the sunset on the horizon. 

It is always important to pack the right things to make your holiday as comfortable as possible, though, so read on for our summer packing guide.

Clothing

British summers are unpredictable, so it is essential to check the weather forecast before you start putting things in a suitcase. 

Assuming the weather is expected to be warm, pack some light, comfortable clothes that are easy to move around in as you will be getting on and off the boat frequently. 

It is also wise to prepare for the worst so a raincoat is a must, as well as slipper socks and a jumper for the evenings, in case the temperature drops. 

A sunhat and sunglasses are also essential so you can stay on deck without the glare of the sunshine getting to you too much.  

Whatever the weather, bring grippy shoes, such as trainers, so you don’t slip on the floor, and hard-wearing gloves for when you are working the locks. 

Food and drink 

This is a self-catering holiday so you’ll need to pack essential food and drink items you can’t live without, from coffee and tea bags to cooking oil, salt and pepper. 

You might be planning to eat in pub gardens for dinner, tucking into scampi and chips or a burger in the evening sunshine, but you’ll still need to bring enough to make breakfasts and lunches. 

Don’t forget some snacks, as well as condiments, and a few drinks. If you are planning on bringing wine, it is wise to buy boxed ones instead of bottles to avoid them falling and smashing. 

Ice packs and ice cube trays are sensible too, as they will keep your food and drink cool when you’re out and about. 

Cleaning equipment

It is sensible to bring some essential cleaning equipment with you, such as washing up liquid, bin bags, extra toilet rolls, and a sponge. 

During the summer, more dust can be brought into the boat, so you could bring a cloth to wipe down areas so they don’t get too mucky.

Essential electronics

Thanks to lighter evenings, it is unlikely you’ll need a torch, but you could pack one just in case. 

Don’t forget chargers though, as you’ll want to make sure your phone has enough battery so you can snap photos of your trip. You might even spot otters in the water or unique birds in the trees that you want to grab a picture of. 

Binoculars are a good idea too if you are a nature enthusiast, so pack these in your bag.

Learn valuable tips and tricks to maintain a cool and comfortable environment on board as you cruise through picturesque canals.

Sun protection

British summers can be a wash out, or as last summer showed us, temperatures can sky-rocket. So it is best to be prepared and bring some sun cream with a high SPF. 

Mosquito repellent and After Sun are also sensible items to have, as well as First Aid kit, packed with paracetamol and dehydration tablets, in case of sun stroke

Discover the possibilities of year-round canal living with Warwickshire Narrowboat Hire’s guide on “Can You Stay on the Water All Year Round?” Exploring the considerations and benefits of living aboard a narrowboat throughout the seasons, our insightful article offers valuable insights for those contemplating a permanent or extended stay on the water

Notable Canal Bridges to Spot During Your Narrowboat Holiday

Streamline Your Packing for a Stress-Free Canal Adventure

Britain has over 2,000 miles of canals that form a network through the heart of the country. At one time, they were essential arteries to connect towns, cities and ports at the height of the Industrial Revolution; carrying coal, textiles and goods to and from the numerous factories and mills. 

Over time, the canals were superseded by railways and by the mid-20th century, much of the network had fallen into disuse and disrepair. However, a conservation effort began to gather pace during the 1960s, and now Britain’s canals have over 2,700 listed structures and monuments. 

The canals themselves are mainly used for leisure and recreation, such as boat trips and fishing. There are also hundreds of miles of canalside paths in use for walkers and cyclists. Canal boat hire is a popular way to enjoy a holiday at a gentle pace, and observe the heritage of our waterways. Here are some of the bridge styles to look out for.

Canals severed areas of land that were often densely populated, so it was necessary to build frequent bridges. One of the most common styles of canal bridge you will encounter is the hump backed bridge built from brick or stone, which arch over the canal to allow for boats to pass underneath. Many original hump backed canal bridges survive today.

Another common style of bridge was made from cast iron, and many still endure today, particularly around the Midlands. They typically have a gentle arch and vertical painted iron railings. Wooden bridges were also popular as they were quick and cheap to build, although prone to rotting, and more commonly used for foot bridges rather than road bridges.

Canal aqueducts that carry the waterway over a valley or river are a remarkable feat of engineering. There are about 26 surviving examples throughout the UK. The largest and most well known of these are the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct over the Llangollen Canal in Wales and the Edstone in England. 

Some canal bridges swing open to allow for the passage of larger vessels. Bascule bridges lift up from the side, and swivel bridges turn around a fixed point. Older opening bridges were built from timber, while later examples are made from cast iron. Many have been replaced by more time efficient overbridges.

Turnover bridges, sometimes also known as roving bridges or snake bridges, feature a gentle curving ‘S’ shaped pathway over the bridge to allow a horse towing a boat to cross over without the tow rope becoming entangled. The pathway was studded with bricks to help prevent the horses’ feet from slipping. 

These bridges were usually built from brick or stone, and some attractive examples can be found along the Macclesfield canal in Cheshire. Finally, lock bridges are small footbridges for the convenience of boat operators. 

You will encounter several bridges on your trip. Be aware that many older bridges are narrow with low clearance, so extra care should be taken on the approach.