Not sure what to pack for your barge hire holiday? No idea what you should bring? …....
Well you don't have to bring the kitchen sink as most of the essentials will be provided for you on your barge hire holiday. Your barge will be ready with towels, linen, bedding and there are even life jackets if you want them.
The galley (Kitchen) will be fully equipped, although we hope you will not use this too much. Before you set out on your barge hire holiday however take a quick look at our check list below we hope it helps you to get the most out of your time with us.
Buy a guide before hand as part of the fun of your barge hire holiday is planning your route. Each guide is relevant to a different route depending on where you have chosen for your barge hire holiday and they show all the sites of interest, pubs, shops and facilities.
Come equipped for whatever the good old British weather might throw at you - waterproofs are advisable even in summer! Pack a sun hat and sun cream as you will find yourselves outdoors for most of the day. The sunlight reflects off the water in the canal so you will need that extra protection when on the barge.
Sensible non slip shoes are a must for wearing on deck and walking boots are a good idea for those canal side and woodlands walks. Bring warm clothes and pack something that can withstand a little tow-path mud, co-ordinating designer brands are not an essential part of a barge hire check list and the barge is no place for those stilettos.
We advise you to pack clothing in soft bags rather than a hard suitcase as these take up less room.
Start off with the basics as you are sure to want a morning cuppa, picnic lunch or fry up. On route you can stop at one of the many pubs, cafes or restaurants for lunch or dinner.
There are also plenty of village shops close to the canals so you can stock up with fresh produce. Oh and to celebrate the start of you barge hire holiday why not pop a bottle of wine in the fridge to chill.
Have some cash to hand as the smaller village shops, off the beaten track, may not accept cards. The larger towns, of course, will have banks and Post offices but a small canal side village may not have these facilities.
Bring a camera as one is a must to capture your barge hire holiday memories keep it with you at all times so you do not miss any of the great photo opportunities.
You will have lots to do on your barge hire holiday but hopefully you will have some time to relax. This will give you the perfect excuse to take it easy and read those novels you have always been meaning to look at. With a on board entertainment system on your barge why not bring a supply of DVDs to watch or your favourite CD to listen to in the evenings. To keep the children entertained a pack of cards and board games can be priceless or if they need to let off steam maybe a ball or a frisbee.
For those who enjoy fishing then a barge hire holiday will be a perfect choice bring your equipment and spend a quiet few hours fishing from the comfort of your barge. Don't forget to purchase a rod licence, available on line from the environment agency website.
Take advantage of the time together and explore the local area on your bikes. Find somewhere to moor your barge and then set off as a family and spend the whole day exploring.
The best thing however to bring on your barge hire holiday is an open mind, a sense of adventure and a laid back attitude.
Booking a barge hire holiday can lead you to some wonderful places and whatever your expectations you will not be disappointed. Cross breathtaking aqueducts or take your barge through a tunnel that's over 3 miles long!
With the help of your crew navigate your barge through the biggest flight of locks on the canal system or be raised in the air by a boat lift. Be prepared to be amazed at the feats of engineering and the spectacular places you will find on your barge holiday.
Although the magnificent sights and the places you may have the opportunity to visit are far to numerous to mention here are a selection of some of our favourites.
The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct One of the most amazing feats of engineering to be found on the canal system.Opened in 1805 and built by Thomas Telford and William Jessopthe Aqueduct is on the Llangollen Canal and spans 1000 feet over the beautiful Dee Valley. At 125 feet high when you pass over this in your barge you have the feeling of being suspended in mid air. The Pontcysyllte has the worthy accolade of becoming a World Heritage site which puts it on a par with the Great Barrier Reef and Statue of Liberty.
Chirk AqueductThe aqueduct at Chirk, also on the Llangollen canal, is smaller that the mighty Pontcysyllte aqueduct but nether the less still impressive. As you pass over in your barge you will be in the shadows of the Chirk Railway Viaduct that runs along side.
Anderton Boat LiftSituated on the banks of the River Weaver in Cheshire and built by Edwin Clarke in 1875 thisLift is known as the cathedral of the canals. After complete restoration it was re opened in 2002 and now lifts barges 50 feet from the Trent and Mersey canal to the River Weaver and vice versa.
The Falkirk WheelA magnificent structure and achievement in engineering and connects the Forth and Clyde to the Union Canal. The Falkirk Wheel lifts barges for an amazing 115 feet! from one canal to the other.
The Harecastle Tunnel Situated on the Trent and Mersey Canal take your barge through here if you dare! At only one and a half miles long the tunnel has a reputation not for the longest, deepest or widest but for being the most haunted. It is thought to be haunted by a young woman whose headless corpse was found here.
Standedge Tunnel At 3.5 miles long and on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal this tunnel is the longest of them all. As it burrows its way through the Pennines it can also claims to be the highest and the deepest.
Saltersford Tunnel A kink in this tunnel is the result of the builders or “navvies” not quite meeting in the middle. At 1,3000 long this tunnel on the Trent and Mersey Canal is also reputed to be haunted. Boatmen of old who knew of the legend would not take their barges through the tunnel alone and would rather make a long detour.
Tardebigge Locks A challenge for you and your crew as you navigate your barge through the longest flight of on the canal system. On the Worcester and Birmingham canal the30 locks raise the canal for over 220 feet and are spread over 2 miles.
Foxton Flight Set on the Grand Union Canal this is a popular tourist attraction and is always busy with visitors who sit and watch the colourful barges pass by. Take your barge through the ten locks of this staircase locks and pass as you go the Foxton Inclined Plane.
Hatton Locks Known as the Stairway to Heaven theses locks are on the Grand Union Canal and are a challenge to any barge crew. The 21 locks at Hatton are set in the beautiful Warwickshire countryside with Warwick Castle only a stones throw away.
Tuel Lock Located on the newly restored Rochdale Canal this lock is the deepest lock in the UK. With a fall of 19 feet and 8 ½ inches the locks have a complicated system and therefore there is a lock keeper nearby assist your passage.
Stoke Bruerne Reputed to be the prettiest canal village in Britain and not to be missed if you are cruising on the Grand Union Canal.
Birmingham Moor up with the other pretty barges at Gas Street Basin and soak up the vibrant atmosphere of Britain's second city. Birmingham is a fantastic place to shop and boasts countless canal side pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy afternoon tea, a pint of real ale or a romantic dinner
Bath Walk in the footsteps of the Romans at the World Heritage Site of Bath. A fascinating city in the beautiful Somerset countryside which is steeped in history. In addition to the Roman Bath House and the Georgian architecture it offers a huge selections of stylish shops, buzzing bars and trendy restaurants.
Worcester The beautiful city of Worcester lies on an idyllic position on the banks of the River Severn. This cathedral city is unique as it mixes a blend of heritage, natural beauty with the cosmopolitan city centre.