Between Sits - Off on an English canal boat holiday!

Having just finished our 5 week sit with gorgeous Coco the cat on the South Downs, we have a break until the start of our next sit near to Cirencester. So, we’ve booked ourselves a canal boat on the Kennet & Avon (part canal, part river), leaving from Hilperton Marina tomorrow heading towards Bristol.

Would love to hear your canal boat stories … hopefully not too many man overboard situations! It’s our first time with a narrowboat and something we’ve been meaning to try for years! Not the best time of the year, so finger’s crossed for some early Spring sunshine!

And if anyone is on the canal path between Bradford on Avon and Bristol next week, and you see a couple in TrustedHousesitter’s hoodies give us a wave, or come and have a cuppa or a coffee!!

Consequently I won’t be working in the forum between the 5th and 12th!
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Enjoy your well-earned change of pace, Vanessa. I hope you are able to switch off from the forum and give yourself a week to do your favourite things, or explore new ones. Happy boating days to you :ring_buoy: :anchor:

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Wow that sounds like the perfect time to go red, just saying. :rofl:

We, I, would love to hear all about it. Had no idea you could take holiday on them. I saw several along the canals during my time in the Welsh/English borders.

Enjoy your rest and joyful time.

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Vanessa
Enjoy- my dad and I took a canal boat on the Shropshire Union and Llangollen canals in the 1980s and had a wonderful time. My dad drove and I handled the locks. We tied up each night in a town - didn’t really want to cook on the boat.
We had a 42 ft boat, relatively small but fine for just 2 people. The boat was named Michael Collins and I was really surprised that the Brits were naming anything after an Irish republican. Then we got to the boat yard and I saw some of the other boats - Alan Shepard, John Glenn, Neil Armstrong - they were named after US astronauts!
The folks I was sitting for last week in Rode Heath used to have a boat and it was interesting to talk about having one ‘full time.’ And to walk the dogs along the Trent and Mersey Canal which was very near the sit.
Tom

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Thanks @toml … Llangollen would have been one of my choices, but sadly at this time of year there is little available in terms of rentals. We have house sitting friends who have a canal boat that they use between sits. It strikes me as a good combination for a while!! We’ve done so much dog walking and cycling on canals, it definitely is time to experience from the water rather than alongside!!

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@Vanessa-Admin Hi Hun, we had a canal boat for a few years and loved it, we’d use it for weekends away etc all year round, although the winter can be challenging with the weather and canal closures. Just sit back and enjoy the slow pace of life, don’t try and travel too far so that you don’t have a chance to enjoy the trip, after all with a canal boat it is the journey that counts…… and remember don’t ever call it a barge!!! (Unless it’s a widebeam):kissing_heart::rofl:

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That sound idyllic :heart_eyes_cat: and thankyou!! It will be our challenge… time of year and closures to get ready for Easter :frowning: I also hadn’t considered the whole thing of entry onto a river and flow rates! But I figure even if we get a few miles a day it’s going to be a lovely relaxing break (hopefully with no WiFi haha) !

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@Vanessa-Admin what a lovely way to spend your quiet time between sits. It’s the beauty of this lifestyle that allows us to enjoy so many different types of travel options. We are very fond of the time we’ve been able to spend on the water. Please continue sharing your stories as it is always entertaining for those of us who have yet to experience that particular way of travel.

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We watch several Youtube vloggers that live on narrowboats in the UK, so rather jealous of your adventure. There are THS hoodies, can members buy them?

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@Peg That sounds fab… will have a search on YouTube this evening to get us in the mood!! Re hoodies… here’s the link :slight_smile:

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@Vanessa-Admin - two favorites are Foxes Afloat and Cruising the Cut, thanks for link to products.

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Have a great time off!! Pics please when you get back online!

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That sounds like great fun! How does one go about booking a narrow boat rental? I assume you are “driving” it yourself? Do you need any training in order to book one?

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@Vanessa-Admin have an amazing vacation … I hope the weather is kind if not I hope the pubs are plentiful and the on board bar well stocked.

Enjoy the rest you both deserve it

Send lots of pictures on second thoughts DON"T we don’t want to see you here!! … :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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When my dad and I rented years and years ago, we got 10 minutes of training. Throttle, rudder, how to start and stop the engine, where to put fresh water in (a week isn’t long enough to worry about emptying the waste tank), how to get weeds off the propeller. There was probably an info sheet on how to operate the locks.

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Ah narrowboating, the ultimate in “slow travel”. We have holidayed on narrowboats a few times, including with the children. It is a great holiday for slowing down and relaxing, and unplugging the children! Amazing for wildlife spotting, even in cities.

It’s all about the journey, but take your time and don’t try to travel too far in a day. We’ve had trips where we have had shorter travelling days and turned around sooner than originally planned.

Turning or “winding” will potentially be the trickiest part, and in our experience it is usually pouring with rain when we are due to wind. I have been soaked through to the underwear while standing at the front of a 70 foot narrowboat in the rain, providing hand signals to show my husband how close to the bank we are when turning!

We absolutely love it though, and would do it every year if it wasn’t so expensive.

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Where do you go to rent them? Is there a website you can recommend?

Have a wonderful experience aboard the narrowboat @Vanessa-Admin. I’ve had a very short ride on one a few years ago. Such a peaceful, relaxing way to holiday. Just make sure you share the duties as I noticed the women seemed to get the job of working the locks!

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Here’s the one we used :slight_smile:

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We had a wonderful week on a canal boat almost four years ago now. Would love to crash our son’s trip in June (postponed for two years) but not to be. Enjoy!

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