Getting ready for the hire season

Published: Wednesday, 21 November 2018

ONCE again Drifters Waterway Holidays and the Canal & River Trust are offering people the chance to try canal boating for free at 19 locations across England and Wales.

shire cruisers open day 2018 3As many are now considering next year's holidays they should perhaps make a date for Sunday 7th April when these taster sessions, which will be on from 11am to 4pm, will include free short trips on skippered narrowboats, as well as boat tours and holiday discounts. The photograph shows a family having a 'taster' at Shire Cruisers.

Advance booking required

People of all ages are encouraged to take part and no advanced booking is required, with Tom Parker Chairman of Drifters Waterway Holidays, explaining:

“Travelling at just 4mph through peaceful countryside, sleepy villages and vibrant waterside towns and cities, canal boat holidays are often described as ‘the fastest way to slow down’.

“Each year around 400,000 people enjoy holidaying on Britain’s canal network and last year, around 3,000 people got afloat at our one of our National Open Day events. We look forward to welcoming thousands more visitors this year for the chance to find out what makes canal boat holidays so special.”

Gareth Stephens, National Boating Business Manager at the Canal & River Trust, explains:

“We believe that waterways have the power to make a real difference to people’s lives. Spending time by water makes us all healthier and happier and early research is showing evidence of this.

“Thousands of people already enjoy boating holidays on our beautiful 2,200-mile network of inland waterways, and these free canal boat taster sessions are a great way to see if this sort of holiday could be for you.”

Further details of the open days and visiting the canal network can be found at