Easter is a great time of year to take to the water to enjoy the fresh spring air, trees coming into leaf and spring flowers on the towpath.
The whole family can set off on an outdoor adventure together. Bikes can be stored on the roof of the boat and dogs are welcome aboard most of our boats.
Many canalside attractions will be hosting special Easter events, so why not pack up and ship out for some Easter holiday fun afloat.
Here are our top 10 destinations this Easter. Our prices start at £595 for a short break and £855 for a week on a boat for four.
*See the baby Giant Anteater born at Chester Zoo…Medieval Chester is just seven hours from our base at Bunbury on the Shropshire Union Canal.
Famous for its medieval architecture and city walls, Chester is also home to an award-winning zoo with over 8,000 animals to see, including a rare baby Giant Anteater born in January. He or she (the tiny youngster’s gender is not yet known) will still be clinging to his mother’s back at Easter so make a date to visit the Zoo and find out how the family is getting on.
*Join the Easter Egg Hunt at Rockingham Castle…although not waterside, this fascinating castle 10 miles outside Market Harborough, offers a great family day out.
Market Harborough is a seven-hour from our base at North Kilworth on the Leicester Line of the Grand Union Canal. So once moored up in Market Harborough basin, take a taxi to Rockingham Castle to join in the Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday or Monday.
Take a tour of the castle, which has been continuously occupied by the same family for almost 1000 years. Check out the magnificent Great Hall, built on the instruction of William the Conqueror in 1086, and complete the Rockingham Eye Spy. See the vast 400 year old ‘Elephant Hedge’, part of the Castle’s 18 acres of gardens and visit the Castle Gallery, tea rooms and gift shop.
*Visit the home of Cadbury’s Chocolate…Travel lock-free to Birmingham in just five hours from our Tardebigge base, stopping off along the way to sample the delights of Cadbury World.
Find out how chocolate is made, the history of Cadbury confectionery, visit the World’s biggest Cadbury Shop and the Cadbury Café and enjoy a host of special events celebrating our most ‘chocolatey’ time of year!
*Climb aboard the SS Great Britain…Bristol’s Floating Harbour, home of Brunel’s masterpiece the SS Great Britain, is just an eight hour cruise from our base at Sydney Wharf in Bath.
Now acclaimed as one of the UK’s finest visitor attractions, plan a visit the world’s first great ocean liner and find out how the SS Great Britain changed the world.
*Travel across the Stream in the Sky…Just 20 minutes cruise from our base at Trevor on the Llangollen Canal in North Wales, stands the awesome 38 metres high and 305 metres long Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Also known as The Stream in the Sky, this incredible feat of engineering and offers the canal boat ride of your life!
And the pretty town of Llangollen is just a two hour cruise away, where special Easter events will be running at the Llangollen Steam Railway.
*Visit the Roman Baths…Bath, famous for thousands of years for its warm mineral-rich waters, is a seven-hour cruise along the beautiful Kennet & Avon Canal from our base at Bradford on Avon.
The beautifully preserved Roman Baths is a place for the whole family to enjoy. Visitors can see the remains of the ancient Roman temple and bathing complex based around Britain’s only natural hot spring. There’s a special audio tour for kids and Roman costumed characters about every afternoon.
*See the witch in a bottle at the Pitt Rivers…Oxford City Centre, home to the extraordinary Pitt Rivers Museum, is just three hours away from our River Thames base at Eynsham, near Witney.
The Museum, which has been described as a ‘Noah’s Ark of all the Earth’s artefacts’, displays thousands of handmade objects from a lost cultures across the globe. Look out for a three-storey high totem pole, a magnificent Tahitian mourner’s costume collected during Captain Cook’s Second Voyage in 1773-74, a case of children’s toys, including a coconut-husk spirit ship for a Siamese child, and the firmly sealed witch in a bottle.
*Walk the battlements at Warwick Castle…said to be Britain’s greatest medieval experience, Warwick Castle is a seven hour cruise from our base at Stockton on the Grand Union Canal in Warwickshire.
The castle, which is on a bend of the River Avon, was developed from an original built by William the Conqueror in 1068. Explore its grand interiors and 64 acres of rolling landscaped gardens, climb its impressive towers and ramparts, watch the ‘Flight of the Eagles’ and ‘Mighty Trebuchet’ firing displays and visit some of the castle’s special attractions, including terrifying Castle Dungeon.
*Follow in Shakespeare’s footsteps…Stratford upon Avon is just a six hour cruise from our base at Wootton Wawen on the Stratford Canal, near Henley in Arden in Warwickshire.
Moor up in centrally located moorings on the River Avon and use your canal boat as a base to explore the fascinating historic town of Stratford. There are five houses to visit with Shakespearian connections, including his Birthplace, the house of his wife (Anne Hathaway) and the childhood home of his mother, Mary Arden.
*Explore the rock-carved houses at Kinver Edge…from our base on the Staffordshire & Worcester Canal Great Haywood, Kinver Edge near Stourbridge can be reached on a short break.
Cared for by The National Trust, Kinver’s famous Holy Austin Rock Houses which were inhabited until the 1950’s, give an atmospheric glimpse into a bygone age. And the woodland sandstone ridge out which the houses are built, offers dramatic views across surrounding counties.