Monday, September 27, 2010

Union Canal boating holidays?

Somethimg to look into here, the possibility of Scottish canal boating holidays.

Latest news for Monday 27 September

Flotilla will celebrate Union Canalwaterway’s 10th year

A stunning array of more than 60 modern and historic craft will journey along the Union Canal from Edinburgh Quay to the Falkirk Wheel this weekend in celebration of the 10th anniversary of its reopening. Vessels in the flotilla named Union 10 – brought together by a raft of canal societies, charities and social enterprises – will include traditional narrowboats, former fishing boats and old Edwardian steam launches. The Ratho Princess – built in 1923 – will be the oldest in the flotilla fleet making the trip along the 32-mile, 200-year-old waterway. ... click for full story

Will blog later about canal boating holidays in Scotland

Friday, September 24, 2010

Winter Opening information for winter canal boating holidyas

Winter canal boating holidays

K&A Canal: Gibson's Boat Services - Winter Opening

Gibson's Boat Services at Builder's Wharf Honeystreet
Picture by Bob Naylor

Winter opening at Gibson's Boat Services at Honeystreet on the Kennet & Avon Canal come into effect from October 1st.

They will be open Thursday to Monday from 10am to dusk or 6pm (whichever is earlier).

They will be closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays — except for emergencies or by prior arrangements.
All of their usual services will be available: Diesel, gas, pumpout & toilet fluids, water, & stove fuels.

You may not need these specific boat services for winter canal boating holidays but it's useful to know what's opening when planning canal boat holidays for October through to March. The water take on service for example is vital, and you ight just need an unplanned pump out.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Vote For Our Rivers

Ralph Underhill, Our Rivers campaigner, said: “This is the first time people have had a chance to vote for the river which is closest to their heart.

So now people are being asked to go to the Our Rivers website and vote for the best river and worst river in England and Wales.

Visit to cast your vote before October 31

Why not vote for the river that is the best managed for canal boat holidays? The Thames, Ouse, River Avon, River Calder, Great Ouse, Medway Stour, Trent, etc ?

Best River, Worst River - Vote now!

The Our Rivers campaign is asking people in England and Wales to vote for the best and worst rivers.

The Our Rivers campaign was set up by a group of NGOs - WWF, RSPB, and the Angling Trust in 2009 when the Environment Agency published draft River Basin Management Plans that set out the future of river management up to 2015 and beyond.

Our Rivers felt the plans didn't go far enough and were unnecessarily bureaucratic. They felt that crowdsourcing knowledge from the population upwards would be much better.

After the official process the Our Rivers campaign re-launched with the Salmon and Trout Association onboard as well.

Now they are seeking wider involvement with Philippa Forrester heading a publicity initiative while she is currently a TV series - Halcyon River Diaries on BBC1.

Philippa Forrester said: “Living close to a river, I get to see an amazing array of life from the emergence of mayflies in spring to the darting flash of a hunting kingfisher and the secretive habits of the water vole.”

The Our Rivers campaign was launched last year to fight for clean and healthy rivers shortly before a Government report revealed 74 per cent were failing to meet EU environmental targets.

Ralph Underhill, Our Rivers campaigner, said: “This is the first time people have had a chance to vote for the river which is closest to their heart.

So now people are being asked to go to the Our Rivers website and vote for the best river and worst river in England and Wales.

Visit to cast your vote before October 31

Sunday, September 19, 2010

KAcanalTIMES: K&A Canal restricted lock operations between Great Bedwyn and Little Bedwyn

Sunday 19 September 2010 — until further notice
Little Bedwyn Lock (67)
Because of very low water levels in the area locks 64 to 67 will only be open between 9am and 4.30pm. 

Boaters are asked to share locks to save water whenever possible.

The locks affected are Church Lock 64 at Great Bedwyn, Burnt Mill 65, Potters 66 and Little Bedwyn 67.

For more information call: 01380 722859

Probably best to aim to get through the locks before 4.00pm really. I wonder how long the low water levels will last, but at least it's after the main canal boating holiday season.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Leeds and Liverpool Canal to re-open in two stages

Great news for autumn canal boat holidays

Leeds and Liverpool Canal to re-open in two stages: "British Waterways has announced that the closed section of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal is to re-open in two stages, after the latest review of the reservoir levels.

The 40 mile section between Wigan and Barrowford will re-open on Friday 17th September. The remaining 20 miles from Barrowford to Gargrave will re-open on Wednesday 22nd September.

British Waterways staff are removing stop planks"

Leeds & Liverpool Canal to reopen for Canal Boating Holidays

Latest news for Wednesday 15 September

Leeds & Liverpool Canal to reopen

British Waterways is today pleased to announce the phased reopening of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal beginning this Friday 17 September, with reservoir levels in North West at a sufficient enough level to get boat traffic moving again. The stretch below Lock 51 at Barrowford to Lock 85 in Wigan will reopen on Friday, allowing boaters to travel between Barrowford and Liverpool. The remaining 20-mile section between Lock 51 at Barrowford and Lock 31 in Gargrave will reopen the following week on Wednesday 22 September. ... click for full story

Good news for autumn canal boating holidays on the Leeds and Liverpool at last, and well done to all the live aboarders who survived being stranded.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Oxford Canal Easier for Canal Boating Holidays

These new improvements to the Oxford canal bridges wil make it less daunting for beginners on canal boating holidays

Latest news for Tuesday 14 September

Single boaters given a hand on the Oxford Canal

British Waterways (BW) has completed a £40k bridge improvement project on the Oxford Canal. The project, to fully automate a lift bridge located near the canal side village of Thrupp, was carried out to ensure that single boaters can safely and easily operate this Grade II listed structure. Lift bridges are a well known feature along the Oxford Canal and today representatives from BW and the Inland Waterways Association will official open the newly controlled bridge known as Aubrey Lift Bridge (bridge number 221) which is the first bridge on this stretch of waterway to be electrically automated.... click for full story

There are quite a few lift bridges along the Oxford canal and also sadly some locations where these bridges have been demolished.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Restorations good for Canal Boating Holidays

Soon the Droitwuich canal in Worcestershire will be open for navigation providing new possibilities for canal boating holidays.

Yesterday saw a boat enter the 250-year-old barge canal for the first time in 80 years. It was a symbolic act that meant the £12 million restoration of the canal in Droitwich is close to completion.

Droitwich was just one of many abandoned waterways.

The growth of the leisure industry has sparked a renewed interest in canals as increasing numbers of people opt for narrowboat holidays. The result has been restoration projects across the country with many miles of canals navigable again.

While some old canals like the Leeds and Liverpool are creaking and groaning with leaks and lack of resources for maintenance, in other parts of the country new canals are being restored, or rather old ones, so the choices will always be there for canal boat holidays on the UK inland waterways

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Canal Boating Holidays thwarted by drought

Linda listened to this programme on Radio 4 and found it shocking. Some of the live aboarders are stuck up on the moors for weeks because they didn't listen properly to the low water level warnings. The man from British Waterways said that the canal is 200 years old and has always had problems with water shortages in the summer. The boat hire companies who do canal boating holidays have had a bad year too.
BBC Radio 4's "Open Country" programme was devoted to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal this week.

In particular the programme dealt with some of the issues around the closure of the 60-mile stretch between Wigan and Gargrave.

Presenter Helen Marks spoke to boaters who live aboard boats on the canal. She spoke with BW's Vince Moran about the reason for the recent closure of almost half of the canal. Mike Clarke of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal Society tells Helen about the canal's history and about his involvement with the Short Boat Kennet, one of the last unconverted boats which worked on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.

The programme can be listened to on-line for the next few days by following this link.