Canals & Inland Waterways - uk
We have cruised many of Britain's canals and inland waterways. No photographs can do justice to the joys of a canal boat holiday - the scenery, the wildlife, the pace of travel and the tranquility, but the pictures on this page may give you a taster.
Move your mouse over the pictures to see their location.
Although our Wilderness Beaver trailable boat is only 23' long, magazine reviews quote cabin accommodation equivalent to many 40' steel boats. We have four berths, a double and two singles, (or two doubles), a shower / toilet compartment, a wardrobe, refrigerator, full size cooker and blown air central heating. The boat is a 'go anywhere' craft, with the exception of the ultra miniature Froghall Tunnel at the terminus of the Caldon Canal (see picture above) and the Standedge Tunnel which would be too risky for this high sided, fibreglass boat. The boat is also extremely manoeuvrable; a minimum depth of water is required and there's no looking for a winding hole to turn round, just do a three point turn in the canal!
We've called our boat Serendipity, which means 'discovering new places by chance'. It seemed an appropriate name for exploring the canals.
We are currently based on the Macclesfield Canal, but have been on the Peak Forest, Montgomery, Llangollen, Shropshire Union, Bridgewater, Trent & Mersey, Leeds & Liverpool, Grand Union and Oxford Canals and the Rivers Soar and Trent.
Favourite scenic canal to date - upper reaches of the Caldon.
Favourite isolated canal - Montgomery.
Worst place for claustrophobia - the middle of the Harecastle Tunnel. It's 2926 yds. long. It's also very dark, very damp and there's very limited headroom for our boat! This tunnel would be considered small by those who've been through the Standedge Tunnel as that is three and a quarter miles long, the longest tunnel on Britain's canal network.
Worst place for acrophobia - the port side of the boat travelling north to Llangollen over the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct - see picture 2 above. Spectacular views, but there's no footpath, it's over 1000' long and if you fall, it's a 120' drop to the River Dee! A Wilderness Beaver boat could probably just about float in this drained section of the Leeds - Liverpool Canal - picture number one below.
We are members of the Wilderness Boat Owners' Club (WBOC) and the Inland Waterways Association (IWA). Each has its own website. See the Links section. Boat graphics are by SignRight, Whitworth, Rochdale (Tel. 01706 854848)
Wilderness Boats are based at Corsham in Wiltshire and are the best contact if you're considering purchasing a used craft. Proprietor is the very approachable and helpful Ian Graham.
Widerness Boats - Contact details