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the norfolk broads

Cruising holidays on the Norfolk Broads are where it all began for Harry Blake and his friends back in 1906. And today, over a hundred years later, Blakes is just as passionate about the Broads as Harry was all those years ago. You’ll relish its wide open skies with views of the floodplains and tranquil marshlands bristling with wildlife. Contrast that with its leafy edged villages and picturesque market towns and it’s easy to see why Harry Blake was seduced by the Broads all those years ago.

A broad canvas of delights

At the centre of things

A Broadland cruise will provide you with rich contrasts – from mudflats to medieval castles, windpumps and windmills, thatched cottages, secluded villages and urban landscapes. Expect a warm welcome and a respect for nature, tradition and history that continue to give the Norfolk Broads a unique flavour and enduring appeal.

Moor your boat up close to Norwich city centre, a short stroll away are restaurants, museums, theatres, shops, bars, cinemas, Norwich City FC and the magnificent cathedral. Wroxham, the capital of the Broads, is home to the world’s largest village store. And, for a change of pace, Great Yarmouth has a seaside amusement park and is home to both horse racing and greyhound meetings.

Wonderful wildlife The Norfolk Broads is home to a vast array of plants, birds and animals. The floating Broads Wildlife Centre at Ranworth Broad is a spectacular location for seeing a great variety of bird species. The RSPB’s Strumpshaw Fen reserve is another ‘must visit’ which, in addition to its birds and other wildlife, is also the perfect place to enjoy Broadland meadow flowers.

Gone fishing The Broads are a freshwater angler’s dream and are teeming with pike, bream, perch, roach and rudd. Just remember to pick up a licence from the Environment Agency. There is no fishing from March 15th to June 15th each year.

Our team recommends… Truly one of the jewels of the River Bure. Horning's main thoroughfare is called 'Lower Street' but in reality to the visitor it is little more than a sleepy little back lane. By stark contrast however, the river is where all the action is and where the village comes alive. With a selection of eateries including three renowned public houses and a very good delicatessen, Horning is definitely a place to relax, unwind and let the cares of everyday life slip away. Elizabeth Rebanks


unique cruise itineraries Your independence is key. Since all of the waterways highlighted on the map are linked together, you can plot your own course through the Broads. Using the colour coding as your guide, you can see the length of each stretch of water in miles, and also work out how long your journey will take in hours. Armed with this information, and a quick guide to the kind of places and scenery you can expect to experience, you are free to plan your own route.

Experience a week of discovery… Day one

Day four

Day seven

Cast off from Wroxham and head upstream, through the sleepy hamlet of Belaugh, and on to Coltishall. Moor up and sample the delights of riverside pubs such as ‘The Kings Head’.

After a morning’s shore-leave in Great Yarmouth it’s time to head for Reedham, via the conservation area mudflats of Breydon Water. Stock up on galley supplies and vittles at the quayside.

Make tracks back to the Northern Broads, through Great Yarmouth and towards the Stracey Arms Windpump (mooring at the nearby pub for lunch). Horning is a great choice for your last night!

Day two

Day five

Cruising to today’s destination of Potter Heigham, you’ll pass villages like Horning, peppered with traditional Norfolk thatched dwellings, as well as St Benet’s Abbey. Why not buy some local produce and enjoy lunch on board?

It’s about two and a half hours to Bramerton, a great place for lunch or a walk along part of the Weavers Way. Then it’s on to Norwich with its wealth of history.

Day three You’re off to the bustling seaside town of Great Yarmouth today. On the way downstream, you’ll pass through Acle with its typical Broadland windmills, and Stokesby, home to the Ferry Inn.

A1 49

THE NORTH SEA

RIVER ANT

Honing

Wayford Bridge

Dilham

Day six Today it’s down the narrow, scenic River Chet. The small town of Loddon is a good place to take on provisions before a night’s mooring at Burgh Castle built on the site of a medieval castle.

Stalham

Going under bridges safely A number of bridges on the Broads require special attention; in particular Potter Heigham Old Bridge is only seven feet high and the sides fall sharply to the water in a half circle. Boats able to go through must use the pilot service – free to Blakes cruiser skippers. Other bridges to look out for are in Wroxham leading to Coltishall, Ludham, Wayford, Great Yarmouth, St Olaves, Beccles and Thorpe. Occasionally, high tides may delay or prevent passage of some boats, which would normally pass easily under these bridges.

Sutton HICKLING BROAD

BARTON BROAD

RIVER BURE

Coltishall

Neatishead

MARTHAM BROAD

Potter Heigham Ludham

BLACKHORSE

Wroxham BROAD

BELAUGH BROAD

Martham West Somerton RIVER THURNE

A1 40

Horning WROXHAM BROAD SALHOUSE BROAD 1

HORSEY MERE

River Bure

A14 9

Coltishall to mouth of River Thurne

Thurne MALTHOUSE BROAD

15 A1

Ranworth

Thorpe

ORMESBY BROAD

LILY BROAD SOUTH WALSHAM BROAD

Upton Acle

A 47

ROLLESBY BROAD FILBY BROAD

RIVER BURE

Stokesby

Mouth of River Thurne to Great Yarmouth

Whitlingham Bramerton

A 140

A4 7

Brundall

RIVER YARE SURLINGHAM BROAD

A1 46

BREYDON WATER

GREAT YARMOUTH

RIVER YARE RIVER YARE

ROCKLAND BROAD

Reedham

Loddon

Haddiscoe New Cut

FRITTON LAKE & COUNTRY PARK

RIVE

A12

EY EN AV

Broads information centre

Pony Trekking

Point of interest

Gardens

Castle/ Stately Home

Nature Reserve/ Wildlife Park

Theme Park

Walks & Trails

W ER

Main road

Manned yacht station

St Olaves Somerleyton

RIV

Not navigable

Railway

Coastline

R CHET

Limit of navigation

Railway station

This key refers to the map symbols on the following pages

RIVER WAVENEY

Langley Staithe

Blakes Boatyards

Burgh St. Peter

43 A1

Geldeston

RIV ER

WA

Beccles

14m

4hrs 3hrs

This route is the traditional home of Broads cruising, with unspoilt pockets of scenic beauty and plenty of secluded areas to explore. From Wroxham, you can ride on the Bure Valley Railway or take a walk through the Broadlands countryside. Don’t miss The Broads Wildlife Centre with its floating exhibition and gallery and Ranworth Church, which offers spectacular views of the Broads. Other places to visit include St Benet’s Abbey (King Canute’s monastery). Heading east will take you to Great Yarmouth and endless possibilities for family fun at the seaside.

OULTON BROAD

Reedham to Gt Yarmouth

Pub & Restaurant

Game Fishing

River Ant Dilham to mouth of River Ant

A146

Museum

9m

3hrs

Initially reedland, the River Ant opens up into the lovely Barton Broad, the second largest of the Broads, where a colourful regatta is held every August. Narrower than other rivers, the Ant has a friendly charm and there are numerous exciting places to explore. Stalham is a bustling Georgian market town and home to the Broads Museum. Take in Sutton Mill, the highest mill in the county, or How Hill – a fascinating land and water trail through captivating Broads countryside.

River Thurne 17m

4hrs

9m

2hrs

A shallow tributary of the River Yare, just three and a half miles long, the River Chet is worth a detour to explore the quaint market town of Loddon, with its splendid Georgian houses. The river is narrow in places, wooded at first, it then becomes more canal like, with extensive grazing marshes and big skies. At the head of the river, the tree lined public staithe has good moorings for a number of boats.

River Waveney Geldeston to St Olaves

15m

6hrs

St Olaves to Gt Yarmouth

10m

2hrs

3m

1hr

St Olaves to Reedham

LOWESTOFT

VE N

EY

Norwich to Reedham 16m

RIVER BURE

NORWICH 1 A1

River Yare

The River Waveney forms the border between Norfolk and Suffolk and is the least typical of the Broadland rivers. It winds through vast flood plains, quaint market towns and quiet marshlands, overlooked by the Herringfleet Hills. It then flows into the dramatic Breydon Water – a large tidal estuary and European Special Protection Area (SPA) that is alive with birds. Along the way you will discover castles, ancient forts and mills, and why not moor up and visit Pleasurewood Hills Theme Park, 3-4 miles.

Hickling to mouth of River Thurne

7m

2hrs

The River Thurne gives you vast expanses of water and sky. The horizon is dotted with church steeples and windmills, and you get magnificent panoramic views as you cruise towards the coast. The river is just six miles long and takes you to attractive waterside towns like Potter Heigham, famous for its medieval bridge, which is perilously low. Hickling Broad is a mecca for sailors and wildlife enthusiasts. And, you’ll find a beautifully preserved windpump at Thurne Dyke. Head for Womack Water, a secluded broad and a firm favourite with artists. This idyllic setting, with beautiful scenery leads to the village of Ludham, which has excellent moorings.

River Chet Loddon to Reedham

6m

1.5hrs

Joining the Yare at Hardley Cross, this small waterway holds hidden niches for you to discover. Moor up at the public moorings in Loddon for easy access to this pleasant country town.


cruiser guide Whatever your tastes, you’ll discover a magnificent selection of cruisers of various types and size featured between pages 22 and 66 of this brochure. They are grouped together according to the area of the Norfolk Broads in which the hire base is located. This illustrated index will allow you to select the perfect boat for you and your party and the pages on which to find them.

Aft cockpit – folding canopy & sports type

Forward steering – fixed or sliding roof & sliding canopy

Centre steering – sliding canopy

• Large rear cockpit

• • • •

• Excellent views from central raised saloon, which provides a sheltered suntrap with the canopy open

• Ideal for fishing and sunbathing • Excellent visibility and easy handling • Will usually pass under all Broads bridges with canopy and windscreen lowered

Forward and rear access One floor level throughout Will usually pass under all Broads bridges Fixed or sliding sunroof, or full sliding canopy, over saloon

• Easy to handle with good visibility • Will usually pass under all Broads bridges

What’s your party size? It’s now even easier to decide which boat is right for you... just use the colour bands, indicating how many people each boat can accommodate.

2 to 5

4 to 9

7 to 12 Berths

Dual steering – high & low level • • • •

Dual steering positions from saloon and sundeck Easy to manoeuvre from both steering positions Sundeck with excellent visibility and seating for the crew Light and spacious saloon

Berths 4 4 to 6 4 to 6

VB Short Boat Rating Breaks Base ✓ 5 Wroxham ✓ 5 Wroxham 5

Wroxham

Name FAIR DIPLOMAT FAIR ENCOUNTER FAIR COMMODORE

Boat Ref

Page No

BBA20

23

BBA73 BBA58

24

4

Wroxham

BRINKS CONTESSA

BBB34

29

4 to 6

5

Wroxham

BRINKS CONCERTO

BBA82

29

4 to 6

4

Potter Heigham

GLIDING LIGHT

BBH83

46

4 to 6

4

Potter Heigham

SUNLIGHT

BBG81 46

4 to 6

4

Potter Heigham

AQUA LIGHT

BBG17 47

4 to 6

4

Potter Heigham

TWILIGHT

BBG47 47

4 to 6

4

Potter Heigham

QUIET LIGHT

BBH21

46

5 to 8

3

Wroxham

BRINKS PRELUDE

BBA61

30

5 to 8

4

Potter Heigham

GLITTERING LIGHT

BBG97 49

5 to 8

3

Potter Heigham

POOL OF LIGHT

BBG50 50

6

4

Potter Heigham

RIO LIGHT

BBH74

6 or 7

5

Potter Heigham

BEAM OF LIGHT

BBG20 50

6 to 8

5

Wroxham

BRINKS MELODY

BBA36

7 to 9

Applied ✓ ✓ 5

7 to 9

4

8 8

5 4

Wroxham

FAIR ADMIRAL

BBA72

26

Potter Heigham

CARIBBEAN LIGHT

BBH31

51

Wroxham Potter Heigham

KING OF LIGHT

BBA56

27

SHIMMERING LIGHT

BBG94 42

BRINKS BREAKAWAY

BBB18

27

2

2

Thorpe

HIGH PROMISE

BBZ56

38

2 to 4

FAIR AMBASSADOR

BBA65

22

5

Wroxham

BRINKS SONATA

BBA63

27

2

3

Thorpe

CLASSIC DUET 1

BBZ44

38

2 to 4

2

Thorpe

HI SMUGGLER

BBZ33

38

2

3

Potter Heigham

GLIMMERING LIGHT

BBG93 42

2 or 3

3

Potter Heigham

FLORIDA LIGHT

BBH67

43

4

3

Potter Heigham

DUKE OF LIGHT

BBG14

44

2

4

Potter Heigham

SPARKLING LIGHT

BBG24 42

2 or 3

3

Reedham

SANDLARK

BBV28

36

4 or 5

3

Potter Heigham

BRILLIANT LIGHT

BBG28

44

2

3

Potter Heigham

SKYLIGHT

BBG59 42

2 or 3

3

Reedham

SAND EAGLET

BBV35

36

4 or 5

4

Potter Heigham

PICO LIGHT

BBH69

44

2

3

Thorpe

HI HOPES

BBZ13

38

2 to 4

5

Wroxham

FAIR CONSORT

BBB41

22

4 or 5

3

Potter Heigham

TOBAGO LIGHT

BBH70

45

2 to 4

5

Wroxham

BRINKS ROYALE

BBB20

28

2 to 4

5

Wroxham

FAIR REGENT

BBA49

22

4

Potter Heigham

ORLANDO LIGHT

BBH71

45

2 to 4

3

Wroxham

BRINKS ARIES

BBA18

28

2 to 4

3

4 or 5

Potter Heigham

MALVERN LIGHT

BBH14

43

3

Potter Heigham

SERENE LIGHT

BBH51

45

2 to 4

3

Wroxham

BRINKS RHAPSODY

BBA53

28

2 to 4

5

4 or 5

Potter Heigham

SUMMER LIGHT

BBH24

43

4

Wroxham

FAIR COURIER

BBA39

22

4

Potter Heigham

HIGHLIGHT

BBG25 43

2 to 4

3

Thorpe

HI ESCAPE

BBZ31

39

3 to 4

4 to 6

28

23

BBG26 43

BBA74

BBB24

CRYSTAL LIGHT

BRINK OF JOY

FAIR REGAL

Potter Heigham

Wroxham

Wroxham

4

4

5

2 to 4

2 to 5

4 to 6

5

Wroxham

FAIR VISCOUNT

BBB19

22

Potter Heigham

BROADLAND LIGHT

BBG34

45

2 to 4

2

Reedham

SANDMARTIN

BBV26

36

4

3 to 5

4 to 6

3

Potter Heigham

EVESHAM LIGHT

BBH17

43

4

Potter Heigham

PRINCESS OF LIGHT

BBG72

46

3 to 5

3

3 to 5

4 to 6

Reedham

SANDSWIFT

BBV34

37

4

Potter Heigham

FADING LIGHT

BBG96 44

4 to 6

4

Potter Heigham

DAZZLING LIGHT

BBH29

47

4 or 5

3

3 to 5

Reedham

SANDSTORM

BBV19

BBG15 44

4 to 6

4

Potter Heigham

PRINCE OF LIGHT

BBG77

48

4 to 6

4

Potter Heigham

MOONLIGHT

BBG11 45

BBZ63

38

4 to 6

4

Potter Heigham

REFLECTING LIGHT

BBG51

47

3

Reedham

SAND COUGAR

BBV33

37

37

Sedan • High level steering position in light and airy saloon (usually with sliding sunroof over) • Sliding patio doors to rear sundeck ideal for fishing and sunbathing • Space for crew to sit with driver

3 to 5

5

Potter Heigham

EVENING LIGHT

8 or 9

5

Wroxham

BRINKS LULLABY

BBB21

31

8 to 10

4

Wroxham

BRINK OF DAY

BBA62

32

2 or 3

8 to 11

4

Potter Heigham

CRUSADING LIGHT

BBG57 52

2 to 4

4

Berths

Wroxham

Name

Boat Ref

Page No

SANDFLY

BBV30

36

BRINKS OMEGA

BBA59

28

Name

Boat Ref

Page No

4 or 5

3

Reedham

SAND DART

BBV29

37

4 to 6

4 or 5

3

Reedham

SANDBEAM

BBV22

37

4 to 6

2

Thorpe

HI ENDEAVOUR

BBZ30

39

4 or 5

3

Reedham

SAND STAR

BBV36

37

4 to 7

5

Wroxham

BRINKS SUPREME

BBA96

30

4 to 6

5

Wroxham

FAIR DUCHESS

BBB43

24

4 to 7

4

Wroxham

BRINK OF TIME

BBA48

30

4 to 6

5

Wroxham

BRINKS DUCHESS

BBA83

29

4 to 7

3

Potter Heigham

NORTHERN LIGHT

BBH33

49

4 to 6

4

Potter Heigham

GLEAMING LIGHT

BBH26

48

5 to 7

4

Wroxham

FAIR PRINCE

BBA37

25

4 to 6

4

Potter Heigham

PEARL OF LIGHT

BBH25

48

5 to 7

4

Potter Heigham

DELIGHT

BBH46

49

4 to 6

4

Potter Heigham

WEYMOUTH LIGHT

BBH59

46

5

Wroxham

FAIR COUNTESS

BBA41

25

4 to 6

5

5 to 8

Potter Heigham

GOLDEN LIGHT

BBH84

46

5

Potter Heigham

LIMELIGHT

BBG13

50

4 to 7

3

5 to 8

Potter Heigham

SOARING LIGHT

BBH15

49

3

COMMANDING LIGHT BBG33

48

4

Potter Heigham

MORNING LIGHT

BBG46 49

Potter Heigham

5 to 7

6

5 to 8

5

Potter Heigham

STARLIGHT

BBH56

50

6

4

Potter Heigham

SWAN LIGHT

BBG43

49

5 to 8

5

Wroxham

FAIR DUKE

BBA51

25

6 or 7

3

Potter Heigham

QUEEN OF LIGHT

BBG49

50

8 to 10

3

Potter Heigham

GLINT OF LIGHT

BBG31 53

6 to 8

3

Potter Heigham

COARSAIR LIGHT

BBG39

50

6 to 9

4

Wroxham

BRINKS ROMANY

BBB29/33 32

Thorpe

CLASSIC DUET 2

8 to 11

5

Potter Heigham

SHINING LIGHT

BBG79 52

8 to 11

3

Potter Heigham

GLINT OF LIGHT 3

BBG55 53

6 to 9

3

Potter Heigham

MALIBU LIGHT

BBH73

51

8 to 12

4

Wroxham

BRINKS ULTIMA

BBB28

33

8 or 9

5

Wroxham

BRINKS HARMONY

BBA42

31

8 to 12

4

Potter Heigham

FOLKESTONE LIGHT

BBH60

53

8 or 9

3

Potter Heigham

GLISTENING LIGHT

BBH78

52

8 or 9

3

Reedham

SAND PIPER

BBV32

37

8 to 10

3

Potter Heigham

COUNTESS OF LIGHT BBG60

52

8 to 11

5

Wroxham

FAIR EMPRESS

BBA84

26

8 to 11

4

Potter Heigham

JEWEL OF LIGHT

BBG44

52

8 to 11

3

Potter Heigham

BRIGHT LIGHT

BBG18

53

10

3

Wroxham

BRINKS SYMPHONY

BBA69

33

8 to 12

3

Wroxham

BRINKS EMPEROR

BBA67

33

Centre steering – other types VB Short Boat Rating Breaks Base ✓ 3 Reedham

51

Berths

3

3 to 5

26

BBG54 51 BBH19

BRINK OF PEACE

2

REGAL LIGHT

Page No

2

Potter Heigham

2

Boat Ref

VB Short Boat Rating Breaks Base ✓ 5 Wroxham

5

8

2

24

BBA75

Page No

31

FAIR LOWLINER 44'

BBA16

Boat Ref

48

Wroxham

FAIR EMPEROR

Name

Name

VB Short Boat Rating Breaks Base ✓ N/A Wroxham

23

4 to 6

6 to 8

18

Berths

VB Short Boat Rating Breaks Base ✓ 3 Wroxham ✓ 4 Potter Heigham

Berths 2 to 4

VB Short Boat Rating Breaks Base ✓ 3 Reedham

Name SANDHAWK

Boat Ref BBV31

Page No 36

19


the upper bure

Swan Inn at Horning

Broads Wildlife Centre

Discover the local sights… Broads Wildlife Centre

Wroxham

Floating on the edge of Ranworth Broad, the centre is a brilliant place for bird watching and admiring the views. There is a nature trail through woodland and fen where you can see butterflies, dragonflies, great crested grebes and swallows.

A popular place to stop in the summer months and known by many as the ‘Capital of the Broads’, Wroxham boasts ‘Roys’ the largest village store in the world! Spend time pottering around the local shops and eateries or enjoy a walk through the beautiful wooded gardens of Hoveton Hall.

Cockshoot Broad Visit Cockshoot Broad and take a leisurely stroll along the boarded walk which will take you through to the clear water Broad as it was 100 years ago.

Our team recommends… St Helens, Ranworth – or rather the view from the top of the bell tower. Climbing the 89 stone steps and two ladders to the roof of this pretty little parish church – known as the Cathedral of the Broads – is a great way of working off the excesses of a good Norfolk breakfast. Those hardy enough to make the climb are rewarded with what is arguably the best view of the Broads.

Bure Valley Railway Step back in time and take a steam train ride through beautiful countryside on the Old Eastern line linking Wroxham and the ancient market town of Aylsham.

Julie Knowles

Salhouse Broad

Norfolk Mead Hotel

RIV

HOVETON LITTLE BROAD

Kings Head Hotel

ER

ANT

St Benets Abbey

Horning

Coltishall

RIVER BURE

Swan Inn

BELAUGH BROAD BURE

Bure Valley Railway (Aylsham – Wroxham)

Wroxham

RIVER

Meander through the peaceful open waters of the Wroxham, Salhouse, Blackhorse and Malthouse Broads. Stop and explore picturesque Horning. Drift through ancient woodlands and gasp at the breathtaking views. And, there are welcoming pubs and attractions to be discovered along the route.

HOVETON GREAT BROAD

DECOY BROAD

Barton House Miniature Railway

Woodfordes Brewery

WROXHAM BROAD SALHOUSE BROAD

Broads waterways – whichever river you choose to start your holiday, you can cruise most of Broadland within a week and all of the area within a fortnight.

RANWORTH BROAD COCKSHOOT BROAD

Hoveton Great Broad Nature Trail

MALTHOUSE BROAD

Broads Ranworth Wildlife Centre Ranworth Church

Fairhaven Garden Trust SOUTH WALSHAM BROAD


rivers yare, chet & waveney Discover the local sights…

Oulton Broad

Norwich

Pettit’s Animal Adventure Park

Burgh Castle

Norwich is East Anglia’s capital city, famous for its magnificent cathedral dating back to Norman Times. Famous for its history in the wool trade, Norwich today cleverly weaves its past into its present. You’ll find little cobbled streets to explore and plenty of historic buildings and ancient churches to marvel at. Its market in the city centre – selling meat, fresh fish, fruit and vegetables as well as clothes and a myriad of other items – is a tradition which also dates back to the Normans but it lives up to its billing as a modern day 21st century city with plenty of shops, restaurants and evening entertainment for those who enjoy spending time in a vibrant, contemporary city.

Pettit’s is famous for its half mile long miniature railway but there are also over 50 other exciting things to do and see, like the Bouncy Castle, the Giant Slide and the Monkey House.

Located at the southern end of Breydon Water on the River Waveney, Burgh Castle was one of many Roman defences built to repel Saxon pirates. Unlike those built at Branchester and Bradwell-on-Sea which have largely disappeared, much of Burgh Castle’s massive stone wall is still intact.

Berney Arms Mill

Fritton Lake Countryworld

Standing 70 feet tall, this is one of the tallest windmills on the broads. Nearby, you can enjoy refreshments at the Berney Arms Inn and the RSPB birdlife nature reserve is close by.

Experience a day out in the countryside. There is so much to see and do from falconry displays to the Shires and Suffolk Punches in the stables, the children’s farm and adventure playground, rowing boats, pedaloes, fishing and even a nine hole golf course, the only problem will be fitting it all into one day!

Pleasurewood Hills Theme Park Over 40 rides, shows and attractions make this East Anglia’s number one family fun park for people of all ages. From the ‘thrill’ rides like the ‘Mega-Drop’ and the ‘Tidal Wave Roller Coaster’ to ‘Dino Dig’ and ‘Flying Elephants’ for younger children.

Set in a beautiful riverside location, Brundall is a charming village surrounded by miles of glorious open countryside. Attractions include the quaint little church of St. Laurence and the Yare public house which serves real ale, home cooked food and has an open log fire. Nearby is the RSPB Strumpshaw Nature Reserve, home to a rich variety of birds and other wildlife.

According to history, ‘Loddon’ is a Celtic, pre-Roman name which means ‘muddy river’ and its famous water mill was even mentioned in the Domesday Book which illustrates just how long the town has been in existence. Formerly, an important industrial river, it is now a boating leisure attraction and is a popular stopping off point for visitors to the Broads.

Beccles The harbour town of Beccles in Suffolk features one of the most attractive quaysides on the Broads and there are several charming pubs and shops to explore. For those who like their naval history, it was also the place where the parents of Lord Horatio Nelson were married in St. Michael’s Church in the town.

River Waveney at Beccles

Three rivers – one remarkable journey. The River Yare, a magnificent gateway to the rest of the Broads, joins the short 3.5 mile long Chet. It’s well worth a detour, if only to explore the quaint market town of Loddon.

Broads waterways – whichever river you choose to start your holiday, you can cruise most of Broadland within a week and all of the area within a fortnight.

Inspire Castle Discovery Museum Centre Norwich Cathedral

NORWICH

The Woods Ram Inn Thorpe End Tavern Brundall

Bramerton

Surlingham Broad Nature Reserve

ROCKLAND BROAD RIVER YARE

The River Waveney forms the border between Norfolk and Suffolk. It’s the Broads’ most southerly main river which rises just to the west of Diss and its enchanting, tranquil atmosphere makes it one of the least typical Broadland rivers in the upper reaches with many secluded coves. The busy market town of Beccles and popular Oulton Broad are just two of its many highlights.

Reedham

Our team recommends…

Langley Staithe

Nicholas Everitt Park, Oulton Broad on the River Waveney – just by the moorings at Oulton Broad Yacht Station, this small park has everything to offer. Wander along pleasant pathways and enjoy afternoon tea on the terrace overlooking the Broad. Children are also well catered for.

Loddon

GREAT YARMOUTH

Pettits Animal Adventure Park

The Ship The Lord Nelson

Burgh Castle Berney Arms Mill

St. Olaves Priory

RIV

The River Chet enters the Yare between Cantley and Reedham. In fact, Hardley Cross, by the river junction, has marked the official boundary between Norwich and Yarmouth for over 400 years – an important boundary marker as Norwich and Yarmouth were once fierce rivals for prosperity and trade. The Chet is well worth a detour as you can stop off at Loddon – a quaint market town with tourist facilities and attractions with a number of boat hire bases with plenty of moorings.

Laura McWhirter

The White Swan

BREYDON WATER

Strumpshaw Fen

Y

Whitlingham Country Park and Watersports Centre Woodknot Riverside Crafts

The River Yare is referred to as the ‘Gateway to the Broads’ and was originally an important trading route linking the magnificent cathedral city of Norwich with the port of Great Yarmouth. Today the river is a haven for wildlife and flows through impressive marshland and woodland, passing Bramerton, Brundall and Reedham en route, before heading out to sea at Great Yarmouth. Other attractions include Berney Arms Mill, Pettit’s Animal Adventure Park and Pleasurewood Hills Theme Park.

Loddon

ER WA VE NE

Norwich

Brundall

CHET RIVER

FRITTON LAKE & COUNTRY PARK

Haddiscoe New Cut

Reedham Ferry & Inn

Somerleyton House Garden

St. Olaves RIVER WAVENEY

Somerleyton

Pleasurewood Hills Theme Park

Geldeston

Geldeston to Beccles walk

Burgh St. Peter RIV

ER

Waveney Centre

WA River VE NE Y

Beccles

OULTON BROAD

Suffolk Broads Wildlife Centre

LOWESTOFT


middle bure, thurne & river ant

Hunslett Windmill

How Hill

Discover the local sights… Middle Bure & Thurne

St. Benet’s Abbey

Welcome to the land of big skies, vast expanses of water, church spires and windmills.

Great Yarmouth

Sutton Windmill

Moor up at the extensive free moorings on the river bank nearby and explore this ruined ninth century Benedictine abbey. At one time, the monks here controlled much of the local peat digging that resulted in the creation of the Broads themselves.

There’s something for everyone in Great Yarmouth, the buzzing seaside resort. Kids will love the seafront Pleasure Beach with over 70 rides and attractions. There are 20 large rides, gardens, mini golf, water attractions, kids’ rides, and plenty of places for food and drink. Don’t forget to take a visit to the popular Sea Life centre where you can see marine life close up.

Enjoy superb views of the surrounding country and coastline from Sutton Mill, Britain’s tallest windmill also housing a museum containing many unusual and rare items depicting life in the Broads.

Fairhaven Garden Trust

Honing

Museum of The Broads

Dilham Wayford Bridge

Hunsett Stalham Sutton Mill Windmill Sutton

BARTON BROAD

Pleasure Boat Inn

Grove Farm Art Gallery RIVER ANT

Ye Olde Saddlery Toad Hole Cottage Museum

Horsey Windpump

HICKLING BROAD

Neatishead

HORSEY MERE MARTHAM BROAD

HOW HILL

Ludham Potter Heigham

URNE

West Somerton

Martham

RIVER TH

Alfresco Tea Rooms

Broads Wildlife Centre

The Ship Inn

Upton

St Benets Abbey

ROLLESBY BROAD FILBY BROAD

Acle

Fairhaven Garden Trust

Horsey Windpump Horsey Windpump is a fully restored fourstorey windpump built in 1912. Climb to the top for some fantastic views of the wild landscape, the reed beds and most impressively, the wildfowl of Horsey Mere.

Take a visit to Caister-on-Sea and you’ll find the remains of a Roman commercial port and fort, including ruins of a defensive wall, gateway and buildings.

ORMESBY BROAD

LILY BROAD

Stokesby

The Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden is made up of 180 acres of idyllic ancient woodland, water gardens and a private broad in the heart of the Norfolk Broads. The gardens are a joy to see and walk around whatever the time of year – from bluebells, azaleas and primulas in the spring to snowdrops and berries in the winter. And all year round you’ll be able to see many birds, butterflies, dragonflies, kingfishers and even deer in their natural habitat.

Caister Roman Site

Thurne

SOUTH WALSHAM BROAD

RIVER BURE

Three rivers offer endless variety and effortless adventure, beautifully located in Britain’s largest protected wetland. Visit the wonderful wildlife and nature reserves at Hickling and Horsey. Negotiate Potter Heigham’s medieval arched bridge with the help of the pilot service. Enjoy the panoramic views of farm and marshland and discover Great Yarmouth’s history. Step back in time as you glide along the charming River Ant. This quiet, narrow river is lined with reed beds – still used in the traditional craft of thatching. There are numerous peaceful corners to explore, pretty villages and busy market towns to discover.

St. Benet’s Abbey

Filby Bridge Restaurant

Caister Roman Site RIVER BU

RE

GREAT YARMOUTH

The White Swan

On the River Ant

Stalham Visit the classic and attractive broadland market town. It’s a fantastic base from which to explore the Broads, and is ideally located for visits to the coastal towns of Waxham, Eccles or Sea Palling.

Museum of the Broads Follow the story of the Broads from their medieval creation right up to the transition into a vibrant tourist centre. Find out everything from the amazing collection of Broads boats, the fascinating history of those who have lived and worked in the area plus how the Broads were developed into the modern environment we are all familiar with today.

How Hill There is so much to do and see at How Hill. Spend a day following one of the specially designed land or water trails and take in the marsh meadows, the dense swampy woodland and the dykes. Visit the How Hill Nature Reserve – designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) with swallowtail butterflies, harriers, bearded reedlings and bitterns. Visit Toad Hole Cottage Museum to get an impression of life in the marshes in Victorian times. The cottage was built between 1780 and 1820, and up until the start of the 20th century, it was home to Marshmen and their families. Take a step back in time to see how the family made a living off the surrounding area.

Our team recommends… Having navigated the lower reaches of the River Ant, cross Barton Broad and make your way to Neatishead Staithe, it’s a bit like ‘Swallows and Amazons’. Walk up into the village and find a well stocked shop and a couple of excellent hostelries. An excellent carvery lunch awaits you at Wayford Bridge. Sheelagh Fleming


the royal river thames Discover the local sights…

Oxford

Oxford

Henley

The home of one of the oldest universities in the world, Oxford is renowned for its dreaming spires and the Inspector Morse mysteries. A walk through the compact city is an easy way to spend the day, passing many of the university colleges or enjoying one of the many museums. Shopping in Oxford is a varied and pleasurable experience, with the Victorian covered market in the High Street and many other specialist shops dotted throughout the city.

Famous across the world for the annual summer regatta, there are plenty more reasons to visit this riverside town outside of July. A visit to the River and Rowing Museum offers something for all the family – celebrate the famous Henley Regatta in the hall of fame, get hands on and challenge your skill or spend some time exploring the River Thames in the Thames Museum.

There is plenty to see and do at this historical palace with 60 acres of gardens, some of the finest paintings from the Royal Collection, the Flower Festival and regular summer evening concerts. Plus there is the infamous Hampton Court Maze.

Moor for free and take a walk along these National Trust owned Thames-side Meadows. Visit the river scenes which inspired Wind in the Willows – maybe you will even see Toady, Ratty and their friends.

For a fun and exciting day out, take the shuttle bus from Eton or Windsor to arrive at this award winning theme park. With more than 50 interactive attractions, shows and rides, there really is something to keep the whole family happy.

This magnificent hill top Italianate mansion boasts extensive gardens with views across the Thames Valley. Open throughout the Spring and Autumn, each garden has been designed with its own unique character, from the formal water gardens to the secret gardens. Windsor Castle

With over 200 miles of waterways flowing through 2000 years of history ‘Old Father Thames’ promises surprises round every corner.

AL

From

To

Lechlade

Oxford

Approx miles 30

11

Oxford

Reading

40

13

Locks

Reading

Windsor

30

11

Windsor

Teddington

24

9

Eynsham

OSNEY BRIDGE

Red Lion New Inn Swan Hotel

Newbridge

Waterman Arms

Oxford

The Broad Face

Lechlade

Trout Inn

Bourne End Marlow

Benson

Abingdon

Abingdon Abbey

The Flower Pot

Cliveden House

River & Rowing Museum

Wallingford

Maidenhead

RIV ER

Caversham

TH ES AM

Basildon Park

Datchet

Henley Goring

Buscot House and Park

Wargrave

Windsor Castle

Teddington

Eton

Windsor

Hampton Court Palace

Staines Runnymede

Chertsey

Legoland

Walton

Thorpe Park Reading

Pangbourne

Pangbourne Meadows E NN KE

L

A AN NC

VO

A T&

Kingston

Shepperton

RIVER WEY

Narrowboats based at Eynsham and Chertsey on the River Thames.

AN

There are 44 locks on the Thames, evenly spaced between Teddington and Lechlade. All are normally operated by official lockkeepers and there are no charges to you. Moorings are plentiful on the Thames, in the towns as well as the countryside, and many are free of charge.

DC

Thames-based narrowboats

FOR

Through the locks

River distances

Lower Heyford

OX

It could take you two weeks to cover the full distance from Teddington Lock to Lechlade in Gloucestershire. If you don’t have that much time, you can always cruise at a leisurely pace to Windsor, location of the famous royal residence, where a Blakes boatyard is just around the corner.

Ann Slater

Legoland, Windsor

Cliveden House

England’s most famous river offers miles of non-tidal waterway to navigate. There are celebrated towns like Marlow, Henley, Windsor and Oxford with their historic pasts to explore.

Cruise along the majestic Thames and visit Royal Windsor and Eton, or perhaps visit Oxford with its gleaming spires and magnificent colleges. Combine this with going through beautiful countryside and the many locks which are mostly operated by lock-keepers and moor up close to a tempting hostelry for a pleasant evening.

Hampton Court Palace

Pangbourne Meadows

Henley

Our team recommends…

Guildford


loch ness & the caledonian canal Stop and relax along the way

Getting to know your boat

Fly or drive to Scotland

Sheltered moorings are never far away and most piers, jetties and mooring points are free of charge. Hoteliers and villagers warmly welcome visitors and village shops are well stocked. In the larger towns of Inverness, Fort William and Fort Augustus you can find all the amenities you’ll need. The 10 locks on route are all operated by keepers and charges are included in your holiday price, so you can just sit back, relax and enjoy the journey.

There are no tidal waters in the Great Glen between Inverness and Fort William so no previous boating experience is required, although tuition is still available.

If you want to take in the breathtaking scenery of Scotland at a leisurely pace, you can drive to Laggan Lock. However, direct flights to Inverness are available. Flights should be booked with the airlines directly but Blakes will arrange your airport transfers. Please contact our Reservations Team for more details and prices.

For added safety, you’ll find a floatation raft, life belt (yachts only), buoyancy aids for each crew member, an anchor and chain, flares, maps and general cruising information on board.

Magnificent mountain scenery

As you cruise through the Great Glen, you might wish to stop off and sample some typical Scottish ‘fayre’. How about a mouth-watering freshly smoked salmon complimented by a couple of wee drams of the finest Scotch whisky in one of the welcoming waterside hotels along the Caledonian Canal?

Visit the restaurant at Urquart Castle for wonderful soup and scones, also take your swimming/sports gear and have a swim at the Great Glen Water Park on Loch Oich or the Bught Leisure Centre and Swimming Pool which is five minutes walk from Tomnahurich Bridge in Inverness, where you can moor up. Whilst in Inverness you could take a taxi to the bowling alley or multiplex cinema.

FIRT

Inverness

Not navigable Dochgarroch

NESS

Dores

LOCH

Loch Ness Monster Exhibition Drumnadrochit

Inverfarigaig Forest

Castle Urquhart

Sheelagh Fleming

Foyers

MEALL FUARMHONAIDH 2293ft

Please note that Blakes charter cruises and yachts based on the Caledonian Canal are not permitted to cruise tidal waters below Banavie Locks.

Inchnacardoch Forest Fort Augustus Locks

No visit would be complete without a tour of the Loch Ness Centre at Drumnadrochit. You can even join in the search for ‘Nessie’. Don’t forget your camera, just in case…

BEN TIGH 2948ft

You’re likely to see eagles, ospreys and other rare birds flying overhead, otters going about their daily business and, for anglers, you’ll be in heaven as there is no closed season for coarse fishing in Scotland.

Fort Augustus Kytra lock

Invergarry Castle

Cullochy lock

Great Glen Water park

Laggan Forest LOCH Y

Loch Ness is undeniably one of the most famous lakes in the world. It’s also a place of outstanding natural beauty where you can explore the myths, legends, history and wildlife of this breathtakingly beautiful region of the Scottish Highlands.

Marvel at the wildlife

H

RAY

MO

Navigable

LOCH

Laggan Reach

Blakes cruiser base

OICH

From Banavie, at the end of the canal, you can take an unforgettable train journey on the scenic West Highland Line to Mallaig; parts of which have been used as the setting for the Hogwarts Express magical steam train in the Harry Potter films. Marvel at Neptune’s Staircase – a magnificent eight-lock system that lowers sea-going boats down to the tidal waters of Loch Linnhe.

Our team recommends…

LOCH

Heading south from Loch Ness, you will reach Fort Augustus and Invergarry Castle and enter the relatively shallow Loch Oich in the shadow of Ben Tigh and home of the Great Glen Water Park. Then on to Laggan and Loch Lochy from where you can see Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, and Inverlochy Castle.

Glen Loy Forest

Laggan

Inverlochy Castle

Gairloch Ben Nevis 4406 ft

Banavie Fort William H LIN LOC

NHE

Corriegour Lodge Hotel Letterfinlay Lodge Hotel


the canals of england & wales Blakes gives you much more Every Blakes narrowboat holiday on the English and Welsh canals includes FREE… • Car parking (unless otherwise stated)

*Please specify in which format you wish to receive the guide. Limited to one guide per household and include your booking reference to qualify for this offer.

• Diesel fuel • On-board colour television (unless stated) • Bed linen

‘The Waterways Code’ A free guide offering beginners and novices a comprehensive insight into canal cruising and passage through locks, tunnels and bridges is available in either DVD, video or handbook format.*

On board Skippers Manual Provides all the information you’ll need for: • Navigation guidance • Lock operation • Boat handling • Equipment operation • Emergency service contact details

To obtain your FREE copy, write to:

Save up to £100

‘The Waterways Code’ Guides, Blakes Holiday Boating, Spring Mill, Earby, Barnoldswick, Lancashire BB94 0AA

Book a holiday of one week or more to be taken in 2008 and we’ll send you a voucher worth up to £100 off a further holiday in 2008. Further details with your booking confirmation.

Inland Waterways Helmsman Certificates Blakes are pleased to offer Royal Yachting Association training courses for the Inland Waterways Helmsman Certificate from recognised RYA teaching establishments. Whether you are about to take your maiden voyage or you’re already experienced, you will find it very useful to be able to brush up on the main points, to feel totally confident and comfortable on your boat. The one-day RYA course unravels the mysteries of locks, bridges and tunnels, as well as basic boat handling and waterway rules and regulations. The comprehensive syllabus ensures that you become a competent helmsman, leaving you free to enjoy your holiday relaxed and in safety. One, two and three-day courses are available at selected boatyards. Full details are available from our Reservations Team.

A great choice of destinations The waterways of Yorkshire & Lancashire

The Oxford and Grand Union Canals and the River Thames

The Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal

• Skipton – a thriving market town overlooked by its 900 year old castle

• Windsor Castle – one of the Queen’s three official residences

• Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway – for a scenic ride on a steam train

• Hebden Bridge – famous for galleries and craft shops within a stone’s throw of the Pennines – a rambler’s delight

• Hampton Court – over 500 years of Royal history

• Llangorse Lake – water skiing, windsurfing and fishing

• Oxford – city of ‘dreaming spires’ and academia

• Brecon – a cathedral, museums and a 55 mile walking trail to Cardiff

• Saltaire – Salts Mill with its David Hockney exhibition

With tranquil backwaters, stunning mountains and woodland teeming with wildlife, a boating holiday with Blakes in England or Wales is an opportunity to get away from it all. Discover our industrial heritage or cruise through vibrant cities – it’s easy to see why Harry Blake was captivated by boating over 100 years ago.

• Stoke Bruerne – popular canal village and waterways museum

Llangollen, the Four Counties and Cheshire Rings

The Kennet & Avon Canal

• Chester – Roman history, a 1000 year old cathedral, a racecourse and zoo

• Bath – Roman baths, Georgian crescents and the Jane Austen tour

• Harecastle Tunnel – 2926 yards of Telford’s 1827 tunnel to pass through

• Bristol – Floating harbour, Brunel’s SS Great Britain and the famous Zoo Gardens

• Llangollen – 3000 years of history on the banks of the Dee with golf and white water rafting close by

• Caen Hill Flight – a two mile flight of 29 locks

Warwickshire & Leicestershire Rings • Warwick Castle – jousting events, medieval feasts and even pop concerts • Bosworth Battlefield Centre & Country Park – where Richard III died and lost his crown to Henry VII • Rugby – with its famous school and the birthplace of Rugby Football

Stourport & Avon Rings and the River Severn • Tewkesbury – 11th century abbey that forms the world’s largest surviving Norman Central tower • Stratford-upon-Avon – the birthplace of Shakespeare • Dudley – famous for its zoo and castle

Our team recommends… Cruising on a narrowboat is the most relaxing way to travel – no faster than four mph – you slip through the countryside like a snail taking your ‘home’ with you wherever you go. This is only broken up with the occasional glimpse of wildlife; a heron, kingfisher or water vole. Then to keep you on your toes there are locks, tunnels and aqueducts some of which tower in the sky like majestic monuments. You can moor up in towns, quiet little villages with pretty waterside pubs or in the middle of no-where. Sarah Bennison


planning your cruise Don’t rush! The whole idea of a boating holiday is to relax and to savour everything you encounter along your journey. You can choose one of the popular circular routes, cruise ‘out and back’ or admire the same view but from a different location. Find a peaceful mooring, venture out and explore.

Calculating time and distance You will be able to estimate the distance you can expect to cover by calculating the ‘lock miles’. It takes roughly the same amount of time to pass through a lock as it does to travel one mile. On average, you can expect to cover three lock miles per hour. For example, take Devizes to Hungerford on the map. Just add all the bold numbers (miles) along the route together, i.e. 20 + 15 = 35. Then add all the adjacent light numbers (locks) together, i.e. 13 + 22 = 35.

This key refers to the map symbols on the following pages YORK

Limit of navigation

Castle/ Stately Home

Not navigable

Theme Park

Locks

Pub & Restaurant

Bridge/Tunnel

Museum

Coastline

Pony Trekking

LEEDS

Caen Hill Flight

Littlecote

Devizes 2-29

2 0 -13

15-22

KENNET AND AVON CANAL

Devizes Walk

Hungerford Crofton

The Royal Oak

Our experienced Reservations Team can give you all the advice and guidance you need. Detailed canal guides are available by post. .

Mirfield

MANCHESTER LIVERPOOL

The total is 70 ‘lock miles’ which, divided by three miles per hour, gives almost 24 cruising hours each way – an actionpacked week or a leisurely fortnight.

The Three Crowns

WIGAN

SHEFFIELD

Anderton

CHESTER

CHESHIRE RING

Bunbury

STOKE -ON-TRENT

LLANGOLLEN Trevor

Railway Station

Gardens

Information Centre

Nature Reserve/ Wildlife Park

Point of Interest

Walks & Trails

Whittington Norbury Junction

Great Haywood

BURTON -ON-TRENT FOUR COUNTIES RING

LEICESTERSHIRE RING

BIRMINGHAM WOLVERHAMPTON Nuneaton

WARWICKSHIRE RING

Braunston

WARWICK STRATFORD -ON-AVON

AVON RING

NORTHAMPTON

BRECON

BEDFORD

Pencelli

CAMBRIDGE

The Waterways of Lancashire and Yorkshire

Linslade Lower Heyford

GRAND CIRCLE

Llangollen and the Four Counties Ring

Llanover

OXFORD Eynsham

The Cheshire Ring LONDON RING

Reading Bath

Bradford on Avon

Monkton Combe

Let’s quell the notion that locks are technical and difficult to negotiate. Each lock will take about 20 minutes. Once you’ve manoeuvred your boat through two or three, it will become second nature. Working through a lock will be explained fully during the handover process.

Licences

Rugby

STOURPORT RING

Wootton Wawen Tardebigge Worcester

PETERBOROUGH

LEICESTER

Passing through locks

LONDON NEWBURY Chertsey

Warwickshire and Leicestershire Rings The Oxford and Grand Union Canals and River Thames The Kennet and Avon Canal Stourport, Avon Rings and River Severn The Brecon Beacons

Most of the waterways are controlled by British Waterways and a British Waterways licence is included in your boat’s hire terms. However, some stretches are controlled by different authorities and a separate licence may be required. Please check the relevant regional descriptions for more details.


settling in Blakes give you much more

The galley and dining areas

The bathroom

The modern narrowboat has everything you need for a successful holiday. Ranging from 26ft to 70ft in length, you can choose a boat that suits both the size of your party and your experience. The economical diesel engine is operated with a single lever gear and throttle control. All boats are equipped with every home comfort and are surprisingly spacious inside. There is heating, hot and cold water and ample storage space. Headroom is usually at least six feet – though you may have to duck for the odd door.

These feature a sink, gas cooker and fridge, a dining table or convertible dinette and seating. Crockery, cutlery and cooking equipment are all provided.

You’ll find a flush toilet, shower and/or bath, and some boats may have more than one. Each boat is also equipped with deck gear, comprising lifebelt, mooring ropes, boat pole, deck mop, mooring stakes and hammer, plus that all important windlass.

The berths Some boats have bunk beds, others double beds. The mattresses are either firm latex foam or interior sprung, and blankets, duvets or sleeping bags, pillows and bed linen are provided. Please note, towels are not included unless specified.

Although individual decoration and furnishings may vary, you can expect your narrowboat to be equipped to the following minimum standards, unless otherwise stated:

Courtesy of Cambrian Cruisers For more information about Gwyneth, please see page 116

Stern choices There are three main boat shapes. Each of these are steered by a tiller in the stern (rear).

The Traditional Stern Has a small, open rear deck, providing more space inside the vessel.

The SemiTraditional Stern

From the moment you arrive, until you wave goodbye, every member of staff at the boatyards featured in this brochure is committed to ensuring that you are comfortable, happy with your craft and confident to set out on your memorable boating holiday. Fleets may differ, but you are always guaranteed our first class service throughout.

Provides a little more room for the tillerman and will sometimes have fixed seating for other crew members.

The Cruiser Stern Has a much larger rear deck area, surrounded by a guard rail. Useful if there are young children on board.

Area

Boatyard

Waterways of Yorkshire & Lancashire Llangollen, The Four Counties & Cheshire Rings

The Warwickshire & Leicestershire Rings Grand Union, Oxford Canals & The River Thames

Berths 2-4

4-6

6-8

8-10 10-12

Mirfield

75

C/S

Anderton

78-79

C

C/S

S

C

Bunbury, Great Haywood, Norbury Junction, Trevor

79-85

C/S

C/S

C/S

C/S

S

Oswestry

86

C

C

C

Nuneaton

88-89

S/T

C/S

C

C

Braunston

92-93

S

S

Lower Heyford

94-95

C

C

C

C

C

Linslade

96-97

C

C

C

97

T

S

98-100

C/S

C/S

C

C

S

Rugby Eynsham Chertsey Kennet & Avon Canal

Page

C/S/T C/S/T

101

C

C

Bradford-on-Avon

104-105

C/S

C/S

C/S

S

Bath, Sydney Wharf & Monkton Combe

106-107

C/S

S

C/S

109

C

C

C

110-114

C/S

C/S

C/S

C/S

S

The Stourport, Avon Rings & River Severn

Worcester

The Brecon Beacons

Pencelli, Brecon

116-117

C/S

C

Llanover, Abergavenny

118-119

C

C

C

Tardebigge, Wootton Wawen

Types of stern design available from Blakes Boats bases shown in index. C = Cruiser stern S = Semi-traditional stern T = Traditional stern

72

73


yorkshire & lancashire Discover the local sights…

Skipton

Calder & Hebble Navigation

Rochdale Canal

• Wakefield waterfront includes listed buildings like the Navigation Warehouse and an early 19th century watermill

• Hebden Bridge is a former textile mill town with plenty of craft and fashion shops, galleries and antique shops

• At Salterhebble, the canal climbs a series of three locks, the first of these is the Guillotine Lock

• Gibson Mill is a former 19th century cotton mill now run entirely on sustainable energy and is situated within Hardcastle Crags

• Sowerby Bridge Basin includes 18th and 19th century architectural examples of the town’s woollen mills and textile heritage. Tuel Lane Lock, at 19 feet, is the deepest lock on the network and well worth a visit

Our team recommends… Visit one of the many arts & crafts shops in Hebden Bridge, don’t forget a visit to the Clog Factory. While you are in Yorkshire indulge yourself with some local fish and chips.

Huddersfield Narrow Canal • Restored in 2001, stretches of tranquil, wooded countryside give way to dramatic mills and historic industry – a reminder of when it was the shortest route for transporting goods and people between Yorkshire and Lancashire

Julie Hanslip

• Picturesque Marsden offers shops, pubs, markets and craft stores. Nearby Marsden Moor is great for walking, angling, cycling and wildlife Five Rise Locks, Bingley

The less well known waterways of Yorkshire and Lancashire offer stunning views across the North’s historic and scenic landscape.

Todmorden

& HE

Wakefield

Huddersfield

Barton Swing Aqueduct

10

-2

Doncaster THE PENNINES

Mossley

Hollingworth Lake

To Four Old Trafford Counties Ring Acton Bridge Salford Quays

10 -

Wakefield Gallery

Mirfield

Standedge Tunnel 9 11-

18-2

4 11-

&

MANCHESTER Wigan Worsley

9-15

73

Bank AIRE & CAL DER Dole Jn.

BBL E

Marsden

8-4

S. YO RK S

1

Selby

7

Sowerby Bridge

13-2 4 33 CALD ER 4-

Blackburn Littleborough Rochdale

Bingley

18 - 0

The Boat

LEEDS Inn Castleford Jn. 10 -

12 -2

Hebden Bridge

ROCHDALE CANAL

0

Keighley

Burnley

-21

EF FIE LD

17-6

Tadcaster Saltaire

15

22 -1 5

ED LE

LIV

Salts Mill

-8

611

Swan & Railway

S&

ER

14

YORK NABURN LOCK

Silsden

Foulridge Tunnel

OL PO

26 -3

YORKSHIRE DALES

Skipton

26

Witton Country Park

Ripon

SH

-2 2

Skipton Castle

HU DD ER SF 8I 42 CA ELD NA NA L RR OW

The Leeds & Liverpool Canal is the longest single canal in Britain with plenty to take in from the city of Leeds to the peaceful villages on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales and the famous Bingley Five Rise flight of locks.

Cross Keys

20-28

For enthusiasts and experienced crews the Rochdale Canal passes through some of the most rugged and beautiful scenery in the country while the Huddersfield Narrow Canal boasts the Standedge Tunnel, the longest canal tunnel in Britain. Both canals have a high number of locks but the splendid Pennine views make the effort worthwhile.

Settle

RIVER OUSE

The charming Calder & Hebble Navigation offers relaxing cruising following the Calder Valley with plentiful opportunities to stop and explore the many interesting small towns en route.

Sheffield

The bold figures indicate approximate distance in miles and the light figures indicate the number of locks between the two points. To estimate journey times see ‘Planning your Cruise’ on pages 70 and 71.

74


llangollen, four counties & cheshire rings Discover the local sights… Chester

Llangollen

• 1000 year old cathedral and castle

• Beautiful historic location on the banks of the River Dee

• Racecourse

• Market town with quaint shops and restaurants

• Zoo • Roman amphitheatre – largest in Britain

• Leisure activities include golf, whitewater rafting and walking

Anderton Boat Lift The world’s first boat lift and one of the greatest feats of 19th century engineering. Perched on the banks of the River Weaver, like a giant three storey iron spider, it offers educational facilities, interactive displays and a café.

Wedgwood Visitor Centre See the world famous Wedgwood ceramics being made. You can even try your hand at making a pot yourself or simply relax in the restaurant.

Shropshire Union Canal

For the historically minded, there is everything in this bustling little market town from Dinas Bran Castle to the 18th century house and garden at Plas Newydd. Or you may wish to take a ride on the Steam Railway or visit the Motor Museum. Concerts, exhibitions and cinema are also staged in the Royal International Pavilion.

Jolly Angler To Leeds & Liverpool

6-18

NIO N

4-2

11-0

11-12

AL AN

Haberdashers Arms

S CANA L STAFFS & WORC

Autherley Jn.

10 -6

Swan Inn Saracens Head

Shugborough Hall

Great Haywood Jn. Stafford 5-5

Penkridge

13-5

Fradley Jn.

The Boat Inn To Warks 11 -6

The Shroppie Fly

Wedgwood Visitor Centre

CANAL

16 -2

Loynton Moss 5-1 & WORCS

Norbury Junction

The bold figures indicate approximate distance in miles and the light figures indicate the number of locks between the two points. To estimate journey times see ‘Planning your Cruise’ on page 70 and 71.

Etruria Industrial Museum

Stone

YC SE

Ellesmere

Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker

11 -5

STAFFS

13 -3

AL

Black Lion

G Market AN LL Ellesmere Tunnel Drayton Oswestry

FOUR COUNTIES RING

Etruria

9-12

AL

Queenshead Hotel

Macclesfield

Froghall STOKE ON TRENT

D MER TRENT AN

MON TGO MER Y CAN

16 12-

L

10-2

Y

CANA

Whittington

Chirk Tunnel & Aqueduct

New Mills Whaley Bridge

Congleton

13 -3 1

N UNIO

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

EA K

7-8

22 16-

Trevor

Grindley Brook OLL EN CAN

Llangollen

Bunbury Mill Dorfold Hall

RP

Hardings Wood Jn. Kidsgrove Barbridge Jn. Leek AL ON CAN Hurleston Jn. 6- CALD 0 0 2Harecastle Tunnel 9-9

Bunbury

Llangollen Steam Railway

PE

5-1

10-4

9-

4

Middlewich

UP

AL

EU

Anderton Boat Lift Little Moreton Hall E RS ME

Shady Oak

PS HIR

Barton Tunnel

& NT

RO

Anderton

R

TRE

Chester

SH

7-1

AV E

10-4

Chester Cathedral

CHESHIRE RING

AN

WE

Saltersford Tunnel

Ellesmere Port

Marple Aqueduct

Marple Jn

FO

The Boat Museum

Duckinfield

Stretford 8-16

-0 21

Portland Basin Museum

0 TC 6- RES

ER

AL

MACCLESFIE LD C A NAL

SH

ASHTON CANAL

Preston Brook Tunnel

E PSHIR SHRO

76

RIV

2

Sohail Yakub

PEAK FOREST C LR. AN

4-0

ER WAT BRIDGE

-1 13

Travel up the ‘Shroppie’ and moor in Chester, go shopping in the Rows or take the family to the award winning zoo. On the Four Counties Ring visit the Wedgwood Visitor Centre and throw a pot or two. Glide down the Llangollen Canal and marvel at the architecture, two tunnels, two aqueducts and finishing at the pretty little town of Llangollen – where you can have a ride on the steam train.

ER HEST MANC

Preston Brook

Chirk

Llangollen, which is home to the famous international musical ‘Eisteddfod’, nestles within the beautiful Dee Valley in the North East of Wales. As you travel along this magnificent stretch of water, the 70 foot Pontcysyllte Aqueduct looms in the distance, heightening the drama of a spectacular cruise.

Strawberry Duck MANCHESTER

IP CA NA L

Imperial War Museum

10-0

Our team recommends…

Worsley 14-2

Barton Swing Aqueduct

The Four Counties Ring is a blend of fabulous scenery, atmospheric tunnels and historic towns. Cruise through the salt ‘wiches’ of Northwich and Middlewich. Navigate the famous 2926 yards of the Harecastle Tunnel and discover the pottery museums of Stoke-on-Trent. The Cheshire Ring includes the highest navigable waterway in England on the Macclesfield and Peak Forest Canals. The scenery in the Peak District is bewitching and you’ll also cruise through gentle Cheshire countryside. The city of Manchester is also nearby.

Old Trafford

Wigan

Moseley Old Hall

& Leics Rings

Wolverhampton To Birmingham & Stourport Ring

77


warwickshire & leicestershire rings Discover the local sights… Coventry

Warwick Castle

• Majestic cathedral

Historic medieval castle hosting many events throughout the year such as the ‘Birds of Prey’ experience, banqueting events like the ‘Highwayman’s Supper’ and regular jousting tournaments. It also hosts many summer pop concerts.

• Toy museum with toys dating back to the 18th century • Canal Art Trail – with almost 40 sculptures and artworks • Transport museum – Coventry is the birthplace of the British cycle and motor industry. The museum displays the world’s largest collection of British road transport

Rugby • Birthplace of Rugby football • Caldecott Park – famous for its floral displays and often featured in the ‘Britain in Bloom’ competition, it also has a children’s playground, tennis courts and a regular programme of outdoor events each summer

Bosworth Battlefield Centre & Country Park Commemorating the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. Discover the history behind this bloody battle and see the battle trail where Richard III died and lost his crown to Henry VII.

• Continental flavour to the many bars and restaurants in the town centre

Foxton

Fondly referred to as the ‘Heart of England’, the region’s waterways provide fabulous cruising and plenty to see and do. Langley Mill

Ilkeston 9-10

Gallows Inn

Shardlow

-5 14

Trent Jn

3-3

BURTON-ON-TRENT

1 -1 14

TR EN T&

4-

Nuneaton

0

6 -0

1

B’HAM &

FAZELE Y

35 13 -

Bidford on Avon 9-6

4-2

10-23

11 -3

Braunston Jn

Pump Royal Napton Rooms Leamington Jn & Baths Spa

5-

4-6

To Oxford

Market Harborough

Welford

2-1 -7 15

Sowe Valley Footpath & Canal Art Trail Crick Tunnel Norton Jn

0

Braunston Tunnel

Stratford on Avon To Avon Ring

RD CA NA L

Rugby

12-9

Mike Dean

23

Husbands Bosworth Tunnel

OX FO

COVENTRY

Coventry Shrewley Tunnel Cathedral 9-

Foxton

810

3-0

Hawkesbury Jn

Warwick

4

Marston Junction Foxton Locks

13

Warwick Castle

R OA

ME RS EY

S ER

10 -1 0

RIV

L A NA

ANA L

Kingswood Jn

Wooton Wawen

7

ASH

L

STRA TF O RD C

Bordesley Jn WARKS RING GRAND UNION

Cadbury World

13 -20

15-0 19 2

12-14 3-5

8 -1

11 15-

Kings Norton Jn

NA CA RY NT VE

Gas St Basin Aston Jn

CO

Salford Jn

LEICESTER

Bosworth Bosworth Battlefield

BY C

0 6-

Fazeley Jn BIRMINGHAM

LEICS. RING

Freestone Cycles -13 16

11 -0

3

Loughborough

Drayton Manor Snarestone Theme Park & Zoo

Fradley Jn

Granary Tea Rooms

10

To Four Counties & North

Our team recommends… Every cruise, long or short, on the canals that make up the Rings always delivers something new. Braunston is always buzzing, with a range of shops filled with ‘canaloribilia’, and then the cruise along the Oxford and Coventry canals offers a real mix of gentle cruising, locks, and plenty of wildlife. There are a good few pubs en route to slake the thirst from all that hard work!

Trent Lock Golf Club

Museum of Brewing and Coors Visitor Centre

Eastwood

4-5

The Warwickshire Ring takes you to Coventry with its wonderful cathedral, historic Royal Leamington Spa and picturesque Warwick with its magnificent castle.

The bold figures indicate approximate distance in miles and the light figures indicate the number of locks between the two points. To estimate journey times see ‘Planning your Cruise’ on pages 70 and 71.

EREWASH CANAL

The Leicestershire Ring takes in centres like Market Harborough, dating back to the 13th century, the vibrant ‘Iron Age’ city of Leicester and Burton-on-Trent, famous for its pubs and breweries.

6-

7

Braunston To Grand Union & London

87


grand union, oxford canals & river thames Discover the local sights… Windsor

Oxford

Visitor licences

Visit the world’s largest inhabited castle, one of the Queen’s three official residences. Eton College, Changing of the Guard and Legoland are also well worth a visit. Whether your interest is heritage, shopping or family fun, there is plenty to see and do.

Famous for its university, this enchanting city is well worth a visit. Steeped in history and perfectly mixed with modern culture, Oxford has something to suit all tastes. Walk around the Botanic Gardens, go punting on the river, see a show at the theatre or explore one of the many museums.

For canal-based boats cruising the River Thames above Teddington, a visitor licence must be obtained by the hirer unless provided by the operator. A 15 day licence is available from the Environment Agency and should cost between £70 and £100 depending upon the length of your boat. Please note that the river is tidal from Brentford to Teddington and if cruising in this section your crew will normally need some relevant previous experience and special permission from your boat operator.

Hampton Court Palace

Cassiobury Park

This palace is said to be the greatest in Britain and holds 500 years of royal history. Six individual guided tours are available and there are 60 acres of garden to explore. Many events are held here throughout the year including the flower festival and various concerts in the evenings.

The Grand Union passes through this beautiful 190-acre park that was once part of the 17th century gardens of the Earl of Essex. There is also a paddling pool, tennis courts, picnic areas and a miniature railway.

The Millhouse

4-6

Braunston

5-7

To Severn Avon, Napton Jn. Warks. & 12-9 Leics Rings

13

Northampton Gayton Jn.

Canal Museum

4DU

H OX SOUT

AN

GR

Stoke Bruerne

CHILTERN HILLS

AL

14

N CA

27-

N NIO

Chertsey

90

Weybridge LONDON RING

Hampton Court Palace

Fleet 29

Kew Gardens

L

OKE CANA

BASINGST

Guildford WE Y

Odiham

2

The bold figures indicate approximate distance in miles and the light figures indicate the number of locks between the two points. To estimate journey times see ‘Planning your Cruise’ on page 70 and 71.

14 -

10

31-

Canary Wharf

RIV ER

In the other direction the River Wey and newly restored Basingstoke Canal offer some fine cruising. The South Oxford Canal, one of England’s prettiest waterways, offers plenty of narrow locks and authentic lift bridges. Banbury and Oxford are excellent stop off points, with superb sightseeing, shopping and dining.

AMES

RIVER TH

15 -4

Woking

2-

Take this opportunity to approach London at a leisurely pace. The Paddington Arm and Regents Canal go close to the city centre through Regent’s Park. You can moor in Little Venice and take in the excitement of the city before heading for tranquility again. The River Lee and the River Stort open up some fine countryside as you head for Bishops Stortford and Hertford.

Brentford 11-0 Teddington

-6 13

Windsor Castle

Mapledurham House & Watermill

1- 4

8

2

Reading

LONDON Limehouse

0

Datchet

12 6-

Maidenhead Windsor

KENNET AND AVON CANAL

The Grand Union Canal leaves the River Thames at Brentford and climbs over 50 locks up into the Chiltern Hills. This climb goes up through some beautiful scenery, especially around Cassiobury Park, which dates to the 17th century. And, just north of the Northampton Arm you enter the Lincolnshire Fens, a magical area with wonderful vistas and pretty villages.

9

Slough

5-0

-3

Camden Lock Market

Cowley 14 Little 8 0 Peachey Venice -8 Jn. Bulls Bridge Inn 4-

6-

The Oracle (shopping/leisure)

Regents Heathrow Park Zoo Airport

8 9-

6 15 -

Henley -5 11

To Kennet & Avon

R

RT

Broxbourne

Waltham Abbey Watford Rickmansworth

Cliveden S House

AME

TH IVER

Cassiobury Park

2 14 -

Wallingford

RIVER THAME S

4

15 -8 STO RIVER

Berkhamsted

15 9-

10 -

Benson

Coachmakers Arms

Marsworth Jn.

River & Rowing Museum Three Horseshoes Pub Pangbourne Meadows

4 10 -

The Grand Union Canal offers a tantalising challenge – The Grand Circle, taking in not only the Grand Union Canal, but also South Oxford Canal and the Thames.

Abingdon

Old Anchor Inn

Bishops Stortford 9 -7

Hertford

OXFORD

Lechlade ES

Aylesbury

Ashridge Estate

2 -3

6-3

24-8

AM RIVER TH

Oxford University

6-15

6 -4

9 - 10

Eynsham

8-11

The Bell

Rousham House

LEE

11-3

L CANA

Linslade

The Globe Inn

17-3

FORD

7- 4

GRAND CIRCLE

Lower Heyford

Stoke Bruerne

Sarah Bennison

0

11-13

Aynho

THE COTSWOLDS

7

BLISWORTH TUNNEL

Banbury

Banbury Museum & Tooleys Boat Yard

13

BRAUNSTON TUNNEL

5-

13 -

Fenny Compton

Brasenose Arms

Wellingborough

Norton Jn.

0 5-

RIVER

ION

As you journey down the Oxford Canal towards Oxford we recommend mooring up at Kirtlington Quarry. This is a lovely picnic area with plenty of beautiful walks so you can work up an appetite for a meal at one of many canal side pubs.

Crick

17

1

113

GRAND UNION

19

XFO CANARD L

COVENTRY

GRAND UN

Our team recommends…

Rugby O

Godalming

91


kennet & avon canal Discover the local sights… Avoncliff Aqueduct

A charming garden surrounds this 18th century hidden treasure on this stretch of the canal owned by the National Trust.

One of two beautifully built aqueducts on the Kennet & Avon, the Avoncliff Aqueduct was designed by world-famous engineer John Rennie. If you fancy a coffee or spot of lunch, there’s the nearby Cross Guns pub and the Lock Inn Cottage café, as well as a great bookshop.

Caen Hill Flight, Devizes

Kennet & Avon Canal, Devizes

This remarkable two mile flight of 29 locks is open everyday. However, there is no need to pre-book. But please note one day each is required for ascent and descent and the flight is one days cruising from Bradford-onAvon so passage through it is not advised on short breaks from Sally Boats or one week holidays from Anglo Welsh.

Reading Take a walk along the Thames Path and Ridgeway National Trails. Take in the atmospheric ruins of the medieval Abbey of St James, pass by Oscar Wilde’s Reading Gaol and relax by the canal, a tranquil oasis in the city centre. Please note: you will need at least two weeks to reach Reading by boat.

ER

Garston Lock One of only two surviving turf-sided locks in Britain, Garston Lock is a must-see for history buffs. It employs an early lock design used on river navigations in the early 1700s before the advent of canals, and has sloping sides which make the lock quite wide when full. This type of lock needs more water to operate than the brick or stone-sided variety.

ON

AV

18 6 10-7

Courts Gardens National Trust Caen Hill Flight

Monkton Combe

Bristol Bristol is steeped in maritime history and its vibrant harbourside area with its myriad shops, ‘chic’ restaurants, museums and art galleries magnificently captures the spirit of its past with its present. It was also the adopted home of the legendary engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who designed the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge. Undisputedly Bristol’s most famous landmark, its spectacular setting on the cliffs of the Avon Gorge draws thousands of visitors each year.

Newbury Newbury is probably best known for its internationally renowned racecourse but there are plenty of other interesting things to see and do. The Corn Exchange in the centre of town is home to drama, dance, music, children’s events and other entertainments. On the Wharf, you’ll find the West Berkshire museum where you can discover the town’s rich history, which was centred around trades such as cloth weaving, and there are many vibrant canalside pubs and restaurants to enjoy.

The Hop Pole Inn

The Three Crowns Littlecote

Devizes Bradfordupon-Avon

9-7

Trowbridge

Somerset Arms

2-29

2 0 -13

15-22

KENNET AND AVON CANAL

Devizes Walk

The Plume Feathers

S

Bath

TH AM E

BRISTOL

To Oxford & Upper Thames

ER

RIV

HANHAM LOCK

Claverton

102

Stuart Precious

The bold figures indicate approximate distance in miles and the light figures indicate the number of locks between the two points. To estimate journey times see ‘Planning your Cruise’ on page 70 and 71.

Bristol Floating Harbour SS Great Britain

Jane Austen Centre

Bath is a unique city. Its hot springs, Roman Baths, splendid abbey and Georgian stone crescents have attracted visitors for centuries. Thermae Bath Spa has recently re-opened. Britain’s original and most remarkable spa, it is the only place in the UK where you can bathe in natural hot waters. Set in rolling Avon and Somerset countryside, Bath is a beautiful and unforgettable place to visit.

An ideal place to stop off for refreshments – although perhaps not for those on a diet – The Pump Shed serves mouthwatering cakes, savoury snacks and ice creams as well as tea and coffee. You’ll find it at Lock 11 on the Kennet & Avon Canal in Widcombe. Mooring points are nearby.

Relaxing in Bristol

The picturesque Kennet and Avon Canal passes through delightful rural landscapes encompassing chalk vales and river valleys, winding its way through villages, market towns and the cities of Bath and Bristol where the boatyards are situated. Bath

The Pump Shed

The Exchange, Bristol – a speciality market of monumental proportion in Bristol’s old 18th century Exchange, that’s a must-see for any avid bric-abrac hunter. Famous for the four brass nails outside where the traders used to ‘pay on the nail’. Moor in the floating harbour and then it’s a short walk into town.

RIV

Bath

Our team recommends…

The Courts Garden

Newbury

Hungerford Crofton

The Royal Oak

The Prince of Wales

RIVER KENNET

19

22

Reading

Newbury Discovery Trail

103


stourport, avon rings & river severn Discover the local sights… Tewkesbury

Dudley

Take time to stop at this beautiful historic town, marvel at the timber-framed buildings with overhanging eaves and visit the 11th century abbey, that reaches 148 feet in height and forms the largest surviving Norman central tower in the World.

Dudley is well worth a stop. The Zoological Gardens offers something for all the family. See some of the world’s rarest and biggest animals, learn about their welfare and if you have time, be a zoo keeper for a day! You can also enjoy a stroll around the beautifully maintained gardens or visit Dudley Castle, founded in 1071, and experience the history behind this haunted building on the Ghost Walk.

Stratford-Upon-Avon Visit one of England’s most vibrant and historical medieval towns. Stratford-uponAvon is steeped in history and famous for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Spend time looking around the many properties associated with his life, have a drink in the Dirty Duck pub and rub shoulders with the local actors, or see a show at one of the three uniquely different theatres in the town.

Our team recommends… Travel through Birmingham and spend some time at Gas Street Basin, lined with craft stalls, bars and cafes. Also make time to stop at Bourneville, home to Cadbury World, a wonderful place for a family visit. If you get the chance to stopover in Stratford, you can moor in the basin adjacent to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre; you might be lucky and get seats for the evening’s performance.

Wilmcote Near Wootton Wawen is the pretty village of Wilmcote, the childhood home of Shakespeare’s mother. Mary Arden’s House and the Shakespeare Countryside Museum is a beautiful 16th century timbered farmhouse conveniently located near to the canal.

Sarah Bennison

Stratford-upon-Avon

To Four Counties & North

WORCS CANAL

2 10 - 3

DU CA

STAF FS &

U PP

11-4

3

9-6

9-23

To Oxford & Grand Union

GRAND UNION

Wootton Wawen Stratford-upon-Avon

Bidford on Avon

N VO

Bulls Head

R

A

7-1 7

ER AVON

Evesham

LOW E

Abbey

Fleet Inn

Tewkesbury

Waterways licences

13 -1 8-1

AR PN

SH

Saul Jn.

ESS CANAL

Gloucester

1 9-

Wildfowl Trust Centre

Slimbridge Sharpness

108

THE AVON RING

6-0

Upton upon Severn

Kingswood Jn. Warwick

Tardebigge Tunnel Dunhamstead Tunnel

Cadbury World Packwood House & Garden

Shortwood Tunnel

Pershore

15

ST R CA ATF NA OR L D

8- 4

10-1

Royal Worcester China

RIVER SEVERN

Worcester

Bordesley Jn. Kings Norton Jn. 15 -1 1

13 -20

17-5 8

Experience the 36 locks of Tardebigge Flight, a truly breathtaking experience on the scenic Worcester and Birmingham Canal. Cruise along the Severn on the Stourport Ring and enjoy Worcester and Birmingham’s urban contrasts, then take time to encounter some of England’s finest sights on the Avon Ring – Stratford-uponAvon, Tewkesbury and the Vale of Evesham between the Malverns and the Cotswolds.

M HA ING Y BIRMFAZELE &

70

Tardebigge

WO & BIR RCESTE M. C R ANA L

13-3

Angel Inn The Greyfriars

EY 8-9 D L AL N 8-20

Stourbridge

12-1 3

0 4Stourport

CA

Bewdley

NA L

Dudley

Stourton

BIRMINGHAM

AM

THE STOURPORT RING

Dudley Zoo & Castle

6-18

8 -1 13

1 7-2

Bumble Hole

The bold figures indicate approximate distance in miles and the light figures indicate the number of locks between the two points. To estimate journey times see ‘Planning your Cruise’ on pages 70 and 71.

Aldersley Jn. H BIRMING

The Stourport and Avon Rings offer a wonderful mix of canal and river cruising through delightful countryside and industrial heritage.

Additional licences are required for the Upper and Lower Avon navigations On going to press the rates are:

Upper Avon £28

Lower Avon £28

Combine Price £44

Licence valid for 15 days. Note: The cost of these licences may be included in your boat hire terms. Please check the details given by individual operators.


brecon beacons Discover the local sights… Brecon

Brecon Mountain Railway

Another historic market town to visit on this stretch of water, offering a cathedral, museums, a theatre, leisure centre and a quaint shopping centre. On Tuesdays and Fridays take a trip to the busy market, or moor at the canal basin.

A vintage steam train takes you on a dramatic journey of discovery through the southern Beacons.

Taff Trail Enjoy walking along its 55 mile purposebuilt route linking Brecon to Cardiff.

National Showcaves Centre for Wales Explore 350 million years of history. Brecon Beacons

Our team recommends…

Features a dinosaur park, a shire horse centre and a replica of an Iron Age farm.

Llangorse Lake This is the largest natural lake in South Wales and is situated just three miles from the canal. Activities include water skiing, windsurfing and fishing.

Abergavenny Castle and Museum This Norman castle was the scene of an intense border struggle for 300 years. The museum has interesting re-creations of a farmhouse kitchen and a saddler’s workshop with demonstrations and exhibitions celebrating the town’s past.

Set against the stunning backdrop of the Brecon Beacons National Park, the Mon & Brec makes for a truly relaxing break. Abergavenny, with its popular Tuesday market, is a great base for exploring the nearby mountains and if you’re feeling energetic it’s worth climbing ‘The Sugar Loaf’ for its spectacular views. Visit Brecon with its cathedral and canalside theatre and don’t forget Crickhowell, referred to by some as a ‘foodies paradise’, and only a short walk from the canal. Rowan Harris-Bates

Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal

Haunting beauty and high adventure, the Brecon Beacons is the perfect location for a relaxing holiday at a sedate pace. Winding its way through the National Park, the ‘Mon and Brec’ offers stunning scenery and its lightly-locked route makes it easy to navigate and is understandably popular with holidaymakers. The spectacular upland formations have become officially recognised as one of the most important geological landscapes in Europe. The canal passes through a World Heritage Site which also contains historical landmarks such as the Big Pit Mining Museum. It is home to numerous species of wildlife including kingfishers, heron and mink. The Brecon Beacons provide plenty of opportunity for pony trekking, fishing and rambling and host a variety of water sports.

Brecon Cathedral Brecon

2-

1

Pencelli

Taff Trail Talybont-on-Usk

TALYBONT RESERVOIR

5-

0

Llangorse Lake 125

Nantyffin Cider Mill Inn

Llangynidr

Abergavenny

The bold figures indicate approximate distance in miles and the light figures indicate the number of locks between the two points. To estimate journey times see ‘Planning your Cruise’ on page 70 and 71.

9-0

Coach and Horse Pub Llanover 6-0

Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway

MONMOUTHSHIRE & BRECON CANAL

Pontypool

Pontypool Museum

Pontnewydd NEWPORT

115


cruising in ireland Larne From Stranraer

Belfast LOWER & UPPER LOUGH ERNE

Carrick-onShannon

RIVER SHANNON

Knock

ROY

AL C ANA L

From Holyhead

Dublin

NAL

GRAND CA

Dun Laoghaire RIVER BARROW

Shannon

Rosslare

Waterford

From Pe mbroke

Cork From Swansea

From

Head south to experience the tranquillity of Lough Ree and Lough Derg. Both are surrounded by charming historic towns. With an abundance of free moorings and facilities, the Shannon will transport you to a peaceful haven where time stands still.

The Shannon-Erne waterway Situated between Letrim and Upper Lough, this stretch of water is widely acknowledged as Europe’s finest waterway restoration. The wildlife includes badgers, otters, foxes, swans and ducks and you can stop off and explore some charming villages along the way. Electronic locks take the hard work out of your journey.

Lower and Upper Lough Erne

The Irish have known the joys of cruising for many years and Ireland’s inland rivers and canals are some of the least congested in the world. So, they offer an idyllic setting for peaceful and effortless sailing through rolling hills and countryside. You’re also guaranteed to enjoy the humour and warmth of the Irish people, enjoying the ‘craic’ everywhere you go. Ireland also boasts some of the finest fishing and golf courses anywhere to be seen.

River distances

Starting from Carrick, a three hour westward cruise on the Shannon takes you to Lough Key, surrounded by the magnificent National Forest at Rockingham.

A paradise for birds, wild flowers and anglers. The lakeside is high and rocky and there are plenty of coves and inlets to explore. The Upper Erne has calmer waters for relaxing cruising, while there are more challenging waters if you head north to the Lower Erne. Waterside shops, hotels and restaurants are dotted along the shore for your convenience.

To

Shannon-Erne waterway Locks are automatic and operated using a ‘smart card’ available from boat bases at approx. 13 Euros for 20 units (1 unit per lock operation and can also be used for showers and pump outs).

Approx miles Locks

River Shannon Killaloe

Portumna

27

0

Portumna

Athlone

40

2

Athlone

Lanesborough

19

0

Lanesborough

Carrick-on-Shannon

41

3

40

16

Shannon-Erne Link Carrick

Belturbet

Kesh Beleek

One way cruises

Enniskillen

Carrick-on-Shannon – Tully Bay Carrick-on-Shannon – Banagher Look out for this symbol on coupons that offer one way cruises

Ballyconnell

Drumkeeran

Ballinamore Drumshanbo Battlebridge

GARADICE LOUGH

L NA

CA

LOUGH KEY

Portumna Castle’s Organic Kitchen Garden – a must for all foodies and gardeners. This excellent example of a traditional Irish ‘Demesne’ is located in the beautifully manicured grounds of the equally impressive Portumna Castle and is easily reached from the town or the moorings, just a short walk away at Castle Harbour on nearby Lough Derg.

LOUGH ERNE UPPER

Knockninny LOUGH ALLEN

Our team recommends…

Killadeas

Tully Bay

Keshcarrigan Leitrim

Boyle Rockingham Cootehall Jamestown Carnadoe

Belturbet

Carrick-on-Shannon Dromod Roosky

Kilglass Tarmonbarry Clondara Lanesborough Portrunnny

INNEY RIVER LOUGH REE

Lecarrow Hodson Bay

Ballykeeran Athlone

Ballinasloe

Stuart Precious

RIVE

Fly or sail to Ireland

RS

Clonmacnois

UCK

Shannonbridge

• Several Irish cities are served by budget airlines from the UK mainland

Shannon Harbour Banagher

• Blakes can book ferry crossings and airport taxi transfers on your behalf Please see pages 144 and 145 for information and contact our Reservations Team to confirm your choice.

LOUGH ERNE LOWER

WOO DF RIVERORD

Marvel at the wildlife

Portumna LOUGH DERG

Terryglass Kilgarvan

Williamstown Mountshannon Scarriff

Dromineer Garrykennedy

Killaloe

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cruising in northern & central france

Strasbourg

Burgundy

Semur

Canal de la Somme

Cruising in Northern and Central France gives you a unique insight into the French way of life not forgetting its ‘Gallic Charm’. Further to the East, the canals of Alsace Lorraine will carry you past medieval fortified towns and on through the magnificent Black Forest – a beautiful region renowned for its mountains, woodlands and rolling hills.

Chenille

Picardy Cruising from the base at Cappy in Picardy, you’ll enter a world of tranquil calm with just the simple, sweet sounds of birds and other wildlife to accompany you on your journey. The historical town of Amiens, one of France’s oldest, boasts a magnificent cathedral and, with its maze of ancient streets, colourful houses and charming backstreet cafés, pubs and restaurants – it’s little wonder that Louis XI referred to Amiens as ‘The Little Venice of the North’.

Lille Somme

Cappy Cherbourg

Le Harve

Pont-à-Bar

Picardy

PARIS

Troyes Anjou Chenillé

La Suze Le Mans Châteauneuf

Orléans

Burgundy Auxerre Joigny

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Burgundy

Ardennes & Alsace

Enjoy a cruise through the meandering countryside dotted with famous abbeys and châteaux. Visit the famous city of Angers, home to a famous cathedral and its magnificent fortress containing 17 towers. Just north of the city, the rivers Mayenne, Sarthe and Oudon carry you into the heart of the Loire Valley where you can visit the ancient castle at Laval and visit Solesmes, a picturesque town, famous for its Gregorian abbey. Although well known for its fine wines, Anjou also has a reputation for fine cuisine with local poultry, charcuterie, fish and even eels – not forgetting Port Salut cheese, cider and pear wine.

One word to describe Burgundy would be ‘rich’, not just in financial wealth terms but historically and culturally too. It is renowned for the excellent quality of its food and wine, its ‘Grand Crus’ having a reputation for quality all over the world. The canals in this region are not just famous for teeming with birds and other wildlife but are also a true testimony to 19th century engineering. You’ll cruise through the wooded hills of the Morvan and, in addition to even more opulent châteaux and abbeys, you’ll pass by riverside vineyards. The landscape is perfect for cyclists too.

If you like to experience mountains, deep forests, spectacular scenery and the accompanying wildlife that goes with all of that, the area of Alsace in North-East France, bordered by the Vosges Mountains and the Black Forest of Germany, is not to be missed. The region also produces quality wines and beers. Its ‘next-door neighbour’, Lorraine, boasts many historical sites with magnificent medieval fortified towns and citadels set in a beautiful landscape amidst rolling hills. For nature lovers, the Ardennes forests are home to some of France’s rarest birds as well as wild boar and roe deer.

Our team recommends… If you visit Redon, try La Fromentine an excellent crêperie in Rue Jean D’Arc, and sample a confection from one of the local patisseries. Make the effort and journey up the River L’Aff to La Gacilly and discover a magical village with a genuine French chocolatier, the headquarters of the perfumier Yves Rocher and there is a lovely little bistro called l’Abricotier close to the moorings, which serves a typical French menu.

Nantes

Franche-Comté Scey-sur-Saône

Nivernais

Anjou

Lorraine Alsace Lutzelbourg

Corbigny St-Lége LoireBurgundy Loisy Dompierre South Burgundy

Andrew Duffy

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cruising in southern france

Camargue

Nerac

Castelnaudary

A cruise in the South of France is one of the most romantic and enchanting voyages you could choose to make. From the idyllic and tranquil Charente, 350 miles of stunning inland waterways extend from Bordeaux on the Atlantic coast and onwards across the Camargue before emerging at the Rhône Delta on the Mediterranean.

by the Greeks. Then travel north, across the Camargue where only a thin strip of white sand separates you and the wonderful canals and lagoons you’re cruising through from the Mediterranean itself. At Lattes, just outside Montpellier, you can enjoy a spot of bathing at Palavas les Flots. Then visit the Cathedral of Maguelonne which is situated right at the sea’s edge. The seaport of Sete with its canals which criss-cross the picturesque old town is a delight too.

The Charente River gently meanders west from Angouleme to the Atlantic at Rochefort. You’ll cruise through vast, spectacular countryside where bankside vineyards and sleepy hamlets await featuring Renaissance châteaux and Romanesque churches, and it’s no surprise that Henry IV dubbed it ‘the most beautiful river in my kingdom’. With both the towns of Cognac and Jarnac en route, you’ll find plenty of world-famous distilleries to visit and both towns also have excellent shopping and eating facilities. You’ll also find the crystal clear waters make this a perfect spot for fishing and swimming and there are plenty of opportunities for cycling and to stop a while and explore the

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picturesque villages along the way. Stop off at Saintes, renowned for its Roman arch, columns, frescoes and statues and visit the magnificent harbour at Rochefort. There’s also Saint-Simeux, the ancient lightermen’s village, and, for the kids, let’s not forget the chocolate factory at Trois Palis. With so much to see and do combined with the Cognac region’s sheer beauty, this is the perfect antidote to the hustle and bustle of modern life.

South of France Setting off from Toulouse, the Canal du Midi carries you through one of France’s most charming regions to the Mediterranean coast and the Camargue. Indeed, the canal itself is listed by UNESCO as a World

Heritage site. You should visit the magnificent medieval citadel of Carcassonne with its convenient town centre canal basin, and Castelnaudary is renowned for its fine buildings and for its ‘cassoulet’. From Argens, the Mediterranean landscape is typically filled with the fragrant scent of vines, cypresses and pine trees which are all beautifully accompanied by the chirping sounds of grasshoppers and cicadas. Shaded by the plane trees as you cruise along the canal, it’s nice to stop off for refreshments at the charming village of Le Somail. You’ll experience the fun of an amazing sevenlock staircase at Fontserrannes before reaching Beziers and on to the coast at Cap d’Agde, which was originally founded

South Burgundy

Charente

Cognac

Our team recommends… The Charente

Canal du Midi

Slipping along the Canal du Midi in the shade of cool plane trees is one of my lingering memories of boating in the South of France. The laid-back life on board is equally matched by the relaxed atmosphere of the towns and villages alongside the canal, with riverside bars to interrupt the cruise. Medieval Carcassonne is a highlight, with its city walls looking like something from a Hollywood movie (and certainly having featured in some!). Many other towns have their own attractions too, and Beziers, Aigues-Mortes and Sete all provide a whole host of interests and convenient moorings.

Bordeaux Lot Valley Avignon

Agen Gascogny Gers Valencesur-Baïse

Lot-et-Garonne Toulouse Negra

Nîmes Camargue Lattes

Midi Carcassonne Argens

Andrew Duffy

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cruising in holland

cruising in italy

Utrecht

Chiogga

Boating on one of Holland’s many waterways is one of the best ways to discover this beautiful country with its traditional windmills, tulip filled fields, neatly kept marinas and nature parks. The waterways are at one level and locks are open all summer to make your cruise simple. From your base at Loosdrecht, follow the River Vecht which passes through the two great Dutch cities of Amsterdam and Utrecht. Moor at the marina in Amsterdam and take a ferry into the heart of the city (these run every 10 minutes night and day) where you can visit Amsterdam’s diamond polishing factories, art galleries and museums. See Old Masters at the Rijksmuseum or visit the Van Gogh exhibition. Just to the west of Amsterdam, near Haarlem, are the famous Keukenhof Gardens where over 6 million daffodils, tulips and hyacinths are in full bloom during the Spring. Further north, near Edam, you cross the Zaan country, full of windmills and rich in wildlife. At Gouda, home of the famous Dutch cheese, the marina is right in the heart of the old town making it easy to stop off and explore. Throughout your cruise, the Dutch countryside is also peppered with a network of attractive cycle routes making it easy to explore on two wheels, whilst the flat landscape enables you to see for miles around.

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Andrew Duffy

Venice is one of the world’s most beautiful water cities overflowing with art, history and romance. Arriving in the city by water provides you with a stunning view of the Basilica of St Mark and the Palace of the Doges.

Alkmaar

Our team recommends… I always find the Dutch canals like Holland itself – an interesting mix of the modern and the old. The waterways are generally very pleasant, straightforward and nice to cruise. And then you can moor up in the heart of a medieval town, wander around and buy supplies, in the same way as people have for hundreds of years. Gouda, home of the cheese, is a great place to stop and explore, with its flamboyant town hall and cheese market where traditional dress is ‘de rigeur’. Fascinating…even for someone who doesn’t like cheese!

The Grand Canal, Venice

Our team recommends… Purmerend Uitgeest Edam Zaanstad Haarlem

Amsterdam

Monninckendam

Cruise past San Marco with its iconic bell tower, the Doge's Palace and Bridge of Sighs. There’s lace-making and glass blowing on the island of Burano and Murano along with dozens of other undiscovered gems.

Alternatively explore the Po Delta National Park – an area of outstanding natural beauty and a paradise for bird watchers, whilst between Chioggia and Grado you’ll find some of the finest beaches on the Adriatic.

NB the Venetian waterways can be busy so some previous boating experience could be advantageous.

John Dalgleish Aalsmeer Lisse

Marano

Treviso

Weesp

Grado

Trieste

Ouderkerk Uithoorn

Bilderdam

Loosdrecht Leiden

Maarssen Woerden

Utrecht

Alphen

Explore this magnificent, uniquely road-free city, and stroll through its maze of narrow streets with their exclusive boutiques and antique shops before watching the world go by from one of the many pavement cafés.

Caorle Jesolo

Padova

Venice

Montfoort Oudewater Gouda Nieuwegein

Cruising northwards allows you to visit the classic Venetian islands of the Northern Lagoon including Murano with its glass blowers, Burana the lace making island and Torcello with its cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, one of the greatest Venetian monuments of the Byzantine age.

Chioggia

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cruising in germany

Lake of Moritz

Berlin

Situated in the north east of Germany, the waterways of Brandenburg and Mecklenburg combine lake, river and canal cruising. This beautiful region is rich in wildlife and includes one of Europe’s premier nature reserves. Cruise through the magnificent Müritz Lake, Germany’s largest lake, and enjoy cycling through the stunning countryside which surrounds it. Here you can visit Waren, a medieval town from where you can explore the Müritz National Park. Take a trip to Rheinsberg, with its magnificent waterfront palace, and visit its Baroque castle or, for experienced crews (with a skipper’s licence), on a longer holiday, visit Berlin with its old established landmarks such as the Reichstag with its new glass dome and the Museum Island.

Mecklenburg

Schwerin

Matzlow

Waren Neustrelitz Plau

Parchim

Neustadt

Malchow

Lübz

Wesenberg Röbel Mirow

Grabow

Maarssen

Fürstenberg

Buchholz

Dömitz

Templin

Lychen Strasen Bredereiche Dannenwalde

Wittenberge

Rheinsberg Lindow Neuruppin

Schwedt

Zehdenick

Joachimsthal

Liebenwalde

Havelberg

Eberswalde Oranienburg Rathenow

Our team recommends…

Tangermünde

Stendal

At Regow, there is an organic farm with approximately 100 goats which sells several different delicious cheeses. Alternatively, nature lovers should take a trip to Neuruppin Lakes, home to ospreys, beavers and otters in a preserved environment. Vicki Price

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Brandenburg Küstrin BERLIN Charlottenberg Erkner Spandau

Ketzin Genthin

Burg Magdeburg

Brandenburg

Wannsee

Köpenick

Zeuthen Rüdersdorf

Potsdam

Fürstenwald Königswusterhausen

Bad Saarow

Frankfurt (oder) Eisenhüttenstadt

Teupitz

Markisch Buchholz

Lieberose


blakes boating