England Holidays
Boating in England

Rivers are the lifeblood of a country and English rivers are no different. Before the introduction of the railways and motorways they and the canals that connected them were the highways along which goods and people travelled.

Now they lie mostly silent, having fallen out of use.

But even as far back as the end of the 19th century (when Jerome K Jerome wrote his delightful book Three Men in a Boat), the English have loved to 'mess about on the river' and luckily not much has changed since.

So, many of the old canals are being restored and colourful boats once more criss-cross the country.

A boating holiday is not something we've ever tried before, thinking that it was somehow not 'active' enough travelling at a mere 5mph along some canal. But - as I'm reliably informed - this is missing the point!

Narrowboat moored above Caen Hill Locks

Colleagues and friends who have tried their hands at England holidays by boat enthuse over the peace and tranquillity, the challenge of locks and the relaxation a narrowboat holiday can bring.

And it's not all sandwiches or pub lunches, either. If you want to find out about luxury river cruising in England, read this delightful account of Kathy Newbern and J.S. Fletcher, who took a 5* cruise along the river Thames.

So this will be our next challenge. Do we dare try to explore England from aboard a boat? Well, we might if we can get over the worries of driving (and stopping!) a 60-feet long boat.If you would like to take to the canals for your England holidays but have similar qualms, then this interview with Karen and Richard from narrowboat hire firm Canalboat Escapes might be helpful. Their passion for canals and narrowboats really sings out.

And, of course, there's more to boating in England than a narrowboat on a canal.

One of England's best places for messing about on the river is the Norfolk Broads and that's a part of the country we definitely love. So next time, instead of renting a cottage close to the beach, we might take a deep breath and try a holiday on the Norfolk Broads.