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Any canal holiday fans out there?

(14 Posts)
Kate54 Sun 20-Sep-20 20:17:08

We’ve been on several canal holidays but never for more than a week. Now we’re going with friends for an ambitious two-week trip on the Leeds-Liverpool. Local lockdown concerns aside, I’m wondering what others do about making sure they’ve got enough clean clothes? Storage is limited. Any laundrettes en route?! Any tips gratefully received. Already investigating disposable knickers!

Missedout Mon 21-Sep-20 00:45:34

DH and I regularly go on two week narrowboat trips. I used to find that I took too many clothes. Now, I know I need two complete changes of clothes (including shoes, waterproofs, hats and gloves). I fell in the canal once but, the chances are that you will still get very wet at some time, unless you plan to sit inside the boat and let the others do the outside work. Layers that work together are essential, a tee shirt that works as a vest, a hoodie that you can put up under an outer shell, waterproof overtrousers with leggings that can go underneath jeans. Working locks is hard on clothes, grease stains and snags are common. You get hot working the locks and cold steering the boat.

I mentioned gloves, I always wear fingerless gloves with leather/grippy palms, they make rope handling and using a windlass much more comfortable. I also take slip on shoes for inside the boat which will get very gritty from the tow paths with 4 of you going in and out.

Your boat may be better equipped than ours but we have a problem drying towels.

As to underwear, well, you could take some string and pegs with you and a small bottle of Stergene and rinse out your knicks. However, if you are going with friends, you might find it difficult to find somewhere to let them drip discretely. I take panty liners too but enough underwear to last me the two weeks. The trouble with disposable pants is that you have to dispose of them! One of the biggest problems is disposing of your rubbish. The Canal and River Trust seem to have removed many of the refuse disposal points around the network, meaning you have to carry all your waste with you for several days at a time. We take plenty of plastic carrier bags with us to put our rubbish in and look out for proper refuse points on our travels.

Other things to consider are, for 4 people, you will need to top up the water tank more often and it is unlikely that you will be able to do a two week journey without getting the toilet/s pumped out halfway through.

However, as you've done one week trips, and are going for two weeks, you must already have had some experience which you enjoyed. DH and I really look forward to our times on our shared boat. We are on for another week very soon. Just take it easy. It's all about the journey, not the destination and there will be 4 of you to share the work and fun.

BlueBelle Mon 21-Sep-20 05:19:40

Haven’t been for a good few years but some of the best holidays I ever had were narrow boat holidays
Loved them,

Kate54 Mon 21-Sep-20 09:41:03

Thank you so much for all that useful info (wish I had a share in a narrow boat !) Yes, we do know the ropes by now. I also usually take too many clothes. Panty liner idea good and also I’ll have to look out for grippy fingerless gloves.
Loads of towels, I agree, are essential.
Weather forecast looking ‘mixed) so hopefully no really heavy rain.

farview Sat 03-Oct-20 14:08:43

Oh lucky you..during lockdown weve walked a few stretches of the Leeds Liverpool canal.....Chorley ,Adlington, Standish....its so beautiful..enjoy yourselves 🦋

mary51 Sat 03-Oct-20 14:13:59

Canal holidays are lovely but hard work. We've been on two and they were great, both times with young teenagers. Had a lovely summer break on Brecon and Mon canal and once on an Irish canal up to Athlone I think (it was a along time ago).

Mgaliz Sat 03-Oct-20 18:19:39

Finger less gloves...try cycling gloves...most good bike shops have them....

NotTooOld Sat 03-Oct-20 21:40:20

We owned a narrowboat once. It was lovely. TBH just lower your standards a little to avoid taking too much stuff. Be prepared to wear your clothes (well, perhaps not knickers) for longer than you would at home. No-one will care if your trousers are not pristine or even notice if you have worn the same bra for a week. Have fun!

Luckygirl Sat 03-Oct-20 21:50:01

I always wanted to go on a canal boat holiday but my OH would not. Will I be brave enough to go on one on my own now?.........I think I just might.

Oldbat1 Sat 03-Oct-20 23:04:01

We had a 65ft canal boat for a few years. Ours had a lovely stove fire and central heating so drying towels etc wasn’t a problem plus it had a washing machine. The family were keen for us to buy one saying they would use it but they never ever did. It is hard work doing the locks plus cost of a mooring and license etc. I’m pleased we had our own but there are also timeshares etc. We sold it for what we bought it for. Enjoy your holiday.

Oopsminty Sat 03-Oct-20 23:05:28

I love canal trips and barges and whatnot

But I get terribly scared at locks and have to run well away and leave others more hardy than myself to sort it.

Kate1949 Mon 05-Oct-20 18:07:26

I love to see narrowboats and barges. There is a canal at the back of our house and if the house is quiet and I hear a boat chugging by, I run upstairs to watch it go by. smile blush

MerylStreep Mon 05-Oct-20 18:26:18

This is a picture me on our boat in one of the deep locks on the French canal system. You can't see the top of the lock in this picture.
We spent a year on the French canals/ rivers.
I did the Leeds/Liverpool with a girlfriend and the children in the 70s.
I think the Calidonian canal is the most beautiful.

Kate1949 Mon 05-Oct-20 19:45:20

I'd love to do that French trip Meryl after watching Rick Stein's French Odyssey. Marvellous.