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Ray Cilia - Shropshire Canal
Ginette | Summer 2021 | Shropshire Canal
A wonderful team at Canalcrusing and you get the best care and attention to detail. Friendly family business that has a exceptional good reputation for that canal holiday you dream about. We have booked twice now and both Ginette and Patricia was presented in clean well equipped boats. Those technically minded will note just how much care is given to the power plants and other canal boat essentials. How would I rate Canal cruising? Easy, a great family business, reliable and well presented boats, and a family approach to your perfect holiday. I enjoy every moment of cruising the cuts and every item that you need is all provided on the boats. Dog friendly is an understatement - Canal cruising is one of those providers who want all the family to take part. 5 stars!
Jane france - Four Counties
Patricia | July 20 | Four Counties
We had an absolutely amazing holiday, myself my husband and our border terrier. Very relaxing indeed, the boat had everything on you could possibly need even central heating! The staff were friendly and took time to talk us through the essential information we needed, the locks were easy to manage and the scenery stunning. Can highly recommend a holiday with this company. We would definitely book again and we were first timers on the canal.
Colin - Four Counties Ring
Martha | Summer | Four Counties Ring
First time back on the canals for 12 years, we were a crew of 2 couples and 2 dogs on a 70 foot boat. Torrential rain on the first morning but we kept going as it's a fairly tight schedule to complete the ring in a week. Weather picked up after the first day and we had a brilliant time enjoying the wildlife as we cruised, getting plenty of exercise doing the locks and stopping at many dog-friendly pubs which served good food and ales. Special thanks to Peter and Karen for coming to our rescue when we took on a lot of water in a very leaky lock. They were marvellous, coming out to us in the evening to pump out the water and dry the carpets so we could finish our holiday. We were all exhausted at the end of the week (dogs included) but had a thoroughly enjoyable holiday and would not hesitate to recommend this company - the boat was excellent and the customer service in our hour of need could not have been better.
Geoff Delivett - Four Counties Ring
Angela | Autumn 2019 | Four Counties Ring
Wonderful and busy week. Handover was friendly and efficient. Boat is small but adequate, ideal for a couple. There were three of us but was still manageable. The weather was good for the most part, so that was a bonus. We did the ring anti-clockwise, think this works well, 3 fairly heavy days outbound and 3 much lighter homeward. We stopped at Plume of Feathers, Malkins Bank Golf Club, Nantwich, Market Drayton, Wheaton Aston, Penkridge and Stone, in that order. Worked well for us.
The boat was 100% reliable and well equipped both practically and domestically.
All in all a great week, one of our party was new to canals but has caught the bug.
My pleasure to recommend this company for a Canal holiday.
Sangster Family - South on the Trent and Mersey
Maria | July 2019 | South on the Trent and Mersey
Hi Karen / Canal Cruising,
Just catching up and wanted to thank you and your staff for an excellent holiday. We really enjoyed our week on Maria and was able to travel down the Trent and Mersey with no particular destination in mind, and with most of our moorings in the country. So quiet and peaceful!
We loved the boat and in particular relaxing in the swivel chairs in the evening. Of course the weather was excellent and without doubt added to the experience.
Again, many thanks.
Mr Gild - Caldon
Martha | 2019 | Caldon
This is from the Israeli family. Grandpa, two kids50 yrs old and 2 grandkids 13 yrs old.
Thank you so much for the use of your boat, also the wonderful service received. We had the most incredible holiday both from the viewpoint seeing and doing. The boat was extremely well equipped allowing us freedom to choose between eating onboard or enjoying the wonderful stops on the way.
Tessa & Steve - Trent & Mersey Canal, then Caldon all the way to Froghall
Angela | June 2019 | Trent & Mersey Canal, then Caldon all the way to Froghall
We have just returned from our first narrowboat holiday and it was (mostly!) a joy from start to finish. We were very happy with ‘Angela’ – especially once I’d rearranged all the cupboards (hopefully we put it all back the way it was!). I was a bit out of my ‘comfort zone’ with the early locks, which we were taken through very patiently by Maria, but soon got into the swing of it, much to Steve’s slight annoyance as it transpired that he’d been looking forward to operating the locks … but I thought I’d be better with “inanimate objects” rather than trying to handle the boat, so he had to be the skipper and make do with the odd bit of ‘helping’ with locks when the opportunity presented itself. I think he was secretly quite impressed with my energy/strength (especially the day I had 13 locks to do!), as I’m a couple of years older than him, and very near to my 65th birthday! We didn’t manage to get a photo of my operating a lock, so have included one showing our most challenging mooring – outside the Foxley pub at Milton - having a quick G&T before eating at the pub.
I say ‘mostly a joy’ because it did rain proverbial ‘cats & dogs’ on Tuesday morning as we set out to come back from Froghall Basin midway through our trip. We thought we’d best try to get some miles in on Tuesday morning despite the weather, but didn’t expect to see many other narrowboats out in the rain. So a big surprise to us to see a boat within minutes of starting out - emerging from Froghall Tunnel just seconds before we would be going through it in the opposite direction … especially as it was your other "Maria"!! We only saw one other boat on the move that morning, so clearly your customers are not afraid of getting wet.
We managed to visit 11 different pubs on our journey, and we can recommend http://www.canalandriversidepubs.co.uk as an excellent resource, especially for real ale drinkers. (The Black Lion in Consall Forge, and the Swan Inn in Stone both offer CAMRA discount). I can also thoroughly recommend the ‘sticky toffee pudding’ at the Red Lion pub near bridge 42 on the Caldon, and we were really lucky to be moored up there when the volunteers opened Flint Mill on the Monday morning (one of the volunteers was amazed to learn we were on "Angela" as he had also hired her a while ago for a 3 week trip on his own!).
All in all, it was a lovely relaxing holiday for us, and thank you again for your patience on the first afternoon, and also the last morning when we were faced with an engine that wouldn’t start (but I emphasise that it wasn’t due to an engine fault in any way, the ‘skipper’ hadn’t carried out all the checks on his list!!).
We would certainly have no hesitation in recommending your company to anyone thinking of a narrowboat holiday, especially first-timers.
Tessa & Steve
Jones and Co - Trent and Mersey/Caldon
Olivia | May 2019 | Trent and Mersey/Caldon
Although I was taught to steer/lock on a 70' narrowboat, and then lived on board a 50' boat, that was many years ago, so I was a bit anxious about handling 68' Olivia after all this time ashore. My two crew had even less experience, but we were carefully instructed on boat handling, locking, daily maintenance and domestic stuff by the friendly staff. We tried to remember all the instructions and then re-read the on-board notes, until we got into a good routine, steering, locking and mooring. Olivia is well equipped and very comfortable for us (possibly because we are not very tall?). We had good weather all week and thoroughly enjoyed our trip. In any spare time (between locks and lift bridges) my crew were happy watching birds and photographing wildlife/landscapes. We turned at Consall Forge and walked to Froghall and back, as Olivia is too high for Froghall tunnel and too long for the winding holes before it. We had time to divert to the 'Holy Inadequate' pub at Stoke and visit the Wedgwood museum. I had a very nostalgic time remembering places from my past boating life, noticing which had changed and which had not! I would thoroughly recommend hiring boats from Canal Cruising, particularly because of the friendly, helpful proprietors and staff, who are generous with their advice and assistance. I have the taste for boating again now and would like to hire from them again, to try a different route. Another trip down memory lane...
Pearson - Stourport
Francis | Sept 2018 | Stourport
Hi Karen,Peter and The Canal Cruising Team.
We arrived at about 2pm to go 2 week trip along the Staffs and Worcester Canal to Stourport. Once we had all our stuff on board, Peter showed us around '' Frances'' it was well equipped with every think you need on a boat, the galley was well supplied, clean and well presented. The wet room was great and very hot water from the shower was welcome after a day in the rain at the helm. Peter covered everything about the boat. After Peter left, it took a few moments for every thing to sink in. (Sink not the best word to Use). lots of Storage all over the boat.
The layout worked well, we used the two single beds at the back. Once we set up the Dining table we left up all the time. TV was there,but going on a boat trip to getaway from all of that.
Our first stop just above Star Lock, off to Morrisons, then we set off. Our first night just below Sandon Lock on the T&M. The next morning off early down to Great haywood turning left under the bridge on to the Staffs and Worcester Canal, past Tixall Wide and on down to Milford Bridge for lunch stop. Early evening arrived at Penkridge mooring above Filance Lock. In the morning looked around Penkridge. We left about 11.45am we stoped for lunch above Gailey Top Lock. It was sunny and windy (windy that was just the start).
Off we went again, down thru the narrows just north of Aldersley Junction on the long pound to Compton Lock stay overnight.
We Left Tuesday morning still windy with rain in the air, on our way down the 31 Lock to Stourport approx 290' above the River Severn from Crompton Lock (Its all down hill just like the weather). We made our way down to Bratch set of Locks and what a wonderful set of locks they are.(they are maned by CRT and Volunteers 7 days a week).
Then on to Botterham Staircase lock where we lined up along with 4 other boats going down the flight.
We made it to just above Stourton Junction where you join the Stourbridge Canal.
We left early Wednesday morning it started sunny with a bit more wind by the time we reached Wolverley Lock it was very windy. You could here trees snaping in the wind in the woods all around so we moored up just below the lock. CRT was clearing all the tree branches from the bywashes out when a boat coming up said a tree had fallen across the canal just behind him. That was sorted by CRT in the morning.
From that point it took us until Friday afternoon to reach the basin at Stourport, the wet weather clothes supplied with the boat did its job. At times there were waves on the canal with the strong wind and very heavy rain and cold ( heating on the boat was very welcome). At times it was snowing leaves at that point it was best just to moor up and wait. We left Sunday morning for our return trip which started off us in wet weather gear but by Mid day it was stored away warm and sunny all the way back just like a British Summer.
The journey back was just wonderful, late summer sunshine, thru the tress leaves all starting to turn. We could not ask from more on a boating holiday and of course ''Frances'' was our home for the two weeks, she did not fail us once.
The Staffs and Worcester is a wonderful experience full of history thanks to James Brindley.
My thanks to the Team at Canal Cruising for a well presented ''Frances''we had a great time i've arrived back having had a wonderful time. The two weeks away help my bother in law cope with the passing away of his son to see life for a different view.
Just to say this was my first time hiring a narrow boat.(the only other time was in the 70'on the Norfolk Broads in a wooden boat best not tell you about that i was only a young lad )
Many thanks from Mike and Myself.
A Hadfield - Caldon
Angela | 2018 | Caldon
I just wanted to drop you a quick email to say thank you for a very enjoyable weeks holiday last week on your boat Angela. It was the first time my husband and son had been on a canal boat and although we packed way too much food stuff and more then enough clothes to take into account all types of weather, we managed to find a place for everything.
The weather held out, we found the fill up points with ease thanks to your on boat guide and the book you lent us regarding the Trent/Mersey and Caldon Canal was a godsend due to the fact we had to change our planned route because of low water levels!
The boat was well equipped and with your initial tuition we had a very enjoyable week with no problems at all. If we were to hire a boat in future i think we would consider a slightly larger boat to give us a little more space.
Once again thanks to you and your team for providing us with a memorable weeks holiday.
John & Jackie Davies - Four Counties Ring/Horseshoe
Agnes | May 2018 | Four Counties Ring/Horseshoe
This was our 5th narrowboat holiday and should have been The Four Counties Ring but, thanks to the breach on the Middlewich Arm, became The Four Counties Horseshoe twice - there and back! Naturally we were disappointed but Karen could not have been more helpful in assisting us with our rerouting to Llangollen & back. "Agnes" is a magnificent boat & served us extremely well. Everything about her was wonderful to such an extent that we are now planning another holiday on "Agnes" in 2020. The whole trip could not have been better with not a single day of rain and such magnificent scenery and engineering feats almost beyond belief.
Karen & everyone else at Canal Cruising could not have been more helpful & we will certainly recommend them to anyone wishing to take a hassle free trip along the canals of England & Wales. They are, without a doubt, the most efficient, helpful & friendly company.
Congratulations to Canal Cruising on their 70th anniversary - long may they continue.
John & Jackie
Michelle - Stone-Sandon
Alice | Summer | Stone-Sandon
Absolute value for money! The staff were amazing and very informative and friendly. Would highly recommend the day experience!
SPENCER - Trent & Mersey / Caldon
Olivia | Easter 2018 | Trent & Mersey / Caldon
We have just returned from our second holiday in 12 months with this company - quite amazing since we are decidedly mountain people and one of us really doesn't like water! So why did we try it, and why did we return so soon?
We tried it as a couple (on Angela 34' I think) as I thought that it would be really relaxing for me, but active enough for my husband who struggles with stillness. Well I did not get that exactly right as it was probably the most active holiday I have ever had as we chose a route with lots of locks (and only 2 of us - see later). However this was balanced with pub grub and real ale so all good. Karen and Maria took us through our first couple of locks with the very sound advice - "make sure the plug is in before you fill it", a crucial mantra, much repeated. The scenery was great and the learning curve steep as we grappled with lock processes, steering, mooring etc. There was a great sense of achievement.
So why did we go back so soon? We are grandparents and could clearly see how such a holiday could be enjoyed by the different generations, simple as that really. So last week, 2 in their 50s, 2 in their 30s and a 2 and 4 year old set off on an adventure in a much larger craft (68'). There really is something for everyone. The parents enjoyed the challenge of mastering slick lock operation (plug before filing!), fresh air and exercise, grandma got the opportunity to do a little more relaxing than last time, spending time spotting all sorts of wildlife with the children, counting locks and bridges, the 4 year old loved being on the boat bird spotting, off the boat helping with locks and especially pressing the button for the lift bridge, the 2 year old enjoyed" helping Gramps do driving".
Our small folk are pretty sensible and physically capable so we had no concerns about such small people on the boat at all and I would recommend it, as they got so much from it - as did we, through them. We also had our 2 ancient dogs with us. Despite the number of us, I don't think any of us felt crammed in at any point
The boat had everything we needed. The kitchen area was very well equipped with pretty much everything i could imagine needing, we did little cooking, but the kitchen had a full sized cooker so you could easily prepare anything. The fridge has a small freezer compartment which was useful (apologies for leaving things in there!) We took a bed side for the 2 year old and were glad we did as the bunks are quite high. Those of us under 6' tall were fine in our beds, the over 6' person felt a little cramped in the length of the bed but coped. The seating was comfortable and storage abundant.
I would highly recommend this company, they have a great, relaxed attitude which is excellent for first timers (and 2nd timers), they provide tuition and ensure you feel OK before sending you off alone and offer practical solutions to land-lubber questions. So thanks to Karen and the team, I am sure we will see you again
Will Turton - Trent and Mersey Canal to Etruria, Caldon Canal to Leek
Ginette | Autumn - October 2017 | Trent and Mersey Canal to Etruria, Caldon Canal to Leek
A lovely last minute short break aboard Canal Cruising's 3 berth narrowboat Ginette. With pleasant and generally mild weather, cruising to and from Leek was a very enjoyable experience, with plenty of locks, the odd lift bridge and even a tunnel to enliven proceedings. The Caldon Canal is quite beautiful, especially with the autumn colours, and a very good itinerary within the confines of a few days aboard.
Facilities on-board were well arranged and wholly practical - you can certainly appreciate that the narrowboats are well cared for in this family business! Tuition (with patience!) was provided as we set out, so even a complete novice would be able to get underway with confidence.
If you're looking for a break with a definite difference and don't mind a bit of activity alongside relaxation, consider a holiday aboard Canal Cruising's fleet!
laget family - black country ring + coventry
Rosemary | september 2017 | black country ring + coventry
Is it now the sixth or the seventh time we had our holliday with your company I dont know. So many years ago I had to choose a company and I tought: I they exist so long and still are a family business they must be good, and I was right. We have had wonderfull hollidays on your boats: alone and with some fiends we brought allong. This year it was the black country ring and again a hit. OK there were some rainy days, but that did not spoil the fun! Black country museum, Birmingham, even Coventry (I was not sent to Coventy but went there anyway), I will not lightly forget them. My booking for next year is comming.
Andy and Jan - South Midlands ring
Patricia | September 2017 | South Midlands ring
Had a wonderful 2 weeks as always. Hatton flight was amazing and luckily with had another narrowboat to buddy up with...which is recommended!! Patricia was a great boat for 2 people with excellent facilities and easy to handle. Thanks to all at canal cruising for enabling us to have a wonderful holiday. Highly recommended. This is the second year we have booked and we will be booking again next year.
Anthony and Henrike - Stone to Amertidge then to galley then home
Maria | Summer 2017 | Stone to Amertidge then to galley then home
The boat was spotless and the service cheerful which made for the perfect start to our holiday.
Phoned once to enquire about advice given by other canal users and glad to say the phone line was quickly answered and accurate advice given. Plenty of advice within two folders detailing safety, boat and lock usage as well as plenty of activity information. Overall a wonderful experience which I would definitely recommend.
Keith & Anne Egerton - Trent and Mersey
Carey | 2017 | Trent and Mersey
Thank you for your services, we enjoyed the trip and particularly like the layout and standard of the boat and we hope to use you again in the future
The Warrs - four counties ring
Lillian | spring | four counties ring
This was the 3rd time we have hired boats from you and as always we had a fantastic time. Yourself and the staff very helpful and again the weather was kind to us. As there were so many of us and 2 dogs we had 2 boats, the other being Martha. both boats served us well and a good time was had by everyone, hopefully it wont be too long before we can organize another trip.
Ann Boyles - Stone to Fradley and return (4 night hire)
Francis | April 2017 | Stone to Fradley and return (4 night hire)
Thank you for the well-fitted boat, the handover from Brett and the fantastic weather!
A great 4,days.. and looking forward to seeing you all again next year.
Thanks to the whole team
Ann, girls and dogs
Cath and Alan - Leicester Ring
Alice | september | Leicester Ring
Three weeks of good weather for the second year running. A varied route with our first experience of wide locks. (the Stenton lock was particularly memorable). The river Soar was lovely though the day through Leicester was not. Generally amazingly un-busy. We had time for a quick trip up the Ashby. Well worth it though keep to the middle even in the seemingly wide bits. Once again excellent service from the staff at each end of the journey.
Thank you all
Diane Kincaid and Fraser Rowe - Caldon, Maccesfield, L+L, Stourport ++
Lucy | 2016 | Caldon, Maccesfield, L+L, Stourport ++
We have just completed a 18 week hire with the nb Lucy Ginger where we concentrated on the northern canal system. Peter and Karen put a great deal of thought into such a long hire and prepared nb Lucy well. She had new batteries and we were provided with additional items to make our trip more comfortable. They also organized a mid hire full maintenance renew of the boat and fitted in with our schedule. We had such a great time that we are coming back for another long hire in a few years. We have done short term hires before from other companies but we found dealing with Canal Cruising Company an easy and enjoyable experience. Diane and Fraser, Canada
Ian Beadle - Trent and Mersey Canal to Great Haywood, Black Country Ring, BCN and return (13 days)
Ginette | Summer 2016 | Trent and Mersey Canal to Great Haywood, Black Country Ring, BCN and return (13 days)
Our 2nd time aboard a Canal Cruising boat having been with the family some years ago. We love the relaxed atmosphere at the boatyard and found Ginette to be extremely comfortable, clean and well equipped. We arrived back the evening before our trip ended and the team were quite happy for us to leave the boat without anyone around to check us back in after hours - very useful. The BCN are well worth a trip in themselves and we would heartily recommend the centre of Birmingham as a place to moor and explore. We've been narrow-boating for 28 years and would definitely recommend Canal Cruising.
Teulings Party - Staffordshire Canals
Martha | August 2016 | Staffordshire Canals
Dear Karen and team,
It has been several weeks ago (30th july-6th of august) that we made a boattrip on the Martha Ginger from your homebase in Stone.
Today our digital foto album arrived and reminded us immediatly how nice this week has been.
We would like to thank you again for the confidence you gave us, you rented a boat through an agency without knowing who we were, you didnot know if we had any experience or what we were interested in.
Because we didnot have any kowledge in advance about the possibilities we were relying on your advice what route to take.
Your advice to go to Leek so we could understand where the canals were used for in the past, the pottery industrie, all the work and knowledge about this industry, the beautifull nature and scenery resulted for us in a very grate holiday.
Together with offcourse the very nice boat, in which everything was in very clean and good order with all te comfort we needed.
We are looking back to a fantastic week!
Again, thank you very much,
Lian and Jef Teulings
Adrian and Chantelle Bond - Caldon
Angela | Sept 2016 | Caldon
just wanted to say thank you for the time you spent sending my ebook reader back. Also really enjoyed our holiday. I was impressed with Angela and we wanted for nothing as regards the boat. We got to Froghall tunnel and had a great holiday. Would love to do it again
Katy and Matt - 4 Counties Ring
Rosemary | Summer | 4 Counties Ring
We had a fantastic week! Such a great achievement and so much fun. Beautiful countryside and amazing canals. Rosemary (the boat) was perfect for the practicalities for daily living with Swift the dog and two people. All things were taken care of, so we could enjoy every moment of canal life. We saw a vast number of heron and kingfishers! I had not driven a boat before and so did not want the week to come to an end, as it was a great challenge that I mastered! Perfect holiday. Thank you so much Canal Cruising.
Peter Kendrick - Stone - Alrewas and back
Elinor | Summer | Stone - Alrewas and back
Hired two boats Elinor and Olivia for a party of 10.
All the people were first time canal boat users and so the training session at the start was essential and very helpful. Many thanks to the staff for that.
We found the boats well maintained, clean and stocked with all the essentials. We were amazed that they had full sized fridges and cookers plus there was 240v power, plenty of hot water for showers and storage areas for luggage.
Thanks to all the staff at canal cruising for an excellent holiday.
Chris and his crew - Four Counties Ring
Martha | June 2016 | Four Counties Ring
I and all my "crew" got on very well with Martha, a very well equipped boat. Excellent service and tuition from Karen and her team when we picked the boat up from Stone.
The fine weather helped us keep to our busy schedule and we achieved the varied route through the picturesque 4 Counties Ring in our week with Martha.
Mike & Vi Weaver - Stone to Wheaton Aston
Lucy | September 2015 | Stone to Wheaton Aston
Having sold our own narrowboat earlier in the year , not using it enough , we could not keep away from the canals and took out Lucy for a week.
The boat was spotless and the seating and bedding very comfortable.Lucy handles very well and is a credit to Karen and Peter and their team.
We shall definitely be returning
Matt Thorley - Stone to Penkridge
Elinor | Spring | Stone to Penkridge
I will keep this brief just so you can all appreciate how good this company and their fleet of canal boats are. We actually hired two boats (Elinor and Agnes) for a large group of twelve and every step along the way was simple, from booking through to return of deposit.
Everybody was happy to help out with enquiries even as far as the guys doing the induction when we asked questions they may consider as stupid. All information post booking arrived in the post within a matter of days.
The actual boat was perfect. Comfortable beds, plenty of storage, plenty of space and just generally relaxing and saw us comfortably through three nights of rain, shine and cold weather.
Could not recommend enough and will definitely be booking again!
Jan Robertson and Andy Stevenson - Stone-Stourport-Worcester-Birmingham-Alrwas-Stone
Maria | June 2016 | Stone-Stourport-Worcester-Birmingham-Alrwas-Stone
Excellent 2 weeks on the Maria travelling down the Trent and Mersey canal to the Staffs and Worcester canal down to Stourport and onto the River Severn to Worcester then up the Worcester and Birmingham Canal through Birmingham and onto the Birmingham and Fazeley canal to Fradley junction to Alrewas where we turned round and came back up the Trent and Mersey back to Stone. Maria was well equipped for our holiday and very comfortable. We would recommend canal cruising as an excellent company to hire from. Staff were very helpful and advised us on our trip and equipped the narrowboat with everything we needed.
Graham Kennison - Stone - Huddlesford - Anglesey - Wolverhampton - Stone
Alice | September | Stone - Huddlesford - Anglesey - Wolverhampton - Stone
Our chosen trip was slightly unusual and not a trip most people would consider, indeed many people advised us against it. The route we took was a big circle taking in the Trent & Mersey, the Coventry, then the northern waters of the BCN to Wolverhampton and down to the Staffs & Worcester before returning to Stone via Great Haywood. We were told that we would be harassed by vandals, be constantly down the weed hatch and have problems with the locks. None of this happened. We opened the weed hatch once, just to check, and we only removed a handful of plastic, which was causing us no problems.
We had special reasons for wanting to undertake this particular route and we are very glad that we did. It was a very interesting cruise on very quiet canals. For two days we didn’t meet another moving boat and on the third day we met two. Although we went round and through many urban areas the canal was beautifully rural for most of the time yet, if we needed supplies, we were never far from shops and pubs. The locals and the C&RT staff we met were all interested to see us and at locks we were often offered assistance. Everyone was pleased to see us using their canal.
The highlights were many. We spent four days at the Huddlesford Heritage Gathering (organised by the Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust and Lichfield Cruising Club). It was the first time we had been to a canal festival by boat – it’s the only way to go!
Despite the fact that there were only two of us the major lock flights, Curdworth 11, Perry Barr 13, the Rushall 9 and the Wolverhampton 21, were all fine, indeed enjoyable. The area around bottom lock of the Perry Barr flight looked a bit dismal, there was a lot of rubbish about, there was the old boat moored right in the middle of the lock landing looked like a permanent feature, and it was raining. That was the low point for us & we did wonder if we had made a bad choice. However, the rain stopped and once we started to move up the locks they turned out to be a very enjoyable experience – with some great services and shops at the top of the flight. We had one low pound at Rushall but there was just enough water for us not to need to run any more down, band there was a C&RT man who had already picked it up on his routine checks and was about to top it up.
Going under Spaghetti Junction at Salford Junction was an unforgettable experience – everybody should do it before they die!
The next big highlight was Anglesey Basin. Unfortunately, we didn’t spend enough time there as we wanted to get to Wolverhampton that night. Certainly down for another visit. Pelsall Common was an absolute delight. The water on parts of the Wyrley & Essington Canal was so clear that we could see the bottom and we were often sailing through immense shoals of fish. A fisherman on the Staffs & Worcester later told us that the water was now so clean that there were trout living there.
At Wolverhampton Broad Street Basin we spent a very happy hour being shown over the Narrowboat Trust’s working pair who were laden with coal for their annual coal run to the south.
The ultimate highlight of the cruise was getting a good mooring at Tixall Wide and waking up in time to see the lunar eclipse. I doubt that we’ll ever be able to repeat that experience!
The weather at the start of our two weeks was a bit wet but later we had great autumnal conditions of cold misty mornings and afternoons of sun with dramatic evening sunsets. Pure magic – and we forgot all about the rain.
We had no problems, but we had planned the trip quite carefully (on canalplan.org - a wonderful website) to make sure that we had a safe mooring to make for each night. I think we may have been over cautious as we saw plenty of safe moorings – we were also outside school holidays, which may have helped.
We have hired Alice once before so we knew what to expect, and she performed perfectly for us. We did have a problem with the central heating not wanting to work too well, but a call to the yard & Peter was out to us sharpish. He found a bad connection on the pump & had it fixed very quickly. In fact the service from everyone at the yard is excellent – relaxed and a efficient.
We have grown to love our canal holidays and this was about the best – mind you we said that last year when we went up the Caldon!
Paul Baker - Stone - Penkridge - Stone
Agnes | Fall 2015 | Stone - Penkridge - Stone
This was our first narrowboat trip and we settled on the Stone - Penkridge route for a leisurely cruise. "Agnes" was superbly outfitted and ran without a hitch, Night one got us to Tixall Wide and a lovely boat dinner on the shore. Our next 2 days included Penkridge and further points west. Our final day got us back to North of Stone with an early morning return to the yard on Friday. There are lots of pubs along the way, and plenty of time to enjoy them on this route.
"Agnes" is an excellent design and not at all claustrophobic - lots of room to move about, and well-designed for 2 to 4 for sleeping. If you have imagined a narrowboat holiday, don't hesitate - do it! - and Canal Cruising is a fine company to do it with.
John Ashton - Stone Fradley
Agnes | september 2015 | Stone Fradley
To start with I would like to give a big thank you to all the staff at Canal Cruising Ltd . My wife, daughter and son-in-law had a great time on board Agnes , from the time we turned up we were looked after and given some great instructions before we set off . This was our first time on a narrow boat and was a bit nervous at the start but once you get into it , it becomes very natural . The boat was very well kitted out and comfortable . We got down to Fradley Junction in two days and had a lovely meal in the Swan right next to the canal . Everyone we met on the way were very friendly and helpful . If you were thinking of hiring a boat I would go for it and make sure you use Canal Cruising .
The Beran family - Trent-and-Mersey C. / Coventry C. / Oxford Canal and back
Lucy | Summer 2015 | Trent-and-Mersey C. / Coventry C. / Oxford Canal and back
Once again we had a lovely holiday on the canals. This time we stayed for four weeks and thus were able to visit Oxford. (To be honest - we moored Lucy at Lower Hayford and took the train - no bother with mooring or turning in Oxford).
The way back brought us to the Foxton locks - very impressive!
This was our eighth holiday with Canal Cruising - certainly not the last one! We can highly recommend this boatyard!
The narrowboats are well kept, spacious, excellently equipped and very comfortable.
The boatyard´s staff is nice and helpful, especially Karen who is the soul of Canal Cruising.
Thanks again for everything!
Mr D. Crookes - North
Martha | Sept 2015 | North
Many thanks for a very enjoyable trip on your boat Martha last week. The boat was very good, and we were especially impressed by the amount of storage space that had been created on the boat.
Also a much apreciated thank you for the way you organised things following the problem with the lock above your boatyard. I hope you soon get all your boats back where they should be.
I am sure we will be hiring another boat from you some time in the future.
Sue Baines - Four Counties Ring
Alice | September | Four Counties Ring
Very friendly reception, and although we arrived early, the boat was ready to go. Well equipped and good handover. Would definitely book again if we choose nearby area to cruise. Nice to get email on our return home.
Ruth and Melvin Gilbert and family - Four Counties Ring
Martha | Summer August 2015 | Four Counties Ring
Our second time with Canal Cruising and again extremely impressed with the company. The staff were helpful and friendly, the boat was well equipped and laid out. It was great not to have to make beds up at night and take them down in the morning! The website is easy to use and very informative.
We had a brilliant holiday, although in order to complete the ring in a week it meant a lot of cruising time each day. We found the canal routes advice on the website invaluable as it kept us on schedule.
We would like to thank Canal Cruising for an excellent service and would highly recommend the company.
Once again a big THANK YOU!
john west - Stone Rugeley Wedgewood Stone
Lucy | summer 2015 | Stone Rugeley Wedgewood Stone
Our first time on a canal boat and boy what a time we had although we never went far we got down to Rugeley where we met friends, then all the way back up to visit the Wedgewood factory.
We had some good instruction from the staff before we headed out of Stone on our own, but we soon got the hang of it.
I can recommend the fantastic Sunday dinner at the Saracens Head, Weston and very friendly staff.
Loved going through the locks and my granddaughter loved feeding the ducks and swans.
The weather was mixed and we had one damp day but it never put us off, a great holiday but over far too quick.
Karen Gould - Stone to Goldstone Wharf
Francis | Summer | Stone to Goldstone Wharf
We had hoped to complete the Four Counties ring but a fallen tree necessitated a change of plans, thanks to Dominic for getting us out of the cutting!
We had a fantastic trip and would certainly recommend Canal Cruising. The boat was fantastic and with solid tuition before we set off it was relaxing from start to finish.
The locks are great fun, we took turns operating them and steering the boat. Great scenery and plenty of wildlife to be spotted.
Priitt Sasi - Caldon
Martha | July 2015 | Caldon
Thank you for splendid cruise week.
Your boats Martha and Carey are very homely and well-equipped and it was really enjoyable vacation format for us. The cruising starts to feel very right and comfortable on the third day, but thereafter it was fun even with rainy-windy weather.
We'd like to thank also your lovely crew, who showed us the ropes.
Thank you very much for your help.
Len Barr - Hardcastle Tunnel and Caldon Canal
Angela | July 2015 | Hardcastle Tunnel and Caldon Canal
I had a lovely week on board Angela, touring the Caldon Canal, with a friend of mine over from New Zealand. We both thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would certainly do it again. The initial tuition was very thorough, and I soon got the hang of steering the boat, whilst my friend from NZ really enjoyed operating the locks.
Malcolm Smith - Trent & Mersey and Caldon Canal
Martha | Spring | Trent & Mersey and Caldon Canal
Our third year with Canal Cruising and our second on board NB Martha
This isn't just a thank you to Canal Cruising Ltd it's also a brief introductions to anyone that may be contemplating a narrowboat holiday
The Caldon Canal was to be our aim with destination Froghall in mind. From start to finish this canal has everything, engineering, heritage, scenery, peace and above all the feeling of complete isolation from the crazy world outside. The Trent & Mersey canal leading to Stoke on Trent is full of interest. From rural to urban everything blends in well and there are times when you are in the heart of the city that you may feel you are in the countryside. It isn't perfect but it isn't bad either
The weather behaved most of the time and even when it didn't the comfort on this boat would more than make up for it. The central heating came into its own a few times and the on board entertainment added much when the weather was inclemant during the evening
The galley certainly provided the means for all that our hungry trio could eat and it is a matter of fact that the kettle was overworked and untroubled from being constanty on the boil
As usual nothing is too much trouble with this firm and you quickly realise they are totally professional, they simply want you to enjoy the holiday that you have paid for. Our boat, Martha, purred along from start to finish and was a complete pleasure to handle
If you are in a hurry then this may not be the holiday for you, if on the other hand you want to relax, unwind and enjoy mooring in the middle of nowhere or perhaps the little village with its pub is more to your liking, usually with real ale on offer and food at reasonable prices then welcome aboard
Derek and Gill - Stone to Chester back and the rest of four counties
Carey | June 2015 | Stone to Chester back and the rest of four counties
Had two weeks on Carey myself and my wife plus my brother and his wife. Weather poor for a couple of days but not to worry it all picked up and it was great for the rest of the holiday.Went to Chester ,while there took the bus to portsunlight very peacfull place to go and had a good look round Chester then went back and finished the four counties. Boat great as usual we go on this boat every year now had lots of laughs met some nice people on the way round. On the way back had a meal at the sarasons head pub good food and atmosphere. Used this boatyard for about ten years Karen and Peter just can't do enough for you even start your car when you've got a flat battery. Thanks Karen and Peter all the best Gill and Derek Blackpool
The McCarthys - Leek& Froghall
Elinor | June 2015 | Leek& Froghall
We can't say enough about how great this trip was. We took it with another couple who live in the UK. Their help was great in planning the route. We all had a great time. Sleeping accommodations worked out well. We reserved a 70ft we had plenty of space to spread out. We thoroughly enjoyed getting a chance to see this "side" of the England which is beautiful. I highly recommend this type of vacation to anyone and definitely use this company.
Angela Franklin - Stone - Great Haywood - Stone
Lillian | Spring | Stone - Great Haywood - Stone
This was our first time on a narrowboat and we pick Lilian a 70ft boat. She sleeps 8. We took our nephews with us (10 and 8 years). We went for 3 days, arriving on Saturday we had full training including 2 locks before being allowed on our own. After our initial getting used to her we found her easy to steer and found it very relaxing. There were 7 of us on the boat and we all had a go at steering, the 2 boys under supervision. The lads loved it and couldn't wait to get off the boat to do the locks. The route south was very scenic with lots of wildlife to see and lots of places to moor on the route for free. All in all it was very relaxing break and my husband and myself are already planning our next holiday with them for 2 weeks next year to explore even more of the canal but as only 2 of us thinking of going on Maria. We had mixed weather but that didn't dampen our spirits.
Paul Hewitt - stone-stoke and back (3 days)
Elinor | Spring | stone-stoke and back (3 days)
We hired this wonderful boat for our friend Carl's stag weekend.
Karen and the staff were fantastic, knowledgeable, friendly and patient and showed us and talked us through all we needed to know.
The boat was well equipped and comfortable for 7 men including 2 well over 6 feet with ample storage
I would heartily recommended this company to anyone looking to experience our wonderful waterways.
Ps the Toby Carvery at Etruria Junction is lovely and the staff are great.