The English Waterways
From historic rivers like the Thames and Trent, which man has used since before Roman times, to the two thousand miles of eighteenth century canals, England has a vast and diverse network of navigable waterways.
"Liquid History" as they have been aptly described - they flow serenely past a thousand years of English history in an ever-changing but timeless landscape.
You drift past royal palaces (the Thames has three in twenty-four miles), Norman churches, old villages and medieval towns. Past modern towns and farms, all with their roots in the past. Under bridges that span the centuries from the thirteenth to the twentieth, under brick, under stone, under steel. The canals are virtually unchanged in their working since the 1780's - you can still see the grooves cut by the towing lines of the old horsedrawn boats in the locks we use today. And perhaps reflect that these very canals were one of the vital factors of the Industrial Revolution that made the modern age.
But these waterways are no "dead museum" - they are as alive today with people, their dwellings, and boats as they always have been. Quiet in some places, busy in others, no two waterways are ever alike, indeed no two stretches are alike. All waterways have an individual character and most have several - the Thames at Lechlade is entirely different from that at Windsor or in London. Not all is idyllic - we have our share of "less than pretty" areas, but mercifully these are still few. You can still moor up most nights in peaceful secluded countryside, perhaps idly watching a heron or kingfisher catching its dinner. Or watching the reflection in tranquil water of a stone bridge built long before the motor car.
And you are part of it. All coupled with abundant pubs, shopping of all kinds, sightseeing and meeting real people. All at your chosen pace. And with time to feed the ducks and the Queen's swans!
The English Water
WaysWhere We Go
Meals When to comeThings to do
Joining, Prices, Booking.
Slideshow Plan of BoatHome Waters Map