There’s nothing like a long, drawn-out spell of Winter weather to get you longing for lazy summer days. And if it’s tranquility you’re seeking, nothing does ‘laid-back’ quite as well as a narrowboat break.
You can’t beat a cruise down the canal for a totally chilled-out experience. At 3 miles per hour you’re forced to slow down. The first thing anyone who has spent time on a canal boat will tell you is how you actually feel the stress of our busy lives falling away as each calming vista slips by.
If you’re getting some R&R in the front well deck while everyone else runs around for a change, a peaceful tranquility awaits. Here you don’t even hear the chug-chug of the narrowboat’s diesel engine. So your senses can become completely enveloped in the sounds of the passing countryside.
Commune with Nature
Ducks, swans and other water fowl disturbed by the boat’s wake splash and scurry away. The many native varieties of birds singing in the trees provide a peaceful aerial harmony.
It could be a heron stood as still as an ornament on the edge of the towpath. Perhaps it’s the cows lolloping towards the milking shed. Probably it’s fellow cruisers passing closely by in the opposite direction sharing the same new sense of wellbeing.
Most of all, the rippling of the boat’s gentle wake against the still waters of the canal has a calming effect like no other.
Why did we not do this sooner, you ask yourself!
It’s easy to dream away the day under these conditions, and why not? Where else do we get the opportunity these days to just let our minds wander? Of course a glass of wine is a great partner in this. And you’ll often find mini-libraries of shared books at many Canal and River Trust sites if a good read is your thing.
A Unique Perspective
But for repeat cruisers, the simple pleasure of viewing nature from this unique perspective is what brings them back. For the most part, the canal system criss-crosses some of the best countryside vistas these islands have to offer. You will be off the beaten track discovering pristine villages and traditional canal side pubs otherwise hidden from the busy tourist routes.
So take a step back in time and experience a piece of British history, and rediscover yourself in the process!