Amazing way to see/experience central UK
Found this on the web and thought it was crazy, but it kept popping up in my mind. Showed the wife and she had the same experience until we both decided we had to give it a go. We are SO GLAD we did!
We rented a 40-foot boat for 7 nights, watched the instructional video online, and showed up with our 14-year-old son and a bunch of luggage. The had us go get groceries for a few days, and then we loaded everything up and started our instructional training with Jeff.
Jeff spent 1.5 hours making sure we knew the boat, proper procedures to do everything, e.g. work a swing bridge, operated the canal locks, operate the boat, etc, etc. etc. He was very thorough and really put our minds at ease. Then we were off.
Spent the next six days slowly cruising from one picturesque spot to the next. The wife and I had a queen size sleeper in the front of the boat, our son had the fold out bed in the back. the kitchen was easy to operate and well stocked, the boat was well maintained and easy to steer, you can pull over anywhere you want and relax for 10 minutes or stay the night with no one else around, etc.
Going through Foxton Locks is a MUST!!! It is quite the experience to operate the 10 staircase locks (you have a lot of guidance from the Lock Keepers), and you are basically the star of the show that tourists come from all over to see/take pictures of.
When we arrived back at Union Wharf, they took great care of us, didn’t charge me for the mooring device I dropped in the canal and couldn’t get back, and found a taxi for us to the train station.
10 out of 10 for experience, staff helpfulness, everything!