Select a Start Base and explore the routes listed below. You can click on this graphic for a large map of the UK canals


  • Stratford and Back
  • The Stourport Ring
  • The Avon Ring
  • The Black Country Ring
  • The Warwick-
    shire Ring


  • Chester and Ellesmere Port and Return
  • Cheshire Ring
  • Llangollen and Return
  • Four Counties Ring
  • Caldon Canal and Return
  • River Weaver and return (Subject to Availability)


  • Glasgow & Return
  • Bowling & Return
  • Edinburgh & Return
  • Edinburgh & Glasgow (Start & Finish Falkirk)


  • Market Harborough and Return
  • Aylesbury and Return
  • The Grand Ring
  • To Coventry and Return
  • To Snarestone and Return
  • The Warwick-
    shire Ring
  • East Midlands Ring


  • Brecon National park
  • Cwmbran
  • Brecon
  • Talybont-on-Usk
  • Crickhowell


  • Bath & Return
  • Bristol & Return
  • Bradford On Avon / Bottom of Caen & Return
  • Devizes & Return
  • Hungerford & Return
  • Newbury & Return
  • Reading & Return


  • Chester & Ellesmere Boat Museum
  • Llangollen Canal
  • Four Counties Ring






The Lockmaster Holiday Planner is very useful to determine the number of locks and distance for each route,
with Pearson's and Nicholson's guides giving details of facilities near to the canals such as pubs, shops and places of interest.

As a rough calculation when planning a route, add the number of locks to the distance in miles and divide the total by 3 to give the expected cruising time in hours.


All seven start bases can offer a selection of superb three and four night short break routes which can cater for both beginners and the more adventurous.


There is a unique feeling of freedom when you cast off and set off up the cut. You can stop when you feel like it and above all choose from a multitude of routes. Each canal has its own distinct character ranging from the earliest contour canals which twist and turn through the countryside, to the later more direct routes with their high embankments, deep cuttings and tunnels.

There are over 1400 miles of interconnected waterways waiting to be explored with six of our strategically placed bases giving easy access to much of the system, and the seventh in Scotland giving access to the Forth & Clyde and Union canals.

For more information including the number of locks and distances for each route,
we recommend the
Lockmaster Holiday Planner
. When you have chosen your route, Pearsons Canal Companions give you invaluable detailed information about the facilities to be found near the canal including pubs, shops etc.


With much of the canal system being over 150 years old, extensive maintenance is required to keep it open. Where this work requires the closure of a canal, this usually takes place between the beginning of November and the middle of March each year.

Our hire season therefore runs from mid March to the end of October. Early and late season breaks are priced to give exceptional value for money.

For many the appeal of an early or late season break is to see the English countryside when it's changing from day to day. Where better to experience this than from a canal boat.

Please Note:                                                                                
When planning any river cruising within your route, do bear in mind that in some weather conditions river navigation may be restricted, so it is worth having an alternative plan.

Suggested routes and timings are approximate and will be affected by available cruising hours, weather conditions and amount of traffic on the waterway. More detailed advice will be given when the boat is collected.