|Inland Waterways Assoc.
In the eighty or so years up to 1850, a generation of engineering visionaries designed and built some 4,000 miles of canals. Together with improvements to river navigations, they created the first countrywide transport network capable of carrying vast quantities of freight. It provided the life-blood without which the Industrial Revolution could not have taken place; many thousands of horse-drawn boats carried coal and raw materials to the new manufacturing centres and brought out the products they made, farm produce was taken by water right into the heart of major towns and cities.
Then came the railways, which could carry even larger loads - and do it faster. The ‘canal mania’ years were ended, traffic on the waterways dwindled, navigation channels fell into disuse, boats and locks were left to rot, structures suffered neglect and started to crumble.
By World War II, freight carrying on all but a few waterways was ending, pleasure boating on canals was almost unheard of, nobody visited them, nobody cared.
That the canals might benefit future generations began to be recognised and in 1946 The Inland Waterways Association was formed to fight for the canals to be saved and revitalised. Years of effort by IWA, with its relentless campaigning to change polices and attitudes, prevented The Llangollen Canal, The Southern Oxford, The Leeds & Liverpool (and many others) from being abandoned and forgotten. Massive fund raising and volunteer work parties helped to restore and re-open waterways like the Southern Stratford Canal and River Avon Navigations. The popularity, accessibility and condition of our waterways as we know them today, is testimony to all that The Inland Waterways Association has achieved so far. But opportunities and threats remain ever present, much still has to be done. The IWA depends on the ongoing support of everyone who cares about our waterways heritage.
The Inland Waterways Association campaigns for all of us through lobbying Government, Local Council and the Navigation Authorities, consultation, giving advice, organising and providing manpower for projects, fund raising and giving financial aid.
Today the IWA is hard at work ensuring that existing waterways and their surroundings are conserved and maintained in the best possible condition and developed sensibly to suit future needs; we encourage the carriage of freight on suitable waterways.
With the help from the Inland Waterways Association, many more miles of long/derelict canals are now being brought back to life. To do so provides employment and wide-ranging leisure facilities ... but politicians and planners have to be persuaded ... the huge cost of restoration and future maintenance has to be secured and ever present are the threats to old canal routes from the conflicting needs for highway and building development.
Grants from the Government, National Lottery and other sources, have been pledged to many waterways restoration projects - including the Kennet & Avon, Rochdale and Huddersfield Narrow Canals and the Anderton Boat Lift. Every single one of these was assisted by Inland Waterways Association with further financial aid and the efforts of volunteer workers (including IWA’s branch members and Waterway Recovery Group) to provide resources and demonstrate what could be done.
As a registered charitThe Inland Waterways Association y relies on the generosity of its members and supporters for its income. IWA is completely independent and impartial in its dealings with the authorities and its campaigning for a secure future for the inland waterways on behalf of all users.
Your membership support would add enormously to the weight to IWA's ongoing campaign and enable more waterway restoration and improvements to be completed. And, through the thirty-six IWA local branches, there are endless opportunities to get involved in restoration work, local waterways issues, events and much more.
IWA's ' Waterways' magazine, four times a year.
Regular information (magazines and newsletters) from your local IWA branch.
Lectures, events and social get-togethers throughout the country.
Comprehensive range of waterways books, maps, guides, videos and useful merchandise available by mail order.
Opportunities for practical waterway restoration work.
Please feel free to contact IWA using the methods below or click here to visit our website.
The Inland Waterways Association,
PO Box 114
Tel: 01923 711114
Fax: 01923 897000
Numerous companies offer a wide selection of hire boats from sail to power with all sizes and classes of boat available throughout the year to accommodate 2-12 persons. Everything from small weekend cruisers to luxury floating hotels are available to choose from. The English Holiday Guide.com is the perfect place to start looking for your boating holiday. The wide variety of bargain england holidays online includes a selction of narrow boating and cruising holidays on the English waterways. The English Holiday Guide.com provides online access to narrowboat & cruising companies all over England. As with any holiday price cost is a deciding factor so within this guide there are some bargain holidays to suit all pockets.
Mid March to late October which is often referred to as the ‘cruising season’. Some firms hire year round but you should check that the route you want is available because maintenance works can close locks and bridges etc. out of season which may curtail your boating holiday. Your hirer will have details. Hotelboats usually cruise late April to late October. The canals are busiest during the school holidays from late July to early September and prices for hired boats are highest then. ‘Busy’ in canal terms means that some locks on popular canals may have queues of boats waiting an hour or more to get
into the locks and popular mooring spaces outside the popular traditional pubs on the waterways of England may fill up mid afternoon. You can choose quieter canals or just relax and enjoy the surroundings and conversations! All the details you may need about the route you are taking on your holiday can be found through the companies at English Holiday Guide.com when you seach for your bargain england holiday online.
Obviously there can be more sun during the summer period but most people don’t see canal cruising as just a ‘fair weather’ holiday, there’s lots to do whatever the weather- and winter cruising breaks may just be the bargain holiday you are looking for! Local attractions, bargain ideas for days out, even online information on a city guide can be found when you visit English Holiday Guide.com.
The English main canal system is very extensive, stretching from the South of England to Ripon in the North Eastof England and into Wales. Whichever sort of cruising holiday you choose one thing is certain, you will be moving slowly on your holiday! The maximum speed limit on the english canals is 4 miles per hour, about 6kph! Going faster creates wash which erodes canal banks. Boats don’t have speedometers but 4mph is about a good walking pace. Also you should never be making a breaking wave behind the boat. Even this speed is too fast when passing moored boats, you should slow right down to avoid pulling out their mooring lines. Going through locks slows you down more, it can take 20 minutes to get through one lock and they often come in flights of ten or twenty or more! Instruction on managing locks and a guide to english canal etiquette can be obtained both online and/or from your holiday provider.
So canal cruising is not a holiday to hurry, that is its beauty! As a general guide - Don’t plan to do more than 20 miles in a day unless there are very few locks around or you don’t mind long hours. You should not plan to travel after dark and some locks on some canals may be closed after 4 or 5pm until 8 am to save water supplies. After a few days going slowly you’ll be feeling the benefits! Boating holidays appeal to a wide variety of interests. You can get away from it all on the tranquil backwaters of the rural canals with their quaint waterside pubs, or explore the normally hidden channels through major towns
and cities with a wealth of architectural and industrial history only accessible by water. Your boating holiday offers many places of interest to stop along the way for the whole family and all of this is available to book through our bargain enland holidays online at English Holiday Guide.com
There is also plenty to do on the water itself, making the whole holiday a bargain - things to do including piloting your own boat, operating locks, exploring backwaters, and maybe taking in a little fishing or soaking up the sun! The slow pace of the waterways is one of the main attractions to many and because you travel only as far as you wish each day, your holiday can be
as relaxing or as energetic as you choose - for the more adventurous trips to surrounding places of historical interest, parks and more can be found while viewing our bargain england holidays online.