The UK canal system is world famous and I was really looking forward to my short break cruise from Swanley Bridge Marina in Nantwich down the luscious Llangollen Canal.
Choosing the right boat for us was important. Marine Cruises offer a selection of sizes and berths that are suitable for you and your party. We opted for Debbie Jane, who not only is a great cruiser stern narrowboat, but she had the perfect layout for 4 family members and the comfort we needed with the addition of 2 freestanding armchairs.
Driving the boat felt daunting at first, but the extensive tutorial given by the team immediately put you at ease. During this time, you learn about health and safety on board, how to operate the locks and how to turn around. This sounds like a lot to take in, but when you’re doing it for real, the time just flies by as you cruise at a leisurely pace to your first stop-off destination.
Although the locks may seem daunting at times, they are all part of the experience and if you’re lucky, there may be a pub nearby. Mooring up after a long days boating deserves a treat and pub grub with a cheeky tipple is something that we certainly made the most of!
What items did we bring with us? Although our boat was fitted with all of the mod cons, we still weren’t sure what to bring with us to make our journey more comfortable and enjoyable. Here is a list of things I’d recommend bringing: Torches (for a darkened towpath), Trainers or no-slip shoes (the towpath can be very slippery if raining), Raincoat, Golfing Umbrella, Appropriate Clothing (for a change in weather), Sunhat, Sunglasses, Sun Cream, DVDs and CDs (if you’re boat has a player provided), Games, Canal Map, Air Freshener, Food Shopping (essentials such as Bread, Milk and Breakfast Items), Boxed Wine (rather than bottles), Tea and Coffee, Salt and Pepper, Foil or Cling Film, Extra Loo Rolls (just in case), Bottled Water, Soap, Shower Gel, Toothpaste, Toothbrushes, Camera, Binoculars, Medication, Carrier Bags and Bin Liners, Slippers or Warm Socks and more importantly, a sense of humour.
In summary, I would recommend anyone take the plunge with Marine Cruises! Boating is for everyone, and if you’re 10 or 110, you’ll not find a more relaxing experience.
Blog post by Jack Woodhouse (Marine Cruises new Admin, Sales and Events Assistant)