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Our love affair with canal cruising is surely evident in this blog post. When we used to continuously cruise we covered thousands of miles on the water and had some wonderfully memorable moments, a few of which really stood out and we’d love to touch on them here with you!

One route which we haven’t yet travelled though is the Oxford Canal which is meant to be incredibly beautiful weaving its way through beautiful estates, charming towns and most importantly (!) fantastic pubs (to be honest we have been known to plan entire routes in the past specifically with pubs in mind 🤣!). So, the Oxford Canal isn’t on our list but I’ve an inkling if we’d travelled it it most certainly would be!

When you look up the best cruising routes in the UK there is a lot of debate about where is ‘best’! Though the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal, the Llangollen Canal, Regent’s Canal and The Caledonian Canal all often get top spots. Have you travelled to these? Well, we thought we’d throw our 2 cents in too and offer you up our personal top 5!

Exploring the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal: A journey through time

In no particular order, but first on the list is the Birmingham and Fazely Canal. When we cruised through here it was up there as one of our most memorable days on the water. In our personal experience of travelling on the canals this area is truly unique! The canal winds through the city and suddenly dips down so you end up travelling through archways, office undercrofts and super duper tight tunnels. It felt like stepping back in time! You could really imagine the dark, Victorian past here. It’s said that Birmingham has more miles of canals than Venice so we would definitely recommend!

Ellesmere Canal: Nostalgia and fond memories

This is the first canal we ever travelled along so we affectionately hold it in a very special place in our hearts. We actually love all the canals up north! They feel really relaxed, sweet and green with the prettiest lock side cottages with flowers trellised around the front doors. This is also where we did our first lock, which just happened to be a staircase!! In at the deep end as they say… And also where we (tried) to complete our first turnaround. It took us over an hour!! Very, very funny…in hindsight that is 🤣.

The Thames: Glamour and grandeur

Now, this gets a spot on most top cruising spot lists and quite rightly so! It feels wonderfully grandiose travelling down the Thames spying all the beautiful riverside houses, peeking sweet mooring spots like Eel Pie Island and swishing past people rowing in Henley-on-Thames. It’s definitely a completely different experience to the canal and well worth an excursion.

The Four Counties Ring: Thrills and chills

If you want to travel the whole ring it takes around two weeks to complete it at a nice speed whilst still getting to visit all the sweet attractions along the way. Most notably along this route you’ll get to experience the spooky Harecastle Tunnel! And one of my very favourite bits of the canal, Stoke-on-Trent. We’ve travelled through here a few times and I just love love love the feel of it. You just feel like you’re surrounded by history with the pottery factories and kilns. You can visit Middleport Pottery to really get a sense of just how important the water and boats were to production here during the Victorian era. It’s great, thoroughly recommended!

The Kennet & Avon Canal: Home sweet home

We couldn’t complete this list without the canal that has formed a big part of our lives over the past 3 years. Though we’re not living on the water right now (we had to move off as our little boy was just a bit too wild for watery living!). We do plan to get back on soon, as we miss it dearly! It’s so, so beautiful down here with lots of families living afloat it really feels like a very tight knit floating community. And of course this canal will take you through the beautiful city of Bath and the chocolate box picture perfect town of Bradford-on-Avon as well as being able to visit the eclectic city of Bristol.

Did you have these canals on your list as well? We’d absolutely love to hear all about your best routes! Get in touch and let us know!

With love,


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