Slow down with a narrowboat holiday

It seems life gets busier by the day and the annual holiday plays an important part in easing the stress of our everyday lives.

Narrowboat holidays UK

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If you're bored of the sun, sea and sand, however, why not try something totally different? A narrowboat holiday not only offers the chance to see the UK from a whole new perspective, it allows you the opportunity to truly slow down.

Cruising the canals and rivers of Britain at a steady 3-4mph, you'll have no choice but to relax and enjoy the scenery.

Moor your boat whenever the mood takes you, stop for lunch at a canalside pub and take in the historic sites and fresh air - before long, you'll find yourself settling into a gentler way of life.

While the lifestyle may feel like something from a bygone age, narrowboats are not without modern-day luxuries - each boat boasts comfy beds, cooking facilities, a lounge area and fully functioning bathroom.

Most offer boats for four, six, eight or in some cases even 12 people, and the majority of companies will accept dogs for a small extra charge.

Breaks vary in length from a short three or four days on the canals to a full week or two week-long 'ring' allowing you to explore without backtracking.

Don't worry either, if you are a complete boating novice.

Upon arriving at your chosen start point, you'll receive a full tutorial explaining the facilities as well as how to navigate locks, take command of your vessel and the all-important 'rules of the road'.

As for destination, it's really up to you - larger companies operate from a number of locations, which means you can choose which area you would like to explore.

For the active among you, Black Prince holidays have a base at Stoke Prior from which you launch straight into the Tardebigge flight of locks (the longest in the UK).

From there you can enjoy a one week cruise through the Midlands, encountering the beautiful River Severn or travel for two weeks to explore the Avon or Warwickshire rings.

If the UK's longest flight of locks sounds a little too taxing, then the Norfolk Broads may provide the answer - the open, and largely flat, countryside means there are no locks to operate, leaving you free to enjoy 125 miles of waterways.

With 118 English canals, eight Welsh canals, 10 in Scotland and eight in Northern Ireland, the country is yours to explore, so why not take the plunge.

Though it may not be the cheapest holiday you've ever taken, a holiday aboard a narrowboat is guaranteed to leave you relaxed, refreshed and stress free.

Have you been on a narrowboat holiday? Tell us about your experience below...