Bikes On A Boating Holiday

A UK Canal Boating Article

Category : General


Canal boat holidays provide you with the chance to get out and see the great outdoors! For those looking for an active holiday, bring your bike aboard and take advantage of the many cycle routes that you'll encounter on the way.

Before cycling on towpaths owned by British Waterways, you will need to obtain a free cycle permit. However, you are not required to hold a cycle permit in Scotland or London.

You can download a British Waterways permit as a PDF file.

Please be very careful when cycling on the canal bank. Walkers and dogs, swans and fishermen all use the canal towpath too, so avoid danger by keeping a good look out for other canal users.

Biking on a Canal Boat Holiday
Pedestrians have priority over cyclists on the towpath.
Give way to oncoming users at bridges
Be extra careful at bends and entrances
Consider other users and the local environment
Ring with Two Tings
Pass people slowly. Give people space
Ride at a sensible speed
Listen for Two Tings
Allow cyclists to pass

This Welsh national trail crosses the beautiful Llangollen Canal at Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. At 177 miles long, you won't see the whole trail on your canal boat holiday, but you could make the trip to the stunning Eglwyseg Crags or Llandegla Forest.

For more information on a trip down the Llangollen Canal, check out our Blackwater Meadow Marina.

The Grand Union Canal meets 'The Ridgeway' close to Tring. Located in the striking landscape of the Chilterns, The Ridgeway takes you to secluded valleys and enchanting woodlands. Dozens of cycle paths exist in this area- the Grand Union Canal's towpath itself is a popular cycle route.

Our Market Harborough base provides the starting place for a canal boat holiday in this area. You shouldn't need to plan too much- the staff at your marina will strap your bikes onto the roof of your boat and leave the rest to you.

Simply decide how active you want your canal boat holiday to be as you cruise down the canal. One of the key advantages of a canal boat holiday is getting away from it all, heading off to rural locations, sometimes far from the nearest shops. This could be a problem if you have any sort of misadventure while on a bike, so a little preplanning is required.

Take a puncture repair kit with you as a bare minimum. Most people find a bike spanner is another useful tool, for tightening loose bolts after a long ride on bumpy paths.

Please note that due to low bridges, bikes are not permitted from the Goytre Marina Canal Boating start base.



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Holiday Bases









Cycling on the towpath


Places to Visit