Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Watch the World Drift By

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Watch the World Drift By

Article excerpt

Byline: Corey Bertalli Manager Grafton Travel

WHAT do you do when you have been to Europe and England before and want to see it differently, in a more relaxing fashion.

If coach tours do not appeal to you and self-drive is too stressful, why not try canal boating.

It is definitely a different way to view the landscapes of Europe and the United Kingdom, and the pursuit of canal boating remains very popular in France and England.

Originally the boats were built as means of transporting goods for trade and building supplies before the railways and the road networks started to take over.

England in its heyday boasted more than 4000 miles of canals crossing the landscape however over time many of the canals have disappeared, some situated on private land are closed to the public, others have fallen into disrepair or have been filled in to make way for developments.

Despite this, canal boating has made a comeback due to a restoration program on England's canals. Along with the reinstating of the canals, tour operators are busy refurbishing and fitting out old canal boats to cater for the ever increasing demand.

Canal boating these days is all about relaxing in style. The canal boats are built for comfort and vary in length. They cannot exceed 70 feet in length as they would have trouble fitting into the locks. Width-wise they are general just under 7 feet wide. You can have boats that sleep 2 up to 12. They definitely will not break any speed records cruising along at about 4 miles per hour. This means you will have more time to take in the countryside and occasionally stop at one of the many small county villages you pass through for a counter lunch at the local pub. The boats are easy to handle and you do not require any special licenses to take one out.

France, like England has an extensive network of canals. …

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