Cities from the water

City Route canal boat holidays:

There are some fantastic cities accessible from the canal network as canals in the UK date back to Roman times before becoming increasingly important during the industrial revolution to carry coal and other supplies.

Where to go?

If there is a particular town or city you’d like to visit on your canal boat holiday, then check out our list below or check out our maps on the base pages.  We’ll let you know which canal base you would need to travel from and how long it would take to get there.  Several towns and cities are easy to visit on a short break, others would need a longer holiday.


There are always mooring spots in and around the major cities.  Some hubs, such as Birmingham’s Gas Street Basin are teeming with life and a popular spot with boaters and tourists alike. Other cities such as Manchester again have lots of mooring spots, but visitors tend to stay overnight just outside the city along the more scenic outskirts of the canals.
Our teams at all the bases can give you advice on the best places to visit and where to moor up on your arrival, marking out stops etc on the route maps that you will have provided for you on the boats.

Roman History

Roman history can be explored at cities like Chester and Bath (see our routes from Bradford-upon-Avon).

City Shopping

If you’re looking for a wider variety of activities then Birmingham offers the Bullring shopping centre, beautiful canal side walks and plus the best chocolate factory tour in the world (we think!). Moor your narrowboat at Gas Street Basin, a meeting point for many canal boaters with a great range of bars and restaurants.  You can visit Birmingham from our Stoke Prior base.

Historic England

If educational history floats your boat then head to the centres of learning at Oxford and Cambridge from our Napton or Ely bases, or head to the home of England’s greatest playwright, William Shakespeare, at Stratford-upon-Avon, which you can reach from our Napton or Stoke Prior base.

Cathedral Cities

Head to Leicester, famous for the discovery of the remains of King Richard III.  Chester Cathedral dates back to 1093, a beautiful building located in the heart of this small city and reached via the Roman Walls from the canal.  You can visit Chester from Acton Bridge. 

Oxford, Lechlade & Return

76 Miles
36 Locks
1 Week Cruise
5 hours per day

Stourport Ring canal boat holiday

76 Miles
105 Locks
1 Week Cruise
6 hours per day


Call today on ++44 (0)1527 575 115 and a Black Prince team member will be happy to help!

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