A trip to the canals around Britain offers visitors many pleasurable experiences, and cruising a narrowboat along the canal them is the best way to enjoy them. Here I thought I'd list a few ways to make the your stay on the water as relaxing and enjoyable as possible.
Whilst we are experiencing lockdown in the UK and unable to go travelling, I thought I'd share this virtual canal trip put together by the Canal and River Trust. It's a lovely way to escape the everyday while stuck at home; here we can 'virtually' get out and cruise the British Waterways until such time we can actually get back aboard our holiday hire narrowboat. #escapetheeveryday #visitengland #visitbritain #canalandrivertrust
It was a bit of a sad day yesterday; I was at the marina closing up Silver Ann 2 for the next 4 weeks. To cheer myself up I went for a walk along the canal to Findern as it was a lovely sunny day. Here is some of the beautiful scenery that I saw...
#autumntreasuressimplepleasures #naturelover #visitderbyshire #rurallife #slowtravel
We are thrilled to have been featured in the December issue of the excellent publication, Waterways World Magazine!! You can purchase your copy here.
(By the way though, one error: that's not our family dog; here's our dog)
#WaterwaysWorld #NarrowboatHire #BritishWaterways #CanalboatHire #Narrowboat #Ecofriendly #SustainableTravel #GreenTourism #ConsciousTravel #BoatHire
It is half-term here so with the sun shining I took the mini-Griffins out to look around the Nature Reserve at Fradley Junction. Fradley Junction is within easy reach of our narrowboat's home mooring at Willington, and is where the Trent & Mersey Canal meets the Coventry Canal.
The Nature Reserve surrounds Fradley Pool, which was a reservoir built by The Trent & Mersey Canal Company in the 1700s to store water for their canal. Constant water supplies are vital for canals and as the Coventry Canal was built by another company, the Trent & Mersey Canal Company came up with the ingenious solution to prevent losing any to the Coventry Canal. They built a channel to water from Middle Lock to their reservoir where it was stored until needed. The arrangement still stands today but is now the nature reserve called Fradley Pool.
We enjoyed a pleasant autumnal walk around the reserve, looking at the wooden sculptures such as the giant bulrushes and a beautiful dragon fly. We had brought some binoculars and the Mini Griffins loved a bit of birdspotting, although for a particularly bold coal tit no such as equipment was needed as he helpfully perched very close by to say hello. The pool itself was a very tranquil place, surrounded by reeds and covered with birds making use of the floating platforms. We saw a lot of fungi along the walk of all shapes and sizes and enjoyed finding them next to the path, under hedges and on trees. A lovely spot, and it's free to look around!
Afterwards we headed to the canal and saw some beautiful swans preening themselves and we did a spot of gongoozling at the bridge over the locks before heading into the historic Swan Inn where we enjoyed some warming hot chocolates. A lovely place to spend some time by water and amongst nature.
We truly believe that business cannot exist in a vacuum but instead that it can only succeed if society and the environment also prosper; so as you can imagine we are so happy to have our additional efforts to run a sustainable business recognised with this Gold Award.
#HappyDays #GreenTourism #GreenStaycation #SustainableTravel #ConsciousTravel #EcoFriendly #SlowTravel
#rurallife #sustainabletourism #greentourism #greenstaycation #holiday #dogfriendly #ecofriendly #visitbritain #simplepleasures #canalboatholiday #experiencesnotthings #britishholidays #ukholidays #selfcatering #Derbyshire #derby #staffordshire #canalholiday #staycation #conscioustravel #sustainabletravel #visitengland #visitbritain #canalholidays #griffinnarrowboatholidays #loveuk #naturelover #slowtravel
We will be using PPE during the handover and handback of the narrowboat and will be asking guests to do the same.
'High touch' items that are not so easily cleaned such as complimentary reading materials, have been removed from the boat for now.
Equipment will be cleaned and then quarantined between stays for at least 48 hours.
We will be participating in the NHS Test and Trace Scheme.
Hello, we have been a bit quiet on here of late so I thought I’d just post to say we are still here! Like most of the rest of the country we have been safely tucked up at home over the past few weeks, abiding by 'lockdown’ rules. We have been busy home-schooling the mini Griffins and doing most of the activities listed in Kitty O'Meara's beautiful poem. This has meant sadly that Silver Ann 2 has of course also been moored up in her home base at Mercia Marina and not cruising along the Trent & Mersey Canal as she was scheduled to be.
Unfortunately we have had to move bookings to later this year or into next, however we hope to be back up and running in the not too distant future, as soon as we are no longer required to 'social distance' ourselves. We look forward to walking along the canal towpath again and meeting our customers, but in the meantime I hope you all stay safe at home and if you are really missing the waterways you can take a virtual journey courtesy of the Canal & River Trust: https://youtu.be/HCZJ0uWD0Fs.
In line with Government guidance, if you are feeling unwell, have a high temperature (37.8 degrees and above), or new continuous cough, please postpone your visit and stay at home for seven days. We can rebook your stay for a later date. Please also ensure that you practise good hand hygiene, following guidelines on how to avoid the virus, details of which can be found here on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.
We want to welcome our visitors, with the reassurance that we have your health in mind, so you can enjoy your stay with us. As the Canal and River Trust point out "our waterways remain a great option for those looking for time in the fresh air, or a route to work that’s away from the hustle and bustle of more crowded environments, or as places to visit whilst foreign holidays are restricted."
As well as the thriving High Street there are lovely walks around the village and by the River Trent.
The village parish is also the home of the National Memorial Aboretum, the UK's year-round Centre of Remembrance - a living memorial to those who died in warfare since World War II.
The village and surrounding countryside is a pleasant and picturesque way to while away an afternoon..
The role of the inland waterways and their boatmen in the two World Wars is often overlooked. At the outbreak of the Great War in 1914, the boatmen were an isolated, illiterate community. Those who became directly involved in the Great War left little behind in terms of personal accounts, letters home or diaries. The educated classes, of course, recorded so many of their exploits and tragedies, and much of our knowledge of the period comes from these sources.
So what did the boatmen do? In 1914, there was no military conscription, and boatmen were seen as undertaking an important reserve occupation. They were vital in the movement of heavy goods, especially iron and coal, which were essential to war production. But although military service remained voluntary, public feeling grew against fit and able men who seemed to be shirking the war - especially among women who had lost husbands, sons and brothers.
Part of Geddes’ reforms were for the two inland waterways leading to the British Sector - the Pas de Calais to Ypres, and the River Somme from the Channel coast to the Front at Peronne - to be taken over and run by British boatmen. They would enlist as sappers in the Royal Engineers, Inland Waterways and Docks. Some boatmen who had already joined the Army were pulled out of the line to join the sappers, as Geddes did not want their talents wasted as cannon fodder. Others were recruited from the major canal carriers like Fellows, Morton & Clayton, whose boatmen were already experienced in operating steam-powered boats
Popularly known at the ‘Idle Women’ - a play on the initials of the Inland Waterways badges they wore – they worked in teams of three, operating a pair of narrow boats known as a motor and butty, the first towing the latter by rope. They would complete round-trips of about three weeks, often working gruelling 18-20 hour days, sometimes in freezing and foggy weather, to deliver the essential wartime supplies. They slept, ate and washed in tiny cabins on board. While their stories are less well-known than those of the much bigger Women’s Land Army (WLA), the Idle Women have acquired the status of heroines among many modern canal enthusiasts.
Photo credits: Tim Coghlan/Canal River Trust.
Reaching Kidsgrove, Kit ventured into an inn and asked if anyone would be willing to take her to London, and two men agreed to undertake the trip. But the misty 2-mile gloom of the Harecastle Tunnel attracted villains and vagabonds, and the men robbed and murdered poor Kit, and dumped her body in the canal where her head was ripped from her shoulders…
The men were eventually caught for the terrible crime and were hanged in Kidsgrove. Though they say poor Kit’s head was never found.
From that day on, the tunnel suffers from a ‘haunting manifestation’, the boggart Kit Crewbucket, who moans as she searches for her head so that she can begin her journey to London to find her husband. Her shrieks can still be heard in woods nearby. During the 19th century, boatmen were so convinced of her existence that some would choose a long detour to avoid a trip through the tunnel.
Many have told also of the delicious aroma of frying bacon filling the tunnel. This is the charming result of Kit’s party trick; if she likes you, she will cook you a hearty breakfast to send you on your way. But be warned – if you offend her, those shrieks will plague you until you go mad……..
and 'Shadows on the Water: The Haunted Canals and Waterways of Britain' by Allan Scott-Davies
It's half term here in Derbyshire this week so I took the mini Griffin's on a visit to Derby Gallery and Museum yesterday. There we saw this Bronze log boat which was excavated from the nearby village of Shardlow, just a short trip along the canal from Silver Ann 2's home mooring at Mercia Marina, Willington. On display in the museum were also Mesolithic flints and stone tools that were found in the grounds of Mercia Marina, as well as Viking and Anglo Saxon items discovered in nearby Repton too. This area is soaked in history!
The gallery and museum is chock full of fascinating artefacts, natural wonders, and there are some wonderful artistic exhibitions on display too. Derby is easily accessible by public transport from Silver Ann's cruising route along the Trent and Mersey canal. As an example you could disembark in Shardlow, take a walk through the historic village, before catching a bus to Derby where you can view the treasures of Shardlow history on display at the museum.
#BritishHistory #UKHolidays #BoatHire #Narrowboat #VisitDerbyshire #VisitDerby #VisitEngland #slowtravel #sustainabletravel #conscioustravel #Experiencesnotthings #GriffinNarrowboatHolidays
Well yesterday was a bit different - Mary-Ann was interviewed by Sally Pepper for Radio Derby as part of their 'Staycation' series. It was broadcast this morning when Sally was LIVE at Mercia Marina.
If you missed the show you can listen to it here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p07ggvyc
#staycation #ukholiday #canalholiday #narrowboatholiday #visitderbyshire #visitengland #visitbritain #slowtravel #greentourism #sustainabletravel #conscioustravel #ruralbusiness #thisisrural #ruraltourism #bbcradioderby
#slowtravel #sustainabletravel #conscioustravel #ecofriendly #narrowboatholiday #VisitBritain #UKHoliday
We are Dan & Mary-Ann Griffin. Husband and Wife. Parents to Isabelle & James.