1. Explore their surroundings
As soon as kids get on board the narrowboat, they check out every single nook and cranny. It’s like a great big floating den! For many of our customers, it’s the first time the family has been on a boat, and the kids love this new experience. Once you’re on your cruise, there are plenty of places to explore along the canal: limekilns and other relics from the Industrial Revolution, picnics spots, different types of bridges across the canal, sheep, cows and wildlife in adjacent fields and children’s playgrounds in pretty villages. Just moor up and take a look.
2. Walk the dog
Kids will offer to walk the dog along the towpath. It’s close enough for parents to feel comfortable, while offering the kids that bit of independence they crave. Dogs are welcome on all our boats and in our cottages. With or without dogs, there are endless opportunities for family walks…along the towpath, through the villages and up the mountains hunting for the next geocache.
3. Help with the locks and bridges
Kids love getting hands on so, under supervision, they can help open and close the lock gates and the lift bridges.
4. Do the chores
Most children, given half a chance, will help with chores which they would most definitely avoid at home. With a little bit of help, they can get involved in filling up the fresh water tank, steering the boat and mooring up.
5. Spot animals and wildlife
Eat breakfast on the deck and you’re likely to get some ducks passing by, or birds on the towpath hoping for a breadcrumb or two. The tree-lined towpath teems with birds, and you’ll often spot a dazzling kingfisher overhead or a heron out searching for its next meal. Depending on the season, you can see horses, cows, sheep and baby lambs in the fields alongside the canal.
6. Plan the day’s adventure
Let the kids get involved with planning the route. Show them the map of the canal and where you’re heading. They can keep a check on progress by looking at the bridge numbers and spotting landmarks.
7. Enjoy fresh air and freedom
Best of all, on our boating holidays, kids are outside so much getting physically involved in boating, that they’re bound to sleep well. Children (and dogs) are welcome on all our boats but some have the option of twin beds in the rear bedrooms. These are Eagle, Hawk, Hobby, Kestrel, Merlin and Peregrine.