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Life on a narrowboat can be as peaceful as it is idyllic BUT you need to understand the pros, cons, highs, lows, and day to day logistics in living on England's inland waterways. Let me help you find out all you need to know before you commit to what could be a very expensive mistake.


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Category Archives for "Canals"

Blue Water Marina

We are a friendly, family run Marina and have a large selection of new & used Narrowboats for you to view on site.

Whether you’re a first time buyer or a seasoned sailor we may just have the right boat for you……Come and visit us to have a look!

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Blue Water Marina

Blue Water Marina

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Brinklow Marina

Set among 44 acres of rolling Warwickshire countryside, Brinklow Marina offers a modern fully serviced mooring in a prime canal location. Relax and enjoy the carefully landscaped grounds in harmony with the stunning views, or cruise off and take advantage of the leafy North/South corridor that is the Oxford Canal.

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Brinklow Marina

Brinklow Marina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chirk Marina

Welcome to the website of Marine Services (Chirk) Ltd, we are a family run business operating two inland waterway marinas. Chirk Marina on the beautiful Llangollen Canal is situated in the middle of the 11 mile canal corridor granted World Heritage status by U.N.E.S.C.O. in July 2009, only the third site in Wales to achieve this status and putting it on an equal footing with such iconic structures as the Taj Mahal and Statue of Liberty.

At Chirk Marina we offer a wide range of boatyard services including moorings and boat sales. We are also excited to offer a prestigious new hire boat holiday fleet, Crest Narrowboats, who will be hiring out of Chirk Marina and our sister Marina at Festival Park from March 2010.

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Festival Park Marina Etruria in the middle of the historic Potteries offers you no less a choice of history and dramatic scenery situated, as it is, on Brindley’s Trent & Mersey Canal. And again we offer a host of services from this ideally situated Marina.
Chirk Marina

Chirk Marina

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Debdale Wharf Marina

We are a family run business that has been operating at Debdale Wharf Since 1974. The narrowboat marina is set in 25 acres of quiet, secluded, rural countryside 25 minutes cruising from Foxton Locks, on the Leicester section of the Grand Union Canal with 14 miles of lock free cruising. The marina has grown over the years to its present size, and can now accommodate approx 150 berths on secure, straight, linear style staging made of galvanised steel. In addition to the water berths, we also have a large hardstanding area with electricity and water points nearby.

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We offer marina moorings, in a linear style, for any size Narrow Boat, as well as all the usual immediate services of Electricity to all moorers i.e. Water points, Calor, Coal, Diesel, Pumpout facilities; we also have experienced engineers and joiners that can see to any servicing or maintenance issues. This can be anything from yearly engine services to full fit outs, as well as everything in between. We also specialise in electric propulsion.

We are very proud of our Blacking facilities. Our static gantry has the ability to lift and safely secure a boat to above head height in order for bases to be blacked. Boats are then lowered onto sleepers for the sides to be accessed comfortably. It is fallacy to say that boats’ bases are kept clean by scraping the bottom of the cut, pitting is a huge potential problem that can be kept in check with regular blacking thus lengthening the life of the base plate considerably. We can take the hard work away from owners and black boats during the week to suit their cruising schedules or alternatively DIY weekends can be booked. Grit blasting is available also.

Another recent addition is our hard standing area. This extensive area can offer electricity to those who need it to carry out work ashore. For those who are intending to carry out longer term fit out ashore, we can offer the hire of a container that would be alongside the boat and can act as a workshop. Hire of many useful tools is also available. We use a 40 tonne travel hoist that transports the boats safely to their hard standing spot. Some of our customers use our hard standing for winter storage, which enables them to carry out winter maintenance at their convenience. They then go back into the water for their summer cruising.

And it doesn’t stop there! We are currently in the process of constructing a new building that will enable boats to come undercover for blacking, painting and/or maintenance work. We hope to have this facility up and running for next year.

Debdale Wharf Marina

Debdale Wharf Marina

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Debdale Wharf Marina Review

Kylie the narrowboat mover at Debdale Wharf

Kylie the narrowboat mover at Debdale Wharf

I visited Debdale Wharf marina a month ago now. I should have written this review while it was still fresh in my mind. I thought I had time. I visited owner Nick Goode seven days before I was due to go on holiday for a fortnight. Unfortunately I had a problem with my visa which I only managed to resolve at the eleventh hour (actually, 24 hours before the flight) I wasn’t able to add this information to the site. I’ll do my best though.

I arranged to visit the marina after two very positive comments (below) by site subscribers. I asked Alan who made the initial comment to talk to Nicky to see if she was interested in spending an hour or so with me to show me the site. Nicky was interested and she was incredibly helpful from the moment I arrived.

The marina is located about 10 miles south east of Leicester on the Leicester section of the Grand Union canal roughly half an hour’s cruise from Foxton Locks. There are several ways to reach the marina by road but the most direct route, and the one I took, is via the busy A6 running from Leicester to Market Harborough.

As soon as you turn off the A6, you are on a single track gated road. I liked this. Getting in and out of the car to open and close three of four gates before reaching the marina can be viewed as a bit of a pain. However, I always think of gated roads as very rural, peaceful and quiet. The road helped to separate me mentally from the busy A6 so by the time I reached the marina I was in a very good frame of mind.

Nicky Goode enhanced that feeling. She gives the impression of a very kind, caring and accommodating marina owner. After a chat and a leisurely cup of coffee she gave me a guided tour of the site.

I have to say, if you are looking for a mooring based purely on aesthetics, Debdale Wharf probably isn’t for you. There are acres and acres of hardstanding adjacent to the marina. There are dozens of boats stored on the original hardstanding and a huge open space that has been developed to accommodate more boats. The storage is popular with boat owners who cruise infrequently and who want a cheaper option than in-the-water moornings. The hardstanding is also available for boat owners who want to work on their boats while it is out of the water.

There’s space at Debdale Wharf for up to 150 boats but the moorings are very close together. You need to do a bit of shoehorning to squeeze your boat in and probably need a little co-operation from your neighbour.

Linear moorings are close together

Linear moorings are close together

That’s the negatives out of the way. On a positive note, and my feelings where overwhelmingly positive about the marina, the facilities here are second to none. There’s a full time professional and highly respected painter on site, expert marine engineers and a highly skilled carpenter. Without exception, every member of staff I met here was extremely friendly. This is a very important consideration if you expect to spend extended periods on your mooring. Miserable marina staff can be a real pain in the neck.

If you like doing your own alterations and maintenance, the site has all the facilities you could ask for. You can work on you boat out of the water on the hardstanding or in the water in an area away from other moorings so you can hammer and saw away to your heart’s content. And once you’ve finished with your repairs and maintenance, you can black your own boat too.

Inside the working boat

Inside the working boat

Of course if you want to leave all the hard work to the professionals, they’ll be more than glad to help. Debdale Wharf don’t fit out many boats but they had one under cover that they’ve been working on for the last twelve months. It’s an old working boat on the outside and a super luxurious floating home with superb quality woodwork on the inside. True craftsmanship.

I said that the moorings are close together. They are. But the residential moorings, although still very close together, have a very tranquil feel about them. The marina landscaping was done by Mike Goode’s father forty years ago. The landscaping has matured now and has been further enhanced by nature loving moorers. There are bird feeders, and consequently birds, everywhere. Even though the marina isn’t the prettiest on the world, it may well be the friendliest. So if you like the sound of a really friendly marina with more facilities than you can shake a stick at, you need to pay Nicky and Mike Goode a visit. Be warned though, moorings are secured by invitation only. If Nicky doesn’t think you’ll get on with the rest of the moorers, you don’t stand a chance!

The tranquil residential corner of the marina

The tranquil residential corner of the marina

 

 

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Shireoaks Marina

Shireoaks Marina is a relatively new and large marina on the Chesterfield Canal, situated in the little village of the same name, a few miles west of Worksop.

The Marina was opened in May 2000, along with an eight mile stretch of restored canal west of Worksop. Formerly the site of a barge loading area and the settlement pond of the Shireoaks Colliery, it was created as part of the canal restoration, itself part of a wider regeneration scheme after the closure of the British Coal colliery in 1991. The marina is operated by British Waterways – details of moorings etc from the Newark office – telephone number as above.

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The marina offers visitor, residential and non-residential moorings, and provides about 60 secure berths with ample free car parking, toilets, showers, water and electric charging points, refuse and elsan (ie chemical toilet) disposal, a telephone and post box and pump out service. The cost of the moorings is around ?70 a metre depending on the type of mooring required. The basin is very spacious and also provides a winding (turning) point for boats. There is CCTV covering most of the marina.

There are also some facilities nearby in the village of Shireoaks, including a railway station on the Sheffield-Worksop line, a post office and newsagents, a small general shop and a butchers. Alas, the pubs in the village have recently closed, although there are some good ones in Worksop.

It’s not the most scenic of marinas – no historic buildings and the like – but this stretch of canal is very attractive and very quiet, given that the end of navigation is just a few miles upstream (there are plans to reconnect it to the remainder of the Chesterfield canal at Chesterfield.) Just to the west is an impressive series of locks, including two double locks and two triple locks, leading towards the current head of navigation at the entrance to the disused Norwood Tunnel.
Shireoaks Marina

Shireoaks Marina

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Droitwich Spa Marina

Droitwich Spa Marina will comprise of 238 moorings for various narrowboats up to 70ft length.

Droitwich Spa Marina is on the Droitwich Junction Canal which together with the Barge Canal is being restored at the cost of ?12.5m (funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Advantage West Midlands). These two canals will re-open as Droitwich Barge Canal, a short 21 mile cruising circle (the only one in Europe!), connecting the Worcester-Birmingham Canal to the River Severn via Droitwich Spa and the River Salwarpe. The new route passes through the picturesque town of Droitwich Spa with many shops, pubs and cafes. But will also encompass the historical Catherdal City of Worcester with the premiership league Worcester Rugby Club at Sixways, Worcester Cathedral, Royal Worcester Porclain, Worcester County Cricket Club and Worcester Racecourse.

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Droitwich Spa Marina is in an excellent location, not only to the Midland canal network, but it is just 2 miles from Junction 5 of the M5 motorway. Once moored you are just a 15 minute stroll along the towpath to Droitwich Spa Town or 200 metres from the Eagle and Sun Pub overlooking the Worcester-Birmingham Canal.

It is hoped construction of this marina will commence in February 2011. As well as protecting the existing wildlife, when completed new habitats will also be created. The surrounds of the marina will be enhanced with sympathetic landscaping. Numerous different species of aquatic plants will be planted around the waters edge, which is also expected to help create a tranquil setting for the enjoyment of boaters at this new marina.

The proposed site for Droitwich Spa Marina

The proposed site for Droitwich Spa Marina

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Milton Keynes Marina

Welcome to Milton Keynes Marina

Milton Keynes Marina is a modern city centre marina nestling in a 15 miles lock free stretch of the Grand Union canal. The Marina is owned and run as a family business, aiming to offer a friendly and professional service.

All facilities are on hand including a workshop, slipway, and secure car parking. The jetties are in the process of being fully upgraded and laundry facilities have been added. We can accommodate, Narrowboats, Widebeams and Cruisers of any length. The small chandlery/brokerage/office is open 7 days a week between 10am and 4pm.
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The Marina is approximately 10 minutes from Milton Keynes mainline train station (London 30 minutes), and 10 minutes from junction 14 of the M1. Milton Keynes indoor shopping centre, theatre district, and the many other sports & leisure activities that form an integral part of Milton Keynes are close by. There is a Chinese and Indian takeaway, hotel, pub with restaurant onsite.

Milton Keynes Marina

Milton Keynes Marina

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Willowtree Marina

Willowtree Marina, located on the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal in West London, offers that rare combination of easy accessibility, security and attractiveness for so many canal based activities.

There is a quiet pride in what is on offer here and we hope you will feel this too. Willowtree Marina has set its sights on becoming a leader on the Inland Waterways. A desire to uphold the best of our canal past has been coupled to a management commitment for Customer Care, Quality Assurance and Environmental Protection.

Whatever it is you are looking for – be it moorings for boats, locations for filming, a centre for canal events, wildlife photography, walking, etc. – Willowtree Marina should be your first port of call.

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Willowtree Marina

Willowtree Marina

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Uplands Basin Marina

Uplands Basin Marina provides safe and secure moorings for 120 boats in a beautiful peaceful setting in the heart of the Cheshire countryside. Situated next to the top of the Anderton Boat Lift, it gives direct access to 14 miles of lock free cruising on the Trent & Mersey Canal along the spectacularly beautiful Weaver Valley, from Middlewich in the South to the stop lock at Preston Brook in the North. It also affords easy access via the Boat Lift on to the River Weaver.

The marina is surrounded by forestry and Marbury Country Park, providing over 40 miles of country walks.

The Visitor Centre for the Anderton Boat Lift is right alongside the Marina, and offers a modern interactive exhibition centre, focusing upon the lift’s history and the people who worked on and around it. The exhibition is colour coded to specific themes, with a high interactive content and an entertaining cinematic centrepiece. The lift control centre is located within the exhibition, enabling visitors to get up close and personal with the lift on its busy daily schedule. Upstairs in the new Visitor Centre is a cafe.

Uplands Basin Marina

Uplands Basin Marina

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Uplands Basin Marina provides safe and secure moorings for 120 boats in a beautiful peaceful setting in the heart of the Cheshire countryside. Situated next to the top of the Anderton Boat Lift, it gives direct access to 14 miles of lock free cruising on the Trent & Mersey Canal along the spectacularly beautiful Weaver Valley, from Middlewich in the South to the stop lock at Preston Brook in the North. It also affords easy access via the Boat Lift on to the River Weaver.
The marina is surrounded by forestry and Marbury Country Park, providing over 40 miles of country walks.
The Visitor Centre for the Anderton Boat Lift is right alongside the Marina, and offers a modern interactive exhibition centre, focusing upon the lift’s history and the people who worked on and around it. The exhibition is colour coded to specific themes, with a high interactive content and an entertaining cinematic centrepiece. The lift control centre is located within the exhibition, enabling visitors to get up close and personal with the lift on its busy daily schedule. Upstairs in the new Visitor Centre is a cafe.
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Anderton Marina

Anderton Marina is located by the Trent and Mersey Canal at Anderton village on the outskirts of Northwich in Cheshire and adjacent to the restored Victorian Anderton Boat Lift.
The attractive marina is well equipped with a shop selling boat spares, canal maps, guides and confectionary. On the site there are boats for sale, moorings with electric hook ups, wi fi and full marina services including a Dry Dock for out of the water repairs.
The marina is operated by ABC Leisure Group one of the leading companies on the UK canal network who have another eight marinas strategically placed around the canal network, they have an excellent reputation for building high quality bespoke narrow boats, and can provide everything for the canalboat owner, or potential owner .
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The marina is on the Cheshire Ring and provides a great variety of cruising. In one direction you have head toward Middlewich where it joins the Shropshire Union canal giving access to places like Chester or Llangollen. In the other direction you can go up on to the spectacular Pennines with the Market Town of Skipton and Bingley with its famous 5 rise locks, or into Manchester and on to places such as Sowerby Bridge or Marlpe dependant on the canal you choose.
Anderton Marina

Anderton Marina

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