Trip report: Weeks holiday on ‘Martin’

For many years my wife and I, who are 65 and 70 respectively have spent all our holiday money on skiing trips but we were thinking we would like to try something different. We like some activity to be involved with our holiday and after looking through all sorts of brochures our daughter suggested a canal boat holiday. By coincidence we saw a Kate Boats advertisement in a dog magazine saying you could take your pet with you which appealed to us. We went for a week in September starting from Warwick.

We were impressed with the narrow boat’s facilities and cleanliness and we were further impressed by Kate Boats staff whose attitude and helpfulness couldn’t be faulted. We had a brief but thorough introduction to the boat and show how everything works. Then we were taken through a lock after which we were released on an unsuspecting world.

We headed out along the Grand Union Canal and very soon came across our first solo lock, it was one that takes two boats at once and this was when we found out how friendly and helpful everyone on the canal seemed to be. There was a boat already in the lock and they had seen us coming and waited for us so we could go with them. They were obviously no aware that this was our first lock but we got in without ramming them, after we explained the situation they couldn’t have been more helpful giving us advise on routes and nice pubs on the way.  We ended up going through several locks with them and learned a lot from them and enjoyed there company.

After we left the Grand Union we went south on the Oxford Canal which felt a bit like a side road as it winds through open farmland with wonderful scenery and lots of wildlife. The canal had a lovely peaceful atmosphere. At one point we travelled eleven miles with no locks just a tangible tranquillity to enjoy.

We could stop where and when we pleased to eat, walk the dog or just chill. By mid-week we found we had relaxed to the extent that it really did not matter what time of day we set of if at all!

It’s not a wham bam thank you mam holiday but one that is deeply satisfying and left us feeling relaxed and happy. The dog liked it to. An unexpected bonus is that we spent the least money ever during a holiday.

Thank you to all at Kate Boats.