An essential part of a Wandering Duck trip is group participation. There is a great team spirit on the boat. With guidance from your hosts you will be encouraged to get involved in steering the boat, helping with locks, mooring up, and if you offer, even drying the dishes!
“The Cut” is the locals name for the canal. Canal Boats can moor pretty much where they like on the canals, with few restrictions. Normally we will choose somewhere within walking distance of a good local pub, but it’s your choice. This freedom is what makes living on the canals so special.
We’re really proud of our great home-made and tasty food. Although we consider ourselves a budget tour we won’t scrimp on quality when it comes to our evening meals, and we continue to receive fantastic comments about the food we serve on the boat. We’re very flexible with our meals and we’ll happily cater for any dietary requirements or food dislikes. Take a look at our Food Page for sample menus.
The canals are like a living, working museum. Most of the network was built over 200 years ago, yet we’re free to roam the network and work the locks that were once the reserve of the cargo carrying boatman.
As the canals were man-made to carry cargo, they generally followed the contours of the land. However, where needed, a lock flight was built; a series of steps to carry the boat up or down hill. If you’ve not seen a lock flight before, take a look at some of the photos of our previous trips on our Facebook Page.
Of course, the canals are a national network, and whilst they may not have been built with pleasure in mind, they now skirt through some of the most beautiful countryside the UK has to offer. They’re an ideal way in which to escape the cities and to explore a small slice of England at a chilled out and relaxed pace.
When we’re cruising we’re actually only travelling at walking pace. Consequently, if you fancy a break from the boat, you’re always welcome to hop off and take a walk along the towpath (make sure you head off in the same direction as the boat!) We also pass some fantastic places for taking extended walks (which are detailed on each of the Our Tours pages).
Working locks is a big part of any Wandering Duck trip. The 16 locks at Marple for example, cover just 1 mile, but take around 3 hours to get through. This involves winding paddles and opening gates that can weigh over 2 tonnes each; a work out that’s far more enjoyable than going to the gym!
All this is normally enough to keep you busy for most of the day, but if that’s not enough for you, we also can offer a host of other Activities if you’re booking the whole boat for your own group.
On the other hand, if all you’re looking to do is get away from it all and relax, pour yourself a drink from the honesty bar, grab a book from our library, and take a seat out on the quiet front deck, away from the sounds of the engine, from where you can watch the world go by.
For the time you’re on board, the boat is your home. Of course, it’s a very different home to the one you may be used to. It’s more like a floating campervan. With such space limitations it can take some adjusting to. But we’re sure that by day 2 you’ll be into the swing of it.
Who knows, maybe you’ll be ready to buy a boat and live freely on the canals!