WATCH: Places to go canal boating in Lancashire

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Hiring a narrowboat to drive along the canal

Why: Canal boating is a good way of taking a relaxing break to explore the canal water of the UK.
How it works: There are plenty of companies and marinas which offer canal breaks or luxury dinner cruises. The dinner cruises have a driver so you can relax and be wined and dined. Alternatively, you can hire a canal for a few days and after watching a safety video drive the narrowboat along the canal. There are plenty of mooring pins along towpaths to moor up for the night. You can also explore nearby towns. Canal boats include kitchen and bathroom facilities and bedding.
Benefits: There are few other means of travel, or forms of recreation, that puts you directly in touch with the environment. It is slow and relaxing, which means you have plenty of time to take in the natural surroundings. There is plenty of wildlife to observe. Canal boating is very accessible, with plenty of waterways to explore.

Canal boat

Canal boat

Give it a go at

Crabtree Narrowboat Hire: Crabtree Farm, Hagg Lane, St Michaels-On-Wyre. Has four boats to take out for a week from its base at Barton Grange Marina. To book call 01995 671712 or visit http://www.crabtreenarrowboathire.com

Lancaster Canal Boat Hire: Garstang Marina, Nateby Crossing Lane, Garstang. A choice of four narrow boats available. For more information visit http://www.lancastercanalboathire.com or call 07925236621.

Canal Boat Cruises of Riley Green: Riley Green Marina, Bolton Road, Hoghton. Offers canal breaks with its four holiday hire narrow boats, plus short 2.5 to 3 hour dinner or lunch cruise. For more information visit http://www.canalboatcruises.co.uk

Water Babies Narrow Boat Hire: Stony Lane, Forton, Preston. Has two narrow boats for self-drive hire and - unique on the Lancaster canal - one which is a chartered skippered hotel boat. For more information visit http://www.water-babies.co.uk or 07453366221.

Video shows Canal Boat Cruises of Riley Green