I recently came across a post about a campaign called What Float’s Your Boat that aims to find out which type of boating Britons prefer. They are appealing for people to submit their own favourits, so they can get an idea of what kind of boats the country likes best. This led me to think of my own favourite waterway transportation. I have always appreciated the fact that as an island that the UK has excellent access to the water that surrounds the country. Throughout my life, some of my favourite experiences and favourite activities have happened in and around or on the water.
In recent years there’s one form of transportation that I have become increasingly fond of more than any other type of boat – the humble barge. After all, the UK is a great place to go barging thanks to all the beautiful canals and other kinds of waterways there are here.
The first time I ever went on a barge, was on a family holiday when I was. Back then though, I didn’t like it very much and was very sick. However, when I was a lot older, my friends and I went on a great fishing and barging holiday during our summer holidays from university and it was one of my favourite holidays of all time.
Not only is it great that you can have the freedom to explore many of Britain’s canals and waterways, but because a barge almost always has comfortable living quarters – you can basically use it in a similar way to a caravan or motorhome. Head out down the canal and stop off to visit different villages and towns along the way, tie the boat up at night and sleep and back out again the next day.
Despite all the movement and travelling involved in this kind of holiday, it is actually a lot more peaceful than if you were travelling with a caravan or motorhome. This is possibly due to the fact that Britain’s canals are in no way as busy as Britain’s roads. In addition, there is the fact that when you are travelling in a barge, you are never going really fast.
Recently my friend bought a barge for his small, growing family and I was fortunate enough to be invited on a holiday with them. It was great and he has since said that I could use it if I had some spare time and they weren’t using it. I have to admit that my friend buying his barge has made me seriously consider following one of my dreams to own one and I have already been looking online at the possible costs.
It may be a little bit of time before I have enough money saved up for one, but I really think it will be one of the best decisions I ever make. There is a certain freedom that is only felt when you are out on the water – even if you are just moving slowly up a little canal. As my friend is far more knowledgeable about boats than I am, he has agreed to help me choose the right boat when I am ready to buy, which is great because the truth be told I wouldn’t know where to start.
Watch this space, as you can bet that once I have a barge and taken it on its maiden voyage, I will definitely blog all about it.