What does a celeb do when they want to retreat from the public eye and get back to nature? A summer narrowboat holiday is usually free from stress and paparazzi attention, but only a select few famous people have so far discovered the secluded peace and quiet of England’s canals and waterways.
Boaters on the CanalWorld discussion forums have spotted Matthew Corbett, Toyah Wilcox, Timothy Spall, Nicholas Cage, David Suchet, Heston Blumenthal, Brian Blessed, Camilla Parker Bowles and Barry Gibb from the Bee Gees messing about in boats.
Famous couple Prunella Scales and Timothy West have always been keen narrowboaters and their enthusiasm has recently been showcased on Channel 4 in the series ‘Great Canal Journeys’. Back in 1990 the actors were on the first narrowboat to travel the newly restored section of the Kennet and Avon between Bath and Devizes.
Do you remember when Harrison Ford (Indiana Jones) and Calista Flockhart (Ally McBeal) hit the news when they took a holiday along the Llangollen Canal in 2004? In a Sunday Times interview Harrison said, “You can see the English countryside in a way you can’t when you’re speeding down the M1.”
Swashbuckling Pirate of the Caribbean, Kiera Knightly, allegedly rented an East London canal boat in the summer of 2010. She was then sometimes seen taking a towpath walk through Hoxton with her partner, Rupert Friend. (We would have recommended the quaint and ancient streets of Ely or Cambridge, had Kiera asked us.)
Some waterways are busier than others, so the discerning celebrity may prefer the quieter routes offered here in Cambridgeshire. The East of England waterways have been described as “a hidden gem” by BBC Countryfile’s Adam Henson and Professor David Bellamy once wrote that The Fens are one of the best places in Britain to go boating (in The Fens Magazine Summer 2005). Fellow Countryfile presenter John Craven, (also known for Newsround) is another personality who is fond of narrowboating and is even a friend of the Canal and River Trust. In 2014 Fox Boats featured live on ITV’s daybreak show with ITV’s weather girl Kirsty McCabe.
If, like these stars you want to escape the limelight and avoid the crowds you may benefit from booking a Spring narrowboat holiday in the Fenlands: It’s a less busy alternative to the Norfolk Broads. The waterways are so beautiful at that time of year, and you won’t need a celebrity budget because hire boat charges are cheaper – especially with our 2016 early booking offer. It’s so easy to book online – while there is still availability, and you can hire a canal or barge style boat for a more comfortable living space.
Check availability now, before some high-flying superstar beats you to it!