Spring time is not just about warmer days, daffodils and Easter eggs. For narrowboaters it means the start of the boating season, and on the Fenland waterways it’s time to untie our ropes and get back out there cruising under those stunning Fenland skyscapes.
A boating holiday around East Anglia offers peaceful cruises and pretty walks, cosy pubs and restaurants, and shopping in ancient villages and towns. You can even cruise all the way to Peterbrough or Cambridge for a bit of a city break, discovering art galleries, museums, history and architecture. Near Peterborough you can get all nostalgic and visit the steam trains of the Nene Valley Railway.
Our local waterways are the Middle Level, River Nene and River Great Ouse and are far less crowded than the Norfolk broads. If you head west from our hire base in March you will cross the Greenwich meridian line at Floods Ferry, and cruise on to Whittlesey, Stanground, Peterborough and the Nene valley. Alternatively, if you travel east to Upwell and Outwell, then cross the tide at Salters Lode you can head on towards Littleport, Ely and Cambridge. (See the full map of our suggested holiday routes.)
Research shows that spending time in nature reduces stress, lowers feelings of anxiety and depression, and gives us energy. There’s something about travelling by canal boat that allows you to be right up close to the natural world around you, yet never a moment away from a nice sit down and a cup of tea! Like the scenery? Stop and moor up. Boating is an unhurried style of holiday.
In the spring the waterways are less crowded than in the summer time, but the weather is often just perfect for boating. Enjoy blossoming trees and primroses as you pass through pretty villages. At this time of year swans, ducks and geese proudly swim along with rows of newborn young following behind. Our local waterways are home to otters, kingfishers, hares and foxes.
Try shopping for Easter chocolate in Peterborough, Ely, Cambridge or smaller picturesque market towns along the way. Then take a tea break in somewhere quaint like The Samovar Tea House; a cosy café in Ely, serving a variety of loose teas and coffees, brunch, lunch and home-made cakes.
Narrowboat hire prices are often cheaper in the spring time than they are in the summer. If you book online today you could save 10% on your Easter holiday! (You may also like How to Save Money on Your Narrowboat Holiday.)
For more ideas to add to this year’s holiday plans, sign up for digital updates from this blog. (We never share or sell email addresses – your details are safe with us.) Just look for ‘Follow Blog’ in the sidebar on the right and get insider knowledge about the Fenland Waterways.