Narrow Boats On The Canals


We enjoyed a very enjoyable afternoon stroll around Stratford-Upon-Avon, home of “The Bard”, this afternoon. The sun came out and we got a close up look at many of the narrow boats plying the canals. There were perhaps a dozen boats moored along the edge of a small lake. Apparently the narrow boats can moor for free for up to fourteen days at a time but I suspect they have to pay for electric if they plug in. Not a lot different than operating an RV.

The Jennifer May is a tour boat operating on the canals and we got to see it go through one of the locks. The water rose about 6 feet inside the lock before this narrow boat exited and continued on its way. There was also another narrow boat containing a coffee shop moored on the canal close by.

We were hoping to see the owners of the Wandering Canuck to see if they were indeed Canadians touring the canals but unfortunately it was all locked up with nobody home. We spoke to the operator of the Jennifer May and learned the boats are diesel powered with a single four blade propeller. They reminded me of a motorhome without slides and are outfitted with satellite dishes, BBQs, lawn chairs, bicycles, etc.

From Wikipedia…….“In the context of British Inland Waterways, “narrow boat” refers to the original working boats built in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries for carrying goods on the narrow canals (where locks and bridge holes would have a maximum width of at least 7 feet (2.1 m); some locks on the Shropshire Union are even smaller). The term is extended to modern “narrowboats” used for recreation and more and more as homes, whose design is an interpretation of the old boats for modern purposes and modern materials.”

Our stroll took us along Henley Street where William Shakespeare was born. There were plenty of tourists taking photos and looking around the shops. We contented ourselves with cream teas at the Henley Tea Room. Before heading back to Solihull. All in all, a grand day!

Shakespeare's Birthplace is a restored 16th-century half-timbered house situated in Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England, where it is believed that William Shakespeare was born in 1564 and spent his childhood years.[1][2] It is now a small museum open to the public and a popular visitor attraction, owned and managed by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.[3] It has been referred to as “a Mecca for all lovers of literature”.[4]