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Time and tide can wait 

Whether new to boating or an experienced boater, cruising the UK’s inland waterways is a great way to get afloat.

Cruising the UK’s inland waterways is one of the most relaxing ways to spend time on the water. Meandering at your own pace through the countryside and past towns, embracing the unique lifestyle of the waterways and their fascinating history and heritage.

Whether it’s a day trip, short break, holiday, continuous cruising, hiring or using your own boat, the inland waterways provide an opportunity to escape from busy modern life and enjoy a slower pace.  The easy going, friendly atmosphere offers a unique and fun experience.

With so much to explore, taking an RYA inland Waterways Helmsman's Course is a great way to get started on your inland waterways adventure.  Specific to the inland boater, this two day hands-on course assumes no prior knowledge.  Areas covered include safety, helmsmanship, locks and tunnels, collision avoidance and an introduction to engine maintenance.  At the end of the course you should have the skills and confidence to be able to helm a vessel safely on inland waterways.

The Inland Waterways Crew Course can involve the whole family.  Children as young as eight can participate in this entry level course which covers the basics of being a useful crew member and includes an understanding of how to assist at the helm.  Find out more about RYA Training.

Cruising in company with other boats can add another enjoyable dimension to your cruising, an excellent way to explore new waterways or old favourites with like-minded people.

The Huddersfield Canal Society and Canal & River Trust are inviting boaters to join the first Pennine Explorer Cruise from 23 June – 1 July 2017.

Starting at Portland Basin, Ashton-under-Lyne the cruise will visit Stalybridge, Mossley, Diggle, Marsden, Slaithwaite, Milnsbridge and Huddersfield before finishing at Mirfield.

This “Roving Rally” will allow boaters to enjoy the magnificent scenery of this rugged Pennine canal with mutual help with locks and assistance from volunteer lock-winders. A programme of evening events will add to the fun.

Places are limited by the capacity of Standedge Tunnel, so early expressions of interest are essential. Boaters should email Huddersfield Canal Society at to express interest.  First come, first served!  Not all boats fit the canal, the controlling dimensions and other information are available here:

Those who will fit the shorter wider locks of the Huddersfield Broad and Calder and Hebble canals can continue to complete a circuit. Full length narrowboats can turn at Huddersfield and take their time on the return journey.

There is more information on the Huddersfield Canal Society’s website including a draft itinerary.

(Image: Boat gathering at Diggle summit by Ian Bradbury)

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