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Explore the UK

Top 5 multi-stop holidays for exploring the UK.

One of the things we love the most about our canal boat holidays is that you can explore multiple attractions and areas of the UK while taking your cosy narrowboat holiday home with you. However, although a canal boat holiday is a great option, there are numerous other ways to explore the UK on a holiday, and you can have more than just a single base for your stay.

Hire a Campervan

There is so much to see and do in the UK. Explore the countryside, hike up a mountain or through a national park, visit a city such as Chester or Bath, and so much more.

Much like canal boat holidays, campervan holidays enable you to make the most of this, setting your route and packing as many of the things that interest you into your self-drive adventure. One of the main benefits of campervans is their ability to get extremely close to most destinations and attractions. You could explore the Isle of Skye one day and Fort WIlliam the next.

Campervan travelling along the road

Photo by Jordan Irving on Unsplash

How much is a campervan hire holiday?

Campervans start at £64 per night in the low seasons and start at £99 per night in the high season (source: Quirkycampers). Bear in mind that this won't include fuel, campsites, food, or activities, and the final cost will vary based on how far you travel if you plan to use wild camping spots and the activities you choose to do along the way. That said, a campervan hire can be a fantastic option if you'd like to explore a lot of the UK in a relatively short time.

Inn to Inn Walking Holiday

There are many public footpaths in the UK, and with that comes the ability to walk to many exciting locations and pass through beautiful scenery as you do. The slower pace may suit anybody who is used to canal boat holidays, and you'll be able to explore anywhere a footpath can take you. You could explore The Coast, Bath and the Cotswolds, Stonehenge and Wiltshire or even The Avon Canals, which include abandoned canals not currently accessible by boat.

People walking over a hill in the Cotswolds

Photo by Fas Khan on Unsplash

How much is an Inn to Inn walking holiday?

The small team at foottrails.co.uk has walked their fair share of footpaths and is well-placed to help you plan your trip. They offer bespoke packages planned with you and your interests in mind. Seven-night trips start at around £1500. Breakfast and accommodation are included, and the walks and things to visit along the way provide plenty to keep you busy.

Cycling holidays

Along with its public footpaths, the UK also hosts a network of cycle routes and normal roads, making a cycling holiday a good option that will allow you to cover a larger area whilst being a much more active holiday than, say, a campervan holiday. You could do the Hadrian's Wall Cycle Route, a Tour of North Northumberland, Scottish Coast to Coast, and many more. Travelling by bike in the day to your next guesthouse, small hotel, or inn.

How much is a cycling holiday?

Self guided 5 night trips for 2 riders start at around £700 and generally include Transport, Accomodation, Baggage Transfer and Route maps and notes. Packages can be tailored to your requirements.

Coach Holidays

It was a toss-up being Coach Holidays and Train Holidays for this spot on the list. They are both similar with a pre-set plan, but Coach Holidays just edged it for their ability to get you to the doorstep of the most interesting destinations. There are multiple options, and travelling by coach can allow you to see and visit some fantastic areas based on a pre-planned route. It is slightly more restrictive than a Campervan Holiday; for example, you'll not be able to set your own route, but you do benefit from not having to do any of the driving and the chance to enjoy the view.

How much is a coach holiday?

Prices start at around £769 for a 7 night trip or £269 for a shorter 2 night trip.

Canal Boat Holidays

Of Course we are going to include Canal Boat Holidays in the list. On a canal boat holiday, you can stop and go as you please, always knowing you have your holiday home right there.

If you'd like a more active route, you can choose to do a few more locks and perhaps take a walk on the towpath whilst your crewmate steers, or for relaxing options, you can go somewhere with only a handful of locks, such as the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal. Although you'll be limited in where you can go to, generally within walking distance of the towpath, Canals do cut through many interesting areas of the country from the middle of the countryside to interesting places such as Chester or Bath where you can moor up in the heart of the city.

Drone footage of a narrowboat on the Shropshire Union Canal

How much is a canal boat holiday?

Canal boat holidays start at £141 per person in the low season and £196 in the high season and usually include everything you need to have a lovely, safe holiday on the canals. (Although sometimes fuel and bedding can be extra) A canal boat holiday itself provides plenty of entertainment, and there are usually some attractions near the canal, such as nature reserves, lovely walks, or historic ruins to explore, so large amounts spending money is not required. That said, you can make it as expensive as you like: visiting pubs, cafes, castles or taking a ride on a steam train are some examples of what you can do relatively close to the canal side.