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Explore the best of wales by water.

Canal Boat Holiday Staycations in and around Wales to book for 2024.

A young couple standing onboard their narrowboat

Spring is finally here and the days are getting ever so slightly warmer. The countryside calls - and with it the Welsh canals. Imagine waking up to bird song and a quiet quacking of the ducks outside, followed by a relaxed day meandering along the canal and simply enjoying the good life. A holiday on a canal boat in Wales could be the perfect option for anyone who wants to either spend a peaceful holiday exploring Wales, or have an adventure tackling the locks, lift bridges and tunnels that the canals have to offer.

Luckily, Wales boasts 3 different holiday canals, all very different from each other but equally beautiful: The Llangollen with its beautiful countryside and spectacular Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, the Mon & Brec which meanders through the spectacular Brecon Beacon National Park, and the Montgomery, whose currently accessible section is not in Wales yet is an absolute delight for nature lovers with a rich flora and fauna, beautiful nature reserves and peaceful countryside. Each of the three canals are very different, but absolutely beautiful.

Holiday Canals in Wales

Llangollen Canal

The Llangollen Canal in North Wales is probably the most popular of all the canals in Britain - and for a reason. Peaceful countryside, plenty of locks and lift bridges to keep the crew entertained and pretty villages and towns along the way, such as Wrenbury, Whitchurch, Ellesmere and, of course, Llangollen. If you cruise the whole length of the Llangollen, you are hopping in between England and Wales a couple of times. The first time is just outside Whixall Moss, a National Nature Reserve, and once you have crossed Chirk Aqueduct and head into Chirk Tunnel. The scenery soon becomes quite dramatic with the Welsh hills looming in the distance, thickly wooded valleys and of course the famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. If you like beautiful countryside but also quite a bit of hustle and bustle, then the Llangollen canal is the perfect fit for you.

Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal

In South Wales, the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal is an absolute gem. Not connected to the main network, it has a completely different feel than the other canals. The canal stays within the Brecon Beacon National Park for its whole course, which guarantees breathtaking views, quaint villages and beautiful countryside. Being relatively light on lift and swing bridges, the Mon and Brec Canal is the perfect solution for everyone who wants to take it easy. Additionally, there are just 6 locks which are frequently operated by volunteer lock keepers. If you like a relaxed canal holiday with stunning surroundings and plenty of options to venture away from the towpath, then the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal is the ultimate option for you.

A bridge on the Mon & Brec Canal

Montgomery Canal

Lesser known, but nonetheless absolutely stunning, the Montgomery Canal can be reached via the Llangollen at Frankton Junction, between Ellesmere and Chirk. The currently accessible section of the Montgomery Canal in England just over the border from Wales, but in order to get to the Montgomery Canal on one of our holidays you’ll cruise at least partially through beautiful Welsh countryside. The difference once you have descended the locks down from the Llangollen and onto the Montgomery Canal is absolutely staggering: just a few navigating boats, a rich Flora and Fauna and absolute quietness - you can tell immediately that the Montgomery Canal is a Site of Specific Scientific Interest for much of its course. The number of boats on this canal is strictly controlled, so pre booking the locks is a must. There are always lock keepers that help you down the locks, which makes for a very relaxed experience. Otters, water voles and a vast number of butterflies and dragonflies are characteristic for this canal. If you enjoy watching wildlife, exploring nature reserves and simply meandering through peaceful countryside, then the Montgomery Canal might be the perfect place for you.

At the moment, 8 miles are navigable from Frankton Junction to Crickheath. Another section is currently navigable, from Arddleen to Berriew, but not accessible via the main canal network yet. Once you have reached Crickheath, you can moor up and take a walk along the towpath and explore the section that is currently under restoration.

A narrowboat passing though a bridge hole on the Llangollen Canal

At Roam&Roost Canal Boat Holidays we've partnered with multiple independent and family-run hire bases to bring you the best holiday hire options from small independant companies that care. For canal boat holidays in Wales, we have three possible departure points: Chirk (Wrexham), Gilwern (within the Brecon Beacons National Park in Monmouthshire) and Beeston, Cheshire (The base isn't in Wales itself but is perfect for a holiday up to Ellesmere, Llangollen or Crickheath).

Example routes/holiday lengths and starting prices

To give you an example of how much a narrowboat holiday costs in wales please see a few example hire lengths along with starting costs for different types of crew.

North Wales

Short break options:

Prices for boats that can sleep: a family of 4 starts at £764.00, a family of 6 starts at £804.00 and two families or a large group with up to 8 people start at £1,076.00. Click short-break options in 2024 from Chrik

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and the Llangollen Canal at sunrise

Week-long hire options: Active routes:

Prices for boats from Beeston that can sleep: a couple or a small family of 3 start at £600.00, a family of 4 £800.00 or a family of 6 £850.00.

Prices for boats from Chirk that can sleep: a family of 4 starts at £764.00, a family of 6 starts at £804.00 or two families or a large group with up to 8 people start at £1,076.00. Click week long hire options in 2024 in North Wales

South Wales

Short break options:

Week-long hire options: Active route:

More relaxed route: