Duke & Duchess
Cruising Co. Ltd
9 Lyndale Close
Coventry CV5 8AE
Discover the secrets of the canals in the friendly atmosphere of a small moving hotel. Book your vacation here. telephone (from UK);
07711 836441
from overseas;
7711 836441
A canal is a man-made waterway - a highway to carry boats rather than lorries and cars. Most canals were built during the period of 'canal mania' between 1760 and 1830 to enable boats, drawn by horses, to carry goods. In those days the alternatives were packhorses or horse-drawn wagons jolting over rough roads. A single horse could move barely 2 tons on a road but could pull a boat laden with 50 tons or more. Thus, transport by water made possible the Industrial Revolution. Traditional Water Cans
Mellow brick and stone bridge The canals, however, suffered serious competition from the railways. Although there was a revival in the early 20th century, canal traffic declined. The internal combustion engine, fitted to boats to replace horses from the beginning of this century, provided some respite, but nationalisation in 1948 and the 'big freeze' in 1963 effectively killed off trade on most of the canals.

Today, the canals are primarily used for pleasure boating.

Travelling on a canal you will find a reed fringed lane of water Traditional working boatscurving along the contour of a hillside, flanked by a grassy towpath and bushy boundary hedge and spanned by humped bridges of mellow brick or stone. Locks with massive wooden gates and sheer brick sides raise or lower the canal. Black tunnels pierce the high ground and cuttings, embankments and lofty aquaducts overcome other obstacles. You will find drawbridges, elegant eighteenth century buildings and junctions with other mysterious canals, each as enticing as the first.

Our canal network is extensive - about 2000 miles of navigable waterways. The midlands canals are generally 'narrow' canals able to take boats (narrowboats) 70 feet long by 7 feet wide, whilst much of the rest is wider - 'broad' waterways with locks able to accommodate two narrowboats side by side.

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