The Narrowboat Hotel Company www.hotelboatsuk.com have a new web site for Dawn and Dusk the long established pair of hotel narrowboats cruising the system. On detached waterways we have Narrowboat Trips http://narrowboattrips.co.uk aboard Olive Rose of Taunton on the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal and in Scotland Capercaillie Cruisers www.capercailliecruisers.co.uk canal boat hire on the Millennium Link. Back on the connected system Water Travel www.surftech.co.uk/canal/watertravel boat hire based in Wolverhampton now have a site. We also have two new community boating sites: the South Staffordshire Narrowboat Company Ltd www.ernestthomas.co.uk is a registered charity operating a 70ft long narrowboat on the historic waterways of the West Midlands and the Dacorum Narrow Boat Project www.dnbp.fsnet.co.uk providing trips for schools, colleges and youth groups for education, self development and recreation on the Grand Union Canal.
For those looking for brassware and stoves Brenmarl Engineering Ltd www.narrowboatbrassware.co.uk specialise in supplying the narrowboat market. For advice and improving your boating skills Scott Marine Services www.scottmarine.co.uk have training services for boaters who live aboard and extensively cruise.
The Official Bill Davies Web Site www.billybubbles.demon.co.uk includes sections about buying Rosy a second-hand narrowboat, taking her to Europe and living aboard abroad, as well as a page about canals in wartime. Peter and Pauline Curtis's Information Service www.pcurtis.com is a personal site with a lot of boating text and pictures amongst a mass of other subjects. The Gloucester - Sharpness Canal Page www.glos-sharpness.org.uk is of interest to boaters and other visitors to the Gloucester to Sharpness Canal with many pictures of the waterway. The close-by Cotswold Canals www.stscanals.co.uk have a new web site containing some 300 photos that have been created as a result of a photographic survey of the Stroudwater and Thames & Severn Canals and Keith Kitson www.keithkitson.com has a site with photographs of the Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal. Finally, a new site that has an unusual angle in its approach to the waterways. Mileposts on the Trent & Mersey Canal www.tmc-mileposts.co.uk has pictures and information on the canal centred around its mileposts.
Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal
Having already mentioned a couple of waterways that are detached from the connected system, I thought it would be a good idea to feature one of the most beautiful unconnected waterways. There are six hire bases with web sites serving this comparatively short canal. Cambrian Cruisers www.cambriancruisers.co.uk are based at Ty Newydd, three miles south of Brecon, at the northern end of the canal and a little further south are Country Craft Narrowboat Holidays www.surftech.co.uk/canal/country-craft/ at Llangynidr. Next comes Castle Narrowboats www.canaljunction.com/castlenarrowboats/index.htm at Gilwern as is Road House Narrowboats www.narrowboats-wales.co.uk. Beacon Park Boats www.beaconparkboats.com is a small family run narrowboat hire company at the picturesque boathouse at Llanfoist. The last of the hire firms is Red Line Boats www.redlineboats.co.uk based at Goytre Wharf, Llanover, just four miles from Pontypool.
There are two other sites that deal with the canal the first being Brecon and Abergavenny Canal History www.glasbury.powys.sch.uk/canals1.html a project by Glasbury Church in Wales Primary School, illustrating canal transport in the 19th century of limestone. The navigation supported a number of tramroad lines that took the limestone from the mountain side quarries to the canal. Monmouthshire Brecon & Abergavenny Canals Trust www.mon-brec-canal-trust.org.uk is a registered charity established in 1984. Much of its work at present is concerned with promoting the full restoration of the Monmouthshire Canal that forms the southern, largely un-restored, half of what is now called the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal. The site has photographs taken along the course of the waterways including a picture of the 14 locks, near Newport, when they were still navigable.
Site of the Month
Travelling the Inland Waterways www.catshill.com/trips/ is a personal web site recording the travels on narrowboat Bluebell from 1996 to 2001 around many waterways. On the opening page there is a map showing each waterway travelled and beside it a list of 28 links, one for each waterway covered. Each individual waterway page has pictures and a brief description of the trip covering places of interest, shops, moorings and especially pubs. If you are thinking of visiting one of the waterways for the first time these pages will give you a quick and informative introduction. For those waterways you have already visited you may like to check that you have not missed some good eating and drinking places, or just to get another view on the navigation.
What I really like about this site is the simple uncluttered design with no unnecessary distractions or over-crowded pages. There are no technical complexities to the site. It is produced just using the basic web page facilities in a way that anyone producing a web site could do. It is amazing that more people don't produce sites like this instead of spending hours working on graphics animations that add no real value to their site.
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