Canal Boat Hire Prices for 2018

2017 has been a great year with lots of happy customers enjoying their holiday on the Ashby canal with Midland Mallard.  But it’s not time to say goodbye to 2017 just yet!  With Just a few slots still available there is still time to book a break in September or October 2017.  Please see our contact us page to make an inquiry or click on the availability button to see what dates are still available.

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Its Not Time to Say Goodbye to 2017 Just Yet

However, if you wish to book a weeks holiday or just a short break in 2018 our prices are now available on the prices page on our website.  Returning customers can enjoy a 10% discount on all dates for 2018 when booking direct through us!

If its you first time booking with us then you may want to read our FAQ page with lots of useful information regarding steering the boats and what you can expect to see on the stunning Ashby Canal!

Kindest regards

Justin Forbes – Midland Mallard.

 

 

The Midlands Canal Network

About The Midlands!

The Midlands Geography

The Midlands is an area centrally located within England, part of the UK.  It currently has no designated administrative area , it therefore, lacks any strict definition. However, it is generally considered to include the counties of Derbyshire, Herefordshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Rutland, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, and Worcestershire.  Being as far inland as it is possible to be, the Midlands generally has a temperate climate with generally calm winds and warm summers.

History of the Midlands

The Midlands is considered to be the historical heartland of the Industrial revolution which came about during the period between 1760 and 1820. Incidentally, this period coincides exactly with the reign of King George III.  During this period, hand held tools and the human workforce began to be replaced by steam driven machines which were more reliable and could work around the clock. Machines based around the James Watt steam engine were changed to incorporate a circular motion thus replacing the piston motion engines of the past.  This enabled industry to create production line systems.  Due to these changes, and due to the large number of factories making textiles and popular products of the time, this made the Midlands a significant contributor at the cutting edge of the industrial revolution.

The Midlands Canal Network

The midlands canal network first came into being in the 18th century and was “Cut” to provide transport for the growing pottery industries around Staffordshire and the West Midlands.  It was created to provide a more efficient and faster route for commercial goods to be transported. The Midlands Canal Network formed a major navigational highway through the period of Industrial revolution.  Canal boats were mainly pulled by horses which travelled on the “Tow Path” built next to the canals.  Horses were later replaced by on-board mechanised systems, which again were brought about by changes in the James Watts Steam engine.  Some of the steam powered boats can still be seen today making their way up and down the Midlands Canals but are mainly kept under wraps and reserved for special boating events.  Most of the canal boats are now powered by even more efficient propulsion methods such as Diesel engines and even hybrid petrol engines using silent electric motors.  Later, around 1840, the steam powered train network came into being and began to threaten the very existence of the canal network as transport times were quicker. By 1850, nearly two thirds of the produce previously carried by canal was now being transported by rail.

Things to see and do on the Midlands Canal Network

There are many relics of the industrial revolution to observe throughout  the Midlands Canal Network.  There are many things to do whilst navigating the Midlands canal network not least of all the pubs and restaurants that festoon the tow paths.  Ironically, what had become the bane of the Midlands Canal network inadvertently became it saving grace.  As the steam engines rolled on to become the highway of its day , the canal network was allowed to rest and mature. Where once stood a dirty trodden towpath may now contain a woodland. Where once upon a time industry had created pollution, there are unspoilt waters containing large fish. In fact, the water now houses some very weird and wonderful creatures indeed.  For example, during the 1990’s, children watching T.V programmes like the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles (As it was called in the UK) went out and purchased Terrapins from their local pet shops.  Once the children became bored of the turtles and moved onto something more adult, those turtles were discarded into the Canal Network and, survive in parts, to be the size of dinner plates. This is why the Midlands Canal network is worth exploration and why we hope you will enjoy the freedom and adventure that it will bring to you.