Log of narrowboat "Paws 4 Thought"

Narrowboat 'Paws4Thought', taken at Aston Marina

When we went on our first holiday on "the Cut" in 1979, we did not know what to expect. It was a totally alien environment to us, but we quickly found that we relaxed with the slow pace enforced by the "Rule of the Road". We quickly fell in love with life on the Cut, and apart from a short period when the children were young, we had a boating holiday most years. We loved it so much that we started dreaming of the possibility that one day we might get our own boat. In 2014, that dream came true in the form of "Paws 4 Thought".

As I am ex-Merchant Navy, I have always been used to keeping a ship's log. We decided that while we were on each holiday, we would keep a diary of what we got up to. Those early hand-written logs have been brought together as a history of our canal holidays . Now that we have our own boat, I have continued the logs to give a feel for what life afloat has to offer.

I have provided maps covering most of the canal system of England and Wales. These show the history of the system (some information is still missing - a work in progress) and our travels round it. Although Scotland has the Caledonian, Crinan, Forth & Clyde and Union canals, they are obviously not connected to the main system. I have also provided a potted history of how the system came into existence.

Pat and I would recommend boating holidays to anyone who wants to relax, but is not frightened of a little physical work occasionally. Working the locks is great fun, the people you meet are almost always friendly, and one never gets tired of the ever-changing scenery.

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