So you have your own Google Maps thing? – How to navigate canals

Disclaimer here for all you proper boaty folk, we’re not experts on this, so please chip in to correct our errors. A question recently came up on how we navigate the canal network, not so much physically, but more so from a planning perspective. I recently wrote about our planned summer family staycation weekend, and the way we worked out when/where to join the journey and how we plan any journey often surprises people from the none boaty folk circle.


A question we get more than ever is ‘We have a canal right by us how long would it take you to get to us?’. Being the true boaty folk we are we have a canals and rivers trust map nicely framed on our wall showing the network in our area, however this doesn’t provide much of an idea on travel times.

We personally use the Canal Plan AC site, where you can type in your points, customise the hours you are willing to travel in a day and tah-dah here are the details of the journey. It really is great and gives us all of the information that we need.

It amazes people that this site exists, and what often amazes people more is how long the travel times can be. Whilst it’s a great site and we love it dearly, and rely on it a great deal, I would not recommend following the timings to a tee. If there is one thing you can guarantee in the boat World is that you can’t guarantee a thing especially timings.

James & Kirsty

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