Grand Western Canal, Tiverton, Devon
The Grand Western Canal is a still navigable stretch of waterway that runs just over 11 miles from Tiverton in Devon almost to the Somerset border. Back in the day it was used for transporting coal and limestone to Taunton and onwards; as it fell out of use it eventually became a designated Country Park and Nature Reserve and like most waterside places, it’s a tranquil spot that has a particular beauty to be enjoyed whether you come for the fishing, the boating or just to amble around.
That’s what most people do here – amble around, because the paths are generally flat and even, so it makes for an easy stroll. Some like to give their legs a good stretch and go a bit further along the towpath, others prefer to cycle it. Most likely, you’ll park at Tiverton Basin, which is where it all goes on – you can hire rowing boats and Canadian Canoes or climb on board a traditional painted barge for a horse drawn trip along the waterway. It doesn’t get much more relaxing than that, just drifting along looking out for ducks a-dabbling, swans majestically gliding and kingfishers darting. When you get back you can go to the floating Ducks Ditty Bar for refreshments, or for a cream tea in the pretty Canal Tea Rooms and Garden. Rather a lovely way to pass an afternoon, and just the sort of thing you ought to be doing when you’re on your family holiday in Devon.
All information correct at the time of writing