On Sunday 23 April 2017, Drifters Waterway Holidays and the Canal & River Trust are offering people the chance to try canal boating for free at 19 locations across England and Wales, including Valley Cruises at Coventry Canal Basin.

The taster sessions, which run from 11am till 4pm, will include free short trips on skippered narrowboats, as well as boat tours and holiday discounts.

Tim Parker, chairman of Drifters Waterway Holidays, explains: “Travelling at just 4mph through peaceful countryside, sleepy villages and popular waterside towns and cities, canal boat holidays are often described as ‘the fastest way to slow down’. Close to 400,000 people go canal boating each year, nearly double the number 10 years ago* and over 3,000 people got afloat at our Open Day in 2016. “We hope that this year’s taster sessions will introduce many more people to the joys of a holiday afloat on Britain’s wonderful inland waterways.”

Mike Grimes, head of boating at the Canal & River Trust, added: “For many people, a boating holiday is the start of a lifelong passion for our beautiful network of inland waterways. These free taster sessions are a great way to see if this sort of holiday could be for you, before committing to a full weekend or week’s break.”