Britain's best canal-side pubs

Whether chugging along on a narrowboat or strolling the towpaths, there's nothing quite like relaxing in traditional canal-side pub. Caroline Rhodes picks five of the best

18th August 2009

1. The Anchor, Shropshire Union Canal, High Offley, Staffordshire
Having been run by the same family for more than 100 years, The Anchor is a truly old-fashioned canal-side pub. In the heart of beautiful Staffordshire countryside this Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) pub has an adjacent campsite, and is so traditional that the landlady still fetches ales from the cellar in a jug!

2. The George, Kennet and Avon Canal, Bathampton, Somerset
Originally a monastery, this pretty 12th-century pub sits alongside the canal and opposite the village church, in the green hills of Somerset. Cosy in winter with open fires, and with courtyard seating in summer, it is allegedly haunted by a Frenchman who perished there after losing a duel. Overnight mooring is available.

3. The Waterman, Grand Union Canal, Hatton Hill, Warwickshire
Overlooking the famous Stairway to Heaven locks and with far reaching views of rural Warwickshire, The Waterman has been tastefully refurbished from a former bikers’ joint into a relaxed pub and restaurant. With a locally sourced menu, friendly atmosphere and good prices, it also has live music nights.

4. The Eagle Barge, Caledonian Canal, South Laggan Locks, Inverness-shire
Once used by the German army in First World War, the Eagle Barge now rests on the glorious Caledonian Canal, reinvented as a floating pub and seafood restaurant. This unique place serves a fine range of Scotch whiskeys and magnificent platters of fresh fish and shellfish in the evenings.

5. The Navigation Inn, Peak Forest Canal, Buxworth, Derbyshire
High in the Peak District this pub overlooks the Bugsworth Basin, a canal port that was crucial to the Limestone mining in the 1700s. Listed as an ancient monument, it is rich in Derbyshire’s industrial history, and sits amid glorious moorland. A CAMRA pub, it also offers delightful bed and breakfast.

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