The British canal system is totally unique. No other country has anything quite like
it, and it stands alone in offering wonderful opportunities for leisure and relaxation.
Although the origin of these canals is purely functional, having grown out of the
industrial turmoil of the 18th and 19th centuries, their role as commercial arteries
to a manufacturing nation is long gone. The passing years have seen newer, faster,
more economical means of transportation, leaving the inland waterways to settle down
into a mellow peacefulness. From this has grown a new and no less important role
- that of supporting a growing demand for rewarding leisure pursuits and environmental