The day dawned brightly for my mother-in-law’s  birthday. We always do something special to celebrate and have done so since her 60th – she is now 86.

This year we went on a canal boat down the river Stort. My in-laws can no longer walk far and find it difficult to climb stairs easily so we had to ensure the boat was accessible.

We found a charity on the internet, Canalability, which seemed to offer exactly what we wanted. We booked the four hour option on Stort Daybreak, but more options were available, as we weren’t sure whether we would like it.

We needn’t have worried though as it was the best birthday treat she, and we, had ever had.

The charity provided a skipper and crew but we were all encouraged to have a go at steering the boat, under their guidance. In the end I think the 8 of us did most of the steering, only once or twice did we veer towards the bank and we had the crew to put us back on track.


My two teenage nieces really loved jumping off the boat and being in charge of changing the locks, as well as the steering, of course.

The river is really beautiful and the speed of just a couple of miles an hour made for a very relaxing and tranquil experience. I can see how a canal boat trip could be very therapeutic.

We had prepared a picnic to have on board and the facilities are amazing. All the crockery, cups and plates are supplied. There is a hob and a microwave for preparing hot food.

There were lots of other facilities for people in wheelchairs or with severe disabilities. There was even a full wet room and disability toilet.

An amazing day out. But do take an extra layer as it is a little colder on the river, than it is on land. Also don’t forget your waterproofs if it is likely to rain.


The price was amazing, especially as the boat can carry up to 12 people.

My wife and I enjoyed it so much that we are considering taking a canal boat holiday.