What floats your boat? Spending family time by the water

Over the summer we tend to ditch the car and head off on foot, we are very lucky as we have lots of beautiful countryside surrounding us.
Living in Essex we have the forest very close which makes a wonderful day out, climbing trees, making dens and having a picnic, however another trip we often make as a family is a wander down to the canal. 
I’ve recently been reading LOOKS ‘What Floats Your Boat’ campaign which talks about the most scenic canals in the UK and it made me think about why I love ours so much.
We can wander on down to the Waltham Abbey stretch of the River Lea in less than 15 minutes.  Sometimes we will take the car and park across the road, this way we can take the kids bikes and spend longer wandering along the waterside.
We take bread for the ducks which both children love, seeing the look of excitement on their faces as they sit by the waters edge and the ducks surround them,  Harry has a tendency to try to tease them though – eating more bread then he gives away and on a few occasions trying to grab it back from them, this is one of the reasons he is ALWAYS either in the buggy, strapped into his trike or on his reins, although they love being near the water safety come first.
The canal near us is a perfect place to watch the world go by, on the nice days and weekends there is always an ice-cream van parked up and we have taken to treating the kids to an ice-cream then wandering up a little further to the lock to watch the boats passing through.  It’s fascinating for the children to see these work, they love to watch the lock open and the boats going in, closing one side and then opening the other. 
Photo Credit: Ellie – The Mummy Diary
Being by the water brings a new pace of life, everything slows down, no-one is in a rush and it’s calming and quiet – even the children pick up on this.
What I love about where I live is that by following the canal and then taking a walk through the marshes I can get to the next town without needing to follow the main roads, and by doing this I can get to my Nan’s house easily and it is a far nicer walk too.
This canal also backs onto the Lea Valley Olympic White Water Rafting Centre, now the Olympics are over this centre is open to the public.  You can either take a turn on the rapids yourself or just sit in the café and watch everyone else take their turns – obviously this is my preferred way to spend an afternoon (I really don’t fancy taking a tumble down them any time soon but it is amazing to watch).
 Of course, the other thing which we love to do is fishing:
Being by the water brings great family times and helps to make memories. 
Do you like spending time near water?  What floats your boat?
Disclaimer:  This is a collaborative post.

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One thought on “What floats your boat? Spending family time by the water

  1. Ohhhhhhhh, you must live really close to me! We just love wandering through Lea Valley and up to the canal – it takes us about 10-15 minutes to reach it. It's so beautiful and we wandered there just yesterday on the way to the Gunpowder Mills!
    Zach loves looking at the boats and yesterday he successfully fed the ducks for the first time (when I say successfully, I mean without trying to eat the mouldy bread himself!). There's also always lots of planes flying over which he loves watching! It's just the most beautiful, peaceful place. He's still a little bit little to wander along the canal with us so he is always in his buggy but we always let him run amok through the safer parts of the park. I can't wait until he's a bit older so we can all go cycling along there. It's such a happy place to be 🙂

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