Summer has finally arrived, and there is nothing better at this time of the year than a relaxing boat trip, taking in the views of the local countryside and the waterways that have shaped it over the years.

Gloucester Quays provides the perfect setting for a scenic river cruise, where you can take a trip on the Queen Boadicea II along the historical Gloucester and Sharpness canal.

Setting sail from the National Waterways museum, which is located in the heart of Gloucester Docks, in one of the impressive Victorian warehouses, restored to provide visitors with a glimpse into the fascinating history of Britain’s waterways. Whilst you are here, it is well worth exploring the National Waterways museum before setting sail on along the canal.

On your journey along the canal, you will not only be treated to the sights of the surrounding area from the water, but you are also treated to a commentary as you travel along the canal, where you will find out more about the landmarks that you pass and the canals interesting history.

The ship itself, the Queen Boadicea II also has had a fascinating history – she started life in 1936 working on the River Thames between Hampton Court and Richmond. When war broke out in 1939 this was originally one of the ships that travelled to Dunkirk in 1940 and was used to assist in the evacuation of troops from the beaches there. She now enjoys a much more serene life, taking visitors up and down the canal!

For film fans, you may recognise that the stretch of water that you travel along on the trip also featured in the film ‘Alice through the looking glass’.

Whilst you are in the area, why not have a wander around the Gloucester Quays designer outlet, where you can pick up some designer goods at bargain  prices, or enjoy a meal in one of the many local restaurants around the Quays – you will be spoilt for choice!

Between April and October boat trips run every weekend and on bank holidays, during the school holidays they also run trips on weekdays. If you are planning on taking a trip as a large group, it is best to plan ahead and contact the museum a few weeks in advance to ensure that the whole group can be accommodated.