9 Jun 2010

Collins/Nicholson Waterways Guides

The number 1 best selling waterways guides
Did you know that half the country’s population live within five miles of a canal or river, 11 million people regularly visit the inland waterways every year and more than 32,000 registered boats are on the inland waterways?

Robert Nicholson published the first Nicholson waterways guide in 1969. That guide, covering the Thames, prompted the then British Waterways Board to persuade Nicholson to publish a series of guides to the inland waterways. The Collins/Nicholson Waterways Guides have been regularly updated and expanded ever since, but their purpose has remained the same: to provide useful and comprehensive information for everyone who enjoys and uses the inland waterways.

In print for 40 years, the Collins/Nicholson guides to the waterways have always been a vital part of journeys along Britain’s canals and rivers. They are designed for anyone and everyone with an interest in Britain’s inland waterways – from experienced boaters to those planning their first boat trip, as well as walkers, cyclists and visitors.

Colour Ordnance Survey® maps have additional information showing:
• Locks, bridges, tunnels, aqueducts, winding holes and towpaths.
• Waterpoints, sanitary stations, pump out facilities and refuse disposal.
• Boatyards, pubs, restaurants and local shops.
• Mile markers and milestones (distance in miles and number of locks to strategic points along the waterways).

Text includes:
• The history and background to each canal.
• Local services and places of interest, pubs and restaurants and postcodes for each place.
• Opportunities for walking and cycling.
• Notes on wildlife to be found along the waterways.

Comprehensive navigational notes include:
• Maximum dimensions and low bridges.
• Mileages, advice and potential hazards.
• Navigation authorities and contact details.Collins/Nicholson Waterways

Waterways Guides:
1: Grand Union, Oxford and The South East.
Buy from Amazon
2: Severn, Avon and Birmingham. Buy from Amazon
3: Birmingham and the Heart of England. Buy from Amazon
4: Four Counties and the Welsh Canals. Buy from Amazon
5: North West and the Pennines. Buy from Amazon
6: Nottingham, York and the North East.
Buy from Amazon
7: River Thames and the Southern Waterways. Buy from Amazon
Norfolk Broads. Buy from Amazon
Inland Waterways Map of Great Britain. Buy from Amazon

Nicholsons guides are always good
“Another one for the series. Accurate and packed full of information in easy to follow format.”
Ms. M. F. Ault Amazon review (31 May 09) for Collins/Nicholson Waterways Guides 1 Grand Union, Oxford and The South East

Links
Water-Way the essential boating companion
Collins/Nicholson
Norfolk Broads Waterways Guide
Waterways Guides competition in Canal Boat Apr 09

For our new 2012 editions see Collins Nicholson Waterways Guides and Maps

38 comments:

  1. I find these guides very good - but two suggestions for future editions:
    (a) Put postcodes in for addresses of boatyards, restaurants etc
    (b) Where there is more than one boatyard, restaurant etc on a page, number them so one know which is which.

    ReplyDelete
  2. All the new editions published from 2009 have the postcodes in the contact details and addresses for boatyards, restaurants etc

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree whole heartedly with the comment about identifying which boatyard/pub is which. Often when there are four of five pubs one a page it can take a good minute or two to pick out enough information as to which is which, and once i was infact unable to fully confirm which details went with which location.

    Generally other than that the guides are very usable.

    Although it is a shame that since Collins took over the guides they have greatly reduced the thickness of the paper and covers used as well as removing the number from the spine.

    Daniel
    Owner CanalWorld.net

    ReplyDelete
  4. can you get a unfolded copy of the inland waterways map of Great Britian

    ReplyDelete
  5. Daniel, thanks for your comments.
    For the next editions we will look into a system to clearly link the pub/restaurant on the map with its text information.
    You must have an old format Waterways Guide. The current design has been in production for about 10 years – it is now spiral bound and uses paper suited to the colour printing and book weight. The guide number cannot now be put on the spiral spine, but a flap on the back cover can enclose pages (acting as a bookmark), this has the guide number and waterway name on it.
    David Mumford

    ReplyDelete
  6. The Inland Waterways map of Great Britain were folded at the printers so there are no flat copies available.

    You could try and iron out the creases of the folded map or get the map scanned and printed out flat at a print shop.

    ReplyDelete
  7. In 2009, when we were ordering Collins/Nicholson Waterways Guides (for shipment to the United States), we received previous revisions -- is there anyway of ordering direct form the publisher, so we know we are receiving the latest version?
    Bob Reinhard

    ReplyDelete
  8. Bob,

    The latest Collins Nicholson Waterways Guides were published in 2009, the next editions are due out in spring 2012.

    You can order the guides direct from us HarperCollins UK via our Customer Services mail order trade line 0844 576 8122.

    David Mumford

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi,

    Just wondering if there's a likely publishing date for the new edition of these? You mention 'Spring 2012' - I'm off boating in April so just wondering whether it's worth waiting for the new edition to do my planning!
    Thanks
    Owen

    ReplyDelete
  10. Owen,

    Thanks for asking.

    New editions of all 7 Collins Nicholson Waterways Guides, the Norfolk Broads Guide and the Inland Waterways map of Great Britain will be published on the 1st of March 2012.

    David Mumford

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great, thanks very much David - most helpful.

    Owen

    ReplyDelete
  12. Just got the new 2012 edition of the Inland Waterways map! The only change I could spot from the 2010 edition was for the restored Droitwich Canals (did I miss any other changes?) But I guess that's all that really *has* changed on the network since then (bar a few hundred yards here and there on the Wey & Arun and Chesterfield etc). Still no inclusion for the restorations of the Grand Union Buckingham Arm or Louth Navigation...?

    ReplyDelete
  13. feline1,
    The base mapping for the 2012 has remained faithful to the popular style that was used in the last few editions. There are alterations to the mapping as recommended by our author, but it is true to say that for the most part the canal network in the UK has remained pretty static since the last edition.
    However, there are a vast number of changes relating to the navigational authority contact information and directions which are located on panels around the map itself.
    The upcoming transfer in April of the canal network from British Waterways to the care of the Canal & River Trust has required the replacement of every single reference and website for this new edition – resulting in well over a hundred separate updates. Every address and phone number has also been routinely checked and updated.
    We appreciate any feedback of changes spotted by readers and suggestions for the next edition.
    David Mumford

    ReplyDelete
  14. I have just replaced my Nicholson Guide No.6 (Nottingham, York and the North-East). I am struck by the fact that the kilometre posts which stand by the River Trent, from Nottingham to Gainsborough, are still not marked on the maps.

    I am sure that many of the people who buy your Guide will be canal boaters who will rely on it for their, perhaps, one-and-only trip on the Trent. For those people, having the kilometre posts marked on the maps would be very useful, especially on the featureless and very winding stretch of tideway between Cromwell and Torksey, where it is almost impossible to keep track of your position on the map.

    I marked the post locations fairly accurately on my old Guide, and have now transferred them to the new one. I can make this information available to you if you are interested in including it in the next edition. If you don't want to rely on my info, please consider asking the CRT for their official record (if they have one).

    Mike O

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mike O,
      Thanks for your suggestion above.
      We show mile markers on all our guides but I will look into showing kilometer posts by the River Trent.
      David

      Delete
  15. where is the android version coming out thank you for any help

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Paul, unfortunately we don't have plans for Android versions of the Guides just yet.
      David

      Delete
  16. The Droitwich Canals were opened to through traffic in July 2011. When the new edition of Nicholson Guide No 2 was published in March 2012, I was really disappointed to discover that the navigation was still shown as a dotted line, with Hawford locks "disused", and no indication of where boaters facilities might be found.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. James, the updated reprint of Guide 2 shows the fully opened Droitwich Canals.
      David

      Delete
  17. I was also caught out by the droitwich update, having bought a new guide online, ensuring the edition was well after the canal had opened. Ended up doing the canal without an updated guide and sent it back for a refund.

    Daniel

    ReplyDelete
  18. Waterways Guide 5 North West and Pennines

    On the front cover of your latest excellent guide there is a picture of our boat Bullfinch entering the Liver Building lock in Liverpool. She is a Colecraft narrowboat built in 1986 and is 57 foot. It has a traditional boatman's cabin and a 1977 Sabb engine in its own engine room.

    We have been travelling over the canal system for many years now and we love the waterways and the way of life.

    The picture on the cover of Guide 5 was taken in 2011 and in that year we travelled over 700 miles from Liverpool from our home base at St Mary's Marina, Rufford, the whole length of the Leeds and Liverpool and then onto Ripon via York and the tidal Ouse. Our return took us on the tidal Trent to Lincoln towards Boston and then home via the Erewash Canal and Trent and Mersey. This trip took us away for almost 4 months.

    In 2012 we headed off from Rufford to the Ashby Canal, then onto Braunston and then to the Thames and onto the Kennett and Avon to Bath, returning via London. There and back we covered over 750 miles in another 4 months away.

    We find your Guides most useful and we will use them again for this years trip. We plan to go to St. Ives and Cambridge via Peterborough with yet another visit to Liverpool planned. This will be possibly be another 700 miles or so.

    We have bought a copy of the Guide 5 showing our boat on the front cover and for this years trip we will need to get new copies of Guides 3 and 4. You don't cover the area of the Middle Level Navigations and the Ouse and Cam but I imagine you might be looking at this for a future Guide possibly.

    One final very small query. We wondered why the new Guide 5 didn't mention Fettlers Wharf Marina on the Rufford branch or its sister Marina at Scarisbrick on the main line? Maybe a future edition might include them?

    Yours sincerely,

    Peter and Linda Corbett
    pd.corbett@ntlworld.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Peter and Linda,

      Thanks for your comments. It’s great to get feedback from boaters, especially those immortalised on the front cover of our guide.

      Looking at the Leeds & Liverpool Canal section of Guide 5, we show a marina on p98 (Scarisbrick) and two at the top of p100 (Fettlers Wharf and St Mary’s). Scarisbrick was being dug out when Jonathan Mosse our researcher and author passed by on his field check. We shall endeavour to include details for these in our next revision of the guide.

      Sounds like you’ve got another adventurous trip planned for this summer, lucky things.

      Delete
  19. We bought 'North West and Pennines' and used it last week. PLEASE put it in the book that the winding hole at the north end of the Harecastle tunnel only has enough space for 48 feet boats. We had to reverse back 250 yards. But the book is generally good. Thanks and regards,
    Nigel

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks Nigel,
    I’ll pass this on to our researcher and author for incorporating in the next edition.
    Further information on the three Harecastle Tunnels and southward navigation of the Trent & Mersey Canal can be found in Guide 4: Four Counties & the Welsh Canals.
    David

    ReplyDelete
  21. If you would like to comment on any aspect of the guides, you can use our nicholson@harpercollins.co.uk mailbox

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thanks very much David for offering to put the 48 feet winding hole north of Harecastle Tunnel in the guide. Very helpful. Very good guides - to anyone considering whether to buy for their trip, they really help.
    Regards,
    Nigel

    ReplyDelete
  23. do thy have a book that covers the great ouse

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately the Great Ouse (the one that passes King's Lyne) is not currently covered in our Waterways Guides. If there was enough interest we would look into it.
      David

      Delete
  24. Is it possible to sail with a 260 cm wide beam boat from the River Trent, Newark (Nottingham) to the Norfolk Broads say Norwich.
    Regards.
    chippy35

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. chippy35,
      The Broads are totally separate from the remainder of the inland waterways system so can only be accessed from the sea via Lowestoft or Great Yarmouth. You would have to go down the Trent into the Humber and the North Sea then proceed down the East Coast to one of the aforementioned ports. Quite a challenge!

      Delete
  25. There used to be a site with a link to make corrections - is this the right place to now do this? If so, please note that bridge 84 on the Montgomery canal (guide no 4) is 'Pryces Bridge' not 'Pryles Bridge'. "Pryces" is without an apostrophe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment Davidor.
      I've now noted the correction naming Pryces Bridge, which will be applied for our next update.
      You can let us know of any updates, suggestions or any other comment on any aspect of the guides by emailing our Nicholson mailbox via nicholson@harpercollins.co.uk
      David

      Delete
    2. We use these guides all the time at work, and they are very informative and useful, but our all time favourite is a special copy of the Birmingham and Heart of England where the second half of the book is upside down. Looking forward to the new edition of guide 3, I do all our ordering and the old one is like gold dust now!

      Delete
    3. Rosepearl
      Doubtless your 'special copy' of the Birmingham and Heart of England guide is one to treasure. Jonathan Mosse our waterways researcher and author tells me what you are in possession of could be a rare guide, being half the British edition, inadvertently welded onto half the Australian edition which might become highly collectable and much sought after, especially by submariners!
      The new edition of Birmingham & the Heart of England is due to be published soon - in March this year [2014] featuring many updates and including the Canal and River Trust naming, addresses, phone numbers, websites and text.
      David

      Delete
  26. I am a hire boater with 9 weeks experience on UK canals. I used your waterways guides and I think they are quite good. What I miss in your guides is the information about moorings.
    In order to plan a journey it would be interesting to know, where official moorings are and how long one are allowed to stay there. I would suggest to show official moorings with another towpath colour (e.g. yellow) and a number indicating the days one can moor there. Other possible moorings could also be shown with a different colour (e.g. green).
    I believe these additions would improve your guide.
    Regards
    Jörg

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jonathan Mosse our Collins/Nicholson Waterways Guides researcher and author replies "We have always marked mooring sites on rivers where demand can often outstrip supply and where there is a need for a safe haven at times of rising water levels. This is, therefore, largely driven by safety considerations. By and large, boaters can moor anywhere on the canal system, so there is a somewhat more limited need to mark moorings here. Of late there has been consultation – followed by consultation – regarding visitor moorings and the length of stay to the point where to publish anything of a permanent nature would be plain foolhardy. Once the dust has settled on this particular 'hot potato' we will certainly consider marking visitor moorings on canals, but even then would be weary of attributing a specific length of stay!"
      David

      Delete
  27. Hello, we used your excellent No 4 Guide a few years ago and are thinking of buying your No 1 Guide for another trip later this year. Are there plans to reprint/update during 2014? kind regards David

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. David Newland,
      We reprinted Grand Union, Oxford & the South East (Guide 1) in mid-2013 applying the new Canal and River Trust naming, addresses, phone numbers, websites and text. We are looking at a new edition possibly in spring 2015.
      David M

      Delete