On straight and narrow

Library file photo dated 30/05/2002 of the 16 locks of the Caen Hill flight of the Kennet & Avon Canal near Devizes, Wiltshire. Narrowboats on canals are among 21 new "icons of England" announced today. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday November 10 2006. It is the fourth set of cultural treasures to be announced by the online Government-backed Icons project. See PA story SOCIAL Icons. Photo credit should read: PA
Library file photo dated 30/05/2002 of the 16 locks of the Caen Hill flight of the Kennet & Avon Canal near Devizes, Wiltshire. Narrowboats on canals are among 21 new "icons of England" announced today. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday November 10 2006. It is the fourth set of cultural treasures to be announced by the online Government-backed Icons project. See PA story SOCIAL Icons. Photo credit should read: PA

FORGET Barbados, Ibiza and Tenerife - Northern cities such as Manchester and York are officially cities of “nabbers,” according to a new report.

But before you start thinking citizens of Yorkshire and Lancashire are going around stealing, the term is actually short for narrow boaters - and according to new research from Arniston Bay wines and ICM Omnibus, compared with this time three years ago, just over three quarters of people from Northern England are more likely to go on a narrow boat holiday on UK canals this summer.

Celebrities like Prunella Scales and Timothy West are leading the trend by vacationing on canals all over the North of England.

Travel stress is cited as the main reason: Almost half of women from the North of England (45%) find travelling abroad more stressful, compared with just over one-third of men (36%).

Airport delays are the main cause of stress for both sexes (26%) with travelling time (19%) and expense (14%) cited as stressful. 9% of women were put off by confusing baggage allowances.

In contrast the main reasons for the narrow boat’s soaring popularity are freedom and escape from everyday life (41%) and sheer relaxation (33%).

Arniston Bay spokesperson and TV presenter Craig Doyle said; “I can see why people would want to relax on the UK’s thousands of miles of linked waterways.

It’s all about fresh air, relaxation and ‘me-time’. It’s the ultimate in freedom and escape from the stresses of everyday life.

“I’m going to be on the waterways myself this summer on-board the Arniston Bay narrow boat between Birmingham and Manchester.”

59% of people from the North East put relaxation as their most important priority for any holiday. 5% men thought a narrow boat holiday was romantic compared to only 2% women! 23% of people rated spending time with friends their most enjoyable experience and 5% liked getting some fresh air.

Only (5%) of people wanted to share their narrowboat with Kate and Wills while women most wanted to share with Jamie Oliver. Men meanwhile, opted for Katherine Jenkins and Jennifer Aniston.