A NEW boating centre has opened in North Newton which hopes to get people making the most of the Bridgwater and Taunton Canal.

Having been open just a couple of weeks, the new Somerset Boat Centre is offering visitors the chance to try out all manner of vessels including a narrowboat, kayaks, canoes and motorboats.

A spokesman for the Somerset Boat Centre said: "We have this beautiful waterway in Somerset that is criminally underused.

"We particularly want to see young people engaging with the canal.

"It is a valuable asset and is a great way of engaging with nature and the outdoors."

The centre is planning to offer regular trips on narrowboats along the canal to Taunton and Bridgwater, and already has plans for specially-themed cruises for Halloween and Christmas.

There will also be courses so people can learn to skipper narrowboats and negotiate the locks along the canal.

"It is a different speed of life on the canals and is a fantastic way to relax and get away from it all - it is good for a person's wellbeing to be on and near the water," the spokesperson said.

The Somerset Boat Centre is planning to engage with local schools and will also run a series of work-related courses from their base such as first aid training and fire risk assessments.

To find out more about the centre visit somersetboatcentre.co.uk or find the Somerset Boat Centre page on Facebook.