Britain's best summer for years has led to record numbers making trips to canals and rivers.

During August a record two-week figure of 5.4 million visitors was reached, according to the Canal & River Trust.

This broke the previous fortnightly figure of 5.1 million achieved in August 2009.

Simon Salem, marketing director of the Canal & River Trust, said: "The nation's canals are great places to visit and it is fantastic to see more people using them.

"This summer we've seen more people walking along their local towpath, running and cycling, taking advantage of the nice weather to ditch the car and travel canal-side instead, or just enjoying the calm and tranquillity offered by our waterside environment."

Bernard Donoghue, director of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, said: "Britain has so much to offer for a good day out. It's great to see people visiting their local canal or river."

The Trust also measures the number of boats using its canals and rivers. While definitive figures for summer 2013 will be available in the new year, early indications are that there were more boaters out taking advantage of the sunshine compared with 2012.