Canal Boat Holidays

A UK Canal Boating Article

Category : General


You do not need any previous experience or a boat licence and many of our guests are looking forward to their first canal boat holidays experience. You and your crew will be given all the training you need before you set off on your holiday.

The 'rules of the road' are few and are mostly just common sense and consideration. Don't worry, the regulations will be explained to you as part of your training.

Canal boat holidays will take you to a different part of Britain every day. You choose your own itinerary and stop when you want to stop and go when you want to go.

The problem is what to choose. Do you visit a state of the art science museum, a ruined castle or an adventure park? Do you moor up near to a quiet canal side village or in a city centre full of history and culture?

Canal boat holidays are superb for families and certainly one that you can all enjoy together. The kids will love helping at the locks. As you will be in a different place every day seeing something different all of the time, you will not hear those dreaded words “I'm board”. There are plenty of family attractions to visit on route and plenty to keep the children, young and old, occupied. Dogs love their canal boat holidays too and with plenty of open spaces and traffic-free walking it's no wonder - We welcome pets, for a small fee, at all of our locations.

The Basics
The canals were originally constructed to meet the transportation needs of a newly industrialised country and the traditional form of transport on the canals was the canal boat. Today due to an extensive restoration programme the canals offer a whole new era in the leisure industry. Your canal boat will be bright and modern and have all the comforts of home. The Galley is fully equipped and are fitted with gas oven and hob, under counter fridge with small ice box and micro wave. There are all the utensils, crockery and glasses on board to enable you to cook. The lounge area is fitted with comfortable seating and is equipped with a TV/ DVD, stereo system with radio and CD player. The bathrooms have hot and cold running water to the showers and sinks and flush toilet(s).

The Beginning
Booking your family the holiday is one of the most important things you do each year and getting it right can be very difficult. There are very few holidays which the whole family can enjoy together and plan from start to finish. Canal boat holidays can be surprisingly economical too because once you have paid for the canal boat hire the rest of the holiday cost is entirely up to you. On a canal holiday everyone can be involved in the planning, preparation and choosing of the route. Add to the excitement and magic of your holiday even before you leave home by finding out how the locks work and discovering a little history of the canals. Plan your route by buying maps and guides before hand or if your prefer buy them on site (subject to availability).

The Start of your Adventure
At check-in you be welcomed by one of our friendly reception staff who will go through the paperwork with you. You will be introduced to one of our trainers who will give you full instructions on how to handle the canal boat. Your safety is important to and we will spend as much time with you as you want and until you are happy to leave. When you arrive at the marina you will feel a thrill as you see your narrowboat for the first time. Once aboard the kids will love to explore all the nooks and crannies and they will soon have the belongings unpacked and 'stowed away'.

The Best Bits
The best bits of Canal BoatingNature comes to you on a narrow boat holiday. Imagine gently cruising the waterways at your own pace as you watch the countryside drift pass. Get close to nature, spot the herons and the kingfishers and the host of other wildlife that make the canal and the canal banks their home. There are countless pubs, cafés and restaurants on route, some have moorings directly outside and some are just a pleasant stroll away. They offer a wide range of good food and real ales and all welcome canal boat users and their families. What could be better than spending some precious hours playing games with the kids and how often do you and your partner get to spend quality time together away from the stresses and strains of everyday life​.

You can travel anywhere on the canal system that is navigable and you choose the route that will suit your requirements. One of the pleasures of a canlal boat holiday is to be able to stop off exactly where you want to. You will find everything on route from large supermarkets to small farm shops selling fresh local produce.

Take the time to actually stand still and to look and listen, you will be amazed at what you see and hear. The tow path is home to a huge variety of birds and animals and many rare species thrive in the safe haven that the canal bank provides. Marvel at the tranquillity as the swans glide pass your barge hoping for a tasty treat.

Walking – The canals meander their way through some of the most idyllic and unspoilt countryside and the towpaths are ideal for walking.

Fishing - For those of you who never have the time a UK boating holiday is a perfect chance for you to spend a quiet few hours fishing. Don't forget to purchase a rod licence though. The kids will love to go 'dipping' and it is well worth buying some cheap nets, the type you see at the seaside are ideal for this.

Nature - Canals pass through areas of outstanding natural beauty and untouched countryside, perfect for keeping an eye out for some of Britain’s much loved wildlife. If you’re lucky you might find yourself face to face with kingfishers, otters and water voles.

Sightseeing - Because the canals and rivers once served the industrial towns and cities of the UK you will find that they pass by fine architecture and a wealth of historical treasures. The canals meander from peaceful stretches, through breathtaking countryside, to the hearts of the towns and cities.

Exploring - The sides of canals are dotted with places of historical interest marking changes in the use of canals as well as being a record of a developing Britain. Step back in time and explore castles, churches, monasteries and factories all within easy reach canals.

Eating Out - What could be a better way to end the day than by relaxing with friends or loved ones with a drink and meal in one of many pubs and restaurants that line the canal? Whether you’re looking for pub grub or an a la carte extravaganza you’ll be able to find something to suit your taste. So moor up your canal boat, order yourself a cold pint of the local ale and watch the cares of the world float on by.

The Other Bits
Thankfully break downs are rare but should you need us, our dedicated team is on hand twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and we aim to have you on your way just as soon as possible.

Lifejackets are supplied free to children and non swimmersLife Jackets are supplied to children and non swimmers.

Your holiday would not be complete without your family pet and dogs in particular love their narrow boating holidays. We welcome pets, for a small fee, at all of our locations.

We provide expert tuition at hand over to set you on your way with confidence. Manuals, on the working of the boats, are provided on board if you do need to refer to them. The controls are easy, the tiller controls left and right and push the lever forwards to go forward and backwards to stop or reverse – that's about all there is to it.

Car parking is free at all of our canal boating holiday locations.

A canal boating holiday appeals to every age group as it is the kind of activity which gives everyone a chance to help, to try something new and to have a lot of fun together. We welcome everybody from absolute beginners to experienced 'deck hands'. Canal boating holidays are ideal, and something a little bit different, for those special for occasions such as anniversaries, honeymoons, landmark birthdays or are ideal for groups of friends who want to be reunited.

Escape the hustle and bustle of twenty first century demands no rushing about and no clock watching instead just relax and enjoy life at a really slow pace.
Our canal boats have been designed with your comfort in mind and the interior is finished to a very high standard giving you a spacious and comfortable living area. Outside they are all painted in their very own livery making them unique to us.

Our canal boats all have colour television/ DVD an entertainment centre with radio and CD player as well as 240 volt power supply.
The galley is fully equipped with a fridge, small freezer box and gas oven and hob. There is central heating, when you need it, all the way through our canal boats. Our bathrooms have modern flush toilets, showers and hot and cold running water.

Part of the fun of a canal boating holiday is the planning and on this web site we give some ideas of recommended routes you can also purchase maps and guides beforehand.

If you want any advice about cruising routes or you have any queries do not hesitate to get in touch with us.



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