canal boat holiday

Canal Boat Holidays

A canal boat holiday is the perfect getaway

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canal boat holiday
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BATHROOM - Most bathrooms have a toilet sink and shower. The toilets usually have modern fresh water flushes and the sinks and showers have hot and cold running water. Facilities are specific to each boat, so please check the boay information for the boat your are looking at for full details.

BEDS/BEDDING - Linen and towels are provided for the majority of the boats free of charge for the number of people travelling. Their are many size of canal boat that can sleep from 2 to 12 people. Click here for boat sizes.

BIKES - You can bring a couple of bikes and store them on the roof of the narrow boat please bring some old matting to protect our paintwork, some straps and a bike lock or padlock. You do need to be very careful when cycling on the canal bank and give consideration to walkers, fishermen and the wild life such as nesting birds who use the canal towpath. There are some boats that do not except bikes on the boats due to low bridges, for example Goytre Wharf in Wales.

BOOKING - Choose your date and location using our on line Holiday Finder and complete the on line booking form, the availability is live and current. If you require assistance or if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us by telephone or by email.

CANALS - Were originally constructed to meet the transportation needs of a newly industrialized country. The traditional form of transport on the canals was the narrowboat and these boats were long, narrow and flat bottomed. Today due to an extensive restoration programme the canals offer a whole new era in the leisure industry. They are now enjoyed by walkers, fisherman, cyclists and of course the narrow boaters. Holidays on the canals are becoming more and more popular and narrowboats are now designed to give the up most comfort and provide for your every need.

DAY HIRE - We do not provide day boat hire as our hire boats are fitted out for accommodation. Our minimum short break is for 3 nights however you can bring the boat back early if you wish. For day boat hire use this website which may assist you in your search.

DISTANCE - When calculating how far you may be able to travel please remember that the maximum cruising speed is 3 to 4mph and locks take approximately 15-20 minutes each to travel through. You can only cruise between sunrise and sunset which, of course, will vary depending on the time of year. British Waterways work very hard to prevent delays or closures but these sometimes happen due to emergency repairs or due to unforeseen circumstances.

ELECTRICITY - Many of the canal boats have 240v (UK Mains) sockets which accept 3 pin plugs. Electricity is produced from the engine by storing it in batteries an inverter then converts the 12v to 240v electricity. You will be able to charge your mobile phones and cameras and the kids will be able to charge their games.

ENTERTAINMENT - Most narrow boats are equipped with a TV/ DVD, stereo system with radio and CD player, check out the boat details for exact specifications.

EXPERIENCE - You do not need any previous experience and many of our guests are looking forward to their first canal boat holiday. You will be given all the training you and your crew need. The boats are very simple to steer even the children can do it, with adult supervision of course.

EXTRAS - There are no hidden compulsory extras, gas and pump-outs (if necessary) are included in the narrow boat hire price you pay. There may be optional extras depending on the choice you make when booking. We provide you with a British Waterways key on arrival so you can use the free water points. You can moor up wherever you want as long as you are safe, not causing an obstruction or on private land. If you do choose to go into another marina at night mooring charges will apply. Some Rivers such as the River Avon and Thames require an additional licence which is not included in the price.

FISHING - Fishing is allowed on the canals at any time of year but a Rod Licence is required you can get a 1 day, 8 day, or annual licence from the post office, or On-line at the Environment website: Look out for any notices as some stretches of the canal are leased for private fishing. Do no fish near to other canal users or under overhead wires.

FUEL - The canal boats are powered by a diesel engine.

GAS - The gas for cooking and heating is usually included in your holiday cost, but please check the booking form for further details. The gas bottles are stored in compartments on the front of the boat.

GREEN - Worried about your carbon footprint? Then a canal boat holiday is a perfect solution. Narrowboat holidays offer you an environmentally friendly alternative to long car journeys or flying and you can have a great holiday which won't 'cost' the earth!

HEATING - The majority of the canal boats are equipped with radiators which are fitted throughout the boat. The boats are insulated and are cosy warm no matter what the weather.

HIRE PERIODS - The minimum is 3 nights and the maximum is 21 nights subject to availability and we hire our canal boats all throughout the year.

INSURANCE - The narrow boat and contents are fully insured. We suggest that check your personal policies carefully with regard to your personal possessions and your car and its contents before you leave home.

JUNCTIONS - You will encounter junctions on the canal system and these are where two canals meet. Don't worry about taking the wrong direction as they are clearly sign posted at each one, and they will be indicated on your maps or guides.

KIDS - A narrow boat holiday is superb for families and certainly one that you can all enjoy together. Kids love helping at the locks and can under adult supervision even have a go at steering the boat.  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.

KITCHEN or Galley on our canal boats are 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 everything from a boiled egg to a four course meal. Hopefully you will not be spending too much time being the galley slave as part of the fun of a canal boat holiday is eating out. Please refer to the boat details as equipment and layout is individual to each boat.

LICENCE - You do not need a licence as each canal boat is licensed by us with British Waterways. Cruising on the canals is free however there are a few waterways and Rivers such as the River Avon and Thames where an additional licence will be required. Don't worry our staff will inform you if you need to purchase one of these for your chosen route.

LIFE JACKETS - Life jackets are provided free of charge for children and adults if required.

LOCATIONS - We have a choice of starting locations to enable you to explore our many canal routes.

LOCKS - Locks are very easy to operate and something the whole crew will want to help with. You will all be given full training on how to operate a lock before you leave your holiday base. The locks are all part of the excitement of a canal boat holiday. Feel a real sense of achievement as you and your crew navigate your boat through your first lock.

MAPS - Part of the fun of a narrow boat holiday is the planning and we recommend buying a canal map or guide before you leave, you can if you wish buy these on-line via our Amazon bookshop

MOORING - You can moor anywhere on the tow-path side of the canal providing you are safe, not on private property and not causing an obstruction. Designated mooring places are clearly marked and if there are restrictions there will be a notice informing you of what they are. Mooring pegs or pins are provided for you when there are no mooring points.

NARROWBOAT - A barge traditionally measuring 70 feet long by 7 feet wide. Our holiday boats come in various sizes a sleep from 2 to 12 people.

OFFERS - Look out for any special offers they will be posted on our website.

PACKING - Your boat will be very well equipped so you do not have to bring the kitchen sink. Specific items you may want to bring to help you get the most out of you holiday are a torch, camera, binoculars, DVDs and CDs. A good waterways guide (such as Nicholson's) which you can purchase before hand is brilliant for planning your journey. Your food for the first day and maybe tea, coffee sugar and milk. Come prepared for whatever the great British weather may throw at you so pack those water proofs and the suntan cream. Warm clothes and non-slip soft deck shoes and protective gloves (for working locks) are essential and pack them in a soft bag, not a suitcase as this will save on space.

PAYMENT - Payments are made online via using various secure payment facilites.

PETS - We know that you pets are an important part of your family and we allow pets at many of our marinas. Please see the booking form for further information.

PROBLEMS - In the unlikely event that you have a problem we are here on a 24 hour emergency call-out as your safety and enjoyment are our paramount concern.

PUBS - There are countless pubs, cafes 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. We recommend booking in advance to save dissapointment

QUEUES - The waterways are big enough for everyone to enjoy but there are times such as waiting to go through a lock or at a water point when you may have to queue. Don't get stressed the wait is never long and it is the perfect opportunity to make new friends and to enjoy your surroundings.

ROUTES - You can travel anywhere on the canal system that is navigable and you choose a route that will suit your requirements. The itinerary is yours you go where you want to go and stop when you want to stop.

SAFTEY - Full instructions on how to handle the boat, how to do daily checks and how to keep safe will be given at the handover. Your safety is important to and we will spend as much time with you as you want and until you are happy to leave. Don't be afraid to ask any questions and if you do forget don't worry there is an instruction manual and safety DVD on board each canal boat. Sensible outdoor clothes are recommended and non-slip shoes should be worn whilst on deck or when operating the locks. Buoyancy aids are provided free of charge if required, there is a life belt on the boat and a basic first aid kit.

SHOPPING - One of the pleasures of a canal 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.

SHORT BREAKS OR LONGER - The minimum rental is for 3 nights and the maximum is 21 nights subject to availability.

SPEED - The speed limit on the canals is 4 mph but the average speed in closer to 3 mph. You must slow down when passing other boats, moored or moving, when passing an angler or when travelling through tunnels.

SWIMMING - Swimming is not recommended in the canals

TERMS AND CONDITIONS - Our terms and conditions can be found on the booking form and are different for each boat

TUITION- You do not need any previous experience as you will be given all the training you need to get started.

TURNING AROUND - There are turning points, know as winding holes , at frequent intervals and these are marked on the relevant maps and guides.

VISITORS - From overseas are welcome to book direct with us on-line or you can call us on +44 1395 443545 Payment is required in pounds sterling.

WATER - Fresh water is stored in tanks on the boat and you may have to fill up your tank during the course of your holiday. There are water points, provided by British Waterways, on route and these are clearly marked. You will be given with a key and will be able to access these water points to enable you to fill the tanks. We recommend that you do not drink the water straight from the tap but either boil it first or buy bottled water. The waste water from the sinks and showers is discharged into the canal so we ask that you think of the environment when using detergents. The waste from the toilets are stored in a holding tank and pumped out after your holiday, if you require a pump out whist on holiday you can do so at a marina or pump out point.

WEATHER - We never know what the British weather is going to give us so come prepared. You will need to pack wet weather gear and sensible non slip shoes. A sun hat and sun cream is essential as the sun’s rays are reflected off the water. Warm jumpers for a cool evening and maybe walking shoes or boots if you plan to take a canal side ramble. Some DVDs, a pack of cards and some board games are a good idea to keep the kids entertained if it should rain.

WILDLIFE - Nature 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.

XSCAPE - The rat race and choose a holiday where you enjoy nature up close. Take the time to enjoy life at a slow speed. No traffic jams, no hold ups just peace and quiet.

YOUR CAR - Free car parking is available at all of our narrow boat locations

Zzzzzzzzzz well it is the fastest way to slow down!

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Offers and Special Deals

We have last minute canal boat hire discounts and special offers.

Canal boat holidays, the fastest way to slow down!

Canal boat holidays, the fastest way to slow down!

Buy boating guides online

Buy maps and guides online to help you plan your holiday


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