Top 7 cosy waterside pubs and restaurants to cruise to this winter
We offer winter cruising* from seven of our canal boat hire bases – providing the opportunity to cruise gently through the quiet winter countryside and stop off at waterside eateries along the way.
You’ll be snug and warm on board as all our boats have central heating and hot water, and some also have multi-fuel stoves.
We offer narrowboat hire over Christmas and New Year, so you can celebrate the festive season afloat with family and friends. Or simply escape from it all with your nearest and dearest, aboard your very own floating holiday cottage.
Here’s a guide to our Top 7 waterside pubs and restaurants to cruise to this winter. Please note that winter maintenance on the canals may affect some routes for part of the winter, so do just check with us when you make your booking:
1. Cruise to the Dusty Miller at Wrenbury Mill, Cheshire
From our base at Bunbury on the Shropshire Union Canal, it takes around seven hours to reach Wrenbury Mill. The route travels through 10 miles of the Cheshire countryside, and passes through 11 locks. You’ll start off on the Shropshire Union Canal, transferring onto the Llangollen Canal at Hurleston Junction. At Wrenbury Mill you can moor up and enjoy a meal at the Dusty Miller. They serve traditional pub food, including chicken in a basket and pie of the day. The pub is dog friendly and they have a guide to local walks on their website.
2. Moor up at the Crown Inn near Alvechurch, Worcestershire
From our barge hire base at Tardebigge, it takes one and a half hours to cruise to the canalside Crown Inn. The journey travels three miles along the Worcestershire & Birmingham Canal. This lovely country pub offers rustic charm and a great choice food and drink. From fish and chips, and burgers, to seafood linguine and Chicken Balti, the team at the Crown pride themselves on serving ‘proper food’.
3. Visit the Boathouse overlooking the Mere, Shropshire
Setting out from our base at Whixall, it takes around three-and-a-half hours to reach the historic market town of Ellesmere in the heart of the Shropshire Lake District. You’ll travel along the beautiful Llangollen Canal, passing a series of lakes, including Cole Mere. Once at Ellesmere, you can moor up and explore the Mere, with its motte and bailey castle, Cremorne Gardens, woodlands and popular Boathouse restaurant over-looking the Mere.
4. Head to the Swan Inn at Fradley Junction, Staffordshire
From our base at Great Haywood it takes around five hours to reach Fradley Junction. The journey travels along the Trent & Mersey Canal for 12 miles, passing through five locks. At Fradley, you can moor up next to the historic Swan Inn, serving ‘home cooked honest meals’. They also have a doggy menu.
5. Visit the Fleur De Lys at Lowsonford, Warwickshire
From our boat yard on the Stratford Canal at Wootton Wawen, it takes around three hours to cruise to the pretty canalside village of Lowsonford. There you can moor up to visit the Fleur De Lys, a 17th century country pub famous for its pies. Eleven different types of pie are served, accompanied by seasonal vegetables, chunky chips and gravy. There are gluten free and vegan options, as well as veggie, meat and fish pies.
6. Take refreshment at the Barge Inn at Seend, Wiltshire
From our canal boat hire base at Bath, you can cruise gently through the countryside to the Barge Inn at Seend. This beautiful pub on the Kennet & Avon Canal offers cosy real fires and classic pub favourites, including great Sunday roasts. It takes around seven hours to cruise the 17 miles to Seend, passing through four locks along the way.
7. Dine out at the Corn Mill in Llangollen, Denbighshire
From our Trevor base on the Llangollen Canal, it takes around two-and-a-half hours to reach the pretty town of Llangollen, nestled in the Berwyn Mountains. Once there, you can moor up in Llangollen Basin and take a short walk to the popular Corn Mill pub. Housed in a 14th century watermill on the banks of the River Dee, there’s a great choice of dishes on offer. From pumpkin tortellini and a sweet potato curry, to a crispy buttermilk chicken burger and rump steak, all are calorie counted.
*Winter maintenance will affect some of the routes some of the timeTags: canal boat hire, canal boat holiday, Grand Union Canal, Kennet & Avon Canal, Llangollen Canal, narrowboat hire, narrowboat holiday, Shropshire Union Canal, Stratford Canal, Trent & Mersey Canal, Worcestershire & Birmingham Canal