About us

Top city breaks by narrowboat

What better way to drink in the delights of some of the UK’s most fun, fascinating and beautiful cities than from your own floating hotel during a scenic canal boat holiday. Famous destinations including Oxford, Bath, Birmingham and Chester are all within easy cruising distance of our narrowboat hire bases. So why not step ashore to enjoy the sights and sounds of some of the UK’s most desirable city break locations – soak up some culture, sample the local restaurants and get some shopping in.

A few of our most popular routes include:

City break Oxford


Oxford – the city of ‘dreaming spires’

A three hour, four lock cruise from our Oxford narrowboat hire base

Hire a narrowboat at our Oxford base on the River Thames at Eynsham and enjoy a three hour cruise to the beautiful university city of Oxford. Your canal boat provides the perfect base from which to enjoy an Oxford city break exploring the many stunning university colleges and cobbled streets. Climb the 14th century Carfax Tower, the historic centre of the city, to view Oxford’s ‘dreaming spires’; admire the Egyptian mummies in the Ashmolean Museum, see the witch in a bottle at the Pitt Rivers Museum; visit the remains of the Dodo at the University Museum of Natural History; discover the real Harry Potter Hogwarts Hall at Christ Church College, and stock-up on goodies in the Oxford Covered Market. Or, if that all sounds a little too energetic, you could simply moor up to enjoy lunch at The Trout at Wolvercote, a favourite Inspector Morse pub.

Read about our Oxford base

A World Heritage City

Our narrowboat hire base at Sydney Wharf in Bath is a 15 minute walk from the historic centre of the city.
A four hour and six lock cruise from our narrowboat hire base at Monkton Combe.
An eight hour, seven lock  journey from the picturesque Cotswold town of Bradford on Avon.

Bath makes a fantastic short city break destination from both our Sydney Wharf and Monkton Combe narrowboat hire bases. The beautiful Georgian city nestled among the Somerset hills is famous for its Roman Baths built around natural hot springs, its modern Thermae Bath Spa which uses the same mineral rich waters, its stunning Regency architecture and its links with Jane Austen as well as great shopping and wonderful pubs, cafes and restaurants. Combining beauty, history and culture with a bustling modern city vibe, Bath offers a perfect minibreak during any canal boat holiday.

Read about our Bath base

City break Birmingham


Bright lights big city

A five hour, lock-free cruise from our narrowboat hire base at Tardebigge.
Birmingham can be reached on a week’s holiday from our narrowboat hire bases at Wootton Wawen and Stockton.

An ideal for stop off for narrowboat beginners, Birmingham makes a great short break destination during any canal boat holiday starting from our TardebiggeWootton Wawen or Stockton narrowboat hire bases. With more canals than Venice, a narrowboat is the perfect way to explore this exciting city.  Central moorings are available in Gas Street Basin, right next to the popular Brindley Place shopping and leisure development. This offers easy access to many of Birmingham’s top attractions including the Mailbox and Bullring shopping centres, the Sea Life Centre, the Thinktank science museumBirmingham Museum & Art Gallery, the Jewellery Quarter, the Ikon contemporary art gallery and the famous Balti Triangle, a must for curry lovers. If you’re craving a chocolate fix, stop off at the delicious canal-side Cadbury World on your way home.

Read about our Tardebigge base

City break Oxford


Two thousand years of history

A seven-hour, nine lock journey from our narrowboat hire base at Bunbury.
Chester can also be reached on a week’s cruise from our narrowboat hire base at Trevor.

Historic Chester, famous for its Roman foundations and medieval architecture and imposing city walls, is a popular short-break destination. It makes an ideal stop off on a canal boat holiday starting from Bunbury or Trevor. With its unique collection of Tudor timber framed buildings, vibrant market hall, award winning Chester Zoo, busy racecourse, trendy bars, great shops and huge variety of restaurants, a Chester city break will not disappoint. Chester’s narrowboat moorings are conveniently located in the heart of the historic city a short stroll from its key attractions.

Read about our Bunbury base

Be Inspired

We offer a range of different types of holidays such as City Breaks, Relaxation Cruises and Popular Destinations

So why choose Anglo Welsh?

Over 55 years providing unique canal boat holidays in England and Wales.
Modern and spacious narrowboat and wide beam barge hire – from 2 to 12 berths.
Wide choice of narrowboat hire locations and canal boat holiday destinations.
Canal boat holiday routes for novices & experienced boaters.
Flexible holiday booking, no hidden costs.
Family friendly and pet friendly holidays.
Great days out on the water.
Luxury canal boat hire and Thames boating holidays.

Anglo Welsh. So much more than narrowboats

...but don't just take our word for it




Trip Advisor