Explore and discover
Your narrowboat is only the start
From the awesome Pontcysyllte Aqueduct to Oxford’s dreaming spires and Bath’s Georgian terraces, a canal boat holiday takes you to some of Britain’s most beautiful locations. Snaking their way through historic cities, past World Heritage sites and traversing miles of idyllic countryside, the canals offer unprecedented access to otherwise inaccessible views.
A few our most popular canal boat holiday routes include:
The beautiful city of Oxford is just three hours from our canal boat hire base at Eynsham on the River Thames. Your canal boat provides the perfect vehicle by which to enjoy a short break exploring all that the historic university city of Oxford has to offer. Climb the 14th century Carfax Tower to view Oxford’s ‘dreaming spires’, 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. But if that all sounds just a little too energetic, you could moor up to enjoy lunch at The Trout Inn at Wolvercote, a favourite Inspector Morse pub.
A seven hour, 20 lock journey from our narrowboat hire base at Stockton on the Grand Union Canal.
One of Britain’s greatest medieval experiences with a history dating back more than 1000 years, Warwick’s famous castle, surrounded by its rolling landscaped gardens, is a fascinating place to visit. The historic market town of Warwick is home to fine medieval timber-framed buildings, the beautiful Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick Racecourse, and a variety of museums, shops, cafés, restaurants, parks and gardens.
A five hour, lock-free cruise from our narrowboat hire base at Tardebigge on the Worcester and Birmingham Canal.
Ideal for narrowboat beginners, Birmingham makes a great short break destination. With more canals than Venice, a canal boat holiday is the perfect way to explore this exciting city. Moorings are available in Gas Street Basin, right next to Brindley Place in the city centre. This gives you easy access to top attractions including the Mailbox and Bullring & Grand Central shopping centres, the National Sea Life Centre, the Thinktank science museum, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Jewellery Quarter, Ikon contemporary art gallery and the Balti Triangle. If you’re craving a chocolate fix, you could also stop off at the delicious canalside Cadbury World on your way home.
A seven hour, nine lock journey from our narrowboat hire base at Bunbury on the Shropshire Union Canal.
Chester can also be reached on a week’s canal boat cruise from Trevor on the Llangollen Canal.
The city of Chester, famous for its Roman foundations and amphitheatre, medieval city walls and historic architecture, is a popular canal boat minibreak destination. Offering a vibrant market, an award winning zoo, a busy racecourse and plenty of great shops, restaurants, cafes and bars, Chester’s canal boat moorings are conveniently located right in the heart of the city within easy walking distance of all the key attractions.
Canal boat holidays in Bath
The famous staircase of 10 locks at Foxton is fifteen hours from our narrowboat hire base at Stockton.
The Grand Union Canal offers the chance to explore mile upon mile of unspoilt rolling Leicestershire countryside making the ideal canal boat holiday to choose if you are seeking rural beauty and tranquillity. Foxton is fifteen hours from our Stockton narrowboat hire base while Market Harborough, with its wealth of antique shops, is a further two hours’ cruise.
Canal boat holidays in Bath
Two hours and six locks from our narrowboat hire base at Sydney Wharf to Bath city centre – or a short walk.
The stunning Caen Hill Flight of locks on the Kennet & Avon Canal at Devizes is a popular destination from our Bath base.
Bath makes a fantastic short canal boat holiday destination from both our narrowboat hire base at Sydney Wharf in Bath and our nearby base at Monkton Combe. Bath is famous for its beautiful Georgian architecture and links with Jane Austen as well as its natural hot springs which led to the construction of the Roman Baths still standing today and the contemporary Thermae Bath Spa which uses the same geothermal waters. Its history, beauty and culture combined with great shops, restaurants and bars makes Bath a perfect narrowboat holiday stop off.
Our narrowboat hire base at Wootton Wawen is a six hour, 17 lock journey along the pretty Stratford Canal to Stratford-upon-Avon.
Stratford-upon-Avon can also be reached on a week’s holiday from the narrowboat base at Tardebigge.
Moor on the River Avon close to the Royal Shakespeare Company’s famous Swan Theatre right in the heart of the historic town, an easy stroll from its museums, shops, markets and restaurants. Explore Stratford-Upon-Avon‘s quaint streets lined by Tudor buildings that would have been familiar to Shakespeare. Visit the Bard’s birthplace and the romantic Anne Hathaway’s Cottage.
The World Heritage Pontcysyllte Aqueduct carries the Llangollen Canal 126ft high above the River Dee right next to our narrowboat hire base at Trevor in North Wales.
The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct can also be reached on a week’s holiday from our Bunbury base.
Travelling at just three miles an hour, with no hand rail on the south side of the aqueduct to obscure your views of the breathtaking Dee Valley below, you will feel like you are floating above the earth. A short break from Trevor could take you across the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and back to the stunning riverside town of Llangollen, surrounded by dramatic Welsh mountain scenery and famous for its music festival, or eisteddfod in Welsh.