Boat trips and holidays

There are plenty of ways to get out and about on our canals and rivers. From hiring a boat for an afternoon to longer family holidays, there’s something out there to suit everyone's budget.

Boating holidays Boating holidays

First time afloat?

If you're new to the idea of boat trips and holidays, the links on your right will lead to lot of helpful information, or you can read on to find out more. 

The boats

As much as a canal holiday is about exploring new territory and leaving the every day at home, most of us still like to have our little luxuries. Which is why most people are hooked after their first time on a canal boat.    

One minute you could be admiring the picture-perfect views from the tiller of your boat, the next you could be putting your feet up in front of the telly or relaxing in a nice, hot shower.

Canal boats can also be surprisingly spacious - welcoming news for large families. But narrowboats and barges aren't the only types of boat available; choose the best boat to suit your needs and your canal holiday.


Narrowboats can be quite roomy with plenty of headroom. Longer craft can sleep up to 12 people.

Some of our major canals and rivers have a wider set of dimensions and so can accommodate boats of up to 14ft wide – this is where the barge comes in. These spacious vessels are the 4X4s of the waterways but with more space comes fewer routes, as these boats are obviously limited to those canals and rivers that can handle them.


These too can also host large parties but they are more flexible in their design. You could choose one that's smaller and easier to manoeuvre or even a cruiser that has steering above and below deck – ideal for moving your boat in comfort come rain or shine.

Sit back and relax

If you don’t fancy taking charge of a boat yourself, no problem. A boat trip is a wonderful way to see our canals and rivers as you can relax while someone else does all the hard work.

Alternatively you could book yourself into a hotel boat or enjoy a meal on a restaurant boat. 

Last date edited: 13 January 2020