Celebrate Christmas Afloat

A canal boat holiday offers a great antidote to the hustle and bustle of Christmas.

A number of our canal boat hire bases offer winter cruising, giving you the chance to enjoy cosy evenings afloat, trips to waterside pubs with roaring log fires, frosty towpaths and crisp clean air.

Our narrowboats are fully equipped with all the essential mod cons, including central heating, hot water, televisions and DVD players, so it’s always nice and cosy on board.

And whether it’s a snug boat for two or jolly boat for 10, celebrating Christmas or New Year afloat offers a memorable getaway.  It’s free to moor almost anywhere on the network, so a your narrowboat could provide the perfect place to lay your head after enjoying New Year’s Eve celebrations in exciting waterside towns and cities like Bath, Birmingham, Chester and Warwick.

Here’s a list of Drifters bases offering winter narrowboat holidays:

  • Visit historic Warwick…a week’s break from Drifters’ base at Stretton-under-Fosse near Rugby could take you to historic Warwick and back along the Grand Union Canal, via Braunston and Napton Junctions, with plenty of time to visit the Regency centre of Lemington Spa and the stunning Mediaeval Warwick Castle.  The journey takes a total of 30 hours cruising, with 26 locks along the way.  Or head south along the beautiful Oxford Canal, one of England’s most peaceful waterways which winds slowly through classic scenery, much of which hasn’t changed for centuries.  A week can easily take you as far as the historic town of Banbury and back, cruising a total of 40 hours and negotiating 25 locks.  Christmas and New Year prices from Stretton start at £505 for a short break and £755 for a week. 
  • Travel to Bath along the Kennet & Avon Canal…Drifters’ base in the historic town of Bradford on Avon offers the chance to cruise to the World Heritage Status City of Bath and back.  Fabulous country pubs to enjoy along the way include the George Inn at Bathampton, once a 12th-century monastery, and The Cross Guns at Avoncliffe, one of Wiltshire’s oldest and most popular pubs, with panoramic views of the foothills of the Cotswolds.  Christmas and New Year breaks from Bradford on Avon start at £650 for short break and £930 for a week.
  • Take a lock free journey to Birmingham…Birmingham is just a five hour cruise away from Drifters’ base at Tardebigge on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal – with no locks to negotiate.  City centre moorings are available at Gas Street Basin, close to the bars, restaurants, shops and museums at Brindley Place and the Mailbox.  Short breaks over Christmas and New Year from Tardebigge start at £425, weekly hire from £605.
  • Navigate ‘The Stream in the Sky’…the awesome 300-metre long World Heritage Status Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, soars nearly 40 metres above the rushing waters of the River Dee, carrying the Llangollen Canal.  From Drifters’ hire base at Trevor, right next to the aqueduct, a short break to Ellesmere and back offers the chance to navigate the aqueduct and to explore the beautiful Vale of Llangollen.  Short breaks over Christmas and New Year from Trevor start at £525 and weekly hire from £745.
  • Visit the Mediaeval City of Chester…from Drifters’ base at Bunbury on the Shropshire Union Canal, the ancient City of Chester is just a seven hour journey away.  Chester boasts a vibrant market hall, an award winning zoo, busy racecourse, trendy bars, shopping malls and restaurants.  Or head south from the base to the historic market town of Middlewich on the junction of the Trent & Mersey and Shropshire Union Canals.  Short breaks over Christmas and New Year from Bunbury start at £425 and weekly hire from £605.
  • Explore the Potteries in Staffordshire…Drifters’ base at Great Haywood at the junction of the Staffs & Worcs and Trent & Mersey canals in Staffordshire offers a variety of routes.  On a week’s cruise boaters can travel along the Shropshire Union Canal to historic Market Drayton, home of the gingerbread man.  On a short break, head through quiet countryside to the South Staffordshire village of Coven on the Staffs & Worcs Canal.  Short breaks over Christmas and New Year from Great Haywood start at £525 and weekly hire from £745.

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