Day boats are a great option for those thinking of a waterway holiday but wanting a taster session first, or for people just looking for peaceful day out on the water.
Drifters offers day boat hire at a number of its bases, from as little as £11 per person.
Boats are equipped with cutlery, crockery and a kettle so boaters can enjoy a picnic afloat or head for a waterside pub. Most day boats also have a toilet, cooker and fridge. Full tuition is included.
Here’s a list of Drifters’ day boat hire centres:
- Visit ‘The Stream in the Sky’ – from the Drifters’ base at Trevor on the Llangollen Canal in North Wales it’s just 20 minutes cruising to the awesome Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. At over 38 metres high (126ft) and 305 metres long (1000 ft), the World Heritage Status Aqueduct offers a fantastic waterway adventure. You may be travelling at just four miles an hour, but with not even a hand rail on the south side of the aqueduct to obscure your views of the stunning Dee Valley 126ft below, you will literally feel like you are floating above the earth! Day boat hire for up to 10 people from Trevor costs £110 Monday to Friday and £140 at weekends/bank holidays.
- Take a cruise in Bath – from Drifters’ base at Sydney Wharf in the World Heritage City of Bath you can sample a scenic cruise on one of Britain’s most popular waterways, the Kennet & Avon Canal. Head east to Bathampton and make the historic George Inn, a vision of Olde England and once a 12th century monastery, your lunchtime destination. Day boat hire for up ten people from Bath costs £120 on a weekday and £165 at weekends/bank holidays.
- Wend your way through Wiltshire – from Drifters’ base at Hilperton Marina in Wiltshire, also on the Kennet & Avon, cruise east through unspoilt countryside to Seend where you’ll find The Barge Inn or head West to Bradford on Avon and the Cross Guns pub at Avoncliffe Aqueduct. Prices here are £105 midweek and £130 at weekends/bank holidays for boats which carry up to eight people.
- Experience the rural North Oxford Canal – from Drifters’ base at Stretton-under-Fosse near Rugby, cruise north through open farmland to the pretty village of Ansty with its pottery and its well known Rose & Castle pub. Or head south and travel through quiet woodland, through Newbold Tunnel to the village of Newbold with several pubs to choose from. Day boat hire from Rugby starts at £130 for a boat for eight on a weekday, £170 at weekends and on bank holidays. Or try a boat for 12 for £150 on weekdays and £190 at weekends/bank holidays.
- Glide through the Brecon Beacons – from Drifters’ base at Goytre Wharf on the beautiful Monmouth & Brecon Canal near Abergavenny, enjoy beautiful countryside and diverse scenery and cruise to the Horse & Jockey pub with children’s play area in less than three hours. Goytre means ‘place in the woods’ and the wharf was once used to supply coal to the nearby estate. You can find out more about the history of the wharf through interactive displays on site. Day hire for a boat for 12 starts at £90 for a weekday, £115 for a weekend/bank holiday.
- Explore Shakespeare’s country – from Drifters’ base at Wootton Wawen on the Stratford Canal near Stratford Upon Avon, you can choose between an easy day cruising to Wilcote and back (2.5 hours each way), or a more challenging cruise to Lowsenford and back, negotiating a total of 16 locks, with the opportunity to stop for an hour at the Fleur de Lis pub (3.5 hours each way). A day boat for ten people from Wootton Wawen costs £99 on weekdays, £120 at weekends & bank holidays.
- Staffordshire delights – from Drifters’ base at Great Haywood on the Staffs & Worcs Canal near Stafford, the recommended day boat cruise is a six hour journey to the historic market town of Rugeley and back through several locks, past Shrugborough Hall and over an aqueduct. There are many pubs to choose from in Rugeley itself or stop enroute at Bridge 70 at the delightful Wolseley Arms in Wolseley Bridge. Day boat hire from Great Haywood for ten people is £99 on weekdays and £120 at weekends & bank holidays.
- Sightseeing along ‘The Shroppie’ – from Drifters’ base at Bunbury on the Shropshire Union near Crewe cruise south past Barbridge and Nantwich to Baddington Bridge. With no locks to negotiate and plenty of pubs enroute, it’s a delightful way to spend the day afloat. Day boat from for ten people from Bunbury is £99 on weekdays and £120 at weekends & bank holidays.
- Visit rural Worcestershire – from Drifters’ base at Tardebigge on the Worcs & Birmingham Canal near Bromsgrove, cruise north to Kings Norton Junction, a pretty rural route with pubs along the way including The Crown at Alvechurch and the Hopwood House at Hopwood. The route is lock three but three tunnels form part of the navigation. Day boat hire for ten people from Tardebigge is £99 on weekdays and £120 on weekends & bank holidays.
- Enjoy the beautiful Leicestershire countryside – from Drifters’ base at North Kilworth on the Leicester Line of the Grand Union Canal near Welford, cruise north to the top of the impressive Foxton Locks staircase with stunning views of the surrounding Leicestershire countryside and Foxton Locks pub. Or, if you’ve packed a picnic, you could head south through a totally rural and peaceful section of the network. Day hire from North Kilworth for ten people costs £110 on weekdays and £140 at weekends & bank holidays.