Experience an October Half Term canal boat holiday

Narrowboats are like floating holiday cottages, with everything you need on board for a self-catering adventure afloat.  All our boats equipped with essential home comforts, including central heating, hot water, TV, showers, flushing toilets, and most now have WiFi too.

October Half Term narrowboat hire prices start at £642 for a short break (three or four nights) on a boat for four people, £1,010 for a week.

A licence isn’t required to steer a canal boat and all our operators provide boat steering tuition as part of their holiday packages.

Here are Drifters’ top six canal boat holiday destinations for October Half Term 2022:

1. Explore the ancient abbey at Selby

On a week’s holiday from our base at Sowerby Bridge, narrow boat holiday-makers can cruise to along the Calder & Hebble and the Aire & Calder navigations to Selby.  The journey there and back travels 96 miles, passes through 68 locks (34 each way) and takes around 40 hours.  The route passes through Wakefield, Stanley Ferry, Castleford and Knottingley.  Scenery ranges from leafy cuttings on the Calder & Hebble and farmland along the Aire, to industrial hinterland on the Aire & Calder.  At Selby, you can moor up to explore the ancient Abbey and market.  Selby also has a good choice of pubs and restaurants.

2. Boat along the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal to Brecon

From our base at Goytre Wharf near Abergavenny, on a week’s break you can navigate through the wooded Usk Valley to Brecon.  Situated in the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park, Brecon offers theatre, cinema, cafes and restaurants.  This historic town also offers easy access to the National Park, with walking routes, cycle hire and pony trekking.  Along the way, boaters can stop off at Llanfoist to take the old tramway into the Black Mountains.  Or visit the 13th century castle at Crickhowell.  The journey there and back travels 51 miles, passing through 12 locks (six each way) and takes around 25 hours.

3. Glide along the Kennet & Avon Canal to Georgian Bath

On a mid-week break from our Devizes base in Wiltshire, you can travel to the World Heritage Status City of Bath and back.  The journey to overnight moorings at Sydney Wharf travels nearly 20 miles along the Kennet & Avon Canal, and takes around 10 hours.  From there, it’s a 15 minute walk to the centre of Bath.  Along the way, you’ll travel across two magnificent aqueducts and pass through 10 locks.  There’s a choice of canalside pubs to visit, including the Barge Inn at Seend and the Cross Guns at Avoncliff.

4. Cruise to Coventry to visit the Cathedral

From our narrowboat hire base at Braunston, it takes 12 hours to reach Coventry Basin, The route travels along 28 miles of mostly rural waterways and passes through just four locks.  The journey takes boaters along sections of the North Oxford and Coventry canals.  It passes a series of towns and villages with canalside pubs, including the Royal Oak at Hillmorton and the Greyhound Inn at Hawkesbury Junction.

5. Glide across the UNESCO World Heritage Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

On a short break from our base at Trevor in North Wales, you can cruise along the Llangollen Canal to the beautiful Shropshire town of Ellesmere.  Along the way, you’ll travel across the UNESCO World Heritage Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.  This enormous structure carries the canal 38 metres high above the Dee Valley, supported by 19 vast stone pillars.  Once in Ellesmere, you can moor up and spend time exploring the Mere with its Victorian gardens, woodland paths and historic castle.  The journey to Ellesmere and back takes around 14 hours and passes through four locks (two each way).

6. Navigate to Market Drayton, home of the gingerbread man

On a week’s break from our base on the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal at Gailey, you can travel to the historic market town of Market Drayton.  The route takes you through the pretty village of Brewood with a choice of pubs.  It also passes Belvide Reservoir and through a series of deep wooded cuttings.  At Market Drayton there’s a Wednesday market and choice of places to eat, many offering the town’s famous gingerbread.  References to people making gingerbread in Market Drayton date back to the late 1700’s.  The journey to Market Drayton and back cruises 68 miles, passes through 14 locks and takes around 30 hours.