Narrow boat holidays provide a floating holiday home. Cruising along at just four miles per hour, watching out for wildlife along the way, you can take all the supplies you need for an adventure afloat.
A licence isn’t required to steer a canal boat, and all our narrow boat hire operators provide boat steering tuition as part of their holiday packages.
To celebrate the approaching August bank holiday, we’ve listed our top five short break narrow boat holidays:
1. Enjoy the remote countryside of Airedale afloat
On a short break from Drifters’ canal boat rental base at Barnoldswick in Lancashire, you can cruise to Gargrave and back. There’s stunning wild and remote scenery to enjoy along the way, as well as village pubs. The journey there and back travels 16 miles, passes through 26 locks and takes around 12 hours.
2. Cruise through the Shropshire Lake District
On a mid-week break from our canal boat hire at Wrenbury Mill on the Llangollen Canal in Shropshire, you can cruise to Ellesmere in the heart of the Shropshire Lake District. The journey there and back travels 39 miles, passes through 20 locks and takes around 22 hours.
3. Navigate to Chester and back for some Roman history
On a short break from our narrow boat hire base at Bunbury on the Shropshire Union Canal in Cheshire, you can travel to the ancient City of Chester. The route takes you through beautiful unspoilt countryside. You’ll pass by the ruins of Beeston Castle and the village of Christleton along the way. The journey there and back travels 24 miles, passes through 18 locks and takes around 14 hours.
4. Explore Birmingham by canal
From our canal boat hire base at Alvechurch on the Worcestershire & Birmingham Canal near Bromsgrove, you can cruise into the centre of Birmingham. The route begins through open countryside, passing a series of rural canalside pubs. Gradually the scenery becomes more urban as you travel right into the heart of Birmingham City Centre. Moorings for visiting narrow boats are available in Gas Street Basin, close to Brindleyplace. The journey there and back travels 22 miles, and takes around 10 hours. There are no locks so it’s good route for beginners.
5. Drift through the Calder Valley
From our boat yard at Sowerby Bridge in West Yorkshire, you can travel along the leafy Calder & Hebble Navigation to the old mill town of Hebden Bridge. The journey to Hebden Bridge covers seven miles, passes through 10 locks and takes around five and a half hours. Once at Hebden, you can moor up in the centre of town to enjoy a good choice of places to eat, and hikes up to Heptonstall or Hardcastle Crags.