Narrow Boat Holiday Hire


Most narrow boat owners started their initial experience with the canal and river network on one of the many UK narrowboating holidays available across the UK. So what makes a good narrow boat hire company, and where should you cruise?

Try to look beyond the glossy brochure provided by the narrow boat hire company, and attempt (where you can) to visit their boat hire centre to see the boats for yourself. What comes across as a clean and tidy boat on paper can look very different in the flesh. If possible, speak to someone who has first hand knowledge of the boat hire company, perhaps someone who has hired a boat from them in the past.

Once you have made your choice and booked your canal holiday, see if the boat hire company has an instructional DVD or guide to how the canal system works. More and more hire companies now offer this facility, and it adds to the excitement of your canal holiday to see just what you’ve let yourself in for!

A good narrow boat hire company will, at the very least, offer some training to a new crew, before you get to take the narrow boat out for the first time. Listen carefully as the instructions are for your own safety. Some of the very best boat hire companies will even send a member of staff out with you to assist in negotiating your first canal lock etc.

Above all – enjoy your narrow boat holiday and remember to take your time as you cruise around. Don’t set yourself unrealistic targets of where you can cruise in a set period or you will miss out on one of the best aspects of a canal holiday. The chance to slow down your pace of life…

5 thoughts on “Narrow Boat Holiday Hire

  1. Linda Andrews

    Cheshire Cat Narrowboat Holidays, based at Overwater Marina near Audlem on the Shropshire Union Canal, welcomes beginners and always offers really good tuition from RYA qualified staff, and assistance at the first couple of locks

    • Colin Post author

      Hi Hazel – in answer to your question, there are a few narrowboat hire companies in the Bath area (or within very close reach) – As for recommending… We pride ourselves on being completely independent and as a result, don’t endorse any specific company. You could try Bath Narrowboats, Sally Narrowboats in nearby Bradford on Avon or even Anglo Welsh who have a base in Bath. If anyone reader has any first hand experience of any of these companies – I’d be happy to publish their comments – and I can usually tell if they are genuine….

      • mick grieves

        Hi we have tried 3 boat companies on the kennet avon
        sally boat hire, they are a very professional outfit, good training before take over, boats are not brand new but .good
        Bath canal boat hire, these are wide beam boats, john who runs them is very good and easy going, boats are brilliant, wide beam gives you more space.
        Then there is foxhangers they are brilliant, boats are excellent

  2. Hester

    Star Narrowboat Holidays are almost unique in that they offer loads of flexibility for hire start and end dates and duration of holidays. If you are new to narrowboat holidays you might like to try a 2 night hire.


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