Narrowboat Holiday Hire - Questions and Answers
is there to do on a narrowboat hire holiday?
There are things to interest
lots of different people:
Adults and children (under supervision)
will enjoy steering the narrowboat and
operating the locks
Wonderful views and reflections for the
Plenty of opportunities to observe
wildlife at close quarters (wake up to
the quacking of ducks)
A different perspective on familiar
places (it's amazing how different
things look from the canal)
Contrasting scenes from tranquil
backwaters to the vibrant centres of
cities such as Birmingham and Nottingham
(fancy sailing under Spaghetti
Lots of examples of industrial heritage
Plenty of canalside pubs and restaurants
Who are narrowboat hire holidays suitable
Any age can enjoy a holiday on a
narrowboat. You will need at least two
adults (one to steer the boat and
another to organize opening and closing
the locks (and another adult to keep an
eye on children if they are very young)
Older children will enjoy working the
locks or sailing the boat under
supervision. People with mobility
problems would not want to get on and
off the boat too frequently but will
enjoy the passing views once on board.
Do we need any previous experience or
No. Narrowboating is not an exact science and
no-one gets it right all the time.
Very Experienced users - we normally only provide a review of the boat facilities.
Less experienced users - we generally give some free instruction as a refresher.
Complete beginners - we can provide more in-depth instruction. We will accompany you on the first part of your journey, explaining how the boat and locks are operated. It is important that we and you feel happy about your ability to handle the boat and operate locks alone. Contact us for further information.
In any case we are normally contactable to deal with any problems should they arise. Boats have a top speed of 4mph, especially at the beginning it is best to take it slowly.
There is a comprehensive manual on board so you can remind yourself about daily boat checks and how to steer etc.
It is recommended that you get an idea about what is involved before your holiday by reading The Boater's Handbook or watching The Boater's DVD - both are available from British Waterways and The Environment Agency. Copies of the book can be downloaded from www.waterscape.com and www.canalrivertrust.org.uk
will we know where to go?
There is a range of guides and maps on
board. These give information about what
to expect on the way in terms of locks
and bridges and mooring places etc. They
also give an indication of distances and
facilities on or near the canal. We can
talk through your plans with you and
help you calculate how long journeys
will take. As a rough guide boats travel
at 3-4 mph and you need to allow the
equivalent of a "mile" per lock.
Obviously at busy times you might be
slower than this and have to wait at
locks so it is as well to be flexible.
You will also probably want to spend
time exploring and enjoying the
canalside pubs and restaurants.
Where can we stop overnight?
On the canals you can stop overnight
anywhere along the towpath side without
charge. You must, however, avoid mooring
overnight within 50 metres of a lock or
other navigation landmark to allow other
boats to pass unhindered. On most other
navigations, there will be clearly
marked places where you can moor for the
night or during the day.
included in the holiday price?
We want to keep our prices as low as
possible and have, therefore, decided to
charge for fuel separately. Your boat
will have a full tank when you take it
over. You should
allow about £10 a day for fuel although
this can vary greatly depending on how
far you travel. We
have tried to think of all those little
touches which will make your holiday
more comfortable and so bedding includes
mattress and pillow covers and a throw
for each bed: towels are large; we
provide mugs as well as cups for those
who like a larger drink and the pans are
really solid to make cooking more
pleasurable. We also provide cleaning
materials and those essentials such as
foil, cling film, kitchen roll for you to
save you having to bring them. A number
of board games and books are also
provided suitable for adults and
children. Car parking is available free
of charge at the marina.
do we need to take?
Storage space on any narrowboat is
limited and so it is as well to take
soft bags. Non- slip footwear is needed
on deck and protection from both sun and
Mobile phones are useful when you're
cruising or needing help. DVD's are a
good idea in case you are in an area
where television reception is poor.
Can we bring
Well-behaved pets are welcome on board as long as they are
kept off the furniture and you provide
beddings/bowls etc. Please include on
the booking form.
Can we bring bicycles?
We are happy for you to bring bicycles
as long as you arrange this in advance
and bring mats to protect the paintwork
& any damage will be charged for.
Remember space is limited on board and
so there is unlikely to be room for more
than two bicycles.
Is fishing allowed?
Yes, fishing is permitted as long as the
boat is stationary and you have the