Britain by boat

Mark and David's verdict
Renting a narrowboat is one of the most relaxing ways to enjoy the British countryside. There's a vast network of scenic canals that criss-cross the UK and you can putter along, soaking up the scenery. Wherever you go - for a weekend break or a summer holiday - you are rarely far from a waterside pub.

Recommended tour operator: Black Prince Holidays

Black Prince Holidays says

Enjoy the ultimate relaxing break exploring the UK’s canals on a self-drive boating holiday. Whether for a weekend, a midweek break, a week or longer, it’s the fastest way to slow down for all ages.

  • Huge choice of locations
  • Easy to navigate
  • Pet friendly

You don’t need to have any boating experience as full tuition is provided on arrival at your chosen marina and if you’re worried about all those lock changes, we even offer some lock-free canal boat routes, ideal for beginners.

Your canal boat holiday starts from a choice of bases in England, Wales and Scotland and you can cruise to outstanding beauty spots such as Llangollen in Wales, the Peak District or the stunning Scottish midlands. Each region has its own unique routes and highlights, whether it’s a stunning cityscape, historic aqueduct, tranquil countryside – or all three. Our circular ring routes are a great option, so you finish at the same point you started.

Our well-equipped fleet is unique to us, designed to give our customers the best possible experience on board a traditional canal boat. Our comfortable Classic Range sleep from two up to ten people whilst our newer Signature Fleet feature a few extra touches such as more worktop space, black-out blinds and bespoke mattresses. There’s a choice of lay-out options across both fleets and, in addition to various safety features, all boats have central heating, showers, macerator toilets, cookers, fridges, TV and DVD players – you’ll even find an airing cupboard.

A canal boat holiday is a great option for families – and teenagers from the age of 12 can have a go at steering (under supervision!). Most of our boats are pet friendly too so there’s plenty of room to bring your dog.

Find out more about boating on the UK’s canals and our latest special offers.

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Before you book

Travel restrictions have been lifted by the UK, but some other countries still have measures in place. Check the latest government travel advice.