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Archive for Waterways Holidays

September 13, 2018

Half Term on Britain’s Canals from £507 for a Family of 6

October half-term holidays are an opportunity to try a self-catering break with a difference: a modern family-friendly narrowboat on Britain’s canals, with prices from just £507 for a Monday to Friday break for up to six people!

That’s just one of hundreds of boating holiday options available at, the one-stop shop and advice source for breaks on our inland waterways.

£507 is the hire charge for a Derwent or Medway class narrowboat for four nights starting Monday 15 October in the Heart of England (bases at Gailey and Rugby). That’s a saving of £273 on the original price.

The following week, starting Monday 22 October the same boats are £585 for a four-night break, saving £315.

These modern narrowboats have two separate cabins to sleep four in permanent berths, with convertible seating in the saloon to sleep two additional people (six in total).

Each has one full shower/wc and an additional separate wc, a sitting/dining saloon area and well-equipped kitchen. Like most narrowboats, they’re pet-friendly at no extra charge.

Hire fees include damage waiver charge, bedlinen and towels, car parking at the base while away, loan of buoyancy aids and helmsman’s waterproofs and – of course – a comprehensive hand-over with tuition so that families can set off with confidence! The only extra is fuel used during the trip: families should budget around £50 for this.

“With more than 2,000 miles of navigable canals across the UK, most people are within an hour or two’s drive of one of our start points,” says Waterways Holidays’ managing director Nigel Richards.

Waterways Holidays: 01252 339023,

September 12, 2018

Educational Breaks on Boats from Waterways Holidays

Waterways Holidays says a family weekend on a narrowboat is a living history experience for children, with waterside museums and educational attractions to visit.

“Learning how to operate locks and swing or lift bridges is part of the experience of a canal break,” says managing director Nigel Richards, “and some of the best museums in Britain are accessible from the towpath.”

The Canal and River Trust’s museum on the Grand Union Canal in the pretty village of Stoke Bruerne is an obvious choice. There’s a re-creation of a boat-builder’s workshop, working models of narrowboats, films bringing early C20th canals to life and craft displays. Open daily until November and weekends until Christmas. Family ticket £12. A weekend’s hire of ‘Gull’ from Gayton costs from £680 plus fuel.

In the north-west, the Anderton Boat Lift is a fantastic example of engineering, lifting boats from the Trent and Mersey Canal to the River Weaver 50 feet above (visitor centre free). Families can also discover the history of salt-making with a visit to the Lion Salt Works near Northwich, which has direct access from the towpath. Closed Mondays. Family ticket from £14.60.  A weekend’s hire of ‘Princess 4’ from Acton Bridge costs from £560 plus fuel this autumn.

Birmingham’s Gas Street canal basin is a great base for visiting family-friendly educational attractions including the National Sea Life Centre beside the canal (tickets from £13) and, only 10 minutes’ walk away, the city’s Museum and Art Gallery (free) where the Staffordshire Hoard is on display: the largest Anglo-Saxon treasure ever found. A weekend’s hire of ‘Thrush’ from Alvechurch costs from £552 plus fuel.

Other educational canal-side visits include the Falkirk Wheel in Scotland, Standedge Tunnel and Visitor Centre in West Yorkshire and the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Visitor Centre.

Quoted prices are based on a three-night weekend hire of a modern narrowboat sleeping four to six people.

Waterways Holidays: 01252 339023,


September 3, 2018

September Canal Breaks Discounted by up to £445

Waterways Holidays, the one-stop shop for advice on, and booking of holidays on Britain’s inland waterways, has a host of offers for narrowboat hire in September and October with savings of up to £455 on a week’s hire.

That’s on Gull Class and Thrush Class narrowboats based at half a dozen different start points around the country. Each modern boat is about 66-feet long and can sleep up to six people, with two showers and wcs. The boats have a flexible mix of double and single berths, so that they are equally welcoming for couples, friends or families.

For example, Glaucous Gull is based at Anderton on the Trent and Mersey Canal close to Northwich in Cheshire. This is a great place to watch the fabulous work of engineering known as the Anderton Boat Lift, built in 1875 to transfer boats onto the River Weaver. Cruising options from here include the Trent and Mersey Canal and the Bridgwater Canal. A week’s hire starting 29 September is now £845 for six people, saving £455 on the original price.

The boat has everything needed for self-catering: a well-equipped galley kitchen, bed-linen and towels and a welcome pack. Buoyancy aids are provided, as is car parking at the base during the holiday, and damage waiver charge. The boat is pet-friendly too, with the first pet free and subsequent pets at £30 each. A detailed handover session means hirers can set off with confidence. Just pay for fuel as used during the week.

Similar boats in this promotion are based at Gayton on the Grand Union Canal, Worcester on the Worcester and Birmingham Canal, Falkirk in Scotland, Gailey in Staffordshire and Hilperton on the Kennet and Avon Canal.

As well as seven-night hires, selected midweek breaks and three-night weekends on these boats are also discounted, with prices from £552, saving £298 on a weekend.

Waterways Holidays: 01252 339023,

Price and availability correct at date of issue: terms and conditions apply.

August 9, 2018

Bank Holiday Weekends afloat with Waterways Holidays

The long hot summer means bumper bookings for Waterways Holidays, the UK’s one-stop shop for boating holidays on Britain’s canals, rivers and the Norfolk Broads, but the company still has some great-value breaks for August Bank Holiday weekend.

On the canals, a narrowboat sleeping a family of four costs as little as £609 for a three-night hire period from Friday 24 August. That’s for the 50-feet long Sir Cador, a four-star boat based at Brewood on the Shropshire Union Canal.

The boat has a double and a twin cabin, everything needed for self-catering and it is pet-friendly at no extra charge. The handover session includes tuition, and buoyancy aids are included, as is damage waiver and fuel.

On the Norfolk Broads, Sonata 4 is a 25-feet modern motor cruiser which sleeps two in comfort, with a sundeck and cleverly-designed interior to provide kitchen and shower/wc facilities.

Three nights’ hire of Sonata 4 starting Friday 24 August is £480 to include bedding and linen, gas, a welcome pack, initial tuition and the loan of buoyancy aids (excludes damage waiver and fuel).

Alternatively, for a weekend on the Broads under sail, try Javelin 3, a modern Bermudan-rigged yacht based at Martham on the Broads. She can sleep up to four and comes complete with galley kitchen, wc, sleeping bags and fuel (excludes damage waiver). Bank holiday weekend hire is £397.

Waterways Holidays: 01252 339023,  

Price and availability correct at date of issue: terms and conditions apply.

July 25, 2018

A Boat on the Broads is the Perfect Staycation says Waterways Holidays

The Norfolk Broads – part of the National Park family – is within three hours’ drive of London, and with 125 miles of safe, lock-free open water to discover, it’s the perfect holiday destination this summer, according to boating holidays specialist Waterways Holidays.

“We offer nine start points across the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads,” says managing director Nigel Richards, “and more than 300 boats, both motor cruisers and sailing yachts.”

August prices start at just £965 for a week’s hire of a four-berth motor cruiser.

Motor cruisers are the most popular option, with larger boats having the space for shower rooms and double cabins. “We talk people through the benefits of different types of boats,” says Richards.

“There is something to suit every budget and party size, from easy-to-access forward-steering cruisers with few internal steps, to eco-friendly electric boats.”

Sailing yachts are also available, not only to competent sailors but – after some RYA-approved instruction – to novices. To cruise the Broads under sail is an experience unique to Norfolk.

Sailboats available range from modern models with back-up diesel engine, wc/shower and heating, to classic wooden cabin yachts including ‘Zoe’, first launched in 1896 and the only Victorian counter sterned yacht on the Broads available to hire.

Waterways Holidays list natural beauty, wildlife, fresh air, heritage and fun as the five main attractions of exploring the Broads by boat. Here is their top five things to do on or close to the water.

  1. The Broads Wildlife Centre at Ranworth Broad. This floating, thatched visitor centre is reached by boat or on foot. There’s a host of things to learn and to do, with boardwalks through reedbed and woodland habitats, and guided boat trips.
  2. Museum of the Broads. This volunteer-run museum at Stalham Staithe is packed with exhibits that tell the story of this amazing man-made water-scape.
  3. Bewilderwood. A must for those with young children, this woodland attraction includes tree-top walks, a maze, dens to build, storytelling and fantasy-style fun.
  4. Wroxham Barns. A short bus ride from Roy’s Stores in Wroxham to this award-winning craft centre with tea room, great shopping and kids’ activities.
  5. St Benet’s Abbey. In the care of Norfolk Archaeological Trust, little now remains of the area’s largest monastery. Arrive by boat, like the monks did in the 12th century and enjoy this beautiful ruin by the River Bure.

Boat and Price examples

Jazz is a four-berth motor cruiser, with a week’s hire in August from £965. There is a front sundeck, indoor and outdoor steering positions, heating, TV/DVD/Radio/CD player, a well-equipped galley kitchen, shower room with wc and basin.

Whisper Emblem is a 36-feet luxury four-berth cruiser which has a quiet electric motor, eco-wash hull and solar panels, making it one of the most eco-friendly boats on the Broads. It also has two showers/wcs and heating. From £1192 for a week’s peak season hire.

Tornado is a 27-feet long Bermuda-rigged modern sailing yacht with heating, wc and basin (public showers are available at many points around the Broads). Sailing instruction is available from £25 per hour. A week’s hire in August costs £850.

Zoe is a Gaff-rigged yacht ideal for a couple with previous sailing experience. Built in 1896, she now has a diesel engine and wc/basin to add to her traditional charms. Seven nights’ hire in August from just £571.

In almost all instances, Broads boat hire includes damage waiver, bed linen, loan of buoyancy aids and initial instruction at handover. Waterways Holidays will advise as to any other extras, eg fuel or car parking charges.

Waterways Holidays: 01252 339023,




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