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Archive for Waterways Holidays

February 11, 2019

Make the most of Easter/May Bank Holidays with a BIG Canal Cruise!

The late Easter followed by the May Day Bank Holiday means a fourteen or seventeen-night holiday requires as few as nine days’ annual leave AND allows travellers to discover one of Britain’s unique canal ‘Rings’.

“The Rings combine different canals and rivers to make a circular route that offers an ever-changing landscape,” explains Nigel Richards, managing director of the UK’s premier boating holidays company Waterways Holidays.

“We can arrange 17-night holidays starting Good Friday 19 April which end on 6 May and include three Bank Holidays, taking up just nine days of holiday entitlement,” says Nigel, “while 14-night hires starting Easter Saturday also make for a great Spring holiday.”

The company’s top three Canal Rings are:

Avon Ring – A Ring of two halves: not only canals but the Rivers Avon and Severn. Two weeks allows time to discover the cathedral city of Worcester, historic Tewkesbury and Shakespeare’s Stratford as well as the orchards of the Vale of Evesham. Some of the route is lock-free, though the Tardebigge Flight is an energetic 36 lock ‘staircase’. A four-berth narrowboat such as ‘Teddington’ may be hired from Wootton Wawen: 17 nights’ hire in this period is £2210, plus fuel.

Leicester Ring – A varied waterscape of narrow and wide canals and rivers including the mighty Grand Union Canal. See Richard III’s tomb in Leicester Cathedral, visit Rugby and Burton-on-Trent. Exciting canal features include Foxton Locks, aqueducts over the Dove River and Braunston Tunnel. For two families or a group of friends, the eight-berth ‘Wenlock 8’ is based at Braunston: 17 nights hire is £2966, including the first tank of diesel.

South Pennine Ring – The rugged Pennine hills offer wonderful views, former mill towns like Hebden Bridge and Todmorden contrast with the big city buzz of Manchester. This is an energetic route with lots of locks plus the world’s longest canal tunnel, the Standedge Tunnel, where boats are towed in convoy! A two-berth boat like ‘Oxford’ based at Sowerby Bridge is £2089 for 17 nights’ hire to include the first tank of fuel.

All prices/availability correct at date of issue.


Waterways Holidays: 01252 339023,


January 16, 2019

Waterways Holidays to offer Dutch Canals & Rivers for first time

Better-known for boating holidays in the UK, Waterways Holidays is adding The Netherlands to its overseas programme for 2019.

The company has chosen to partner with a base in the heart of Holland, at Kerkdriel on the River Maas (also called the Meuse), which offers a wide range of cruising routes, including north to Amsterdam and south to Maastricht.

“We are delighted to offer boating holidays in The Netherlands, as well as hire in France and Portugal,” says managing director Nigel Richards. “Say ‘Holland’ and you immediately think of canals; these connect with Holland’s river network to offer outstanding cruising options, and compared to Britain’s canals, Holland’s low-lying waterways have few locks, and the characteristic ‘drawbridges’ are fun to operate.”

Waterways Holidays is offering seven-night hires on modern four- and five-star cabin cruisers in different sizes to suit couples, families and groups of friends.

The company can suggest interesting routes taking in historic towns such Gorinchem, Gouda and Willemstad, as well as exciting Amsterdam. To the south, destinations include Den Bosch (also known as Bois le Duc) and Maastricht, which may be reached on a two-week holiday.

As well as sightseeing, the extensive waterways offer inland beaches, nature reserves and wetlands to discover. Wild swimming, fishing, riverside walks and bike rides are all options during a summer holiday.

No previous boating experience is needed: all guests receive a thorough introduction to their cruiser before setting off from the Kerkdriel base, which is set on an attractive marina with good facilities, including restaurants.

All boats are beautifully-presented with smart interiors, panoramic windows, a rear terrace with table and chairs for outdoor meals, a ladder for easy swimming from the boat (and a deck shower), additional seating on the top deck, indoor and outdoor steering positions, plus warm air heating, a cleverly-designed galley kitchen and electric shower(s) and toilet(s).

All hires include a thorough induction, all fuel used during the holiday, bed linen and towels, two bicycles for holiday use and a map of the country’s waterways.

Car parking at base for those driving to Holland, WiFi, additional bicycles and a portable BBQ are all optional extras. Pets are also welcome at additional charge (ie dogs with a Pet Passport).


A week’s hire in April of a ‘Duo’ cruiser with double bed, making it ideal for a couple (with potential for +2 children on convertible seating in the saloon), starts at £1334, saving £282 with Waterways Holidays’ January Flash Sale (which ends 27 January).

For families or friends on holiday together, a 13.5 metre ‘Sixto’ provides three cabins to sleep six people in comfort, with two shower/wcs and the potential for two additional guests on convertible seating. A week’s hire in summer peak is £3482, saving £717 if booked before 27 January.

Waterways Holidays: 01252 339023,


Release written and distributed by Beacon PR: 01572 748 800

Waterways Holidays’ spokesman is managing director Nigel Richards: 01252 796400 offers live availability on more than 1800 narrowboats, cruisers and sailing yachts operated by the UK’s leading boat operators and with more than 80 different start locations.

Boating holidays in Holland, Portugal and France are available.

The website (and office team) offers advice on boating holidays as well as featuring listings of the latest special offers.

November 13, 2018

Save up to 25% on 2019 Canal Holidays: Waterways Holidays

Waterways Holidays has put 2019 canal holidays on sale with a variety of Early Booking Offers saving up to £549 on a family holiday next summer.

As an example, for bookings made by 30 November, a week’s hire of Duck Class narrowboats at locations around the UK are discounted by 25% for July and August holidays, and by 20% for all other dates.

As an example, ‘Tufted Duck’ is a beautiful boat based at Reedly in Lancashire, sleeping four to six people. A week in the Easter holidays starting 12 April costs £1120, saving £279, with a peak August week reduced to £1650, saving £549.

Flexible double/singe berths make ‘Tufted Duck’ an ideal boat for families and the modern fit-out includes two shower/wcs as well as a smart galley kitchen and good-sized ‘saloon’ or living area. The hire price includes bed linen and towels, damage waiver fee, car parking at base, loan of buoyancy aids and initial tuition. Take a pet for free and pay for fuel as used. Based on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, cruising routes include Skipton and the Yorkshire Dales in one direction, or through Lancashire to Wigan.

Other current Early Booking Offers include 20% off all hire – both full week and short breaks when booked by 31 December – of Raki Raki, a 69-feet long boat based at Poynton in Cheshire. Perfect for large parties or even two families, she has three permanent cabins to sleep eight, with +2 on convertible seating. An Easter holiday break starting 12 April 2019 is reduced to £1408, saving £352, and a peak August week is reduced to £1891, saving £472. Raki Raki hire is fully-inclusive.

Waterways Holidays: 01252 339023,


October 25, 2018

Cosy on The Cut: Canal Breaks with Waterways Holidays

Britain’s canals have had a busy summer – the best-ever for narrowboat hire according to Waterways Holidays – but The Cut* is open all year and so are many boat bases across the country.

“Year-round hire boats have modern radiators and central heating,” says Waterways Holidays managing director Nigel Richards, “and quite a few also have a little stove in the seating area – the saloon – which is a cosy focal point on autumn and winter evenings.”

For example, ‘Bridie Bear’ is a welcoming narrowboat based at Riley Green on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in Lancashire. She’s 57-feet long and well-equipped for two couples or a family of four. As well as central heating and a log-burning stove in the spacious saloon, guests also find a welcome hamper of local and Fair Trade produce.

Pet friendly at no extra cost, three or four-night November breaks on Bridie Bear cost from just £441 to include fuel, bed linen, loan of buoyancy aids, car parking at base and initial tuition. A refundable security deposit is required.

At pretty Bradford on Avon, with the city of Bath to the west, and the Kennet and Avon canal to the east, ‘Simone’ is newly refitted for 2018 and equipped with the best of old and new: a wood-burning stove as well as central heating, a clever galley kitchen with hob, oven and microwave, plus a smart shower/wc. The boat sleeps two or, using convertible seating in the saloon, four. November short breaks start at £695 plus damage waiver.

And for a couple looking to step back in time to the heyday of The Cut, Hector, based at Harborough Magna, is entirely heated by its old-style stove (no radiators) with a little side-oven perfect for baking potatoes, and hot plate for making hot drinks. There’s a modern oven and hob too! From £464 per couple for short breaks in November.

See November availability for hire boats with cosy stoves here:

Waterways Holidays: 01252 339023,

* The Cut is an alternative name for a canal because it was literally cut into the landscape by labourers.


October 14, 2018

Save up to 40% on October Canal Boat Hire

Waterways Holidays, the one-stop advice centre and booking site for holidays on Britain’s inland waterways, has a host of offers on October hire, with reductions of up to 40 per cent.

The largest savings are on boats starting from Pershore on the River Avon, where modern four-star narrowboats with impressive names like ‘Omniscient’, ‘Ostentatious’ and ‘Ubiquitous’ are discounted for weekend and midweek breaks as well as full week hire – including half term. For example:

Hire ‘Ostentatious’ for seven nights starting 20 October and pay just £750, saving £500 on the original price! This 52-feet long narrowboat can sleep up to six, and has central heating, a clever galley kitchen, shower, wc and all mod cons for a self-catering holiday afloat. It is pet friendly too, at no extra charge. Everything is included in the hire price, even fuel, though hirers are asked for a damage waiver deposit.

Other options include three nights on ‘Quintessence’ (sleeps up to eight) starting 20 October for £591, saving £394, and a four-night break starting 16 October on ‘Omniscient’ which is now reduced to £438, saving £292.

From Pershore, the River Avon winds through beautiful Worcestershire countryside, including the orchards of the vale of Evesham and limestone villages, to Shakespeare’s Stratford, while to the south lies historic Tewkesbury’s lovely abbey.

In Cheshire, the majority of boats based at Anderton on the Trent & Mersey Canal are now reduced by 35 per cent throughout October, with savings of up to £560 on a full week. That’s on seven nights’ hire of ‘Booted Eagle’ starting 22 October, now reduced to £1040 for the whole family.

Other breaks from Anderton include four nights’ hire of ‘Tufted Duck’ starting 8 or 15 October at £552, saving £297, and three nights’ hire of ‘Reed Bunting’ on 26 October now just £422, saving £227.  Anderton is a brilliant starting point for visiting pretty Lymm and the Lion Salt Works in historic Northwich.

Other October discounts apply to boats based at Sowerby Bridge in the Pennines, and on the lovely Kennet & Avon canal in Wiltshire.

Waterways Holidays: 01252 339023,




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