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Archive for canal holidays

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.

May 31, 2018

Loveboats: self-steer UK cruises just for two!

Waterways Holidays, the one-stop-online-shop for holidays on Britain’s inland waterways, is highlighting canal boats just for two: perfect for a romantic break or even a honeymoon with a difference!

In the country, a tranquil towpath mooring is easy to find, while canals also run through the heart of elegant towns like Bath, Stratford, Oxford and Chester.

“We have a great choice of boats suited for a couple looking to enjoy quality time in the country or city, with stunning scenery or historic sights, canal-side pubs and romantic walks,” says Nigel Richards, managing director of Waterways Holidays.

Couple-friendly boats available from Waterways Holidays include:

  • Casanova is aptly named! The 45-feet long boat has a romantic cabin with TV and luxurious king-sized bed, plus a welcome pack including wine and the option to have a supermarket shop delivered in advance. Based at Nantwich on the Middlewich arm of the Shropshire Union canal, there is a choice of cruising routes, with three-night weekends from £1007.
  • Bath2, based at pretty Bradford-on-Avon, an easy cruise from Georgian Bath. This 47-feet boat is cosy with double bed, two armchairs and folding table and chairs for indoor or outdoor dining. Three-night weekends start at £519.
  • Cheviot is a very traditional boat: colourful paintwork, a multi-fuel stove and a comfy sofa that pulls out to create the double bed, and a covered bow for indoor/outdoor living. This tiny boat – only 35 feet – based at Braunston on the Warwickshire/Northants border offers a classic, budget option with weekends from only £645.
  • Oxford is based at Sowerby Bridge in the heart of the Pennines. Honeymooners are welcomed with a bottle of champagne, and this comfy 42-feet long boat has a double bed and plenty of space, with armchairs in the saloon and a bath (with shower over) in the bathroom. Three nights’ hire starts at £685.

In all cases above, hire charges are fully-inclusive of damage waiver, fuel, use of buoyancy aids, initial tuition and car parking while cruising.

“A boating holiday makes an ideal romantic getaway. We’re also increasingly helping customers plan and book their perfect honeymoon, and with many boats being pet friendly, your four legged best friend is welcome too,” says Nigel.


01252 339023,

March 28, 2018

New Narrowboats to Hire through Waterways Holidays

Waterways Holidays, the one-stop-online-shop for booking holidays on Britain’s inland waterways, will be offering as many as 12 brand-new boats for summer 2018, with the first completed boat launching in time for Easter.

Lily is a 66-feet long narrowboat that combines modern comforts with heritage features. She is based at Trevor on the beautiful Llangollen Canal in north Wales, and sleeps four people.

The exterior features traditional paintwork, portholes as well as modern windows, hatches next to the dining table for ‘open air’ eating and a traditional ‘cratch’ (removable awning) over the fore deck for a sheltered seating area.

Inside, two shower rooms and two wcs mean the two sleeping areas are virtually ensuite (there’s a fixed double bed and another cabin area which may be used either as a double or two singles). Radiators provide central heating and a cosy solid fuel stove adds a focal point in the saloon.

LED ceiling lights make it bright, but Victorian-style wall-lights add atmosphere. The galley kitchen features a Belfast sink and Victorian style taps, but also boasts a modern gas hob, oven and grill, fridge, microwave and everything needed to self-cater. Other features include WiFi and flat-screen TV/DVD.

Lily is pet-friendly, with the first one free of charge, and a second welcome at a small supplement. Bedding, linen, towels and buoyancy aids are all included in the hire price, as is car parking while you cruise and initial tuition.

Budget for a £50 damage waiver fee (to cover accidental damage to the boat) to hire charges that start from £740 for a three night break, and from £1060 for a week. Pay for fuel as used.

From her base at Trevor guests can explore the Vale of Llangollen on a cruise that could include the famous ‘stream in the sky’ otherwise known as the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.

01252 339023,

Prices and availability correct at date of issue.

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.  The website offers advice on boating holidays as well as featuring listings of the latest special offers.

December 12, 2016

Narrowboat Holidays: the fastest-growing trend in UK Travel!

The UK’s leading boating holidays booking agency, Waterways Holidays, is forecasting a boom year for 2017 narrowboat holidays.

“We have had three fantastic seasons,” says managing director Nigel Richards, “with increases of +20%, +15% and +22% for summer 2014, 2015 and 2016 and early sales for 2017 are excellent.”

“Not only are volumes growing, but it is clear that more people are enjoying the canals as their main holiday, with a trend away from short breaks towards rental periods of seven, 10, 11 and 14 nights,” says Nigel.

What is behind this boom in canal holidays?  Waterways Holidays puts this new trend down to three main reasons.

  1. TV coverage. The most popular being the ‘Great Canal Journeys’ undertaken by Timothy West and Prunella Scales, which first aired in spring 2014 and is still going strong. John Sergeant’s ‘Barging Round Britain’ and ‘Canals: the Making of a Nation’ have also shone a spotlight on the UK’s 3,500 kilometres of navigable canals.
  1. The fall in sterling, which is good news for all ‘domestic’ holidays. Waterways Holidays points out that a narrowboat is a great value three-in-one package. It is a floating holiday home well-equipped for self-catering; it is your mode of transport gliding quietly through the countryside; it is a holiday with free activities thrown in: locks and swing bridges to open, towpaths to jog and canal-side sights to enjoy. Many boats are also pet-friendly at no extra cost.
  1. Canals are seen as both safe (away from airports, big cities and resorts) and authentic (relaxing, close to nature, friendly).

“With a top speed of four miles an hour, cruising Britain’s waterways is one of the most relaxing holidays there is,” says Nigel.

“And with more than 80 start points across the UK, a narrowboat holiday is within easy reach of home, whether travelling by car – in which case the boatyard provides free parking while you’re away – or train”

UK holidaymakers are not the only people discovering the joys of Britain’s canals. Bookings from overseas visitors – especially from North America, Australasia and the Netherlands – are already up by 15% for 2017, another sterling slide effect.

Nigel Richards says all this means that Britain’s canal holidays are set to boom for 2017.

“Boatyards are obviously feeling confident about 2017 business, with a three-fold increase in new boat builds this winter,” says Nigel.

“And narrowboats are getting better in every way. Not just in terms of 21st century convenience like full central heating, WiFi or extra shower rooms with rainforest showers, or even multiple shower heads, but in terms of lifestyle with attractive interiors, multi-fuel stoves and mood lighting,” he adds.

Narrowboats are also being built with more eco-friendly features, from ‘low-wash’ hulls and fuel-efficient engines to solar panels. Boats with hybrid diesel/electric engines and even fully electric propulsion systems are also being introduced.

SAMPLE PRICE: A 2017 narrowboat holiday for four to six people starts at just £815 for a week’s hire.

Hire charges typically include a full tank of fuel, tuition, loan of buoyancy aids, bed linen, towels and car parking at base while away.

Waterways Holidays, 01252 339023,


December 12, 2016

New Narrowboats for 2017

With holidays on Britain’s canals continuing to grow in popularity, Waterways Holidays is delighted to have more narrowboats for hire in 2017.

“We are seeing a three-fold increase in the number of brand-new boats being built this winter for the 2017 hire season,” says Waterways Holidays’ managing director Nigel Richards. “This is great news for boating holidays, as we are forecasting another boom.”

Typical of the quality of new boats being built is ‘Blackdown 6’, available to hire from Braunston in the heart of England where the magnificent Grand Union Canal and the Oxford Canal meet. In its green, red and gold livery with ‘roses and castles’ artwork, it will look traditional from the outside, but inside will offer modern accommodation with flexible single or double berths to sleep up to six people.

There will be central heating, two shower rooms/wcs and a well-equipped galley kitchen with fridge, oven, hob and microwave, plus a ‘saloon’ for relaxing in the evening and gadgets ranging from TV/DVD and radio/CD players to a hairdryer and charging point (eg for mobile phones) as well as free WiFi.

The family dog is welcome free of charge, buoyancy aids are provided, as is initial tuition so that novices can set off with confidence (leaving their car at base with no parking fees to worry about).

‘Blackdown 6’ comes into service at Easter, and is available to hire for both short breaks and longer holidays.  A weeks’ rental in peak season costs £1755 if booked by 31 December, or just under £295 per person for a holiday that combines accommodation, travel and active sightseeing into one great-value package.

Waterways Holidays: 01252 339023,





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