Canal boat holidays

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by redcard, 12 Jul 2012.

  1. redcard

    redcard Über Member

    Anyone been on one?

    What was your experience, and did you get a good deal? I'd rather go direct than use one of the many horribly designed websites

  2. Dave7

    Dave7 Guru

    Not an answer to your question but we seriously looked at them last year but they are soooooooo expensive. If you go in a larger group e.g. 8 people it can work out OK but I'm not one for sharing 1 bog with 7 others and I can't justify the cost for just the 2 of for us it's:sad:.
  3. Night Train

    Night Train Maker of Things

    Greater Manchester
    I have only used one, for a weekend break, that belonging to a friend. Very good fun. Some long narrow sections of canal need contraflow traffic lights though, especially when they include a blind bend.
    Locks can be hard work if the weather is not in your favour.
  4. Norm

    Norm Guest

    We did one about 15 years ago, me & the wife, a friend and the dog hired a, errm, I think it was 65' boat. We had a great time, we set off around 6am most days and chugged through to darkness, covering about twice the expected distance for a 1 week break.

    Three is a good number, with one on the tiller, it left two to set locks. When there were no locks around, one was doing food or drinks, one was kicking back... it sounds busy but most of the time it was complete relaxation, working very slowly or just watching the world pass by. Now the kids are of an age, we're talking of doing another.

    I'd recommend it, and I'd recommend Viking Afloat, too. Black Prince were very good but, from what I found back then, they were at the pricey but classy end of the market. Definitely worth it if you don't mind paying, as you spend a pot of time on the boats, but we were looking for cheap'n'cheerful. Things might, of course, have changed since the mid-90s.
  5. numbnuts

    numbnuts Legendary Member

    North Baddesley
    Having spent many weeks on sailing holidays/deliveries one has to be on very good turns with your fellow companions if not you'll never go again.
  6. Archie_tect

    Archie_tect De Skieven Architek... aka Penfold

    + you can go off for long bike rides and when you get back the boat will still be within sight of where you left it.
  7. Andrew_Culture

    Andrew_Culture Internet Marketing bod

    I went with my family over my 18th birthday and didn't poo for a week.
    Fubar likes this.
  8. Bexmay

    Bexmay Regular

    I live on a narrowboat and couldn't belive the prices to hire. I could get about 6 months ownership out of one week holiday hire. Its probably better to get a couple of mates together and timeshare for a few years. That way you can take it in turns to move the boat and get to more places.
    You might find some out of season bargains and its alot nicer boating then. If you go in early spring or late autumn you get the good weather and less people about so no queues for the locks etc.
    Also check the route you want to do some places are struggling with this amount of water at the moment.
  9. ufkacbln

    ufkacbln Guest

    Love them...

    We have just got back from the Kennett and Avon where we hired a tiny boat called "My Newt"... and she was!



    Superb fun and an excellent change from the bigger ones we have hired before.

    The Kennet and Avon is also a good taster as it has few locks, lots of good pubs and places to stop off.

    Diana also has a larger boat for hire as well.

    If you want details, pm me.

    Otherwise the cost can be dramatically cut with "Tesco Clubcard" points as many of the main companies accept these.... basically you pay £10 and get £30 vouchers that can be used for the hire fees.
    User13710 likes this.
  10. GrumpyGregry

    GrumpyGregry Here for rides.

    yes several times but not for a few years. Started early enough to remember when parts of the network were filled in or derelict and finished when those same parets were back in service.

    Expensive, cramped, cold (at night early morning) and great fun.
  11. Beebo

    Beebo Firm and Fruity

    Yes it is expensive, but great fun. It is basically a floating caravan, so not much privacy.

    As Norm says you need at least 3 people. 1 to drive and 2 to park moor the boat and navigate the locks. They will need to be confident in jumping from a moving boat onto the bank and back again, and strong enough to pull the ropes
  12. Andrew_Culture

    Andrew_Culture Internet Marketing bod

    Wow. that must have been a long vacation!
    Speicher and GrumpyGregry like this.
  13. Andrew_Culture

    Andrew_Culture Internet Marketing bod

    It's also worth pointing out that if your boat has slatted windows swans may well steal your custard cremes.
  14. Night Train

    Night Train Maker of Things

    Greater Manchester
    An ex of mine had a share in a boat that was being restored. The problem was that she seemed to end up doing a lot of the restoration while others kept moving the boat further away from her. Now it is done I think she has a good time with it using the car to get to the boat and a bike to get back to the car, leap frogging up and down the canal network.
  15. MrJamie

    MrJamie Oaf on a Bike

    Looked into it too, but seemed really expensive compared to alternativee/foreign holidays and British summers arent always great ;)

    I switch between seeing a relaxing boat ride on a sunny day, visiting pubs and being stuck inside a sea-caravan :crazy: with torrential rain, a stupidly slow form of transport that for some reason is pricey.
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