day boats for hire at union wharf

Day boats for hire

We are lucky enough to have four day boats for hire at Union Wharf marina, which is brilliant news for those wanting to try things out before committing to a holiday narrowboat. These are bona fide narrowboats, identical in almost all ways to a long canal boat. You will need to use all the same skills to drive one and get to experience the tranquility of the waterways while you do so. How day boats Read more…

honeymoon or minimoon special occasion canal boat

Special occasions

The Boutique Narrowboats are often booked for all sorts of special occasions – anniversary surprises, birthday weekends and even the odd minimoon. How lovely! What better way to celebrate a special occasion, than with a gentle adventure learning new skills together and enjoying luxury on the English waterways? Planning a loved-one’s special birthday or anniversary gift needs a thoughtful touch and it can be hard to dream up a trip that you will both enjoy. Read more…

A posh posh posh narrowboat or canal boat hire

Canal boat hire

Canal boat hire is increasingly popular with a younger age group. In the last few years, we’ve noticed more and more couples under 40 who are interested in learning how to drive a narrowboat and take an adventure together. And this is great for the waterways. Not so long ago the canals were associated with an older demographic and of course this is completely understandable. Generally, canal boat hire can be a slow-paced holiday which Read more…

Boutique Narrowboat for hire Kathleen May barge holidays

Barge holidays

Barge holidays are one of Britain’s most loveliest staycations. Unlimited wildlife, shared experiences, waterside pubs. But purists will insist these are narrowboats, not barges. What is the difference between a narrowboat and a barge holiday? Narrowboats are uniquely British. They were designed to navigate the canal networks of England, Wales and Scotland during the 18th and 19th centuries, to help transport goods during the Industrial Revolution. And in real terms they haven’t changed very much Read more…

The latest of the Boutique Boats

Our latest Boutique Narrowboat for hire is currently being created and we are working towards getting it ready to welcome guests in 2022. At the moment, it is still in the design and fit out stage. We have welcomed your feedback on all our hire boats over the years and this boat will be a combination of many of the “best bits” of our small fleet. We have named it after a butterfly – Marbled Read more…

A couples getaway weekend

Couples weekend getaway

Couple’s weekend getaway Making time for just the two of you is essential to every relationship, whether it be a date night at a restaurant, a trip to the cinema or a couple’s weekend getaway. It seems to be in our nature to often get carried away with the chaos of everyday life. So much so, that we sometimes forget to find the time to spend a little bit of quality time together. Our Boutique Read more…

Arriving on public transport to collect your boat at Union Wharf

Arriving on public transport

Arriving on public transport Finding your way around an unfamiliar area can be a little daunting, especially when you are arriving on public transport. We hope the following information will make it as easy as possible for you. Boutique Narrowboats is located at Union Wharf in Market Harborough, which is about a 10 – 15 minute walk from the historic town centre and under two miles from the Market Harborough train station. Arriving by train Read more…

day boat gift voucher

Christmas day boat voucher

Christmas day boat vouchers are now available for our Boutique Electric day boat, Water Vole. They come in denominations of £150 and £200 and can also be redeemed against any of our other boats if preferred. Just get in touch if you would like a voucher of a particular amount and we will create one for you. The vouchers are emailed to you or the recipient as you wish (not sent by post). You can Read more…

Foxton Locks

Foxton Locks

Foxton Locks in the heart of Leicestershire attracts over 4000 boaters each year and is considered one of the most extraordinary heritage sites in the country. A flight of ten locks comprises the longest staircase of the English canals and whilst the feat of engineering is not in doubt, to a novice narrowboater it can be a little daunting. On a busy day, up to 40 boats can make it up and down the flight; Read more…

A little bit of wood goes a long way

Narrowboat interior: What’s with all the wood?

It strikes me every time I open a canal boating magazine and see a “modern” narrowboat interior: What’s with all the wood? It’s been well over half a century since the narrowboat leisure industry emerged and nowadays the varnish is lighter, the wood more polished. But it’s still a lot of wood. What would happen if you let the wood breathe? Gave it a little space? Could you play with paint? Or some lovely natural Read more…