Boutique Narrowboat build completed

Testimonial for a Boutique Narrowboat build

This testimonial for a Boutique Narrowboat build has brought genuine tears to our eyes. We’ve worked so hard on creating the perfect boat for our clients. We couldn’t be happier at the result, and most importantly, we are absolutely delighted that that Jane, Richard and Rufus are happy too! You can read more about the design and build process in this journal entry. Read on to find out why we shed a few tears this Read more…

Skippered Boat Party Trips from Union Wharf in Market Harborough

Skippered boat party trips

It’s now possible to book skippered boat party trips from Union Wharf marina. This means that your party can hire a small narrowboat complete with a skipper or captain. None of your party has to worry about taking responsibility for the driving, and everyone can join in with the celebrations. A skippered boat trip uses the same little narrowboats as our self-cruise day hire, but with the addition of someone to drive the boat. It Read more…

Narrowboat built for private clients by Boutique Narrowboats

Narrowboat built for private clients

This week we waved off the latest Boutique Narrowboat built for private clients. Swallow is 53 foot of loveliness, every inch of it designed with our clients in mind. Here’s what was involved. First design meeting Our clients asked to meet with us a couple of years ago, after seeing the standard of our hire boats on the internet and social media. They are experienced narrowboaters and have holidayed throughout their adult life. They had Read more…

best canal boat holiday for beginners with training on a boat

The best canal boat holidays for beginners

The best canal boat holidays for beginners start with a gentle introduction. It can be daunting to consider driving a long barge or narrowboat, so it is a good idea to do a little light homework before you arrive, followed by some practical training. Training for canal boat beginners If you are a canal boat novice, these are the steps we take to ensure you feel confident on your holiday or day trip. 1. Online Read more…

Painted cabin sides on Chalkhill Blue for hire with Boutique Narrowboats

Narrowboat interior trends 2024

Narrowboat interior trends are no different from any other design hot lists. Our shopping choices are heavily influenced by what’s in fashion on the catwalk as well as in interiors. Fashions may come and go, but as a boat interior designer, I also have to take the marine environment into account. Extremes of temperature and weather play havoc with timber and textiles. Add to that the unusual room dimensions on a boat, and you’ll see Read more…

Logo British travel awards silver winner Boutique Narrowboats

National award for narrowboat holidays

We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded silver in a national award for UK short breaks. The British Travel Awards are given to all kinds of companies in the hospitality industry every year. They are voted for by the public, which makes our own award even more special. We owe such a huge thank you to all our past, present and future guests who took the time to cast their vote. Boutique Read more…

narrowboat dinette boutique narrowboat drawing

Narrowboat dinettes and their alternatives

Many boat owners and builders consider narrowboat dinettes to be essential part of the interior design. Most hire boats have one (or two) in order to maximise the number of berths. Before, say, 2020, boatbuilders also automatically installed dinettes into their fit outs for private customers. But over the last two or three years, I’ve noticed a change. Certainly we have not built dinettes into our own holiday narrowboats in order to boost the contemporary Read more…

Union Wharf at night

The narrowboats at Christmas

The narrowboats at Christmas take a little snooze for a couple of weeks, giving us all time to look back at the previous year and plan ahead for the next. Amidst all the flurry and excitement of the festive period, we like to take a pause. So we invite you to join us in considering a few favourite things about 2023. Here are some of ours: Reading all about your Boutique Narrowboat holiday adventures on Read more…

narrowboat saloon seating on a boutique narrowboat

Narrowboat saloon seating

Narrowboat saloon seating can be tricky. Folk see the kinds of sofas we use on our holiday boats and wonder if they can replicate the look on their own boat. But the solution to a common narrowboat problem (space vs comfort vs appearance) is not straightforward. As an interior designer of narrowboats I’m always very conscious of the fact that people need to be comfortable sitting in a room just 6’10” wide. Often the client Read more…

Inside a Boutique Narrowboat on a holiday close to home UK

Holiday close to home

If airport delays, rail strikes and the general state of world stability is putting you off trips abroad, perhaps you are considering a holiday close to home. A narrowboat holiday is certainly one way to see England from a new angle. Whether you are meandering through our rural landscapes or winding your way through the towns of our industrial past, the canals can give you a whole new perspective on this wonderful country. Up close Read more…