view from the front of Boutique Narrowboat luxury canal boat holiday

Next big thing in unusual places to stay (UK)

Are canal boats the next big thing in unusual places to stay in the UK? That big milestone birthday is looming and the hunt begins for a quirky place to stay in the UK. Or perhaps one of you remembers the date of your anniversary. Those sorts of events trigger a desire to find a particularly special bolthole; something out of the ordinary. When yet another treehouse or log cabin fails to inspire, you’ll need Read more…

Narrowboat builds for private clients

Refurbishing narrowboats and widebeams

The refurbishment of narrowboats and widebeams is an increasingly important part of our business at Boutique Narrowboats. We offer an interior design service for private clients which pulls together the skills of the whole team – engineering, joinery, electrics, plumbing and of course the design itself. The images below help to illustrate a typical narrowboat refurbishment. Narrowboat and widebeam refurbishments In this narrowboat refurb, we gutted the interior and set to work rebuilding it to Read more…

Luxury canal boat holidays on the Boutique Narrowboats

Contemporary layouts for canal boats

Layouts for canal boats can be controversial. Narrowboat purists like to see room layouts which mirror most closely the old working narrowboats of the industrial revolution. And other traditionalists prefer canal boat layouts which hark back to the early holiday boats of the mid-twentieth century. But what arrangement makes most sense for modern life? How have our tastes changed, and should we be afraid to go against the grain if a layout no longer suits Read more…

Kitchen in a Boutique Narrowboat build

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…

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…