A view from a Boutique Narrowboat

They’re trying to make narrowboats sexy (and it’s working)

Our 2016 mini-break on a canal boat could have gone horribly wrong. The interior was like something from a plywood time warp, all brown varnish and stale carpet. The toilet smelled, the shower curtain was mouldy and the mattress woefully-skinny. English holiday narrowboats are not known for their contemporary styling, and this was a case in point. Our romantic weekend plans looked decidedly lacklustre.   A new kind of experience But once the training was Read more…

review of hire boats at boutique narrowboats 2

Waterways World hire boats review

A hire boats review published this week has declared that the Boutique Narrowboats are incredibly different to most hire-boats when it comes to their interiors. Respected industry magazine, Waterways World, has devoted six pages to its review of our hire boats. The journalist, Mark Langley, visited us to test out Marbled White. He told us he’d never seen anything quite like it when it comes to hire boats. This is a man who has seen Read more…

Bedroom on Valentine's Day on a boutique narrowboat

5 reasons why narrowboating is the most romantic thing to do on Valentine’s Day

[sswp-slide sswpid=2855]   A narrowboat could be the perfect Valentine’s Day present – it leaves you with a radiant glow long after the adventure is over, and there are swans and pubs. Read on to find out the five best bits about holidaying on a narrowboat… 1. A barge is a romantic hideaway that moves. That’s pretty cool. The view changes every day and it is impossible to get bored. You’ll start the day with Read more…

day boats for hire at union wharf

The benefits of hiring a canal day boat

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…

modern uk boating holidays for honeymoon

Why UK boating holidays are the next big thing?

Increasing popularity of UK boating holidays UK boating holidays on the canals and rivers of the UK are gaining in popularity. Since the 1950s and 60s, the inland waterways network of England, Scotland and Wales has offered a variety of boat holiday options. But the difference between the hire boats of then and now, are vastly different. Traditional boating in the UK Following the demise of the commercial canal boat industry after the Industrial Revolution, Read more…

Exterior of Boutique narrowboat romantic weekend canal boat holiday in the UK

Your guide to canal boat holidays in the UK

Canal boat holidays in the UK are popular with many diverse groups of people. We’ve been operating hire narrowboats for a number of years now, and we have learned how to match each set of guests with their perfect UK holiday. The ideal canal boat holiday for a couple’s anniversary trip may not be quite right for the family who want to bring their dogs for a week. This guide to canal boat holidays in Read more…

canal boat holidays in national geographic

Canal boat holidays in National Geographic

How lovely that our canal boat holidays have been featured in a prestigious National Geographic magazine! The Traveller – The Luxury Collection 2022-23 features Boutique Narrowboats amongst their beautiful pages. The magazine groups together a number of luxury UK based holiday providers. Our small fleet of canal boats is recommended as a best example of “Slow Travel.” Read the article Canal boat holidays Journalist, Tamsin Wressell, describes our waterways on the Grand Union canal as Read more…

Couples getaway on a Boutique Narrowboat

Canal boat weekends – answering your questions

Canal boat weekends can be super relaxing, but if you are an inexperienced boater, it pays to be well prepared. It might seem a bit nerdy to watch videos or read up on winding holes, but I promise it will make your holiday so much better for all the effort. We offer all our hirers access to a free online course, the boat manuals and personalised training during the handovers. There are many beginner guides Read more…

Boutique narrowboat luxury canal boat holiday hire and build

How we beat winter canal restrictions – Static canal boat stays press release

Press release Leicestershire canal business beats restrictions A Leicestershire waterways business is offering a new way to experience a narrowboat mini-break, following the announcement of winter canal restrictions. Boutique Narrowboats runs its unique holiday hire business from Union Wharf in Market Harborough, but has been forced to rethink its business model for a few weeks, because of canal closures in the new year. For a reduced cost, it will now be possible to book a Read more…

Grand union canal leicester section in winter

5 reasons you should take to the water on a winter narrowboat cruise

There are so many wonderful reasons to enjoy the canals in winter, that we are totally amazed to have the waterways to ourselves at this time of year. I love the peace and tranquillity so much, that it really is one of England’s best kept secrets. Here are a few more reasons to climb aboard during the English winter… 1. #hygge The Danish word for “cosy” has been been hashtagged left, right and centre all Read more…