Is the boat available all year round?

Absolutely. We offer a high level of insulation, along with central heating and a cast iron stove – the canal boats are very snug in the winter time! Of course, in mid-winter there is a small chance that the canal itself may freeze over and our lower pricing reflects this risk. If this is so bad that you are unable to leave the marina, then you are still very welcome to use the boat as a retreat, knowing that you really will be enjoying the ultimate secluded getaway!  

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Autumn and winter breaks

 

How much training do you need to operate a canal boat?

We tailor our induction programme to your previous experience. If you have none, we will start with the basics! By the end of your first afternoon, you will know how to start, stop and steer the narrowboat. You’ll know how to navigate the canals and operate the locks. We only handover the boat when we are confident of your ability to handle her; but she is quite straightforward – honest!

 

What is there to do on a canal boat holiday?

If this is your first time, a lot of your initial energy will be poured into perfecting the art and science of handling your boat. Learning this new skill is surprisingly demanding and incredibly rewarding.

Once you’ve begun to loosen your grip on the tiller and started to look around you, you’ll probably find that you’re happy to soak up the rural atmosphere and enjoy the sights and sounds of the waterways. We are also lucky enough to be cruising in a part of the country with lots of visitor attractions and some glorious canalside pubs and restaurants. We offer some suggested itineraries for those new to this part of the world.

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Things to do on a canal boat holiday

Routes and itineraries

 

What should we pack?

Storage on any narrowboat is minimal but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring a few luxuries. We suggest that you check the boat’s full inventory before deciding what to bring but our suggestions would include:

  • All Food & drink, unless you plan to eat at some of our wonderful canalside pubs and restaurants.
  • All clothing including hats, gloves and waterproofs.
  • Toiletries.
  • At least one pair of nonslip trainers.
  • Suncream in the summer and moisturiser in the winter!
  • We provide all bedding, towels and there is a hairdryer on board.
  • We provide all washing up and cleaning products.
  • You are very welcome to bring any electronic devices as we offer free Wi-Fi and lots of USB charging points.
  • There is storage for two small suitcases under the bed, of less than 28cm deep.

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Boat inventory

Packing for your narrowboat holiday

 

What if we break down or have a problem with a piece of equipment on the boat?

We are always on the end of the phone, and our advice would be to call us so that we can arrange for support if needed. We give you all the contact numbers you will ever need during the boat handover, and leave you a specially-written manual if you want to refresh your memory about any of the boat operations.

 

What if we crash and damage the boat?!

You may be reassured by the fact that it is impossible to drive the boat any faster than 4 miles an hour. Therefore any “crashes” are generally low-impact ones. We will teach you how to operate the boat safely but occasionally genuine accidents do happen. As long as you have followed our instructions and our Terms and Conditions, we won’t ask you to pay for any damage, as the cost of your holiday includes a Damage Waiver.

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Terms and Conditions

Damage waiver

Do I need to be physically fit for a canalboat holiday?

A stay on a narrowboat is not the most physically demanding holiday in the world, but there are some activities which do require a level of physical ability. Steering the boat can require some strength if you are operating against a current, and you do need to be able to step off the boat with some agility. Perhaps the most physically demanding activity of all is winding the paddles during the operation of the locks and some lock gates are also quite stiff.

We would recommend our Boutique Narrowboat holidays for people who have at least one crew member who is reasonably physically fit. We regret that our holidays are unfortunately unsuitable for wheelchair users due to lack of space aboard.

 

Can we bring a dog?

You are welcome to bring one or two well-behaved pets on holiday with you. We do ask for a supplement of £50 per holiday and request that you bring suitable bedding, blankets and towels to ensure the human versions aren’t ruined!

Please do kindly let us know in advance if you plan to bring your pet so that we can ensure extra cleaning time is built in to the handover afterwards. If you tick the relevant box on the online booking form, the £50 supplement will be automatically added to the cost.

 

 

 

 

 

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North Kilworth Marina hire narrowboat location

BOUTIQUE NARROWBOATS

DEBDALE WHARF MARINA (temporary mooring)

DEBDALE LANE

SMEETON WESTERBY

LE8 OXA

 

From Spring 2019 onwards:

NORTH KILWORTH MARINA, LE17 6HY

We’re waiting for the newly-built North Kilworth Marina to be completed before moving. We will keep you updated!