There are a few vessels on which you can explore the UK canals, a narrowboat, widebeam or cruiser, with a narrowboat being the most popular option for holidaymakers, offering the ability to cruise all the UK canals in relative comfort at an affordable price.
With a narrow boat, you'll be able to experience everything England and Wales have to offer, as you'll be able to explore most of the canal system from a holiday narrowboat. If you opted for a wide beam, you would have more internal space but lose the ability to travel all the canals.
Is a canal boat holiday a good holiday? Read our reviews
How much is a canal boat holiday? Read an overview here
The UK canal system consists of both broad and narrow canals; wide beams offer more space, but with those come limitations of available hire boats and bases. Indeed, many of the most popular route options, e.g. The Llangollen (there are back), the Cheshire ring, the Four Counties ring or Oxford (there are back), can only be done with a narrowboat as the locks on these canals and are too narrow for a wide beam at around 7ft wide.
Although narrow, their length of up to 70ft means they can accommodate up to 12 people, with all the essentials you would expect to find in your holiday accommodation included, such as Cooking facilities, a Fridge, Shower(s), etc. If you are still determining if a narrowboat is for you, why not watch the tour of narrowboat Hemplow below?.
You could of-course simply go choose the boat you like the look or that is best priced for your crew size. However you'll need to decide if you want the best price or would prefer a little extra comfort e.g not needing to turn the saloon into a bed area, another thing to consider is access if you have limited mobility a Cruiser Stern may be advisable.
Please get in contact if you would like us to help you choose a boat or location.
More about types of boat: Trad Stern, Cruiser Stern, Narrow boat, Wide beam, Barge
Holiday Inspiration: Places to visit along the canal
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All our hire bases offer narrowboat hire and so if as most do you want to hire a narrow boat rather than a widebeam you can choose any of our hire bases. So you can select an area you'd like to visit, or if you don't have anywhere in mind, I recommend starting with the areas nearest to you; all our bases offer fantastic holidays regardless of where they are in the country.