Charnwood Narrowboat Holiday Hire - the friendly family firm

Narrowboat Holiday Hire with Charnwood

Narrowboat Holiday Hire - Questions and Answers

Narrowboat Holiday Hire with CharnwoodWhat is there to do on a narrowboat hire holiday?
There are things to interest lots of different people:
Adults and children (under supervision) will enjoy steering the narrowboat and operating the locks
Wonderful views and reflections for the photographer
Plenty of opportunities to observe wildlife at close quarters (wake up to the quacking of ducks)
A different perspective on familiar places (it's amazing how different things look from the canal)
Contrasting scenes from tranquil backwaters to the vibrant centres of cities such as Birmingham and Nottingham (fancy sailing under Spaghetti junction!)
Lots of examples of industrial heritage
Plenty of canalside pubs and restaurants

Who are narrowboat hire holidays suitable for?
Any age can enjoy a holiday on a narrowboat. You will need at least two adults (one to steer the boat and another to organize opening and closing the locks (and another adult to keep an eye on children if they are very young) Older children will enjoy working the locks or sailing the boat under supervision. People with mobility problems would not want to get on and off the boat too frequently but will enjoy the passing views once on board.

Do we need any previous experience or special qualifications?
No. Narrowboating is not an exact science and no-one gets it right all the time.
Very Experienced users - we normally only provide a review of the boat facilities.

Less experienced users - we generally give some free instruction as a refresher.

Complete beginners - we can provide more in-depth instruction. We will accompany you on the first part of your journey, explaining how the boat and locks are operated. It is important that we and you feel happy about your ability to handle the boat and operate locks alone. Contact us for further information.

In any case we are normally contactable to deal with any problems should they arise. Boats have a top speed of 4mph, especially at the beginning it is best to take it slowly. There is a comprehensive manual on board so you can remind yourself about daily boat checks and how to steer etc.
It is recommended that you get an idea about what is involved before your holiday by reading The Boater's Handbook or watching The Boater's DVD - both are available from British Waterways and The Environment Agency. Copies of the book can be downloaded from and

Narrowboat Holiday Hire with CharnwoodHow will we know where to go?
There is a range of guides and maps on board. These give information about what to expect on the way in terms of locks and bridges and mooring places etc. They also give an indication of distances and facilities on or near the canal. We can talk through your plans with you and help you calculate how long journeys will take. As a rough guide boats travel at 3-4 mph and you need to allow the equivalent of a "mile" per lock. Obviously at busy times you might be slower than this and have to wait at locks so it is as well to be flexible. You will also probably want to spend time exploring and enjoying the canalside pubs and restaurants.

Where can we stop overnight?
On the canals you can stop overnight anywhere along the towpath side without charge. You must, however, avoid mooring overnight within 50 metres of a lock or other navigation landmark to allow other boats to pass unhindered. On most other navigations, there will be clearly marked places where you can moor for the night or during the day.

What is included in the holiday price?
We want to keep our prices as low as possible and have, therefore, decided to charge for fuel separately. Your boat will have a full tank when you take it over. You should allow about £10 a day for fuel although this can vary greatly depending on how far you travel. We have tried to think of all those little touches which will make your holiday more comfortable and so bedding includes mattress and pillow covers and a throw for each bed: towels are large; we provide mugs as well as cups for those who like a larger drink and the pans are really solid to make cooking more pleasurable. We also provide cleaning materials and those essentials such as foil, cling film, kitchen roll for you to save you having to bring them. A number of board games and books are also provided suitable for adults and children. Car parking is available free of charge at the marina.

Narrowboat Holiday Hire with CharnwoodWhat do we need to take?
Storage space on any narrowboat is limited and so it is as well to take soft bags. Non- slip footwear is needed on deck and protection from both sun and rain.
Mobile phones are useful when you're cruising or needing help. DVD's are a good idea in case you are in an area where television reception is poor.

Can we bring pets?
Well-behaved pets are welcome on board as long as they are kept off the furniture and you provide beddings/bowls etc. Please include on the booking form.

Can we bring bicycles?
We are happy for you to bring bicycles as long as you arrange this in advance and bring mats to protect the paintwork & any damage will be charged for. Remember space is limited on board and so there is unlikely to be room for more than two bicycles.

Is fishing allowed?
Yes, fishing is permitted as long as the boat is stationary and you have the necessary permits.

Canal Boat Holiday Hire with Charnwood Narrow Boat Holiday Hire Canal Routes