New canal boat base on the Grand Union Canal

This year we’re set to introduce even more boating holiday locations, including a brand new marina to Waterways Holidays located on the Leicester Section of the Grand Union Canal near Loughborough.

‘Acumen II’ is a cruiser stern narrowboat built in 2006. The boat has a fixed double cabin in the rear, with walk in wardrobe and a walk through bathroom with full length shower. The boat has central heating, a log burning fire, a LCD TV, DVD/CD/Video player, and a digital radio, combining the best of the modern and traditional facilities on board.

Canal boat holiday in Loughborough

Acumen II

Starting from Loughborough you can cruise south in the direction of Foxton Locks via Leicester and onto the Market Harborough Arm of the Grand Union Canal. Market Harborough is a busy medieval market town surrounded by pleasant countryside where you’ll find independent shops, bustling streets and plenty of places to eat.

Visit Leicester by boat and experience the National Space Centre located near Belgrave Lock 44, a perfect family day out with over 150 interactive exhibitions and challenges. Spend the evening in the De Montfort Hall, a popular venue for touring ballet and opera companies. Cruise south of Leicester and experience the bustling Foxton Locks, an excellent experience that will keep you and your crew very much occupied!

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Brand New Waterways Holidays Website!

To celebrate the launch of specialist boating holiday agency, Waterways Holidays’ new website, the company is highlighting 15% savings off all narrowboats hired from the Preston Brook base on the Bridgwater Canal in Cheshire.

www.waterwaysholidays.com features UK canal boat holidays and Norfolk Broads boat hire and offers live availability on a choice of more than 1500 narrowboats, cruisers, widebeam canal barges and Norfolk Broads sailing yachts operated by the UK’s leading boat operators and with more than 60 different start locations. The website also offers lots of advice on boating holidays as well as featuring listings of the latest special offers.

The top features of the new website include:

  • Lots more information about cruising routes on specific landing pages
  • New inland waterway cruising maps
  • Information about holiday ideas like city breaks and family boating
  • Enhanced search facilities with extra search options that are refined to page being viewed when the search is made
  • Closer integration with social media & latest news ticker
  • Bright and cheerful design
  • New area on the website dedicated to sailing holidays
  • New press area with downloadable royalty free images and press releases

The above offer is valid for bookings made by 31 January and means that a week’s narrowboat hire from the Preston Brook base now costs from just £610 (saving £107) whilst a short break – three nights at a weekend or four nights’ midweek – is reduced to £367 (saving £64).

Boat Holidays from Preston Brook

Boat Holidays from Preston Brook

These prices apply to Cheshire Cat and Quarry Bank Mill – both 45ft narrowboats sleeping four – and include all fuels (diesel and gas), damage waiver, bed linen, car parking, buoyancy aids, tuition on arrival and up to two well behaved pets.

To book a canal boat holiday or if you would like an boating advice, please dont hesitate to get in touch on 01252 796 400.

New Boats for 2013

We are proud to announce the arrival of over 30 brand new boats to the UK Canals and Rivers.

UK Canals new arrivals:

‘Wren 416’: a 47ft semi trad, is a perfect brand new canal boat for couples, with a fixed double cabin offering a wider double bed at the rear. Available from Hilperton on the Kennet & Avon Canal near Bath.

Brand New Wren Class Interior

Brand New Wren Class Interior

‘Broad Oak’: a brand new and unique boat built on the Lancaster Canal at Tewitfield. Broad Oak is a nine foot wide canal boat, offering the best of both worlds; the ease of handling of a narrowboat with the interior space of a wide beam. King size beds are available on board, with a spacious open-plan galley/lounge, and stylish modern high gloss units and solid oak surfaces.

New arrivals to the Norfolk Broads:

‘Sovereign Light’: a brand new dual steer cruiser offering unrivalled luxury, space, décor and amenities. Featuring an external upper sundeck with integral sunbathing platforms and alfresco dining area perfect for entertaining. Stylishly appointed saloon with raised steering position and additional forward facing seating so that all crew can enjoy the visibility of the helmsman.

Sovereign Light Sundeck

Sovereign Light Sundeck

‘Amber Emblem’: a stylish boat new in 2012, with a sliding back canopy and raised centre cockpit. The stern deck has a low boarding platform to provide easy access and the boat is equipped with bowthrusters, modern eco-hull design and flat screen tv with Freesat.

The motor cruiser fleets at Thorpe St Andrew, near Norwich and Chedgrave on the Norfolk Broads have both been expanded, offering more boat choices for customers looking to cruise the tranquil Southern Broads.

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Free short breaks on selected 2013 holidays!

Book a 7 night 2013 summer holiday from selected marinas and get a FREE short break, book by the 15/01/13.
Rural Family Cruising towards Bath

Rural Family Cruising towards Bath

This amazing offer applies to selected boats from Bradford on Avon (near Bath) on the Kennet & Avon Canal and Lower Heyford (near Oxford) on the South Oxford Canal for selected dates. Book 7 nights or more at the standard brochure price and receive your free short break which can be taken between 15/09/13 and 31/03/14.

Terms and Conditions apply, click to see the full boating special offer terms here.

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Click to see all our boating holidays special offers and discounts.

Unique addition for 2013: Free Mobile Wi-Fi on board narrowboats

For 2013, selected boats from Napton and Autherley will be the first of our hire boats to offer 1GB free mobile Wi-Fi as standard. Holiday hirers can keep in touch with friends, track their progress and look up the local area, write a blog, check emails or even do a spot of work whilst on holiday.

The free mobile Wi-Fi will be available on all 60 ft Edwardian Elite 4 class narrowboats.  All boats from Napton and Autherley are fitted out to a high standard with the Edwardian Elite 4 class featuring two king size beds and two full bathrooms as well as a refrigerator, full size cooker, central heating, TV/DVD and radio/CD, 240v mains supply, 240v telephone/camcorder charging socket, local information book, mains hair dryer and helmsman’s waterproofs.

Edwardian Elite 4 Class

Edwardian Elite 4 Class

Napton is situated on the junction of the Grand Union Canal and Oxford Canal. The perfect location to start your boating holiday, route options from Napton include the picturesque South Oxford Canal, the Warwickshire Ring and the Grand Union Canal. The base is within easy reach of the Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne via the 1.75 mile long Blisworth Tunnel.

Autherley, on the Junction of the Shropshire Union Canal and the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal, is ideally situated for a variety of cruising rings including the Four Counties, Stourport and Black Country Ring. Heading south from Autherley, the canal passes through lovely Staffordshire countryside en route to the historic canal town of Stourport-on-Severn with an array of welcoming pubs and restaurants.

Cropredy Lock, South Oxford Canal

Cropredy Lock, South Oxford Canal

 

New for 2013, the Elite Class boats are now fuel inclusive, the hire price includes gas and diesel as well as bed linen, car parking, life jackets, cancellation protection and tuition on arrival. The hire charge of an Edwardian Elite 4 costs from £1,069 for a week’s hire in March, rising to £1,865 during the school summer holidays.

Search for holidays on the Elite 4 Class from Napton and Autherley

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Click to search for all our Canal Boat Holidays availability or to search for Norfolk Broads Boat Hire.
To speak directly to one of our friendly team at Waterways Holidays Ltd, call us on 01252 796400, open 7 days a week.

All Inclusive Boating on the Norfolk Broads!

***NEW for 2013***

All inclusive Norfolk Broads boating holidays from Horning

All Inclusive Norfolk Broads Boat Hire

We have a wide selection of motor cruisers available from Horning for 2013, ranging from luxurious two berth cruisers through to eight berth cruisers, large enough to accomodate for a party of two families; all at all inclusive prices. There are a selection of different style cruisers available, from boats with sliding back canopies to the newest models of dual steering cruisers. The fleet includes the ‘brand new Diamond Emblem’, a dual steering boat with a large sun deck, bow thrusters and eco hull. There really is a boat to accomodate any parties needs. Book your 2013 Norfolk Broads holiday now to avoid disappointment!

Search for a 2013 all inclusive Norfolk Broads Boating Holiday:

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Click to search for all our Norfolk Broads boat hire availability or to search for narrowboats, wide beams and barges available for Canal Boat Holidays.
To speak directly to one of our friendly team at Waterways Holidays Ltd, call us on 01252 796400, open 7 days a week.

Fantastic Savings for October Half Term!

Thinking of ideas for keeping the family entertained this October Half term?

Why not book a last minute boating break and take advantage of our Autumn 2012 special offers. The canals and rivers are a perfect family activity, providing a healthy dose of exercise, navigating the boat and working the locks, as well as the opportunity to float from one waterfront restaurant to the next. There are lots of waterfront attractions and wildlife to spot, and a hire boat allows you to visit villages and cities in a unique way.

We are currently offering up to 30% off from selected marinas across the UK canals and rivers. As an example of whats available, 4 berth boat ‘Debbie,’ a perfect boat for a family with two cabins offering either a fixed double or two singles in each. This is available at a discounted hire of £523.00, inclusive of gas, car parking, tuition and bed linen. Located from Swanley Bridge marina in a one week cruise the picturesque Welsh Canal of Llangollen, passing over the famous Pontcysyllte & Chirk Aqueducts.

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Click to search for all our Canal Boat Holidays or to search for cruisers available for Norfolk Broads boat hire.
To speak directly to one of our friendly team at Waterways Holidays Ltd, call us on 01252 796400, open 7 days a week.

Brand New! wheelchair accessible Canal Boat!

Brand new wheel chair accessible canal boat, named ‘Beatrice,’ is now available to hire from Hillmorton Marina on the North Oxford Canal just south of Rugby. The 53ft canal boat can be hired for short breaks over the mid-week and weekend and full week from Monday or Friday.

Special features include:

  • Wheelchair ramp access
  • Lift in stern
  • Steering with either tiller or wheel
  • Large wet room with grip handles
  • Optional shower seat
  • Solid fuel stove
Hire Boat - 'Beatrice'

Hire Boat – ‘Beatrice’

The boat is laid out so that you can use the lift in the stern to enter the saloon and galley, pass through the large wet room and bathroom and into the cabin with large double in the forward cabin. Using the ramp to access the boat’s rear deck, this area has been heighened so that the skipper can see to the front of the boat for steering, with a wheel, if required. Some cooking facilities and windows are lowered on board for ease of use. There is a spacious work top with hinge to allow access to the wet room and front cabin with one large double bed and a wardrobe.

The location offers multiple route options including navigating up to the Ashby Canal for lock free cruising, or if you prefer you can cruise south and experience the locks on the Grand Union Canal or South Oxford Canal.

Search for your boating holiday on ‘Beatrice’:

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Click to search for all our Canal Boat Holidays or to search for cruisers available for Norfolk Broads boat hire.
To speak directly to one of our friendly team at Waterways Holidays Ltd, call us on 01252 796400, open 7 days a week.

Trudi’s Canal Boat Holiday – South Oxford Canal

Our journey began at Napton and having booked a very comfortable Duchess 4 narrowboat from there we decided to travel South down the lower half of the Oxford Canal which stretches between Napton and the historic university City of Oxford. This particular waterway is renowned for it’s quiet and very rural surroundings, mostly farmland or woods, and for the abundance of lift bridges along the route – the vast majority of which are left open so that you can pass through them undisturbed. The sound of birdsong fills the air and ducks and moorhens mother tiny chicks which trail along after them on the canal.

South Oxford Lift Bridge

South Oxford Lift Bridge

On our first day we cruised from Napton to the small village of Fenny Compton, which has a canalside pub called ‘The Wharf’.  Between the two villages is a flight of nine narrow locks, taking very little time to fill up, the first of which is manned by a lock-keeper who will very kindly shows you the ropes. After the locks, the route is lock-free all the way past Fenny Compton and down to Claydon and follows the winding contours of the land, with some reasonably tight bends and some rather narrow bits where there used to be old tunnels or lift bridges that are no more. The Wharf has two watering points to enable you to re-fill your water tank if you wish to. The pub has a restaurant but also has a takeaway menu for people who wish to eat on their boats instead (breakfast is served there from 10am).

From Fenny Compton we travelled first of all to Cropredy, which is a very attractive, traditional English village with some lovely old cottages, an historic church, a ‘general stores’ and two pubs – The Red Lion and the Brasenose Arms, which is rather well-known for it’s fabulous Sunday Roast. From Cropredy we cruised down to Banbury through 3 well-spaced-out locks (a couple of which were quite stiff to turn), past Tooley’s Historic Boatyard into the centre of the town where there is a lift-bridge to open following by a heavy lock, which you will be required to work with quite an audience of spectators. There are numerous narrowboats moored up in the town centre itself, so you must travel very slowly past them to avoid disturbing the occupants.  We moored up after the second bridge, where we could easily walk to a large ‘well-known supermarket’ for provisions. There are lots of shops, restaurants and tea shops to visit in Banbury and attractions including a medieval church, a theatre, gallery and museum.

South Oxford Fields of Cattle

South Oxford Fields of Cattle

The next day we set off for Aynho, which took us through another 4 locks (including a diamond-shaped lock) and 10 lift bridges (all open) each separated by pretty countryside, fields of cows and sheep, and pretty cottages with their flourishing Summer gardens. The canal meanders lazily along with cattle and their calves kneeling down to drink from the water nearby. Aynho is a very small village with a boatyard and a pub. The boatyard offers basic provisions and has a water point.  The pub – ‘The Great Western Arms’ – is very well known for it’s excellent food and was awarded Best Pub of the Year in 2011.

From Aynho, we planned to travel down past Upper Heyford and Lower Heyford to Gibraltar where we would stop for the night before continuing to Thrupp. There are just 3 locks to do between Aynho and Lower Heyford, but as you approach the village, there is a chain lift bridge – where you pull a chain down to lift the bridge up – which was quite heavy to keep open.  When the lift bridge is down, a road leads directly into the village which was lovely, with thatched cottages and a 17th Century inn called The Bell, which was full of character. Stopping at the boatyard at Lower Heyford to say hello to friends, we decided to walk up to the shops in the next village and on the way, got an extraordinary view of the very stately Rousham House (c1635).

From Lower Heyford there were just three more locks until we reached Gibraltar.  There are lots of ‘live-aboard’ boaters around this area and once again you need to slow right down as you pass them, which adds to your journey time. The rain started just as we moored up and we donned our raincoats and wellies to walk to the nearby Rock of Gibraltar pub.

Rural Views on the South Oxford Canal

Rural Views on the South Oxford Canal

On the next morning, travelling South again towards Thrupp, we found that there were red boards out at the locks, warning us that the River Cherwell (which made up part of our route to Thrupp) was high and flowing fast. We found it quite daunting as we made our way to the first turning point (winding hole) just down the River and decided not to proceed to Thrupp after all.

However, our return journey was very enjoyable once again, travelling through the tranquil countryside, surrounded by cows, sheep and wildflowers; winding our way around the canal and through the open lift bridges. On our last evening, there was no room outside The Folly Inn at Napton (which looked very welcoming) so we stopped at The Bridge instead. The menu sounded very nice, so we had a starter, just to keep us going until dinner on the boat, then in the morning we slowly trundled back to Napton Marina to return our boat, having very much enjoyed our peaceful and idyllic surroundings as we travelled along the South Oxford Canal.

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Or click to search for all our Canal Boat Holidays or to search for cruisers available for Norfolk Broads boat hire.

To speak directly to one of our friendly team at Waterways Holidays Ltd, call us on 01252 796400, open 7 days a week.

50% off Norfolk Broads boat hire!

Save 50% off Summer Holidays from selected boats at Potter Heigham!

Applicable for holidays taken before the 24th August 2012!

This special offer includes every aspect of your boating holiday costs including: 50% off your collision damage waiver fee, 50% off your fuel deposit, 50% off car parking and 50% off your first pet!

As an example of what’s available, Evening Light is a well equipped three to five berth cruiser, which is reduced to a hire charge of £498.00 (saving £498.00!) for a weekly hire in July/August. This foward steering cruiser features a split sliding canopy with light spacious saloon and a fixed double in the aft cabin.

Hire Boat- 'Evening Light'

Hire Boat- ‘Evening Light’

Potter Heigham marina is situated on the Northern Broads on the River Thurne within easy cruising distance of nearby villages, including Horning, Stalham and Wroxham with so much to do and see on the 125 miles of lock free waterway, there is something for all the family! A perfect boating break with an amazing summer saver!

Click to search for Norfolk Broads boat holidays or to search for motor cruisers available for Canal boat hire.