Norfolk Broads Trip May 2019

Broads cruising

Dawn, Heather & Zoe from Waterways Holidays were lucky enough to be invited for a weekend’s boating on the Norfolk Broads on the beautiful cruiser ‘Supreme Light’ from our Potter Heigham base. Here’s what they got up to:

On Friday morning we set off nice and early from Surrey and had a fairly good journey across to Norfolk. We arrived at the boatyard just before 1pm and popped in to say hello before heading over the road for some lunch. There are two cafes and a pub opposite the boatyard at Potter Heigham, we chose the Bridgestones Cafe. They serve a great range of food from all day breakfasts, to toasted sandwiches, afternoon teas, full roast dinners, burgers and fish & chips.

Heather, John, Dawn & Zoe

After lunch we headed back to reception and were met by the Chairman John Butler for a grand tour of the Potter Heigham boatyard. We saw it all – from the laundry, to the boat building sheds to the repair centre; it was all so interesting seeing what goes on behind the scenes.

Then it was time for our tuition and training session. We picked up our life jackets, popped all of our belongings on board and were joined by Stuart, our instructor. Firstly, we were shown through the exterior of the boat including the engine and the checks we were to do each morning. The internal show-through consisted of how the electrics work, the shower, toilets, oven & hob.

Supreme Light moored at Thurne Dyke

Next came the steering and mooring training, we were taught the controls of the boat, the speed limits and the gears. We all had a practice steering the boat up the river and we practised mooring up and how to tie the ropes properly. We dropped Stuart back to the boatyard and we were on our way! We’d decided to head down the River Thurne to Thurne Dyke and hope for a mooring space there.

We were in luck and found a large mooring. We used our bow & stern thrusters to ease ourselves into the gap. Feeling rather proud of ourselves we decided to treat ourselves to a little tipple; taking in the gorgeous views surrounding us. We walked up to the local pub at the end of the dyke – The Lion at Thurne. Luckily they had a spare table and we were seated and fed quickly. The food was absolutely lovely and we headed back to the boat feeling satisfied and ready for an early night!

Thurne Mill

The next morning we cruised past St Benet’s Abbey – one of the most iconic attractions on the Norfolk Broads. We headed through the village of Horning and onto Wroxham. Wroxham is known as the ‘Capital of the Broads’ and is a great village to pick up supplies or grab a bite to eat; with department stores, fish and chip shops, restaurants and a pub. We popped into the King’s Head for a refreshment and picked up some chips from one of the fish & chip shops to go with our lunch back on the boat.

Our next stop was Horning, we travelled back along the River Bure and kept an eye out for a mooring near the waterfront pubs. We were lucky enough to take the last spot at The New Inn (moorings can be prebooked- highly recommended in peak times). After a stroll into the village, which was really quite quaint and pretty. We had a quick pit-stop at the Swan Inn and sat out overlooking the river as the sun was setting. Dinner back at the New Inn was delicious and filling so once again we headed off for an early night, ready for the last day ahead.

The New Inn at Horning

Our final morning we awoke to glorious sunshine (finally!) and set off down the river in good spirits. We were greeted further down the river by a large number of sailing yachts competing in some sort of race. At first this can be quite daunting as yachts sometimes need to ‘tack’ down the river, meaning they zig-zag from one side of the river to the other. Navigating our way through did take some concentration!

Yachts racing on the river

We took a detour on the way back down Fleet Dyke to visit South Walsham Broad; a pretty Broad with lovely views across the marshes. There are some nice moorings here with access to a footpath that leads to a pub. We retraced our steps back up the Dyke and passed by St Benet’s Abbey again before joining the River Thurne back to Potter Heigham.

St Benet’s Abbey

We returned to the boatyard and moored up in one of the available spaces before unloading our belongings. As we were doing this one of the engineers came and refuelled the boat to work out our fuel usage. We said our goodbyes to the boatyard team and a fond farewell to our lovely cruiser Supreme Light. We all thoroughly enjoyed our time exploring the Broads and wouldn’t hesitate to return with so much to discover!

Start planning your own Norfolk Broads adventure by visiting:

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New Boats

We have been busy updating our website with the newest additions to our ever-growing fleet! Here’s a round-up of the latest boats to keep you all up to date:

  • Hunky Dory: Based at Bathampton on the Kennet & Avon Canal, Hunky Dory is a lovingly restored historic boutique narrowboat. At just 32ft she is absolutely perfect for a romantic break for two.
Hunky Dory
  • Nia: Based on the beautiful Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal in South Wales at Pencelli, Nia is a 50ft cruiser stern narrowboat, brand new for the 2019 season. Sleeping 4 people in two double cabins (and an additional 2 by use of the convertible dinette), she is the ideal boat for couples!
  • Rural Fox: A 47ft cruiser stern narrowboat, located at our March base in the heart of the picturesque Fenland Waterways, Rural Fox is another brand new addition for 2019. A great choice for a couple or small family; with one flexible cabin and a convertible double bed in the saloon area.
Rural Fox
  • Mino: A charming new addition to the fleet at our Stone base on the Trent and Mersey Canal. ‘Mino’ is a 41st cruiser stern narrowboat, sleeping up to 3 people in total. There is no separate cabin on board, instead the layout is open-plan with the option to have 1 double or 2 singles at the front of the boat.
  • Glyndwr: Based on the popular Llangollen Canal in North Wales, at our Chirk base, within easy reach of the famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Glyndwr is a 58ft cruiser stern narrowboat, an excellent choice for two couples or a family; sleeping up to 4 people in two permanent cabins.
  • Purbeck: A 48ft semi-traditional stern narrowboat, based at Braunston on the Grand Union Canal. Purbeck has a reverse layout with a flexible cabin a the front of the boat and has been designed and built with a couple’s romantic escape in mind.

To find out more about our latest additions, please visit our website: Alternatively feel free to give us a call on 01252 796400.

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The Southern Broads

Discover the peaceful Southern Broads

For regular boaters on the Broads who tend to stick to the Northern Broads between Wroxham and Potter Heigham, Acle and Great Yarmouth; there is a whole new world awaiting your discovery in the South.

Why not take out one of the fabulous boats from our new base at Burgh St. Peter, near Oulton Broad and see what you can find.  The beautiful Southern Rivers have plenty to offer and are one of the ‘best kept secrets’ of The Broads; with the additional benefit of not having to navigate across tidal Breydon Water to get there.

The Southern Broads boast many activities for the family, pretty market towns and villages, churches and traditional pubs; country walks and picnic spots; plus the chance to visit the versatile city of Norwich with its many shops, restaurants, historic sites, outdoor market and other family attractions.

Here is one of the routes you can follow from our Burgh St. Peter base along with some of the highlights you’ll encounter along the way…

Start by cruising north to Somerleyton, an attractive and tranquil village, perfect for picnics, with the added attraction of the beautiful ‘Somerleyton Hall and Gardens’. The manor house and gardens offer ornate greenhouses, an amazing 70ft pergola and a fantastic maze. After visiting the Hall, it’s a short walk to the Dukes Head pub for your evening meal.

Enjoy quiet cruising

Reedham is a village with numerous water crossings, it has a scenic waterside quay with moored boats bobbing alongside its cottages, quaint shops and convenient riverside pubs.  It is here that you will find ‘Pettitts Animal Adventure Park’ which is a popular stop for children, with shows, animals and rides. For adults, there is also a micro-brewery adjacent to the adventure park.

Next we take a detour down the River Chet to Loddon and Chedgrave. Passing ‘Hardley Windmill’ and cruising down this little river you’ll soon arrive at the two adjoining villages. There are some very enjoyable country walks to be taken from here, there are local shops or you could visit one of Loddon’s frequent outdoor markets.

Further west, Rockland Broad is one of the lesser known Broads to visit, it has a serene beauty with its gorgeous Broadland views.  It’s an excellent place for fishing too, if you fancy it.  There’s also a ‘hide’ in one corner, where you can observe a multitude of birdlife.

At Bramerton village you’ll find the Waters Edge restaurant and bar, a popular stop for refreshments with a lovely outlook onto the water. Free moorings are available next to the Green and there are some great countryside walks to be had from there.

Entering the suburbs of Norwich at Thorpe St. Andrew on the River Yare, you’ll find moorings and local pubs nearby. The river then skirts Norwich City Football Club before arriving at the city centre. Norwich has an abundance of amenities; there are art galleries, museums, theatres, cinemas, ancient churches, and historic monuments such as The Ethelbert Gate and the Old City Walls.  There are numerous restaurants and bars, pubs and cafés; plus entertainment and nightlife.

Norwich Cathedral

On your return journey to our base at Burgh St. Peter, bypass the boatyard to stop at one last place of interest – Beccles is a classic English market town, with its delightful town houses, unique shops, hidden lanes and market squares. If you fancy a splash there’s even an outdoor Lido to enjoy and there are plenty of pubs and restaurants to choose from. It’s a great place to spend the day.

For your last evening, moor up at the Waveney River Centre in Burgh St. Peter and enjoy their facilities. Onsite there’s a heated swimming pool, gift shop, children’s playground, a ‘secret garden’ with a small pond and cycle hire for all the family. There’s also another waterside inn, where you can relax, eat out and enjoy the last few hours of your holiday.

Norfolk Broads FAQs

We thought it would be useful to put together some of our most frequently asked questions for those of you considering a boating holiday on the Norfolk Broads!

Cruising on the Norfolk Broads

1. Do I need previous experience?  

No previous experience is necessary as full training will be given on arrival.

2. How many people do the boats sleep? 

 Our cruisers sleep between 2 and 12 people.

3. Can I take my pet?

Yes- pets are welcome on the majority of our cruisers. There is usually a maximum of 2 pets allowed on board, but if you have more than 2 please check with us. Some of our boats are kept pet-free for people will allergies etc.

4. Is a Norfolk Broads boating holiday suitable for young families?

Yes! There is plenty to keep young children occupied on a boating holiday. Children of all ages love the Norfolk Broads. Being outside in the fresh air, watching all of the other boats go by, keeping an eye out for birds and animals along the banks is usually entertainment enough! However there are many family friendly attractions to visit on the Norfolk Broads including Bewilderwood, Wroxham Barns, Wroxham Miniature Worlds, Bure Valley Railway and Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens. 

5. How far can I travel?

This does depend on how many cruising hours a day you would like to do. If you are on a short break, starting on the Northern Broads then generally we recommend sticking to the Northern side and exploring all of the Broads and villages there. Same on the Southern Broads, if you start there it is best to stay south on a short break, you could still reach the City of Norwich easily. On a weekly holiday both sides of the Broads can be explored if willing to cruise for longer hours and spend less time off the boat. It is always best to check cruising times between each place and if travelling from North – South or vice versa, check the crossing times for Breydon Water.

6. Can I fish on the Norfolk Broads?

Yes you can – as long as it is not closed season. Closed season is between March 15th and June 16th each year. During open season you will need to purchase a licence from the local Post Office. No live maggots are allowed onboard and you must only fish whilst the boat is stationary.

7. Can I go on my own?

Yes, solo boaters are accepted at a couple of our boatyards. At our other boatyards they will only accept a minimum of 2 adults due to their insurance.

8. What is the speed limit?

The speed limits vary between 3-6mph on the Norfolk Broads. There are very clear round signs that will tell you the speed limit for each area.

9. Where do I moor?

The Broads Authority provides free 24 hour moorings at a number of locations on the Norfolk Broads, see the list here: You are also able to moor at any British Hire Boat Federation Boat Yard. Other moorings are privately owned so there will be a charge to moor there, typically between £5-£12 per night. Some pubs have their own moorings, sometimes there is a small charge to moor there but this is usually redeemable in the pub.

10. Will I need to do locks?

No! The Norfolk Broads offers 125 miles of lock-free cruising.

11. What are the bridge restrictions?

There are several low bridges on the Norfolk Broads, meaning that passage under them is not always possible in a hire boat. Potter Heigham Bridge, Wroxham Bridge and Beccles Bridge are very low and cruisers may not be able to pass under these bridges depending on the height of the boat and the tide. Bridges are clearly marked and it is recommended to use the bridge pilot to take your boat through. Luckily, each of these bridges are on the edge of the Broads so you will not miss out on too much cruising if you can’t get under!

12. Are the Norfolk Broads tidal?

Yes, the Norfolk Broads are tidal. The tide strengthens the closer you get to Great Yarmouth so extra care must be taken.

13. What is the difference between the northern and southern Broads?

The north side of the Norfolk Broads has more villages, shops and boatyards. The northern side tends to be busier than the south, especially in peak times.  The southern Broads are more tidal than the north & it is a lot quieter and more rural, with less competition for moorings.

14. What will I see on my boating holiday?

The Broads is a well known haven for wildlife, so the chances of spotting a rare bird or catching a glimpse of an otter are fairly high! There are several attractions on the Norfolk Broads, including St Benet’s Abbey, Thurne Mill, How Hill, St Helen’s Church and several nature reserves that are worth mooring up and visiting.

15. Where do I park my car?

You are welcome to park your car at the boatyard. Each of our boatyards have their own car park. Most of our boatyards include parking in the cost of the holiday; however some do charge a small fee.  

16. What are the extra costs?

Usually, on top of the hire charge for the boat, there is a fuel deposit and a non-refundable damage waiver to pay. The fuel deposit varies between £50 – £200. You always set off with a full tank of fuel, on return the boatyard refuels and works out the exact amount that you have used. If you haven’t used all of your deposit you will get a refund for the difference, if you have gone over you will pay the extra. The damage waiver is usually between £30 – £55 and is a non-refundable payment that protects you against any accidental damage made to the boat. Some of our boatyards have all-inclusive pricing, meaning the fuel & damage waiver is built into the cost of your holiday already.

17. Do you supply lifejackets?

Yes! Each person is fitted with a lifejacket on arrival. We recommend purchasing a doggy lifejacket if you are bring your pet along with you.

18. Do you supply bedding and towels?

Bedding is always provided for our motor cruisers, however towels usually are not provided, unless you are travelling on one of the elite cruisers from Wroxham. If you are travelling from overseas towels can be provided for you.

19. Can I charge my phone?

Yes you can! On each of our cruisers there will either be a 12v charging point or a 240v plug sockets on board.

20. Can I cook on board?

Absolutely, all of our cruisers have a kitchen on board. This usually includes a fridge, oven, hob, kettle and sometimes a microwave. All of the cutlery and crockery is provided for you.

To search for your perfect boating holiday, visit our website: or call our friendly boating team on 01252 796400.

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Hire a boat for Valentine’s Day!

Cruise away from it all this Valentine’s Day with a romantic boating break for two. What could be more idyllic than escaping the hustle and bustle and cruising along one of our scenic canals in your very own cosy hire boat? We’ve picked some of our best narrowboats, designed just for the two of you:

The cabin on Casanova

Casanova: Located at Poynton on the Macclesfield Canal, Casanova is just perfect for a couple. Cruise through beautiful, open countryside, stopping at picturesque villages and characterful pubs along the way! Casanova features a spacious cabin with a king-size double bed and a television- great for cosy evenings in!

Cruising the Kennet & Avon on Bella

Bella: A luxury narrowboat designed specifically for couples. Bella is located at the picturesque town of Bradford-on-Avon. Only a short cruise from the historic City of Bath- the perfect cruise for a Valentine’s getaway. Some of the special features on-board Bella include mood lighting and a four-poster bed.

Cosy saloon on Bridie Bear

Bridie Bear: Located at our Riley Green base on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Bridie Bear is ideal for a quiet couples retreat. Cruise through picture-perfect Lancashire countryside, exploring beautiful Pennine towns and villages and dining in traditional country pubs. After days spent outside, Bridie Bear’s log-burning stove in the saloon makes it the perfect place to cosy up for the evening.

Lower Heyford Marina

Oxford: The perfect location for a couples getaway, with the choice of a rural retreat or a city break! Lower Heyford is a 7 hour cruise from the City of Oxford, ideal for a weekend away. If a city break doesn’t appeal, head north from the base through picturesque countryside, stopping at quaint villages and pubs. Our narrowboat Oxford is a lovely boat for two, modern and well-equipped with one double cabin at the front.

To search for your perfect Valentine’s break, search: or call us on 01252 796400.

Top Norfolk Broads Landmarks

The Norfolk Broads is an extremely popular holiday destination. Regular visitors to the Broads will already know of the iconic landmarks to look out for. Here’s a list for those of you who are visiting, or plan to visit the Norfolk Broads this year:

The Norfolk Broads
  • St Benet’s Abbey- Located on the banks of the River Bure are the remains of a 1000 year old monastery & the easiest way to get to it is by boat! The monastery was the only one not officially closed during the dissolution of the monasteries by King Henry VIII in the Tudor times. Guided tours are available on selected days during the summer months & free moorings can be found alongside the Abbey.
St Benet’s Abbey
  • Toad Hole Cottage – Located at How Hill on the River Ant is the tiny marshman’s cottage. Toad Hole Cottage would have housed a whole family in the Victorian times. Today, the preserved cottage shows visitors how the families would have lived and how they would have worked on the marshes of the Broads. Free moorings are available right outside How Hill & entry to the cottage is free of charge.
Toad Hole Cottage
  • Thurne Mill – The only white mill on the whole of the Norfolk Broads sits on the east bank of the River Thurne. At over 200 years old, Thurne Mill is one of the small handful of working mills still left on the Norfolk Broads. The mill runs open days several times throughout the year for those who wish to look around inside and learn about the history. A small donation is very welcome and moorings can be found within easy reach of the mill.
Thurne Mill
  • St Helen’s Church – Also known as the ‘Cathedral of the Broads’, St Helen’s Church is located at the village of Ranworth. The grade I listed church dates back to 1450 and features an extremely popular church tower. The tower offers fantastic views across the River Bure and the 5 broads; visitors will just have to tackle the 89 steps, 2 ladders and the trap door first! The Church is open daily and is close to the moorings at Ranworth Broad.
The view from the church tower
  • Norwich Cathedral – Set in the heart of Norwich City Centre, the cathedral is the second tallest in England with a 315ft spire. The Norman cathedral was built over 900 years ago and is Romanesque in style. A pair of breeding peregrine falcons made the cathedral their home in 2009 and still return each summer. Volunteer guides offer tours for visitors to the cathedral frequently throughout the week. The best moorings to visit Norwich & the cathedral are located at Norwich Yacht Station.
Norwich Cathedral

To search for your Norfolk Broads boating holiday, search: or call us on 01252 796400 for friendly boating advice.

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Waterways attractions to visit in 2019

Here at Waterways Holidays we have combined a list of the top waterways attractions to visit on your 2019 boating holiday.

  1. The Falkirk Wheel – This impressive boat lift is the only of its kind in the entire world. Built to connect the Forth & Clyde Canal towards Glasgow and the Union Canal towards Edinburgh, meaning both cities can be visited in one boating holiday. The wheel stands at 35 metres tall and replaced the 11 locks that previously connected the two canals. Our base is located at the Falkirk Wheel, the perfect place to start your holiday on the Scottish Canals.
The Falkirk Wheel
  • The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct – The highest and longest aqueduct in Britain, standing at 126ft tall and 1007ft in length. Also known as ‘The stream in the sky’, the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct was built by Thomas Telford and William Jessop and is now a named World Heritage Site. There are spectacular, unspoilt views of the Dee Valley as boaters cross over the aqueduct, which only has a railing on one side! We have several bases along the Llangollen Canal within easy reach of the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.
Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
  • The Caen Hill Flight – The perfect destination for boaters up for a challenge! The Caen Hill Flight at Devizes on the Kennet & Avon Canal is one of the longest flights of locks in the country with a total of 29 locks; rising 237ft. 16 of the locks form the steepest part of the flight with a continuous stretch of locks one after the other. We have several bases close to Devizes, with one located at the bottom of the flight itself!
Caen Hill Locks
Caen Hill Locks
  • The Anderton Boat Lift – Also known as the ‘Cathedral of the Canals’. The Anderton Boat Lift was built in 1875 to lift boats 50ft from the River Weaver to the Trent & Mersey Canal. The impressive Victorian masterpiece of engineering closed in 1983 due to corrosion, but was restored and reopened in 2002. The boat lift is easily accessible from our bases at Anderton & Acton Bridge.  
Anderton Boat Lift
Anderton Boat Lift
  • The Standedge Tunnel – The longest navigable tunnel on the UK canal network. The Standedge Tunnel travels for 3.5miles under the Pennine countryside in West Yorkshire. The tunnel is only wide enough for one narrowboat to pass through at a time, so passage must be booked in advance! Our bases at Sowerby Bridge & Poynton are the closest available to the Standedge Tunnel.
The Huddersfield Canal
  • The Bingley 5 Rise – A fantastic feature on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, the Bingley 5 Rise is the steepest flight of locks in the country! The locks raise the canal a total of 60ft, with each lock opening directly into the next. Our bases on the Leeds & Liverpool at Barnoldswick & Riley Green are both within reach of the Bingley 5 Rise.
Bingley 5 Rise
  • The Kelpies – Another reason to start at our Falkirk base! At 30m high, The Kelpies are the biggest equine structures in the world. The Forth & Clyde Canal was extended to allow boaters to travel to the Kelpies in 2014. The figures are based on the heavy horses that pulled boats and cargo along the Forth & Clyde Canal during the industrial revolution. The Kelpies can be reached from our Falkirk Marina in a short 4 hour cruise.
Falkirk Kelpies
The Kelpies
To search for your 2019 boating break, visit our website:

New boats for 2019

We have been busy adding some fantastic brand new boats to our website ready for your 2019 boating holiday! Here’s a round-up of our newest additions:

  • Ashby: A 55ft semi-traditional narrowboat located on the peaceful Ashby Canal. ‘Ashby’ sleeps up to 4 people, with one fixed double cabin and one additional make-up double in the saloon.

Brand new boat ‘Ashby’
  • Purbeck: A 48ft semi-traditional narrowboat, located in Braunston, perfectly suited to a couple. Very sociable with a reverse layout so that the galley is close to the stern. There is a cabin at the front that can be configured as a double or two single beds.
‘Purbeck’- currently under construction.
  • Poppy: A 66ft semi-traditional narrowboat offering some heritage features alongside modern home comforts like WiFi and LED lighting. ‘Poppy’ is located at our Wootton Wawen base and sleeps up to 4 comfortably with two cabins.
New heritage class boat ‘Poppy’
  • York: Currently under construction, York will be located at our Sowerby Bridge base & is a 53ft cruiser stern narrowboat, perfect for families or couples. Sleeping up to 6, with two cabins, both with a flexible bed layout & a further convertible double bed in the saloon area.
Sister boat ‘Rutland’
  • Bays Wren: A high quality, 47ft semi-trad narrowboat located at our Falkirk base, perfect for visiting the cities of Edinburgh or Glasgow. Best suited to couples or a small family, Bays Wren has one flexible cabin and one convertible double in the saloon.
Our Wren class boat
  • Rural Fox: A 47ft cruiser stern narrowboat, ideal for a couple or a small family. ‘Rural Fox’ is located at our March base in Cambridgeshire in the heart of the Fenlands. On board there is one cabin with a flexible bed layout and a convertible double in the saloon area.
An artist impression of ‘Rural Fox’
  • Glyndwr: A 4 berth, 58ft cruiser stern narrowboat. ‘Glyndwr’ has one permanent double cabin, in addition to a flexible rear cabin, great for couples or a family. Located at our Chirk marina, this narrowboat is perfect for cruising the famous Llangollen Canal and travelling across the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.
Glyndwr on the Llangollen Canal
  • Aurora: A great boat for large families or a group of friends, sleeping up to 10 people. Aurora is based at our Napton marina close to the South Oxford & Grand Union junction. On board there are four cabions, two of which contain fold-down king size double beds!
Sister boat- Aurora is currently under construction
  • Serenade: Not forgetting our new Norfolk Broads additions- ‘Serenade 7’ joins the fleet this year at our Wroxham boatyard. A luxurious 39ft cruiser sleeping up to 6 people in two cabins, along with two convertible single beds in the saloon area.
‘Serenade’ on the Norfolk Broads
  • Gleaming Light: A 35ft cruiser located at our Potter Heigham base on the Norfolk Broads. ‘Gleaming Light’ has a large master cabin with a walk-around double bed & in addition to a flexible mid cabin. This cruiser also features a spacious rear deck and electric sunroof.
Gleaming Light
Gleaming Light
  • Prince of Light: Another new addition to the fleet at Potter Heigham on the Norfolk Broads. At 29ft this cruiser is ideal for a couple or small family with one cabin and a convertible bed in the saloon. There is also a very spacious foreward deck perfect for fishing or sunbathing.
Similar boat- ‘Adventuring Light’
  • Graceful Emblem: Currently still under construction but should be available to book from May 2019. ‘Graceful Emblem’ will be joining the fleet at our Horning boatyard on the Norfolk Broads. Sleeping up to 6 people, with two bathrooms and a very spacious sundeck!
Similar boat – ‘Silent Emblem’

To look for your perfect break, search: or you can also give us a call on 01252 796400.

Waterways Holidays 2019

2018 has been a busy and successful year for us here at Waterways Holidays. Many exciting things have been going on behind the scenes in preparation for the 2019 season. 

One of our biggest changes is the launch of our brand new fully responsive website! (Check it out here: This will make it much easier for customers to search for and to book their holiday from a mobile phone or tablet as well as on a desktop. 

Another exciting change is the addition of some new filters in our availability search. Meaning customers can choose options they would like for their boating holiday. These include options such as ‘reverse layout’, ‘widebeam’, ‘wi-fi’ and ‘bowthruster’. The filters allow customers to choose their preferences so that only suitable boats show up in the results page. 

We are also very pleased to announce an incredible new location that we are able to offer to our customers. The Kerkdriel base in Holland will allow customers to travel through the beautiful Dutch countryside, visiting cities such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Gouda. We also have bases in France, Germany & Portugal.

Finally, we would like to say a very big thank you to all of our customers, partners and friends for a fantastic season together. We are all very much lookiong forward to working with you all again in 2019 & wish yourselves and your families a very Happy Christmas! 

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from us here at Waterways Holidays! 
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Christmas & New Year on the Cut

Beautiful snowy scene at the boatyard

Picture frosty towpaths, crisp mornings and evenings spent curled up in front of a solid-fuel stove or a roaring fire in the canalside pub. Winter cruising suddenly becomes quite an attractive prospect. Throw in wonderfully quiet canals, friendly locals and a chance to get away from it all at a busy time of year and the appeal truly sets in. 

Christmas cruising is becoming increasingly popular but we do have some availability left!

Moor up in picture-perfect surroundings
Here’s a round-up of some of our best options:

  • Our base at Whittington Wharf on the Llangollen Canal in North Wales is offering 4 night breaks from Christmas Eve. Cruise from the wharf and enjoy a Christmas dinner in one of the local pubs. Fly across the famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and into the town of Llangollen to explore theshops before heading back to the base.

  • Enjoy Christmas in the Cotswolds from our base at Bradford-on-Avon. Enjoy a quiet cruise through pretty countryside and farmland along the Kennet & Avon Canal. From our boatyard at Bradford-on-Avon it isonly a 6 hour cruise into the historic City of Bath, the ideal place for a spot of Christmas dinner, with a huge selection of pubs, bars and restaurants onoffer.

  • Celebrate Christmas in Stratford-upon-Avon from our base at Wootton Wawen in the Heart of England! It is an active 5.5 hour cruise with plenty of locks to keep you warm on the way into Bancroft Basin in the centre of Stratford-upon-Avon from our base at Wootton Wawen. Enjoy the beautiful Christmas lights, join in with a carol service and visit one of the many traditional pubs on offer before returning to the boatyard.

  • Visit the castle in wonderful Warwick! From our Stockton base it is a short cruise to the medieval town of Warwick. During this pleasant stretch of the Grand Union there are plenty of locks and pubs. Enough to keep the crew entertained until reaching Warwick itself. The castle is very much worth avisit at this time of year. With a 20ft Christmas tree waiting to greet you in the Great Hall- it’s not to be missed!
Enjoy the peace and quiet on the watreways

If you fancy doing New Year’s Eve a little differently this year, how about hiring a boat and visiting one of these destinations:

  • Bring in the New Year in Birmingham- moor up in Gas Street Basin in the centre of the city and choose between countless clubs, bars andpubs all within a short walking distance. From our base at Tardebigge, Birmingham is only a short 5.5 hour cruise away. If you prefer something a little quieter, head away from the city and join the Stratford Canal for a real retreat.

  • Celebrate the New Year in Chester! Easily accessible from our bases at Bunbury, Nantwich & Beeston on the Shropshire Union Canal, Chester has plenty to offer for a fun New Years Eve. With many bars, restaurants and pubs,this historic city has something for everyone to enjoy.

  • Get away from it all from our Great Haywood base! With so many routes available from Great Haywood it is the ideal location for a New Year’s escape. Head off on the Trent & Mersey Canal or join the beautiful Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal.  Find a nice remote spot to moor up and bring in 2019 in peace!

To search for your perfect Christmas & New Year break, search:

You can also give us a call on 01252 796400 to speak to our friendly boating team!