We’re delighted to offer accessible boating holidays on three boats that have been specially designed for disabled and wheelchair use. Pictured above is ‘Jubilee’, based at Loughborough.
4 berth Beatrice is a cruiser stern narrowboat with a bow thruster for ease of handling. The boat is fitted with a wheelchair ramp for access on and off as well as a lift ramp from the stern in to the interior of the boat. A special control console means that you can steer either with a tiller or with a wheel. The rear deck is higher to aid with observation and low gunnels, which means the windows are lower inside for better viewing. The saloon, galley and cabin are all accessible.
Rugby marina is situated on the North Oxford Canal in the Heart of England, ideal for cruising through the Warwickshire and Oxfordshire countryside. This location provides a huge variety of route options – the lock free Ashby Canal; the Grand Union Canal towards Warwick for those who want a more energetic cruise; the South Oxford Canal for rural meandering through farmland with a steady amount of locks and bridges; or the Grand Union Canal towards Northampton with locks and tunnels for the bold explorer. Ideal for novices and experienced boaters alike, this location offers something for everyone.
Built for 2022, Jubilee is a 60ft narrowboat with clear access across the starboard side of the boat with a full-length handrail and an easy to use lift at the stern. The boat has large, low level cabin windows for easy viewing plus a large open plan shower room.
The hire base at Loughborough is a nice central starting location for a variety of routes. Suitable for both novices and experienced boaters. The Leicester section of the Grand Union Canal (River Soar) circles round Loughborough to a T-junction. The Loughborough section then continues northwards to the River Trent. The navigation passes to the east of Loughborough town and varied routes include heading south towards the city of Leicester and Foxton Locks or north onto the Trent and Mersey Canal. Loughborough is home to the largest bell foundry in the world which was established back in 1784 and it then moved 10 miles from its original site to Loughborough in 1839. The bells of St Paul’s Cathedral and York Minster came from the Loughborough Foundary. The Great Central Railway is located near the marina and offers short steam train journeys over an 8 mile stretch of preserved track.
‘Madam Butterfly’, Hampshire
Madam Butterfly is 9ft 6in wide and has easy wheelchair access via a safe, dismountable ramp onto a rear deck. Both rear and front decks have safety rails and are large enough to accommodate up to two wheelchairs while cruising. The boat has two hydraulic lifts, one at each end to access the cabin. The boat has a portable electric hoist that can be put on if required for use onboard, including the shower area.
Natural England consider the Basingstoke Canal which runs through the counties of Surrey and Hampshire to be one of the finest waterways in Britain. To appreciate it, all you need is to take it slow and easy, meandering slowly through an environment abundant with both plant and wildlife. Admire the trees, riverside plants and rural landscape; look for heron, coots, moorhens and ducks; capture the brilliance of the shy, diving kingfisher, the elusive water vole, badgers and bats at dusk. Seek out the remains of ‘King John’s’ castle and peer into the depths of the Greywell Tunnel, now closed to navigation and well known for its colony of bats. There is also a good choice of pubs and restaurants close to the canal to enjoy a leisurely lunch or dine out in the evening before returning to your cosy narrowboat.
Ideal for beginners, small groups, families or great for a romantic getaway.