40% off last minute holidays from Clifton on Dunsmore!

We are offering 40% off boating holidays from Clifton on Dunsmore on the North Oxford Canal. Ideally located to offer a variety of UK Canal networks. You can choose to take advantage of the lock free Ashby Canal and cruise past the Battlefield of Bosworth or navigate onto the Coventry Canal and enjoy a city break.

Book a seven night break for the family or for a group of friends save 40% off last minute holidays available until the 29th March. Alternatively you can book a short break away and save up to 30% off a mid week or weekend break, offering an ideal last minute getaway.

Countryside cruising in Warwickshire

Countryside cruising in Warwickshire

Search for up to 40% off last minute holidays:

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Click to search all our discounted boating holidays or all of central england canal boat holidays.

New boating holiday location – Henley on Thames

Our brand new base at Henley on Thames offers boaters a chance to cruise the famous Royal River and experience the heart of the Thames Valley.

The River Thames boasts a variety of attractions suitable for all the family. Visit the historic royal palaces, theme parks and Michelin starred riverside restaurants. The marina is within cruising distance of Oxford and Royal Windsor as well as well-known riverside towns such as Sonning, Wallingford, Bray and Marlow.

LinLinssen at Henley on Thames

Linssen at Henley on Thames

From Henley on Thames we can now offer a brand new Linssen 34.9 Grand Sturdy Class cruiser. This cruiser offers a luxury get away afloat for experienced boaters.  Sleeping six in two spacious double cabins and one double sofa bed, this magnificent new boat ‘Jacqueline’ also includes features such as two bathrooms – each with toilet and shower – external steering position, bow thruster, swimming platform, central heating and wonderful views from the saloon.

Linssen Saloon

Linssen Saloon

The cost of a week’s hire of Jacqueline starts from £1,500, rising to £2,500 in peak season inclusive of gas for cooking, bed linen, towels, car parking for two cars and instruction on arrival.  

Search for holidays on the Brand New Linssen, ‘Jacqueline’:

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Click for more boating holidays on the River Thames, or on the Southern England Canals and Rivers.

15% off Easter boating on the Norfolk Broads from Wroxham

We are now offering 15% off Norfolk Broads boating holidays from Wroxham on the River Bure. Book an Easter break for the family or for a group of friends, with discounted holidays available between the 29th March and the 13th April 2013. This offer expires on the 28th February 2013 – so not long left!

Norfolk Broads Boat Hire - 15% discount

Hire Boat ‘Lullaby’ on the Norfolk Broads

Search for 15% off Easter boating from Wroxham:

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Click to search all our discounted boating holidays, or for more information on Norfolk Broads boat hire.

Brand new search facility on Waterways Holidays website

Since launching the new Waterways Holidays website in January, we’ve been busy upgrading our boating holiday search so that you can now check thousands of holidays using a brand new advanced search facility to find exactly the right holiday for you.

waterways holidays web search

Waterways Holidays advanced search results page


The new advanced search options include a filter to:


  • only show boats available for a specific start day
  • search by the style of Norfolk Broads cruiser using the ‘Broads Cruiser Extra Options’
  • find pet friendly or pet free boats
  • see our brand new, high spec boats on both the canals and Norfolk Broads
  • find only those boats with a special offer
  • search traditional canal boats available with a solid fuel stove on board
  • show boats with more than one toilet and/or shower – great for large groups
  • search only boats that show all inclusive prices
  • find boats offering 240 volts

If you’re looking for sailing yachts on the Norfolk Broads, you can search on our sailing holidays page to view traditional gaff rigs, bermudan rigs or yachts with showers onboard.

Top Tip – If you have performed a filtered search and would like to return to the original search, leave the boxes blank and press the ‘apply selected filters’ button to return to your original holiday search!

We hope you enjoy the new features and welcome any feedback. Once you have submitted an online boating holiday booking enquiry, we will endeavour to ring you back within 24 hours to go through the boating holiday details and offer friendly advice before you confirm your holiday.

Click to search all 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.

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Cruising Routes from Devizes on the Kennet & Avon Canal

NEW for 2013, Waterways Holidays features canal boating holidays near Devizes on the picturesque Kennet and Avon Canal.

Cruising west from the marina:

Bradford-on-Avon – 5 hours by boat
A historic market town, there is a variety of interesting historic architecture dating from the Saxon period right through to the Industrial Revolution. Bradford on Avon is brimming with independant shops, including a selection of gift shops and tea rooms. You will find there are a couple of pubs on the water front, providing a convenient place to moor.
What to see: The 14th-century Tithe Barn and early 11th-century Saxon Church of St Lawrence.

Bath Valley – a picturesque section of the Kennet & Avon canal, situated between Bradford-on-Avon and Bath. Cruise through the hillside lined with forest,  across the valley via the Aqueducts of Dundas and Avoncliff.
What to see: Dundas Aqueducts and Claverton pumping station.

Bath City Views

Bath City Views

Bath – 10 hours by boat
An attractive city with cobbled streets, stone buildings and a breath taking Abbey. The streets boast lots of shops, eateries and historic buildings. The city is overlooked by the steep hillsides lined with houses and dotted with fields. You can moor your hire boat either above the top lock and walk down into Bath, or navigate the six locks into Bath and moor below Pultney Bridge.
What to see: Roman Baths, the Abbey Church of Saint Peter & Saint Paul and an open bus tour of Bath

Bristol – 19 hours by boat
A major sea port associated with the exploration and trade with the new world. Walk along the floating harbour, which houses a selection of eateries, gallerys and bars. A great place to shop or explore the history of the port. Experience ‘The Matthew’, a replica of John Cabot’s 1497 ship that discovered Newfoundland.
What to see: The SS Great Britain, moored in the docks and John Wesleys Chapel, the oldest Methodist building in the world.

Cruising east of the marina:

Caen Hill Locks – if you are looking for an energetic start to your canal boat holiday, the Caen Hill locks will not dissappoint! 29 locks, bundled into three flights, raise your hire boat 237 ft in two miles. A marvel of canal engineering, created by John Rennie in the early 19th century. These locks can take between 5-6 hours to complete.

Devizes – 5-6 hours by boat
A medieval market town with a strong historic connection. There are several Norman Churches located in the town and a weekly market that can be dated back to 1609. The town is an easy walk down the towpath from the end of the Caen Hill locks.
What to see: the site of the 12th century castle and the surrounding medieval streets & buildings, Kennet & Avon Canal Trust Museum.

Newbury Moorings

Newbury Moorings

Newbury – 25 hours by boat
The main high street is easily accessible by boat and has plenty of thatched shops and market stalls, perfect for stocking up with boating holiday provisions. There is a pub situated next to bridge no. 60, or walk into town for a greater selection.

Reading – 33 hours by boat
The waterway runs right through the hub of Reading, with a selection of large eateries situated on the waterfront. You can moor away from the main town at  the Abbey Ruins. Explore the Oracle shopping centre, spend the evening taking advantage of the nightlife, or take a walk down the winding streets off the main hub of Reading to find some independant shops and cafes.
What to see: Reading Abbey ruins

Search for available boating holidays near Devizes:

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If you would like any further information regarding boating holidays in Southern England, boating holidays on the Thames or canal boat hire on the Kennet and Avon Canal, you can call one of our friendly boating team on 01252 796 400.

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!

Search for available boating holidays on ‘Acumen II’:

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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.

Search for Brand New Boats for 2013 holidays:

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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.

Search available boating holidays

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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.