Staffordshire Canal Boat Hire


Our canal boat hire base at Festival Marina in Stoke-on-Trent is one of the most popular Black Prince canal boat hire starting points.

Stoke-on-Trent is famous throughout the world for its pottery and the canals that helped to revolutionise the development of this industry. This town is still home to a thriving pottery industry, several companies such as Royal Doulton, Wedgwood and Emma Bridgewater offering tours and painting workshops where you can create your own colourful dinner set!

There are a variety of canal cruising routes here, from short breaks along the Caldon Canal to longer holidays along the Four Counties Ring. Once outside the town of Stoke-on-Trent you can cruise through some of the waterways’ most beautiful scenery, heading south to Great Heywood and Penkridge or west to Chester.


For families holidaying with children, your adventure can start at the Festival Marina itself as close by there is an exciting Water World, dry ski-slope, multi-screen cinema, ten pin bowling and shopping centre. For thrill seekers you can easily access Alton Towers Theme Park from the end of the Caldon Canal. Check out our ‘Going Potty’ holiday itinerary suggestion here. 

Canal Cruising Routes from
Stoke-on-Trent Base


Festival Park Marina, Etruria,
Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, ST1 5PA


Stoke-on-Trent Lymm Canal Boat Holiday


Four Counties Ring Canal Boat Holiday

111 Miles
94 Locks
1 Week Cruise
9 hours per day

Caldon & Leek Canal Boat Holiday

42 Miles
34 Locks
1 Week Cruise
4 hours per day

Stoke-on-Trent Chester Canal Boat Holiday


Fradley Junction and return

62 Miles
46 Locks
1 week cruise
6 hours per day

Stoke-on-Trent Manchester Canal Boat Holiday


Stoke-on-Trent Llangollen Canal Boat Holiday


Caldon Canal Short Break

26 Miles
18 Locks
Short break
4 hours per day

Great Haywood and return Short Break Route

42 Miles
34 Locks
Short Break
8 hours per day

Your canal boating holiday in Staffordshire

Here at Black Prince Holidays we are proud to be a leading provider of canal boat holidays in Staffordshire.

We offer a wide range of boats to suit all budgets and requirements, from small two-berth boats to spacious ten-berth boats and our boats are all fully equipped with everything you need for a comfortable stay, including central heating, a kitchen, and a bathroom. We also provide comprehensive training on how to operate your boat, so you can relax and enjoy your holiday without any worries.

From the heart of the Potteries in Stoke-on-Trent, you can explore the beautiful countryside and historic towns of Staffordshire at your own pace. You’ll have the chance to visit some of the county’s most popular attractions, such as the Potteries, the Peak District, and also head into neighbouring counties such as Cheshire and Shropshire. And you’ll be able to enjoy the peace and quiet of the canals, as you cruise along at your own leisure.

Why book a holiday with us?

  • We offer a wide range of boats to suit all budgets and requirements.
  • We have a variety of routes to choose from, so you can explore the best of what Staffordshire has to offer.
  • Our boats are all fully equipped with everything you need for a comfortable stay.
  • We provide comprehensive training on how to operate your boat.
  • We offer a 24-hour emergency call-out service.

To book your canal boat holiday with Black Prince Holidays, simply search for availability using our search box above or call our team on +44 (0)1527 575115 we’ll be happy to help you plan the perfect holiday for you and your family.

Narrowboats available to hire from Stoke-on-Trent

Below are the boat types that are available for barge hire Stoke-on-Trent from this base. When you start your holiday search all the boat options and dates that closely match your desired departure date and party number will be presented to you.

Boat Availability


Princess 2Duchess 2Princess 4Duchess 4Lautrec 4Shakespeare 4Princess 6Duchess 6Duchess 8


Princess 4Princess 4 SignatureDuchess 6


Premier Inn (3 star hotel), Etruria Road, Stoke on Trent, ST1 5NH, Tel: 0333 321 9337 

Hilton Garden Inn Stoke on Trent, (4-star hotel0, Potteries Way, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 4QA, Tel: 01782 486960

National Rail Enquiries: Tel: 08457 484950 Tel: 0871 244 1545

Nearest Airport: Manchester International Tel. 0161 489 3000

Nearest Railway Station:Stoke on Trent


Approximate prices: (Prices courtesy of Intercity Cabs – subject to change)
Manchester International Airport to Stoke on Trent: £53 one way or £197 return
Heathrow Airport to Stoke on Trent: £185 one way or £374 return.

Taxi prices correct of October 2021, please note they may vary.

There is a large Morrison’s supermarket and a number of other shops at Festival Park, nearby to the base.

From Heathrow airport, get the London underground tube to Euston station.
From Gatwick airport, get the Gatwick Express to London Victoria station, then get a London underground tube to London Euston.
From Stansted airport, get the London underground tube to London Euston.
From London Euston station there is a train to Stoke on Trent.
Visit to plan your route on the London Underground.

Get a train to Manchester Piccadilly or Wilmslow station, and then change for Stoke on Trent.

M6: Exit at Junction 15 (from South) or Junction 16 (from North) and follow the A500 until you reach the A53. Turn towards Hanley and the city centre. Passing over the canal, you will see the marina on your left hand side – stay in the left hand lane (do not cross the flyover). At the roundabout, turn left. At the mini – roundabout turn left, and the marina entrance is on your left.

Stoke-on-Trent Reviews:

Black Prince Holidays
Based on 25 reviews
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Helen BaileyHelen Bailey
12:55 03 Apr 24
Lovely chap here helped us out today. Thank you!
Michael DonningMichael Donning
14:45 07 Sep 23
We booked a narrowboat for 11 days at Black Prince Holidays. Despite being "overseas customers" from Germany we didn't have the slightest problem booking a boat at their site. Everything was well prepared and we were even informed beforehand of stoppages in the canal system and alternative routes so we would be able to plan ahead if necessary.Upon arriving at Festival Park Marina we could first park close to the moored boat so our family of 5 could easily transfer our luggage. As Black Prince had already queried our intended route and our narrowboat experience some days before, the personnel took that into account and adjusted their induction accordingly. The boat had also been readily moored outside the marina and in the right direction.We then had a wonderful holiday on the canal and the boat "Saffy" carried us flawlessly around the 4 Counties Ring (and a bit of the Macclesfield). On the last day we had again absolutely no problems returning the boat. The people at Black Prince were again very friendly and helpful. We just paid the fuel and traveled home. Black Prince later also contacted us about our forgotten camera on the boat and sent it back. Thank you!
Faye Solomon 2ndFaye Solomon 2nd
22:25 09 Jul 23
Haven't been. Also no prices on website
Andy SimpsonAndy Simpson
16:18 07 Jun 23
15:02 26 Jun 22
Aisha ZafarAisha Zafar
11:21 20 Jun 22
Racist gentlemen - Just touched the boat and he went mad and start shouting at me and my friend saying not to touch it again but other people were touching it but we weren't allowed as were are asian apparently (he made horrible statements)... Just when you try to think racism doesn't exist anymore, you get someone being racist.
Scott DaviesScott Davies
09:22 09 Jun 22
We booked a trip with Black Prince holidays for our family. We did 4 nights along the Caldon Canal on one of the narrow boats. It was a lovely time and we found it very tranquil. The kids enjoyed helping with the locks and just letting the world go by. It was great to be able to stop almost anywhere and moor up. The boat was neat and well appointed and had everything we needed for the trip. We can definitely recommend this as a holiday option and Black Prince did everything to make our trip easy and enjoyable.
Richard LewisRichard Lewis
09:22 04 Jun 22
4 day trip for 6 people from Acton Bridge to Dunham Massey and return. From the initial booking to our return the experience was great. The boat was clean, modern and well equipped. All 6 of us slept like logs. The kitchen was modern and easy to use, the bathroom was a decent size and not too cramped, and the lounge comfortable and easily converted to a bedroom. The staff were friendly and helpful during the initial talk, suggesting routes and places to stop off. I couldnt recommend this trip enough.
J NyokabiJ Nyokabi
08:32 04 Jun 22
Excellent! From induction great run through with all questions answered. As beginner's our conductor took us to a 2nd lock and despite our nerves he was patient. The boat itself was very clean. Definitely recommend whether short stay or longer. See you again and Thankyou!
mandy dalleymandy dalley
11:25 03 Apr 22
Lovely and friendly staff, nice boat and a relaxing holiday.Thank you for your help in everything. ( Erin).
Margaret ParkMargaret Park
20:18 10 Aug 21
Had a great few days on Gillian a black prince narroiwboat. Would certainly recommend them
Joan FurnissJoan Furniss
20:40 29 Jul 21
First time on a narrow boat they were very helpful and the boats are fantastic absolutely loved it. Can't wait to go on one again and would definitely pick Black Prince Holidays
Martin RathfelderMartin Rathfelder
20:06 15 Apr 21
Very friendly and helpful. Came and rescued us when we lost the boat keys
13:09 19 Feb 21
Good base at Festival park Marina and ideally located on the canal past CRT's Etruria services and the Caldon canal branch!The management and staff are friendly and welcoming...We met and became friends with such amazing lovely boaters during our staycation here...Thank you so much Rachel and Gavin for your support and help during our lockdown visitors moorings staycation...You are both Shinning Stars and look after yourselves, stay safe and well along with all of yours too. Hopefully we'll pop in to say hello to you all at some point in the future or when nearby on the cut.Joe and Jackie nb. Rambling Rose
Andy HoweAndy Howe
19:38 24 Oct 20
Just returned from a weeks holiday . We had 2 boats..Megan and Isla. We have to say the staff were spot on . Nothing was too much trouble. They gave us advice on good mooring spots .... places to visit .. and also the important loch turorial.The boats were immaculate throughout and the beds surprisingly comfy .We were impressed from start to finish and will definitely be hiring from Black Prince again 😎👍
Bev SpencerBev Spencer
09:17 10 May 19
Just had a week on Odette. The boat was beautifully presented on arrival. Nothing was missing for our needs. Extremely friendly and conscientious staff. The boat was a dream with comfortable beds, fresh linen, even teatowels. Well equipped kitchen and spacious bathroom.. Had a fabulous holiday on the beautiful canals of the area. Would 100% recommend Black Prince and if we get a chance we will certainly return for another holiday.