A canal boat holiday in Oxfordshire from our hire base in Lower Heyford is a fabulous way to take a step back in time and explore some beautiful historic areas in this popular part of the southeast of England.

Enjoy a boat trip along the South Oxford Canal and try your hand at river cruising along some beautiful stretches of the River Thames, one of the most famous UK waterways.  (A river licence will be required for the Thames for your canal boat hire in Oxford, at approximately £80 for one week. You can purchase this whilst on your trip).

There is a selection of short breaks available on our Oxfordshire narrowboats, either weekend breaks or midweek short trips, from our canal boat base in Oxfordshire, including return journeys to Oxford, Banbury and some delightfully named villages such as Cropredy and Thrupp.

Longer narrowboat hire canal holidays involve cruising the River Thames, such as a lovely two-week cruise down to Hampton Court Palace and return. This narrow boating route takes in more historical royal sites than any other – including Windsor Castle, Blenheim Palace and Hampton Court Palace. This area is a great place for a family-friendly holiday in the south of England, as you can moor up and explore these famous castles as part of your trip.


  • Oxford – the city of the ‘Dreaming Spires’
  • Windsor Castle
  • Legoland – a great theme park for younger children
  • Hampton Court Palace
  • Blenheim Palace
  • Banbury
  • Beale Park wildlife park
  • Thorpe Park – one of the UK’s biggest theme parks

Top Attractions on the Waterways

  1. Cruise through the city of Oxford on Oxfordshire narrowboats and experience everything this beautiful has to offer
  2. Newbridge, arguably the oldest bridge on the River Thames, was built in the 13th century. An impressive triple-arched bridge that spans the river
  3. River and Rowing Museum in Henley
  4. Tooleys Boatyard at Banbury

Canals to cruise from Lower Heyford, Oxfordshire

  • South Oxford Canal
  • River Thames (river licence required for narrowboat hire in Oxford, which can be purchased on your trip).

Oxfordshire Canal boat hire base

The Black Prince Oxfordshire narrow boat hire base is at Lower Heyford, perfect for Oxford canal holidays and close to canal boat hire in Banbury.

Once you have booked your boat hire in Oxfordshire with Black Prince, you’ll learn about canal etiquette and be introduced to driving a boat when you arrive at your base. From here you can explore the local area plus travel further afield on cruising routes to other regions such as Berkshire and Richmond-Upon-Thames. You can hire a boat for short breaks or longer narrowboat holidays, such as a week’s cruise or even a two or three-week canal boat holiday.

What is a narrowboat?

Our Oxford narrowboats are a type of canal boat that are typically between 50 and 70 feet long and 6 feet wide. They are designed to navigate the narrow canals of England, introducing a new kind of holiday to families and couples on the UK waterways.

Oxford canal boats are typically equipped with a kitchen, bathroom, and living area, and vary in size, sleeping between 2 and 10 people. They are powered by a small diesel engine, and can travel up to 5 miles per hour.

What is an Oxford Canal holiday like?

Here are some of the benefits of taking a canal boat holiday on an Oxford narrowboat:

  • You can explore at your own pace.
  • You can stop and go as you please.
  • You can enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside.
  • You can get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
  • You can spend time with your family and friends.
  • You can create lasting memories.
  • If you are looking for a relaxing and enjoyable holiday, then boat hire in Oxford is the perfect option for you.


Call today on ++44 (0)1527 575 115 and a Black Prince team member will be happy to help!

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