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Narrowboat Holidays in Wiltshire

Wiltshire is a place to take your camera – it’s a beautifully scenic part of the world.   Located in South West England, this is a remarkable historic county with the World Heritage Site of Avebury, market towns such as Bradford-on-Avon, Malmesbury and Devizes, and picturesque villages such as Lacock and Castle Combe.

Canal boat holidays from our hire base at Bradford-upon-Avon suits all levels of experience, with easy short break cruises or more challenging routes for the experienced boater.

Top Attractions in Wiltshire

Bradford upon Avon

Built in a picturesque valley on the edge of the Cotswolds, Bradford on Avon is what we call a ‘chocolate box’ town – a pretty village that is so pretty it could be on the cover of an old fashioned sweet box! You’ll need your camera here to take photos of the quaint English cottages made from local Bath stone, the narrow historic streets and the market stalls on market day. There is also a plethora of independent retailers and small shops. The River Avon and the Kennet and Avon Canal both run through the town, which is surrounded by glorious green countryside, making this a lovely place to stay if you enjoy walking or cycling.

Historic Saxon village view of Bradford on Avon


Devizes is an historic town that oozes character, with buildings dating back to the 16th century. Of all the things to do in Devizes we’d probably recommend Wadworth’s Brewery – an independent business where ales may be sampled at their visitor centre. Wiltshire holidays would not be complete without a sample of the local brew!

walkers path on the hillside Roundway Hill, Devizes, Wiltshire, UK

The Caen Hill flight

Definitely not for the faint-hearted!  This set of 29 locks leading up to Devizes along the Kennet and Avon Canal was a major engineering feat when built at the end of the 18th century. You’ll enjoy a great view once you reach the top!

Kennet and Avon canal Devizes Caen multiple lock gates Wiltshire England UK

The Kennet & Avon Canal Trust Museum

Handily located on the Wharf overlooking the canal at Devizes, the Kennet and Avon Canal Museum tells the tale of the construction, operation, closure and restoration of the canal.

Black Prince Holidays - Family walking on towpath

Nearby Attractions


Bristol is the home town of such disparate characters as John Cabot, Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Cary Grant. It’s a fantastic city to explore, full of atmospheric passages and corners, alleyways and stairways as befits a former sea-trading port. One of the best places to visit in Bristol is the vibrant harborside area. Here, you can stroll along the picturesque waterfront, take in the views of colorful boats bobbing in the harbor, and visit a variety of attractions. The SS Great Britain, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, is a must-see maritime museum and historic ship that offers an immersive glimpse into Victorian-era travel. Nearby, the M Shed museum showcases Bristol’s rich history, including its role in the slave trade and the birth of trip-hop music. Additionally, you can explore the buzzing Harbourside Market, sample delicious street food, and enjoy a wide range of cultural events and festivals that often take place in this dynamic area.

Bristol Dock


Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is the only place in the UK where you can bathe in naturally hot spa water and original roman style baths.  Dating back many centuries, you’ll want to check out the Pump Room and Assembly rooms made famous by Jane Austin, as well as the Roman Bath museum.

Canal boat hire in Wiltshire allows you the freedom to cruise to these fantastic cities and visit within easy walking distance of the canal.

bath uk

Canals and rivers to cruise from Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire

Canal boat hire in Wiltshire

The Black Prince canal boat hire base is located in the picturesque town of Bradford on Avon. From here you can enjoy the Kennet & Avon Canal that heads east, or the River Avon that heads east over to Bath and Bristol.

Wiltshire, located in the South West of England, is a county steeped in history and natural beauty. Known for its picturesque countryside, rolling hills, and ancient landmarks, holidays in Wiltshire are popular with both the Brits and with guests from overseas.  The county is perhaps most famous for being home to the iconic stone circles of Stonehenge and Avebury, which have fascinated and mystified generations with their enigmatic origins. Stonehenge is approximately 30 miles away from Bradford upon Avon, about a 45 minute drive, so well worth a visit if you have time before or after your canal boat trip.

Being quite a rural region, the network of canals and rivers meanders its way through some beautiful countryside. Renting a canal boat allows you to navigate through lush green landscapes, passing by quaint villages, historic towns, and the iconic landmarks like the stunning Caen Hill Locks. The slow pace of a canal boat holiday in Wiltshire allows you to immerse yourself in the serene beauty of Wiltshire, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a relaxing and idyllic getaway.

One of the highlights of canal boat hire in Wiltshire is the opportunity to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. As you navigate the calm waters of the canals, you’ll encounter a sense of tranquility that is hard to find elsewhere.

You can moor your boat in peaceful spots along the canal, enjoy a picnic on the banks, or explore charming waterside pubs where you can savor traditional British fare and locally brewed ales. The slow and steady pace of your Wiltshire narrowboat allows you to truly appreciate the beauty of the countryside, its wildlife, and its rich history.

It’s often said that a canal boat holiday allows you to see some of the areas hidden gems which you wouldn’t see if you were in a car or on a train. As you navigate slowly along at four miles per hour along the peaceful waterways, there’s plenty of time to take in the surroundings and enjoy the countryside that you may otherwise miss.

Many of our guests use the canal boat as a base to explore the fascinating attractions in this popular county. Make sure you build in time to visit the quaint market towns like Devizes and Bradford-on-Avon, where you can stroll through charming streets, visit local shops, and immerse yourself in the county’s heritage. Holidays in Wiltshire offer a delightful blend of relaxation, adventure, and cultural exploration, making it an unforgettable experience for all who embark on it.