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Canal Boat Weekend Breaks

Weekend Breaks in the UK

Narrowboat holidays are a great idea for weekend breaks in the UK. They’re fun, affordable and they’re ideal for families, groups or couples looking to do something different for the weekend when planning holidays in the UK. The beauty of canal boat hire is that you can get comfortable in a home away from home whilst reconnecting with the beautiful countryside on your holiday afloat and having the unique opportunity to explore Britain’s most spectacular canal routes. If you and your family are new to narrowboating, you may be surprised to discover how modern, beautiful and spacious barge boat accommodation can be; ergonomically designed, these spectacular vessels will feature everything you would expect in a basic holiday home and with Black Prince, you will never be too far from creature comforts as you explore UK canals.

With Black Prince Narrowboats, you’ll get good value for money, friendly service and a chance to tour canal holiday routes on our modern, award-winning narrowboats. All of our canal boats and barges for weekly hire come with full central heating, 240v power, modern shower and toilet facilities, cooker and fridge (with small freezer unit suitable for ice cubes etc), plus a flat-screen TV complete with Freeview channels and a DVD player. And in addition to state of the art facilities to make your narrowboat weekend break as comfortable as possible, some of our barges are also pet-friendly, so you won’t have to leave your furry friends behind on your barge holidays! So whether it’s a family weekend break or a romantic weekend getaway for two, there’s nothing quite as thrilling as a canal narrowboat holiday.

Explore Britain in your very own boat

The biggest advantage of narrowboat hire is the sense of freedom as you curate the activities of your exciting weekend away – all in the comfort of your very own mobile home on the water. The waterways and cruise routes of the UK have a rich and interesting history and whilst many canal routes were historically closed or abandoned, many of these have reopened for recreational boating. Canals were first used during Roman times and the United Kingdom’s navigable water network grew dramatically during the Industrial Revolution; today there are thousands and thousands of miles of canal routes just waiting to be discovered and each of our recommended canal holiday routes will have its own unique charm and beauty.

Our routes cover The Peak District and Staffordshire, Llangollen and North Wales, Warwickshire, Cambridgeshire, Stratford upon Avon, Bradford on Avon to Wiltshire, Cheshire and the North West, Glasgow and Edinburgh, Worcestershire and the West Midlands, and the East Midlands area. And there are different canal routes to suit every kind of boating holiday, including family-friendly narrowboat holidays, city routes down waterways like the River Thames that will give you a chance to get explore a major destination with boat hire, lock-free routes and beginner routes, winter orientated holidays, and short routes which are ideal for weekend jaunts. Whatever your needs or requirements, there’s a waterway to suit your boating style.

Weekend canal boat breaks

Some of our most popular short break routes are from Acton Bridge to Manchester (1 stop-lock, 1 tunnel) which is approximately 17 hours return which provides a great weekend out and about for groups, Four Counties Ring in the Peak District which has fantastic pubs and restaurants dotted along the way, Llangollen to Whittington in North Wales (3.5 hours to Llangollen and 8 hours cruise to Whittington and return), and Stoke Prior through the River Severn to Worcester. If you’re looking for a narrowboat weekend break that is jam-packed with activities, museums, city walks or even a spot of hiking, then try part of the circular route of the Warwickshire Ring or explore the canals near Oxford. For more route recommendations, please don’t hesitate to ask our friendly and knowledgeable team.

Choose Your Weekend Break Route:

Weekend canal boat breaks

Activities  & Attractions

Travelling by canal boat is the same as staying in a hotel, B&B or private accommodation when it comes to sights, attractions and activities – only better! Not only will you have the unblemished countryside and the beautiful waterways of Britain outside your window but you can enjoy a whole host of fun, exciting activities along the way. This is when picking your perfect route comes into play; some of our canal routes will give you a chance to hit the town in a major city, others will pitch you close to some of Britain’s best restaurants and pubs, whilst others will set you on your way to some of the UK’s most glorious countryside settings.
Some of the activities you can do include:

  • Walking and hiking
  • Nature trails
  • Cycling and mountain biking
  • Pub crawls
  • Restaurants and bars
  • Visiting historical sights
  • Daytrips to towns and villages
  • Museums and art galleries

Is a narrowboat holiday suitable for me?

The beauty of a narrowboat weekend is that it’s suitable for everyone and anyone, even boating beginners. We also offer an online Narrow Boat Beginner’s Guide with advice and a clear breakdown of everything that happens during your holiday with Black Prince, from beginning to end. So if you’ve never had experience with canal boats or boating, you don’t have to worry about the suitability of this kind of holiday. Our expert team at Black Prince is here to meet and greet you on arrival and they will give you the full induction; you will be trained in driving the boat and operating a lock and our team member will also walk you through all the facilities on board. Once on board, you will have access to a detailed manual and Black Prince will also around-the-clock assistance should you come across any issues.

Families with Children

For families travelling with children, a canal boat weekend break in the UK is safe as long as you are well prepared. As with all boating holidays, there are always risks involved when it comes to travelling on water and we ask that all families travelling with children to be prepared by reading up on canal boat safety prior to your holiday start date. This Boater’s Handbook by The Canal River Trust gives a full safety breakdown. If you’re looking for an exciting new experience for you and your little ones, narrowboating in the UK will create a holiday to remember, and your kids will love to come back year after year. It’s also suitable for all seasons so whether you’re looking to hire a canal boat in summer or winter, we will have something to suit your timeframe.

Adult Only Groups

Narrowboat holidays are ideal as a fun weekend break for groups (including birthday celebrations and family get-togethers) and if you’re new to boating, it will be such a unique experience – something truly unforgettable for everyone on board. Our narrowboats can accommodate up to 10 people maximum and whether you’re travelling in a small group of 3 or 4 or looking to book a big weekend for a big group of friends, there will be a modern and beautiful boat waiting for you at Black Prince. All of our barge boats are equipped with modern facilities (including shower and toilets) so your entire group can benefit from the best home comforts. Space may not be as ample as hotel or cottage accommodation but because our narrowboats are ergonomically designed, there will be enough room for everyone to relax.

Couples / Romantic Breaks

If you’re looking for an inventive idea for a romantic weekend away, there could be nothing more private or secluded as a canal boat getaway. With your very own narrowboat, you’ll have a special space just for the two of you, with no disturbances from the outside world. And what could be more romantic than the blissful views of an untouched English countryside or Scotland canal just outside your window. Get back to basics with the simplicity and breathtaking beauty of the great outdoors whilst still having modern home comforts inside your own private boat. And there are so many different routes which offer everything from romantic nature trails and scenic walks to quaint countryside pubs and Michelin star restaurants. Plus you can’t beat a canal boat sunset for some seriously romantic views!

Weekend canal boat breaks

Overseas Visitors

We welcome overseas visitors from all corners of the globe and we don’t think there’s a better way to explore Britain’s countryside than by the means of its glistening waterways. Narrowboats are ideal for groups of all sizes and it really is the best way to see all of the UK’s famous landmarks without the downside of crowds and busy city roads. We’re proud to say that the UK is home to some of the world’s most beautiful historic cities and a canal boat holiday can give you a chance to explore these unique destinations whilst cruising along the canals, with stunning nature serving as your backdrop. If you’re travelling from outside of the UK, our expert team will help every step of the way – so you don’t need to worry about anything. There are several ways to reach your canal base (your starting point) including UK car hire or by train. If you have any questions at all, our team will be at hand to help and can even recommend the best car hire companies or train lines for your transfer needs.

A Healthy Weekend Break

If you’re after a healthy weekend away and you don’t want to indulge in the temptations of the city, this is the perfect opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle and get reconnected with nature. Don’t be restricted by cars or coaches and don’t bother yourself with issues of traffic and roadworks; a narrowboat weekend break is utterly relaxing and places you in the perfect spots for walking, nature trails, cycling and other fun outdoor activities. And because every single one of our boats comes with a cooker plus fridge with freezer compartment, you can rustle up your own healthy meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner instead of dining out. A great way to detox and an even better way to save money!

Budget Holiday

Narrowboat weekends make an economical choice for families or couples travelling on a budget. Complete with on board cooking facilities, you can enjoy affordable self-catering within your own private space and with glorious views to accompany your daily dining. Eating on your boat won’t cost you as much as a restaurant / gastro pub meal and the views will be utterly priceless. And for a few nights or more, you can find ultra-modern and well-facilitated narrowboat accommodation priced at very affordable prices per head. With the gorgeous great outdoors waiting just outside your boat and easy access to historical towns and quaint villages, there will be so much you can get up to for free; including city tours and a spot of shopping, seeing historical sights and outdoor attraction, going on beautiful nature walks, going hiking or cycling, or visiting free/cheap museums and galleries.

Booking your narrowboat weekend break

Booking your canal boat weekend couldn’t be easier. And you don’t have to have any previous experience in boating to get started either. At Black Prince Narrowboats, we’ve got a team ready to help you get to grips with boating basics and every travel group will receive a full induction on the day of their travel and there will be around-the-clock assistance available even when you’re out on the waters. So you really will be looked after every step of the way. We’re proud to say that we are recommended by more than 96% of our previous and existing customers and we have British Marine Federation accredited personnel for hire boat inductions and all handover procedures – so you’re in safe hands with our expert team and we welcome groups or families of all sizes. If you’re looking to book a special weekend away narrowboating down one of Great Britain’s beautiful canal routes, get in touch with us today.

Your canal boat adventure starts here with Black Prince. Explore the UK and create your very own canal boat weekend adventure! Call us on +44 (0)1527 575115 or email our team at holiday@black-prince.com to find out more.