Please sign in to post.

narrowboat routes

We plan on renting a narrowboat in England during the busy part of next summer(July) and were wondering if anyone knows of any resources that might answer our questions about which specific routes might be best.

Posted by
3313 posts

Here's a SlowTrav article with information and resources. Good luck!

Posted by
6 posts

Try the British Waterways London website: I emailed a question about Regent's Canal and received a prompt reply. They sent brochures and flyers to my home with lots of information about the entire waterways system. Good luck.

Posted by
51 posts

Not quite an exclusive narrowboat area (although there are a lot of them there) but the Norfolk Broads & the Fenlands are very popular. A few years ago my parents rented a small boat and we did the area around Ely - it was beautiful.

The Fens and the Norfolk Broads have a large number of waterways and from what I remember there are a number of companies that rent boats out around there.

Here's a few to suggest:

Ely was especially lovely as we came up to the town near sunset with the Cathedral (known as the Ship of the Fens) set against the skyline. We also visited Oliver Cromwells home which was near the water.

Posted by
17 posts

My wife and I have done 2 narrowboat holidays with another couple. We chose Viking Afloat ( on both occasions because we were advised to chose a boat layout plan that suited our needs and then choose the route. The boat we used on both trips had a double berth cabin at each end with it's own bathroom. The galley/eating area was in the middle. We started with a 4 day short break (mon-fri)from Rugby to Warwick (almost)and then back. The second was a 7 day from Whitchurch to Llangollen and back as mentioned in the article in SlowTrav. This by the way is an very informative article. The Llangollen canal was our favourite as well.

Our boat was 57 feet long (Medway Class). Anything longer might be a little cumbersome. Be sure to plan your trip so you can turn around at a winding hole, marina or some such wide spot or junction. Once you have picked a departure base and route be sure to purchase a Pearson's Guide for your particular route. These are about $20 and are invaluable. They show every lock, bridge, winding hole and most importantly every pub. They also give average times to navigate each section (page). They can be purchased online from the narrowboat company.

The website has lots of information and is the rental site for five different narrowboat companies. It lists all of the routes and boats available. Check out the 6 minute video under "first time afloat".

Please feel free to contact me by email if I can be of any more assistance.


Posted by
349 posts

Send me A privite e mail and I will call you and loan you the offical norrow boat guide

Posted by
349 posts

I have been on the cut 3 times I went through Middlewich and thought as the crossing point of 3 canals and home of boat co( I forget which one ) a place to consider as well as nice little town with 3 locks in the center . near Chester