Messing about with boats

Slap on the sunblock and grab a lifejacket because taking to the high seas – or lake, canal, river or broad – on a narrowboat holiday provides an exciting way to view our amazing coastline and explore our peerless countryside. Most of our major towns and cities were built on rivers as trading ports and their history comes to life before our eyes from a watery vantage point on a boating holiday. Row along the River Thames, take a canal boat through The Fens, kayak through white-water rapids in the Lake District and sail the Solent amidst the gentle waves of a perfect summer’s day.

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Take a cruise on the Grand Union Canal

Take a cruise on the Grand Union Canal

Get on-board for a leisurely cruise into the heart of the Chiltern Hills, enjoying impressive views of the Buckinghamshire countryside.

Location: Pitstone, Buckinghamshire

Boating
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Cruising the Rochdale Canal

Cruising the Rochdale Canal

Lock, stock and swing bridge.

Location: Rochdale, Lancashire

Lakes and waterways
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Steamboat Ride on Coniston Water

Steamboat Ride on Coniston Water

See the Coniston Old Man in a different light.

Location: Coniston, Cumbria

Boating
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Take a relaxing boat ride along the River Avon

Take a relaxing boat ride along the River Avon

Enjoy the tranquil waters of the River Avon by boat, as many have been doing for over 100 years.

Location: Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire

Price: From £16.50 for a family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children)

Boating
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Navigate your way to nautical success with Heron Sailing

Navigate your way to nautical success with Heron Sailing

Take to the helm from England’s only Royal Harbour and master the art of sailing.

Location: Ramsgate, Kent

Boating
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Take an exhilarating boat ride along Dorset’s stunning coastline

Take an exhilarating boat ride along Dorset’s stunning coastline

Explore the inaccessible parts of Dorset’s beautiful coastline, and its native wildlife, with a rip-roaring boat ride at 30 knots.

Location: Christchurch, Dorset

Harbours and fishing villages
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Romantic punting on the River Cherwell

Romantic punting on the River Cherwell

Ever watched people punting and felt you’d like to have a go? Pick up a few tips at Cherwell Boathouse, grab the pole and off you go.

Location: Oxford, Oxfordshire

Unique Experiences
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Poetry of the Lakes

Poetry of the Lakes

Walking the natural phenomena that is the Lake District costs nothing and is arguably the most romantic place in England.

Location: Windermere, Cumbria

Rural and Coastal Escapes
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Take a boat along the canals of Cheshire

Take a boat along the canals of Cheshire

Spend a week cruising along the canals of Cheshire. Hire a narrow boat and meander along the Cheshire Ring, taking in the beauty of the countryside.

Location: Macclesfield, Cheshire

Boating
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Roam with Ransome on Coniston

Roam with Ransome on Coniston

Take a trip on the actual dinghy used in the film ‘Swallows and Amazons’ and see what inspired Arthur Ransome to write his famous book.

Location: Coniston, Cumbria

Boating
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Take a wind-whipped voyage of discovery with RIB Request

Take a wind-whipped voyage of discovery with RIB Request

Sit back and feel the wind fly through your hair as you speed out to sea on a RIB Request boat trip.

Location: Ramsgate, Kent

Boating
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Visit the UK’s largest outdoor festival in Keswick

Visit the UK’s largest outdoor festival in Keswick

Grab your Gore-Tex, pack the tent and amble over to Keswick’s big family adventure.

Location: Lake District, Cumbria

Forests and woodlands
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Spring into Easter at Runnymede

Spring into Easter at Runnymede

Spend time exploring Royal Windsor with a two night weekend break at the runnymede-on-thames Hotel and Spa, set on the banks of the river Thames.

Location: Windsor, Berkshire

Price: From £275

Boating
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Find your way to foodie heaven on the Quayside

Find your way to foodie heaven on the Quayside

Fine dining, traditional pubs and a history of oyster fishing combine to make Emsworth an enticing destination for food lovers.

Location: Emsworth, Hampshire

Rural and Coastal Escapes
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Set sail at Whitstable Yacht Club

Set sail at Whitstable Yacht Club

Sailing in sheltered waters at all times of the tide.

Location: Whitstable, Kent

Coastal towns
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Canal cruise through Staffordshire’s Peak District

Canal cruise through Staffordshire’s Peak District

Escape the hustle and bustle of city life by hiring a canal boat and leisurely cruising through picturesque scenery.

Location: Peak District, Staffordshire

Boating
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See the light at the end of the tunnel

See the light at the end of the tunnel

Standedge Tunnel, in the heart of the Pennine countryside, is the longest canal tunnel in Britain - the setting for a great experience in the Yorkshire Peak District.

Location: Marsden, Yorkshire

Boating
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Strap on your sea legs on a Harbour Tour

Strap on your sea legs on a Harbour Tour

Get closer than ever to the Royal Navy's ships on a 45 minute guided boat tour of Portsmouth Harbour.

Location: Portsmouth, Hampshire

Tours and trails

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