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.

59 Experience Results

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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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Soak up the sights of Hampshire on a canal trip

Soak up the sights of Hampshire on a canal trip

Float away on a scenic cruise along the Basingstoke Canal. With 29 locks, the canal is a boaters’ paradise and a great family experience.

Location: Basingstoke, Hampshire

Wildlife and Nature Reserves
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Experience the world’s biggest sailing regatta

Experience the world’s biggest sailing regatta

With up to 40 races a day and more than 1,000 boats pulling into harbour, Cowes Week is the sailing spectacular event not to be missed.

Location: Cowes, Isle of Wight

August events
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Take a boat trip for the best view of the Jurassic Coast

Take a boat trip for the best view of the Jurassic Coast

Step aboard the Stuart Line Cruise, and see the stunning 250 million year old Jurassic Coast cliffs up close from the sea.

Location: Exmouth, Devon

World heritage sites
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Take a boat trip in Little Venice

Take a boat trip in Little Venice

Cruise along the canal connecting London's picturesque Little Venice to the colourful hub of Camden Lock.

Location: Warwick Avenue, Greater London

Boating
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Seal Watching in Arthur Ransome’s ‘Secret Water’

Seal Watching in Arthur Ransome’s ‘Secret Water’

Board the ‘Karina’ for a magical 2 hour trip around Walton’s ‘Secret Water’, the setting for Arthur Ransome’s enchanting ‘Swallows and Amazons’ books.

Location: Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex

Wildlife and Nature Reserves
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Frolic in Rutland Water's magical outdoor playground

Frolic in Rutland Water's magical outdoor playground

Rutland Water, one of Europe’s largest man-made lakes, is set in over 4,200 acres of stunning countryside, offering you a great getaway experience.

Location: Rutland Water, Rutland

Boating
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Cambridge Ghost Tours

Cambridge Ghost Tours

Seek out ghosts and ghouls on a guided tour in the ancient city of Cambridge.

Location: Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

Myths, Legends and Tales
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Sail away with Topsail Charter

Sail away with Topsail Charter

Leave the pressures of modern life ashore as you relax and explore the “secret waters” of the East Coast.

Location: Maldon, Essex

Industrial, Maritime And Transport
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Go otter spotting in Norfolk

Go otter spotting in Norfolk

When it comes to big game spotting in the Broads National Park, there is no prey more sleek, more rare and more exciting than the otter.

Location: The Broads, Norfolk

Lakes and waterways
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Jump on a boat trip around Gloucester's Historic Docks

Jump on a boat trip around Gloucester's Historic Docks

Catch a 45 minute boat trip along the Gloucester Sharpness Canal with fascinating commentary from the skipper, and visit Gloucester Waterways Museum in the Historic Docks.

Location: Gloucester, Gloucestershire

Price: From £5.50 per adult

Boating
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Posh Boats on the Norfolk Broads

Posh Boats on the Norfolk Broads

Take a well-earned break from life.

Location: The Broads, Norfolk

Boating
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Row, row, row your loved one across Lakeside

Row, row, row your loved one across Lakeside

Row your way across the Lakeside in Nottingham. Poetry recital optional.

Location: Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

Picturesque places
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Sail away with Sabrina- Goddess of the River Severn

Sail away with Sabrina- Goddess of the River Severn

Leave the pressures of modern life ashore as you board the Sabrina and enjoy Shrewsbury from the unique perspective of the River Severn.

Location: Shrewsbury, Shropshire

Price: From £6.75 per adult

Boating
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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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Norfolk Broads Sailing

Norfolk Broads Sailing

The Norfolk Broads offer endless miles of lock-free cruising on shallow lakes and rivers.

Location: The Broads, Norfolk

Activities
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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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Sailing the Kennet and Avon Canal

Sailing the Kennet and Avon Canal

Sailing the 87 miles of scenic waterway from Bristol to Newbury.

Location: Bath, Somerset

Industrial, Maritime And Transport
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Explore old boats at Hull and East Riding Museum

Explore old boats at Hull and East Riding Museum

Don’t miss the Hull and East Riding Museum where you will find a woolly mammoth and one of the world’s oldest boats.

Location: Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire

Museums, galleries and libraries

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