Celebrate and Enjoy Christmas Afloat This Year
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Mon Dec 5, 2016 at 10:57am

Winter Cruising, who's on board?

We always advise anyone new to boating who is considering buying a narrow boat to try before they buy. By going away for a few days or taking a week’s holiday, this is an ideal way to get an insight into boating life.

It’s a great chance to get a feel of handling and being on board a narrow boat before you commit to buying your very own vessel. Buying a narrow boat is a big financial commitment and not something we would rush people into doing.

Hiring a narrow boat over the winter months is one of the quietest times of year, so you won’t be sharing the waterways with so many people. If you take to boating like a duck to water over the coldest time of the year, then boating come the summer time is going to suit you down to the ground.

Benefits Of Winter Cruising

Now is a great time to take to the waterways as many boaters have gone ashore leaving fewer boats cruising the network. That means that there are not so many queues at tunnels and locks, enabling you cruise without as many interruptions from fellow boaters.

The pubs are usually quieter and more welcoming. Good moorings are easier to find and of course hire prices are cheaper! For those of you that haven't had chance to get afloat this year, don't worry many hire companies are still operating over the festive season.

Find a list in this link of companies you can approach to make a booking.

If you want to escape the madness of Christmas imagine spending the holidays afloat with your family and friends in front of a roaring log burner. Enjoying the winter countryside or city view from the stern, or curled up on board with a warm glass of mulled wine.

Narrow boats are perfect for cosy days and nights in, so even if it’s cold outside you will be nice and warm on board.

What you can expect to find on board?

Don't be concerned that the boat will be cold and unusable over the winter. Today's boats often have central heating, hot water, fully fitted kitchens, extra bedding, WiFi, TV and DVD players and some also have multi-fuel stoves, so it’s always warm and cosy on board, so you will have all the mod cons you are used to at home.

Most hire companies even allow you to take your four legged friend with you, but always check this before making a booking if you want to take Fido with you.

When making your booking; look for a boat which is the design you are considering buying i.e. a traditional, semi traditional or cruiser style. This way you can see if this stern type is to your liking. If you decide after the holiday it wasn’t quite right for you then you will know this isn’t the option to go for when it comes to making a purchase.

Hiring a narrowboat over Christmas will allow you to celebrate Christmas in either the hustle and bustle one of our major cities, or in the tranquillity and peace of the countryside. The choice is yours!

How far you go depends a lot on how energetic you want to be. Narrowboat cruising from early morning till late afternoon with no stops, will certainly cover a greater distance than a journey which includes stops and time to explore.

Also a journey with many locks will be much more energetic than one with very few. Your travel speed is approximately 3-4 miles, so be prepared not to be in a hurry to get anywhere – the enjoyment is in the plodding along gently and admiring the scenery and wildlife, stopping at canal side pubs and exploring the towns and villages along the way.

There may be certain restrictions over the winter months as maintenance works can close locks and bridges etc. out of season, but your hire company will be able to advise you of where these closures will be.

So for a very memorable and different Christmas this year why not spend Xmas watching the queen’s speech and eating your turkey on board a narrow boat.

And once the festive season is over, if you decide to buy your own narrowboat. Come and see us in the New Year and we can help you buy your very own canal boat!