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Staycations on a slower pace of life

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Canal boat hire

Cast off and leave your cares behind with a canal boat holiday from ABC Boat Hire.

Canal boat hire like you've never experienced before. With 15 starting locations across the waterway network and canal boat sizes to accommodate 2 to 12 people, you and your family or friends can afford to kick back and relax as you enjoy watching Britain's most stunning countryside drift by. See for yourself how relaxing and enjoyable a canal boat holiday can be - watch our videos if you don't believe us!

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LOOKING FOR CANAL BOAT DAY HIRE?

Let's Chat

Unsure of what you're looking for? We're here to help! Just call and talk to one of our Friendly team

0330 333 0590

(Free UK calls)

WATCH
OUR VIDEO

See for yourself how relaxing a canal boating holiday can be!

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Our Canal Holiday Locations

Explore our beautiful canal boat hire locations across the country – from the stunning Welsh countryside to the bustling lifestyle of Scotland’s lively cities.

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Request
A Brochure

Our latest brochure makes choosing your boating holiday as easy as ABC. Inside it you'll discover advice on how to plan your trip, find comprehensive boat layouts and details, plus maps, guides and handy tips to help you make the most of our beautiful waterways on your canal holiday.

BROCHURE REQUEST

Choose your canal boat

Whatever your group number, we've a range of beautiful hand-built canal boats to hire for your narrowboat holiday.

Two to Five berth

Accommodating up to 5 people, these boats are perfect for couples or small families searching for their next boating holiday

View Two to Five berth boats

Six to eight berth

These boats accommodate between 6 and 8 people, making for a perfect boating holiday for larger families and groups

View Six to eight berth boats

Up to twelve berth

With space for up to 12 people, if you're planning a multi-family boating holiday or big celebration, these are the boats for you.

View Up to twelve berth boats

Over
140 Routes
available

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Special Offers

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Maps & Guides

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Canal Boat FAQs

Can I hire a boat just for the day?

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Yes - we have day hire boats at several of our locations - For more information, head to our day boat hire website: www.abcdayboathire.com

Can I still book if I haven't 'driven' a boat before?

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No previous experience is necessary, as our boats are extremely easy to handle and full tuition is given at the start of every holiday. Comprehensive cruising information is in a manual on the boat and details are sent out with the holiday documents to introduce you to the theory of locks and the 'rules of the road'. We provide our own 24hr emergency helpline. 

Do you need a license to drive a boat?

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You do not need a driving licence for a narrowboat and the boat itself is licenced by us for CRT waterways. There are a few waterways outside their jurisdiction for which you will need to purchase an additional licence as you enter them, such as the Scottish Canals, Rivers Avon, Thames and Wey. Our start bases can provide details when you arrive to pick up your boat. Aldermaston boats have a Thames license. 

The maximum number of people allowed on board is restricted to the number of berths. 

Can we bring pets aboard?

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This really is a holiday the whole family can enjoy together. We do not charge for any of your pets - however there is normally a maximum of 2 allowed. We obviously request that the boat is returned in a clean and tidy condition and reserve the right to refuse pets or charge for any additional cleaning or repairs required as a result of pets being on board during your holiday.  



Don't take our word for it...

Feefo average score: 4.6 out of 5.

Your recent holiday on Swift - African Swift from Hilperton

Good system for hiring boat and correspondence before holiday with all the relevant information.

18 Aug 2022

Your recent holiday on Thrush - Whites Thrush from Alvechurch

Great boat, staff, training and route. Well equipped. Clean. Everything on the boat worked well and easily. Efficient check in and out. Exceeded expectations.

18 Aug 2022

Your recent holiday on Lark - Obbia Lark from Gayton

The receptionist was talking a script and it was rather impersonal

18 Aug 2022

Your recent holiday on Eagle - Short Toed Eagle from Alvechurch

Delay in getting boat ready for us and disappointed that Despite returning boat early an extra £40 charged for fuel without any evidence.

18 Aug 2022

Your recent holiday on Lark - Obbia Lark from Gayton

Clean comfortable and well presented

18 Aug 2022

Your recent holiday on Swift - African Swift from Hilperton

Unfortunately due to the very hot weather (this is no fault of yours) the boat was unbearable to be on especially trying to sleep at night. The boat was clean and tidy on our arrival and all equipment listed was on board. We had issues with the boat: the toliet blocked (you kinding unblocked it)and gave us further instructions for how to use but unfortunately it continued to block and was very difficult to clear. The hairdryer and also the toaster blew the electrics (we made sure nothing else was on) so we didnt dare use the microwave or hoover to clean at the end of the holiday. The pump for the shower kept coming on intermittently throught the day and night. The sink smelt of old food waste and needed cleaning out.

18 Aug 2022

Your recent holiday on Eagle - Short Toed Eagle from Alvechurch

We enjoyed our first experience on opening locks and bridges and handling the boat.

18 Aug 2022

Your recent holiday on Thrush - Whites Thrush from Alvechurch

Fun, enjoyable trip with friends. Interesting variety of scenery. Relaxing pace. Good dining at Pubs along the canals. Nice people along the way.

18 Aug 2022

Your recent holiday on Wagtail - White Wagtail from Whitchurch Marina

The boat was nearly new and beautifully fitted out, however we had requested/booked a boat with 3 seperate bedrooms but told on arrival that one would need to be made up each evening/converted from sitting area. After some discussion we were told we should have had a different boat but they were all booked. In the end a table was removed so the 2 single beds could be permanently set up. 4 adults and 2 teenagers and we did all have a good time. Canal was very busy which is only to be expected during the main school holiday We did find that the fridge was not very efficient and not sure why but the ice box worked fine. Have booked with ABC before and happy to do so again but will be more careful in checking requirements are clear and agreed. Having said that the staff at Whitchurch are all great very friendly and helpful and as i said we did all enjoy our 7 days. One very irritating item is the flat water hose, it's miles too long and you have to run out the whole length to get to the tap connector then the task of getting it rolled back up is almost impossible, in the end we gave up in frustration and just coiled it up. It also had several irritating pin holes. AS A POSATIVE SUGGESTION if you have to have a flat hose then provide two. One short for general use when moored near a water point that you can roll up (as its impossible to roll up a great length ) and a second as an extension if needed.

18 Aug 2022

Your recent holiday on Eagle - Spotted Eagle from Whitchurch Marina

Wonderful 5 days with the family. Their first canal holiday and my 3rd after a 20 year gap. Just as brilliant as I remember . Have fun and get fit at the same time!

18 Aug 2022

Your recent holiday on Eagle - Spotted Eagle from Whitchurch Marina

Excellent service from ABC. Extremely helpful and prompt replies when I had to request for an app log in and an ammendment to my booking. Couldn't have been more helpful.

18 Aug 2022

Your recent holiday on Wagtail - White Wagtail from Whitchurch Marina

Lovely boat, very clean All had a good time

18 Aug 2022