Boating holidays in the UK

Canal boat holidays in the UK are exhilarating crusades, rich in history and calming countrysides

 

For a small island, the UK has vast amounts of history and culture. From the Beatles to Hitchcock, the Royal Family to Harry Potter, it’s no surprise that many travel to its shores ready to peruse at its vast array of landmarks.

Boating holidays in the UK are great for...

• Getting close to the peaceful green countryside along the Thames and the spectacular mountain scenery on the Caledonian Canal

• Mooring and being able to fish and come close to wildlife

• The freedom to stop off at historic castles and royal palaces and sprawling parks and gardens.

England (bases in Benson and Chertsey)

The Thames

Etched deeply in the history of the UK is the mighty River Thames, England’s longest river. Surrounded by pubs and nature, the freedom to moor and explore along its fine banks is very easy. Hiring a canal boat with us lets you spend as much time as you want in the surrounding towns and cities.

 

Below are our top three picks for places to stop off at along the canal:

 

Oxford

Blanketed in beautiful medieval architecture and iconic filming spots is the 'city of dreaming spires'. Besides fame for its prestigious university, Oxford houses infinite historical structures amongst dazzling architecture worth getting lost in. From its castle, to the picturesque Gloucester Green Town Square, mooring your canal boat for a couple of days in Oxford may not be enough time to really connect with the city and its past. Oxford is a 6 hour cruise to the west of our Benson base. 

Windsor

This historic market town is drowning in history and excitement for all. From the tranquil greenery of Saville and Alexandra Gardens to the thrill of Dr Choco's Chocolate Factory, Windsor is not all glitz and glamour. If you find yourself wanting to travel back in time then head to the Castle, first constructed nearly 1000 years ago and still an active residence of the British monarchy.  Or, if lego is your thing, head to the UK's only LEGOLAND resort.

Henley-on-Thames

Surrounded by wooded hills and green fields, Henley encompasses a mix of relaxing strolls by the Thames, with lively summers where arts and music festivals fill the town with excited visitors. This UK 'jewel'  has well-preserved architecture and is perfect for self-guided heritage walks. Every July it hosts its Henley Royal Regatta and its beautiful Church and Town Hall accompany a market place ready to fill you with delightful food and stunning views from its 18th century stone bridge. 

 

Scotland (base in Laggan)

Loch Ness and Caledonian Canal

Boasting some of the most spectacular scenery in the UK, the sublime 60-mile Caledonian Canal cuts through the breath-taking Great Glen and Scottish Highlands. Hiring a canal boat with Le Boat allows you to explore this much-loved waterway between Inverness and Fort William at your own pace.

 

Below are our top three picks for places to stop off at along the canal:

 

Inverness

Charming and cheerful, with the best of the Highlands and the excitement that the best cities boast, Inbhir Nis combines its easily explorable rich history found in its nineteenth century cathedral and castle with the best of shopping and entertainment. Make the most of your boat rental, moor nearby, grab a bite in the city's Victorian market and visit the Museum and Art Gallery to truly immerse yourself in Scottish culture. Inverness is 9 hours to the north of our Laggan base. 

Banavie

Claimed to have been home to St. Patrick, is the pleasant village of Banavie. Part of the local community near the Caledonian Canal and Ben Nevis, Banbhaidh, as it is known, is home to the longest staircase lock in the UK and is not far from the Glenfinnan Viaduct View Point. The small settlement of Banavie is a place certainly worth mooring your canal boat at and taking a hike to catch the breath-taking views of Ben Nevis. Banavie is less than an hour's walk from Fort William. 

Drumnadrochit and Loch Ness

Loch Ness, home to the UK's most fabled monster, is where you'll find the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition, perfect for 'Nessie' enthusiasts, and remarkable views from the ruins of Urquhart Castle. Drumnadrochit, a quiet village on the west shore, is surrounded by the beauty of nature, and many choose to explore Blairbeg Park or head to Glen Urquhart for horse-riding and hiking. Head to the Benleva hotel to try some freshly brewed Ness beer. 

 

Reviews of England and Scotland

England

 

"Brilliant weekend! Loved it! Great fun on the boat navigating the waterways and enjoying the pace of life on the river. Wonderful way to see this area of the United Kingdom. We had a fantastic time on the Tango. It was a comfortable boat and we really enjoyed going along the waterways and through locks, having BBQ's on the side of the river and jumping in for a dip to cool off. Got the hang of boating really quickly and loved it."

Vicky Boughton, Tango

 

Scotland

 

"Had a long weekend up in Scotland with Le Boat. We had a fantastic time from start to finish, staff at the base couldn't have been more helpful. Do yourself a favour and get booked in, it is a stunning part of the UK to relax and enjoy, as well as excellent value for money. I'm looking forward to re-booking in the future."

 Angus Shaw, Crusader