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Celebrating 50 years of providing canal holidays in 2018 Union Canal Carriers offer a fascinating location from which to start your cruise. Nestled in a quiet Northamptonshire valley, and part of an historic area of canal buildings, the base offers an unrivalled choice of routes to suit all capabilities. On board the spacious and comfortable boats you will soon feel at home and with full tuition on handling your boat you know that you are in safe hands and can cruise the canals with confidence.Braunston is centrally located and is easily accessible by major road, rail and airport links.
You don’t need a licence to drive a boat. However, like the Highway Code (but much simpler) there are a few basic rules you need to follow. These are all explained in the comprehensive manual which we provide in every boat. Your boatyard will also advise you when you are given your handover tuition.
Absolutely not. When you arrive to pick up your boat, you’ll receive plenty of expert tuition from your boatyard staff. They’ll provide all the training, help and advice you need until you’re happy to take the helm. Your on-board manual gives you lots of tips and reminders, too.
Depending on the waterway, you’ll be travelling at a maximum of 4mph to 7mph. Cruising about 4 hours a day means 80-100 miles in a week, and you can travel anywhere in the waters covered by your boat’s licence. When you’ve searched our site for your ideal boat or start point, you can click to see details of suggested cruising routes for 3/4 night breaks and week-long holidays. View our cruising route maps, too.
The manual on board your boat has plenty of information about mooring places, and your boatyard will show you how to moor up. The most popular moorings are those closest to waterside pubs, restaurants, villages and towns (where a small charge is usually made) but there are many quieter places to moor free of charge. Mooring is free at any Hoseasons boatyard, Environment Agency mooring and on any canal towpath.
These are part of the fun. You simply steer your boat gently in, and use the big wooden beams to close the gates behind you. Then you open small paddle doors in the other gates with the L-shaped winding handle provided with your boat to let the water in or out and change the water level. Then you open the gates and drive out, stopping to close the gates and paddle doors before leaving. In Europe, and in Britain on the Thames, Caledonian Canal and parts of the Cambridgeshire Waterway, there are larger locks with lock-keepers to do the work for you. There are no locks on the Norfolk Broads.
Some boatyards (and nearly all on the canals) include your fuel in your holiday price, and the full tank you start with is usually much more than you need for your holiday. If you’re charged, you will only be charged for the fuel used, and this amount will be deducted from your fuel deposit when you return the boat. Typical fuel costs for a week’s cruising (depending on boat and waterway) are between £40-£100, but in Scotland, costs can be up to £130.
On your boat. Of course. Your boat will have a full tank of water and all boats have hot and cold running water for kitchens and shower rooms. You can top up your water tank at any Hoseasons boatyard or public mooring if necessary, for which there is usually a small charge.
All you need to bring with you are sensible non-slip shoes, and you’ll receive all the training about safety you need from your boatyard staff when you arrive. We recommend buoyancy aids for children and non-swimmers - these are provided free of charge when you pick up your boat. The boat manual on board your boat contains all the safety information you’ll need, too. Remember, though, that boating is an active holiday. At least two members of your party will need to be able to jump on and off the boat to moor up and work the locks.
You must check when you make your booking before bringing any 240v electrical appliances. Some boats have 240v systems, but this does not mean that you can bring any appliances with you. In most cases, it’s only possible to use the appliances supplied on the boat. All boats have shaver points for electric shavers, and most have a 12v accessory socket similar to a car. Any electrical items with a car adapter will operate from this socket, including mobile phones, camcorders, digital cameras and chargers for their batteries. You’ll need to bring your own connecting plugs and leads, though.
Most boats welcome one or two well-behaved dogs and pets are free of charge at many canal boatyards. There are many excellent walks along the towpaths and in the countryside close to many moorings. For boating in Europe, the Pet Passport scheme is now well established, so you needn’t leave one of the family behind! Visit https://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets for more details about what you need to do. You’ll find other useful information at www.dogsaway.co.uk
Get shown the ropes and everything you need to know about a boating holiday with Hoseasons. It really is simple - you’ll take to a boating holiday like, well, a duck to water!
Cruisers are the boats you will find available in the UK on the Norfolk Broads, the Cambridgeshire waterways, the Caledonian Canal and the River Thames. These waterways are not narrow like canals, so cruisers are of a normal width and overall shape. Cruisers are also available on the waterways of Ireland and Germany, and many of the boats on the rivers and canals of France and Holland are cruisers.
Available on the Norfolk Broads, River Thames and Caledonian Canal. Sizes range from boats sleeping from 2 to 8 people. These boats feature a choice of steering positions – one on the raised sun-deck and one below, so are ideal for all weather conditions.
Available on the Norfolk Broads, these boats are available in a wide range of sizes sleeping from 2 to 8 people. Forward vision is very good from these craft, which usually feature a single level deck which many parties find more convenient and easy.
Available on the Norfolk Broads and Cambridgeshire waterways, these boats are available in a range of sizes sleeping from 2 to 10 people. The feature of this design is a large sliding canopy over the saloon of the cockpit area.
These boats are available on the Norfolk Broads, River Thames, Cambridgeshire waterways and the Caledonian Canal. They are available in a range of sizes sleeping from 2 to 6 people. A folding roof (similar to the roof of a soft-top car) provides all-weather protection for the cockpit area.
AFT cockpit boats tend to be smaller than other styles, and are a popular choice for first-timers to boating. They are generally easier to manoeuvre, since all of the boat is visible forward from the steering position.
Built to fit the narrow canals which formed the backbone of Britain's transport network in the country's industrial past, narrowboats (or canal boats, as they are often called) owe much of their traditional design and construction to the horse-drawn barges of the period. Narrowboats are available on the canals of England, Wales and Scotland and the rivers Thames and Wey with which they are linked. On the waterways of Europe, narrowboats are available on the Canal du Midi in France and from one base in Holland. Elsewhere in France and Holland, wide beam variants of the narrowboat are available, as are traditional style French barges. French barges and some wide-beam boats feature wheel steering from an outside position on the upper deck rather than the stern tiller which is a feature of all narrowboats (see below).
Narrowboats are available in a wide range of layouts, sleeping up to 12 people, and combine their picturesque style with comfortably appointed interiors with modern facilities. Detailed plans are show for each layout so that you can see exactly how your party will fit in on your chosen boat. Narrowboat sterns have three main "shapes" (see descriptions and illustrations below) and all steer by means of a tiller at the back, or stern. There are also wide beam narrowboats on some waterways, and in France some of these have wheel steering, as do French barges.
Features a small, open rear deck providing space for the operation of the tiller.
The rear deck has more standing area than the traditional stern and sometimes fixed seats in the enclosed stern area, which is an ideal safety feature for young children who can be supervised by their helmsman.
This style of narrowboat has a spacious rear deck area, enclosed by a guard rail.
These boats are styled in a similar traditional way to other narrowboats, but are about 50% wider and so offer more convenient and spacious accommodation.
Houseboats are unique, offering you your own floating holiday home! They offer a completely different type of holiday afloat, since they are permanently moored in a choice of picturesque locations, and most offer day launch hire so you can explore nearby waterside attractions and places of interest.
Wrekin is a lovely comfortable boat fitted out with a traditional feel, perfect for couples, but with room for up to three people. Featuring a traditional back deck but with a hatchway giving space for two people to steer. With a covered front deck extending the living area so fresh air is accessible come rain or shine. The open plan saloon is laced with traditional canal decoration; combined with the solid stove, you are in for a relaxed experience, perfect for an escape from the hustle and bustle of life. Additionally, in the well-equipped galley, you will find an electric under counter fridge with ice box, an oven and hob, saucepans, cooking utensils, crockery and cutlery etc. giving you the choice to cook or not. Wrekin has the extra advantage of stables doors at the front giving you the option to open the top for ventilation or keeping pets and younger ones inside.
Malvern is the largest of the Barney boats but still agile and easy to manoeuvre into those smaller moorings outside the pubs. Malvern is a four-berth narrowboat sleeping up to 4 adults. There is the facility to add a fifth bed converting a single bed to bunk beds for younger children making Malvern ideal for a family getaway. Gorgeous design with a traditional style including a covered front deck, ensuring that rain will not hinder your canal boat experience; and an extended opening hatchway on a traditional stern giving space for two people to enjoy the views. An open plan saloon with a solid fuel stove provides a welcoming living area for cosy evenings on-board. The well-equipped galley, under counter fridge with ice box, an oven and hob, saucepans, cooking utensils, crockery and cutlery offers the opportunity to cook your own meals if you choose to do so. Malvern has the extra advantage of stables doors at the front giving you the option to open the top for ventilation or keeping pets and younger ones inside.
Clee is a gorgeous 41ft narrowboat with a lovely semi-traditional stern with seating and a large front deck for all to sit out and enjoy the countryside. This boat can sleep 4, with one double and two singles, or flexible for a family with 2 adults in the saloon area, the rear can be set as one single bed and a set of bunk beds suitable for two younger children. It has much in the way of entertainment, with a television DVD Player, radio /CD player and central heating.
Purbeck is a reverse layout boat designed as a couple’s romantic escape. With a sleeping cabin at the front that can be either a fixed double or two singles, a large airy bathroom, the well fitted galley at the back and free-standing seating in the saloon. The front and rear decks have plenty of space for relaxation. Like all our boats she is equipped to a high standard.
Clent is a gorgeous four berth boat sleeping 2 people in the rear cabin on either a fixed double or 2 singles and 2 on the convertible settee in the saloon. The stunning ash lined interior is made bright and lively by the sky light above the kitchen, creating an open feel. Offering a large front deck, ideal for socializing and absorbing the beautiful views of England’s canals, combined with the semi-traditional back deck, there is plenty of outdoor space to be enjoyed. Kitted out with a large comfortable bathroom, central heating, a television DVD Player, and kitchen appliances giving you the opportunity to cook whilst admiring the views of the scenic countryside.
Selene is a generous sized four berth boat with a golden-pine interior and a cruiser stern back deck. Offering a large spacious bathroom, an airy saloon and a roomy front deck; resulting in an environment perfect for a refreshing get away, ideal for a couple or small family. The rear cabin can be either 1 double bed or 2 single beds and the settee easily converts into a double bed. Selene is fully equipped with a television DVD Player, central heating, an electric refrigerator with ice box, a radio / CD player and hairdryer as well as kitchen appliances.
Brendon is a stunning semi-traditional narrow boat with more than enough room for 6 people. There is the potential to turn one of the single beds into a set of bunk beds for younger children, making it an ideal family holiday boat. Brendon comes with a large front and back deck, both with seating. A table can be added at the front making it perfect for sitting out and soaking up the sun’s rays, having a drink or relaxing with a book. Brendon is built with an inviting and welcoming feel thanks to the large saloon and outdoor space, making her ideal for spending quality time with loved ones. Brendon is also well equipped with a cooker, fridge, television DVD player, radio/ CD player and a spacious bathroom, making your stay comfortable and enjoyable.
Berwyn has a flexible interior accommodating 6 people in three cabins and 2 people in the saloon. There is one bathroom to the rear of the boat, and a second toilet and vanity unit in the private cabin at the front. In the well-equipped galley, you will find a fridge, a full-size cooker, saucepans and kitchen utensils, everything you need to cook for a hungry crew. The spacious saloon area is ideal for winding down with the family. Berwyn has large front and rear decks for socialising.
Laughton is a gorgeous ash finished boat that sleeps 4-6, she has a semi-traditional stern, central heating and a light open interior thanks to the galley opening skylight. Laughton is a perfect family get away, with a flexible layout providing a cool, clean and bright atmosphere, with either a single or double bed in each cabin. In the well stocked galley there is a microwave, fridge with ice box as well as an oven and grill. The boat is designed with privacy between cabins and toilets for night time use. Fitted with a television / dvd in the spacious saloon and a large front deck, Laughton is superb for sitting back and relaxing whilst absorbing the stunning views that British canals have to offer.
Wenlock is the perfect getaway narrowboat for families, with a fixed double bed in the rear cabin, 2 bathrooms, 2 cabins each with bunk beds for the children and the convertible settee in the saloon provides an additional double. Clever design provides plenty of storage space in the boat and doors offer privacy between all cabins and bathrooms. The galley is well equipped with a full size cooker, microwave, under counter fridge with ice box, saucepans, cooking utensils, crockery and cutlery. We believe that outdoor space is pivotal to a canal boat holiday experience and Wenlock has a large welcoming front deck comprising seating and a table for socializing. Also, a safe semi traditional rear deck with seating. There is a saloon area big enough for all to sit and eat together, ideal for relaxing and unwinding.
A comfortable and versatile, 65ft cruiser stern narrowboat, with a smooth-running water-cooled diesel engine. Hot water 24 hours a day, with central heating from gas boiler. Spacious saloon area, with sofa seating, which can be converted into a double bed in the evening. There is a TV/DVD and a Radio/CD player. Fully equipped galley with work surfaces, sink, microwave, electric fridge and an oven and hob. Two full bathrooms with a shower, toilet and wash basin.
Pennine is a 12 berth boats, with plenty of room for everyone. The semi-traditional design gives the boat an inviting atmosphere, and the windows create an open feel and provide the opportunity for stunning views. The spacious saloon provides a great place to socialise and relax, likewise, the large seated front and back decks add to the communal areas making Pennine ideal for spending quality time with loved ones. The large well-equipped kitchen with oven and fridge with ice box, provides the opportunity for everyone to sit together and enjoy a meal.
Chiltern is a 12-berth boat, providing an opportunity for two families to come together or an extended family. It has three cabins, 2 toilets and a spacious bathroom. There is a forward cabin with 2 sets of bunk beds a toilet and vanity unit creating a private space for 4 people. Chiltern has large front and rear decks with seating perfect for socialising, creating a huge outdoor space with plenty of room for everyone to soak up the sun. The large well-equipped kitchen with oven and fridge with ice box, and a large indoor seating together provides the opportunity for everyone to sit together and enjoy a meal.
Blackdown is a lovely well-designed boat thoughtfully fitted out with a stunning light interior and flexible layout, making her well suited to families, small groups and couples alike. Featuring a beautiful front deck that welcomes lounging, relaxing, reading a book and bringing out the free-standing table for drinks. There are 3 cabins, each can be either one double or 2 single fixed beds with privacy to either of the 2 bathrooms. A well-stocked galley with a microwave, full size cooker and fridge with ice box. Blackdown has a safe semi-traditional rear deck with seating, creating an overall large outdoor space ideal for summer weather.
Hemplow is new for 2023 she is a lovely well-designed boat thoughtfully fitted out with a stunning modern interior and flexible layout, making her well suited to families, small groups and couples alike. Featuring a beautiful large front deck that welcomes lounging, relaxing, reading a book and bringing out the free-standing table for alfresco dining. There are 3 cabins, each can be either one double or 2 single fixed beds with privacy to one of the 2 bathrooms at night. A well-stocked galley including a microwave, full size cooker and fridge with ice box. Offering a cruiser rear deck making access easier for limited mobility, creating an overall large outdoor space ideal.
5.3 miles away
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23.6 miles away
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Hoseasons is a trading name of Awaze Vacation Rentals Ltd. Registered in England and Wales.
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