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3 Great Ideas for a Narrowboat Holiday

Going on a narrowboat holiday for the first time? If the answer is yes, then there are a few tips you should know before you set off. Holidaying on a narrowboat, also known as a canal boat, is a unique holiday that’s unlike any other. It’s incredibly enjoyable and relaxing, giving you a chance to rest and recuperate whilst navigating the land’s wonderful waterways. 

At the same time, its uniqueness means that it can throw up some challenges along the way, and it’s a good idea to plan beforehand - rather than just turn up. To help you before you head off on your narrowboat with family or friends, we’ve written a useful post that lists a few top tips for this type of holiday. Read on to learn more, and if you’d like to contact us, please call College Cruisers on 01865 554343.

Bring and Wear Appropriate Clothing

One of the biggest tips for a first-timer is to bring the right clothing for the holiday. This is usually casual, warm and comfortable clothing, depending on the time of the year. Layers are highly recommended as temperatures can vary on the water, and you can always take off layers when the sun comes out. 

At College Cruisers, our boats have ample storage space, but there is limited hanging space, so this is something to remember. If you’re going to be attending one of the brilliant pubs and restaurants along the canal, then you might want to bring smart casual clothes as this is the typical dress code. 

We also recommend bringing a good quality waterproof coat and pair of waterproof trousers. You can never predict the great British weather, but having both of these items of clothing, will ensure that you’re adequately prepared and protected when needed. 

Bring Enough Food for a Few Days

Another top tip is to pack enough food with you for your narrowboat holiday, at least enough for a few days. There will be places along the canal where you can buy everyday supplies like milk and bread. Usually, holidayers tend to have their breakfast and lunch on board, and then visit one of the pubs or restaurants along the canal in the evening.

Maybe bring a ready prepared meal or an easy to create stew that can be put in the oven and will gently cook as you cruise along on your first afternoon. You can even pop to the pub for a drink whilst it cooks. Just sit back, relax and unwind on the canal and let it take you to a happy place. One of our family boat favourites is beef and beer casserole, accompanied by mashed potatoes, vegetables, garlic bread and served with a good Merlot!

Plan Your Route

Lastly, it’s a good idea to plan your route before you set off. The Oxford Canal is a long route, and if it’s one that you aren’t familiar with or haven’t travelled before, then we recommend doing some reading and looking at maps. 

This will give you a better idea of where to go, what to see and how you can get the most out of your canal boat holiday. At College Cruisers, we provide maps and guides via our website, and if you need any guidance, please feel free to reach out to us today.

Interested in Narrowboat Holidays in the UK?

To find out more about our Oxfordshire narrowboat holidays, please get in touch with the College Cruisers team today. You can call us on 01865 554343 to speak with a member of our team. We’re here to help answer any questions you have, discuss your requirements and get your luxury canal holiday booked.


If you would like to enjoy a dog friendly narrowboat holiday in Oxford, then College Cruisers offers just what you’re looking for. We offer luxury narrowboat holidays in Oxfordshire, with a number of canal boats available to choose from. Our holidays are perfect for all ages, and everyone from families to friends. 

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