Sally Narrowboats, located just half an hour away from the World Heritage City of Bath and near the ancient Saxon Town of Bradford on Avon, offer canal boat holidays on the Kennet and Avon Canal.

You can experience the Kennet & Avon Canal from the comfort of one of our canal narrowboats, which come in a variety of sizes. From intimate two berth boats to larger ones which can accommodate up to ten people, you can cruise between Bath (in a westerly direction) and Reading (in the east), with numerous points of interest in between. For more information, check out our leisure guide page for recommendations.

To ensure that you enjoy your canal boat holiday to the full, one of our professional staff will instruct you before your cruise in the safe handling of the boat as well as the operation of locks and swing bridges. For your total peace of mind our training and handover protocols have been accredited by BMF, the British Marine Industry’s trade association.

Why do canal boats make such a good holiday?

Canal boats make a great holiday option because they offer a unique way of exploring and experiencing a destination. Canal boats provide a peaceful and relaxing environment where you can slow down and enjoy the scenery, wildlife and nature. Sally Narrowboats Canal boat holidays are also a great way to explore the local area and take in the historic sites and architecture around the Kennet & Avon Canal.

Are canal boat holidays suitable for first-time boaters?

We think so! Canal boats can offer a delightful holiday experience. They provide a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in a serene and picturesque setting. Cruising along calm canals allows travellers to escape the fast pace of everyday life and appreciate the beauty of nature. With the freedom to choose their own route and pace, canal boat holidays provide a sense of adventure and exploration. Families can enjoy quality time together, creating lasting memories in a charming and family-friendly environment. Staying on a canal boat offers a distinct accommodation experience, allowing guests to enjoy the tranquility of the water while having all the necessary amenities for a comfortable stay.

Are canal boats a good holiday?

Absolutely! Canal boat holidays are well-suited for first-time boaters. Prior boating experience is not required, as comprehensive instruction and guidance are provided before you set off. The boats are designed to be easy to handle, and the canals offer calm and controlled waters, making it a comfortable and safe environment for beginners to navigate and enjoy their holiday.

What activities can you enjoy during a canal boat holiday?

During a canal boat holiday, you can engage in various activities such as fishing, where you can try your luck at catching freshwater fish, cycling along the towpaths to explore the surrounding countryside, visiting historic sites and landmarks that are often located near the canals, and discovering charming villages along your route, where you can indulge in local cuisine and culture.

Further information on our Canal Boat Holidays

Weekly breaks start on either Monday or Friday.

To help your departure run smoothly, have your groceries delivered to the boat. Let us know in advance, so we can ensure they are put on the correct boat!

All terms are per boat and include bed linen, towels, TV with DVD player, hairdryer, phone charging, fuel, gas and VAT/duty at current rates.

All boats are available for 3, 4 and 7 night breaks starting on Friday & Monday.
Longer breaks are available.  A 15% discount is offered for a second and subsequent consecutive weeks.

Pets are welcome ( maximum of two ). Charged at first pet comes free £25 per Short Break and £35 per week.

Get more ideas on what to do on the Bradford-on-Avon Travel Guide.

What is the difference between a canal boat and a narrowboat?

A canal boat is a general term used to describe any boat that can fit in a canal and is used for recreational or transportation purposes. A narrowboat is a specific type of canal boat that is typically wider than the standard canal boat, but much narrower than the average boat. Narrowboats are usually no more than 6 feet in width and often have a flat bottom, making them ideal for navigating shallow and narrow canals.

Canal Boat Holidays

How much does it cost to rent a Sally Narrowboats canal boat?

The cost of hiring a canal boat varies depending on the size of the boat and the length of the rental period. At Sally Narrowboats we hire narrowboats throughout the year, and the time of year also affects the cost. As you can imagine, renting a canal boat in the summer holidays, is more costly, but off-peak rental can provide fantastic value for money.

How hard is it to drive a canal boat?

Driving a narrowboat is not difficult, but it does take some practice to become an expert. If you use your common sense, take care, and are cautious, you should be able to have an enjoyable and incident-free holiday. Remember to stick to the canal speed limit of 4mph.

To help make your canal boat holiday as enjoyable as possible, one of our trained staff will provide you with instruction on how to safely operate the boat, and go through the process of using locks and swing bridges. Our training and handing over techniques have been approved by BMF, the British Marine Industry’s trade association.

The top 10 most scenic canals for holidays in the UK

The Kennet and Avon Canal is considered one of the most scenic canals for a holiday due to the stunning and diverse landscapes that it passes through. Overall, the Kennet and Avon Canal’s scenic beauty makes it a popular choice for a canal boat holiday. It offers a unique and immersive experience, allowing visitors to connect with nature, history, and the rich cultural heritage of the region.

Canal NameLength (Miles)RegionScenic Highlights
Kennet & Avon Canal87South West EnglandRolling hills, picturesque villages, historic sites, and impressive aqueducts.
Llangollen Canal41North WalesBreathtaking landscapes, UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, and charming towns.
Caledonian Canal60Scottish HighlandsMajestic lochs, rugged mountains, and the famous Neptune’s Staircase, a series of eight locks.
Shropshire Union Canal66West MidlandsScenic countryside, Cheshire’s medieval market towns, and the historic city of Chester.
Oxford Canal78South East EnglandTranquil waterways, pretty thatched cottages, and the iconic Dreaming Spires of Oxford.
Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal35South WalesStunning Brecon Beacons National Park, peaceful waterways, and picturesque canal bridges.
Grand Union Canal137Various regionsEngland’s longest canal, diverse scenery from London to Birmingham, including charming villages and urban landscapes.
Leeds & Liverpool Canal127North West EnglandScenic Pennine countryside, historic mills, and the vibrant cities of Leeds and Liverpool.
Forth & Clyde Canal35Central ScotlandIndustrial heritage, Falkirk Wheel (rotating boat lift), and beautiful views of the Scottish Lowlands.
Montgomery Canal35Wales/England borderPeaceful waterways, rural landscapes, and the stunning World Heritage Site of Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.

Further Information