Day boat hire on Britain’s peaceful network of inland waterways is a great way to enjoy the countryside, and Drifters day boats will be available to hire to single households from 29 March.
From 17 May, the rule of six or two households is likely to apply, and from 21 June hopefully all social distancing measures will be relaxed.
Drifters offers day boat hire from 17 boat yards across England and Wales, with prices starting from less than £10 per person.
Full tuition is included so those new to narrowboating can get the hang of steering, mooring up and working the locks.
Day boats are equipped with cutlery, crockery and a kettle, perfect for a picnic afloat. Most also have a toilet, cooker and fridge. And when pubs reopen, day boaters can plan a stop for refreshment at a canalside pub.
Drifters’ Top 7 day boat destinations on the canals for 2021:
Glide through the Brecon Beacons
From Goytre Wharf on the beautiful Monmouth & Brecon Canal near Abergavenny, boaters can enjoy incredible mountain views on the two-and-a-half-hour journey to the popular Star pub at Mamhillad, a short walk from bridge 62.
‘Rooster’ can carry up to eight people, prices start from £137.
Explore Shakespeare’s country afloat
From Wootton Wawen on the Stratford Canal near Stratford Upon Avon, boaters can head south to the pretty village of Wilmcote to enjoy lunch at The Mary Arden Inn.
The journey takes two-and-a-half hours each way, and crosses over the impressive Edstone Aqueduct with beautiful views across the Warwickshire countryside.
Dolly’ and ‘Charlie’ can carry up to 10 people each, prices start at £99 weekdays, £150 on weekends and bank holidays.
Travel across ‘The Stream in the Sky’
From Trevor on the Llangollen Canal in North Wales, it takes less than 20 minutes to reach the World Heritage status Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.
Standing at over 38 metres high above the Dee Valley, this incredible structure offers boaters stunning views of the Dee Valley below. After cruising over the Aqueduct, there’s another aqueduct and two tunnels to pass through, before reaching the Poacher’s Pocket pub at Glendrid.
‘Jacob’, ‘Daniel’ and ‘Lotty’ can carry up to 10 people each, weekday hire starts at £120, £180 on weekends and bank holidays.
Boat to beautiful Bradford on Avon
From Hilperton Marina near Trowbridge in Wiltshire on the beautiful Kennet & Avon, day boaters can head west to the picturesque town of Bradford on Avon.
Here, there’s a striking 14th century Tithe Barn and choice of pubs and restaurants, including the canalside Barge Inn.
Cheers’ can carry up to 10 people, prices start at £122.
Tunnel through rural Worcestershire
From Tardebigge on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal near Bromsgrove, day boaters can cruise north to Kings Norton Junction, through the remains of the Forest of Arden.
There’s a choice of pubs to moor at along the way, including The Crown at Alvechurch. The route is lock-free but there are two tunnels to pass through, including Wast Hill Tunnel, which is nearly 2.5km long.
‘Emma’ can carry up to 10 people, weekday hire is £99, weekends & bank holidays £150.
Cruise to Ellesmere in the heart of the Shropshire Lake District
From Whixall Marina on the Prees Branch of the Llangollen Canal in Shropshire, day boaters can head to the historic town of Ellesmere and back.
The journey takes around two-and-a-half hours, passing Bettisfield Windmill, Lyneal Moss and Colemere Country Park along the way. Once at Ellesmere, you can moor up and explore the famous Mere with its historic castle, woodland paths and fascinating wildlife.
’Julia’ can carry up to 10 people, prices start at £99 weekdays, £150 on weekends and bank holidays.
Travel through the Staffordshire countryside to Rugeley
From Great Haywood on the Trent & Mersey Canal near Stafford, day boaters can cruise four miles, passing through two locks, to reach the historic market town of Rugeley.
The journey, which takes around two hours, passes the through the Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the popular Wolseley Arms pub at Wolseley Bridge.
‘Daphne’ and ‘Abi’ can carry up to 10 people each, weekday hire starts at £99, £150 on weekends and bank holidays.
For more information about Drifters day boats click here.