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Narrowboat/boating holidays with children

(8 Posts)
Scanner Sat 12-May-07 20:44:15

Anyone done this? I've done weekend breaks on boats before, but pre children. My only concern is it does seem expensive.

WigWamBam Sat 12-May-07 20:51:31

It can be expensive, but some companies are cheaper than others.

How old are your children? Dh and I used to take narrowboat holidays every year, and we took my sister for the first time when she was about 9 or 10, but personally I wouldn't want to take a younger child. At that age the canals held her interest and she enjoyed the locks and things, but I suspect a younger child might be very bored very quickly. Plus there's the safety aspect - my sister was old enough to be reliably helpful, and to have a healthy respect for the water and an understanding of the dangers - a younger child may not, and it would be hard work having to negotiate steering, locking and making sure the kids were always OK.

We will probably take dd when she's about 8 or 9, I wouldn't even think about it before then.

Kathyis6incheshigh Sat 12-May-07 20:59:31


Hope it's useful.

Scanner Sat 12-May-07 22:17:57

Kathy thanks for the link, it's made me feel more pro the idea of a narrowboat holiday. My dc's are 4,5 & 7 they are all fairly well behaved (for children) and even ds(4) would stay put if we explained why. We love camping as a family holiday and I can't help thinking boating would be just as much fun. Obviously safety is a big concern, but I think I'm prepared to give it a go.

Just need to find the money now!

twentypence Sun 13-May-07 06:47:39

We have booked to go in a couple of months with ds who is 4.

Try to book direct with the boat yards, or do it before a certain date, get under occupancy discount (if relevant) would be my 3 tips.

Where were you thinking of? Some canals were massively more expensive than others. We just thought "well we won't be using any petrol for 4 days, as the diesel is included, it's self catering which is cheaper than eating out and we can't do it in NZ ever so it's out one chance.

ludaloo Sun 13-May-07 07:31:36

OOhhh great idea! (I am very biased as I grew up on a narrow boat, and have wonderful childhood memories.) I think the whole family would have a great time. I would be careful at locks though, it might be wise to ensure the kids don't hop on and off as they are quite dangerous things. The water rushes fast, and the space between the walls of the lock and the boat is just big enough to trap a leg or an arm, and the boat gets bumped about a bit whilst in it.
Also...if the kids are getting bored they can walk alongside on the toe path for a bit to let off some steam (I used to do it a lot)
Have fun!

NarrowboatOwner Mon 14-May-07 19:52:26

The locks are definitely the most dangerous bit. Just do not let the children run across the lock gates (walk only and hold on at all times) or leap on/off the boat whilst in the lock. They are deep, the water movement in and out can be pretty violent, and you don't want to be swimming in the lock with a hulking great boat.

As a holiday, great idea (but, yes, they can be expensive). However, it's a self-catering holiday so you don't have do spend lots of money eating out - but stopping at the occasional pub is still recommended!

Any idea where you might be going?

Tasha1969 Tue 12-Nov-13 11:54:44

I go narrowboating at least once a year with the kids and the whole family loves it, including the dog! We always book through Waterways Holidays .com as when you phone them, they are always really helpful, with loads of information. They will answer all your questions truthfully and are not just trying to sell you the most expensive holiday. We have booked though them for the last 4 years and have not had a bad experience yet.

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