Four Barges

Barge Routes

Barge Routes

With over 3,000 miles of inland waterways to explore, you are spoilt for choice. Whether cruising the historic Thames or exploring the scenic Norfolk Broads, you won't be dissapointed.

Whilst barges offer spacious accomodation and are easy to handle as they are steered using a steering wheel, their size means they can only be used on the major canals and rivers such as as the Leeds & Liverpool, parts of the Grand Union, Kennet & Avon, etc. Their wide beam, usually in excess of 6'10' means that they cannot navigate the locks of narrow canals. 

Click here to see a map of where you can go boating

Barge Day Hire

Barge day hire allow you to test out different styles of narrow boats you will be able to determine if narrow boating is a long term aim for you or if you will occasionally hire. You may like to plan on sharing the boat hire as a couple, as a family or with friends.

Getting out on the UK inland waterways couldn’t be easier. There are lots of companies with boats to suit your needs, whether it’s a day hire with a group of friends, visiting cities or for a longer family holiday.

Day Hire
Day Hire (Barge) from £200

Barge Holiday (1 week) from £800

Boat Licence

If you are hiring a barge, the licence is included in the price. However if you are a buying a barge, you will need to get a licence from the relevant waterway authority. The type of licence you'll need depends on the sort of boat you have, where you want to cruise and how long you want to use it for. These can be purchased from one of the three organisations which runs Britain's waterways. 

British Waterways manages most of the canals and rivers including the Severn, Trent and Yorkshire Ouse.

The Environment Agency manages the River Thames, the River Medway, and the rivers of East Anglia.

The Broads Authority manages the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads.

European Boating

Barges are also well suited to the European waterways as there are fewer size restrictions, and a barge designed to the right specification (Recreational Craft Directive - category B) may even be able to cross the Channel.

To find a barge holiday, visit the On The Water holiday search