Self Drive Boat Hire

Skipper & Crew The Boat Yourself.

Woman standing open armed holding a windlass at the entrance to a lock.

Your Narrowboat Holiday. Have a great time

Whether you are a seasoned boater or new to canal boating, we can help you get afloat aboard our boat at an affordable price.

Woman and small child sitting at the front of the boat as it cruises the canal.

For Family & Friends

Take your family and friends on a canal boat holiday where you can explore the canal network together with all the comforts of a home afloat aboard Narrowboat Maddison

Man standing at the stern steering the boat.

Choose Your Own Pace

Do what you want, when you want and enjoy your canal holiday. Bookings from 3 nights to any nights you want. Start on Monday and end on a Thursday. It's up to you!

What To Expect

Meet and greet at the boat - On the day of your departure at your agreed start time, we'll meet you and give you a comprehensive walk-through of the boat, its equipment and facilities on board. We'll explain how everything works on the boat. There's also a user manual on board explaining how everything works.

Safety Briefing - We'll discuss pre-cruise checks, emergency equipment and procedures so you know what to do in the event of an incident.

Hands on practice - If you're new to boating or just want to refresh your skills, we'll accompany you through a couple of locks and along the canal, making sure you are comfortable and capable in controlling the boat, giving you the opportunity to take control and operate it safely under our guidance. We'll also demonstrate things like navigating the canal, mooring up, setting off, using the locks and the general "rules of the road" as well as canal etiquette. When we're happy you can handle the boat and you feel confident, we'll hop off leave you to enjoy the rest of your holiday.

And remember, if you ever need us, we're only a phone call away! 

Getting The Best From Your Narrowboat Holiday

Enjoy - We want you to enjoy your time afloat as much as we do. With this in mind, we strongly recommend you watch the Boaters Handbook video made by the Canal & River Trust. It gives excellent advice and guidance on operating a canal boat safely and with regard to other canal users.

Relax - Take it steady. There really is no rush. One of the much used canal sayings that stuck with us is - "It's the fastest way of slowing down" 

It's about the journey, not the destination - Enjoy the sights as you slowly pass by. If you find yourselves queuing at a lock, put the kettle on and take the opportunity to chat with fellow boaters. When you see a nice spot, why not stop, moor up and explore. 

Join in - If you're new to boating, you'll find boaters are a friendly community and are happy exchanging boating tales or experiences and helping each other out when we can.

Be courteous. It costs nothing - The canal community is made up of many different people. First time hire boaters, regular & competent hire boaters, boat share scheme members, live-aboard boaters, working boats, anglers, cyclists & walkers. All these people have very different expectations of other canal users. Have a look at the The Waterways Code for best practice advice.