Chiltern Canal Boat Holidays

Chiltern Canal Boat Holidays

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Welcome Aboard

Chiltern Canal Boat Holidays is a family-run business providing canal boat hire in the beautiful countryside of the Chiltern Hills, south east England. Enjoy a slower pace of life on the waterways while you reconnect with nature and wake up to a stunning new view every day!

Luxury Canal Boat Hire on the Grand Union

Offering full week, mid-week and weekend boat hires, our canal boats (also commonly referred to as narrow boats, long boats or barges) are all unique and designed by us for a memorable and luxury canal boat holiday on the water. Located on the south Grand Union canal, you can enjoy a relaxing canal cruise through the Chiltern Hills with it's beautiful countryside, historic towns and quaint villages. 

Canal Holidays for Everyone

Whether you are an experienced boater looking at hiring a canal boat to explore a new part of the UK canals, or a beginner wanting to experience your first holiday on a narrowboat, our canal holidays are perfect for you! We provide all safety equipment and a free introductory session at the start of your holiday which is tailored to you, so you can enjoy a safe and relaxing break, no matter what your experience.

Please note - Summer season bookings (March to mid-November) are for self-drive or skippered boating holidays. Winter bookings (mid-November to end of February) are for static hire within the marina only. Please see our Static Hire page for more details.

Luxury Narrowboat Hire at Great Value Prices

Luxury hire canal boat kitchen
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Scenic Canal Holidays in the English Countryside

green fields and hills of the Chilterns AONB
Explore the Area

Great Boating Holidays for Beginners

Close up view of a lock gate on the Grand Union canal
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UK Canal Boating Holidays

Drift Away on a Relaxing Escape

Unwind on a peaceful getaway where you can live among nature and experience a slower pace of life.

Cast Off and Explore

Wake up to a stunning new view every day when you discover beautiful nature spots and historic towns.

Enjoy a Boating Holiday Adventure

 Make new memories and get the whole crew involved in boating safely (even the smallest members!)

"A canal boating holiday is all about the journey, not the destination"

Watch our video to get a feel for how relaxing a canal holiday is!

Why Book with Chiltern Canal Boat Holidays

  • Short Breaks & Weekly Hire - We have a range of great value canal holidays available including long weekends (Friday to Monday), mid-week breaks (Monday to Friday) and full weeks (starting either Monday or Friday). Take a look at our prices and book online today with just a 30% deposit.
  • Family Friendly Boating Holidays (including the dog!)- When you cast off on a canal holiday, it's a trip where the whole family can get involved. From driving the narrowboat, planning the route and working the locks, it's a great way to work as a team and bring the family together to learn some new skills and explore new places along the way. We provide life jackets and full instruction, so you can rest assured that even the smaller family members can enjoy their canal holiday safely. Take a look at some of our previous customer reviews here.
  • Self-Drive, Skippered and Static Hire Available - During the main boating season (March to mid-November), our narrowboats are available to hire for either self-drive or skippered holidays allowing you to experience life on the water. During the winter season (mid-November to end of February) the boats are available to book as static hire where they remain moored in the marina, providing unique self catering accommodation whilst you explore the beautiful local area by car or public transport.
  • Great Value Canal Holidays - You can hire one of our luxury narrowboats for either a short break, full week, 10 days or a fortnight. The prices you see on the website are the cost for hiring the entire narrowboat, and includes basics such as parking, bed linen, gas etc. The only additional charge is for the diesel you use during your narrow boat canal holiday, which is payable when you return the boat. Click here to see everything that's included and a comparison of our luxury narrow boat hire prices.
  • Outstanding Countryside Location - Discover the Chiltern Hills when you cruise through the counties of Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Take a stroll in the countryside and find a historic landmark, or moor up in town and check out the boutique shops and great restaurants. The Chilterns Hills is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, where you can enjoy some of the best of the english countryside.
  • Luxury Hire Boats - Our canal boats provide accommodation for 2 to 5 people, and are beautifully designed to be a delightful home from home during your trip. Whether your choose the larger family boat, Narrow Escape, or our smaller boat, Mini Escape,  each boat is completely unique and comes fully equipped with everything you need so you can enjoy your canal holiday in comfort.
  • No Experience Necessary! - We provide a tailored introduction at the start of your canal boat hire to ensure you are confident with operating the boat and locks before you cruise off on your own. Alternatively contact us about a skippered cruise where you can just sit back and enjoy the ride.
  • Simple Online Availability and Booking System You can check availability of our luxury narrowboats online and book your UK canal holiday in just 5 simple steps. Plus, we only require a 30% deposit at the time of booking, with the remaining balance due 6 weeks before the start of your narrowboat holiday.

    Customer Testimonials

    5 Stars
    We had a very enjoyable trip using one of Chiltern Canal Boats- Narrow Escape. We were on the water for 8 days and even though things were a little hampered by CV19 we spent some glorious days up the Wendover Arm with all its splendor and great walking areas. We will be back!

    Milroy Family

    5 Stars
    Lovely boat, organised and administered by Gareth and Corinne who were so helpful and friendly. Well equipped and well priced. Can't wait for our next visit!

    Campbell Family

    5 Star Review
    We had a fantastic week on the boat, and would highly recommend it. The owners are really lovely and gave us training as we were first timers! The boat was really nicely decorated and well equipped, and had everything you could possibly need. This will definitely not be our last boating holiday!

    Sally & Simon

    Book online in 5 easy steps!

    1. Click the 'Book Now' button below.
    2. Enter your preferred holiday dates, the number of guests and click 'Search'.
    3. Select your favourite boat and hit the 'Book Now' button
    4. Add any extras (or select the 'Skip' button)
    5. Enter your contact and payment details
    Book now
    Holiday Hire Canal Boat and bridge on the Grand Union Canal

    Do you have a question, or just prefer to speak to a real person? Give us a call - we’re happy to assist you!

    Key Booking Terms & Conditions:

    • From March to mid-November, all of our self-drive canal boat hires start on either a Friday or Monday and are available to book for 14 days, 10 days, 7 days or short breaks (mid-week or weekend).
    • During the winter season (mid-November to end of February), boats are available to hire as static lets only and must remain moored in the marina. Bookings may be made for a minimum of 2 nights, starting any day of the week, excluding Sunday.
    • For self-drive holidays, a minimum party size of 2 adults aged 25 or over at the time of booking is required. No Stag / Hen party or booze cruise bookings.
    • Dogs are welcome aboard Narrow Escape only. We allow either 1 medium dog or 2 small dogs, at an additional charge of £35 per break.
    • A 30% deposit is required to book if your canal boating holiday is more than 6 weeks away. If you canal boat hire is due to start within the next 6 weeks, the full balance is payable immediately.
    • For self-drive and skippered holidays, diesel is not included in the hire price and is based on actual usage, payable when the boat is returned at the end of your trip.
    • Offers and discounts cannot be used in combination with any other promotions. The best available offer will be applied at the time of booking.

    Popular Blog Articles

    > A Guide to Narrowboat Terminology

    > Static Narrowboat Hire

    > 5 Do's and Don'ts of Narrowboating

    > Red Kites in the Chilterns

    > CCBH wins Travel & Tourism Award

    Read the Blog

    Find Out More About Hiring a Canal Boat in the UK

    Have another question about canal boat hire? Check out our FAQ page here.


    Chiltern Canal Boat Holidays has been featured and listed on:

    Visit Buckinghamshire and the Chilterns Logo
    Waterways World Logo
    Herts Living Magazine Logo
    Lux Life Tourism Awards Logo
    List Direct website