Dog Friendly Canal Boat Holidays

Dog-Friendly Boating Holidays on the Grand Union Canal

Dogs love a boat trip, and we love dogs! So why not bring them with you on your canal boat holiday and let them be part of the fun.

They will love waking up to a new dog walk every day, joining you for a spot of lunch in one of the many dog-friendly canalside pubs and then curling up in front of the log-fire by night. Our cruising route along the south Grand Union canal takes you on a scenic cruise through the Chiltern Hills countryside, with plenty of walking trails, parks, nature reserves and ancient woodlands to enjoy along the way.

Small West Highland Terrier dog on the bow of a dog friendly canal hire boat

How many dogs can I bring on my canal boat holiday?

Here at Chiltern Canal Boat Holidays, we welcome either one medium dog, or 2 small dogs. Unfortunately we are unable to accept large breeds - this is for practical purposes and your own comfort given the space available on the boat.

Is there a pet-charge?

If you wish to bring your dog on your narrowboat holiday, there is a flat fee of just £35 per booking which covers up to 2 dogs. Please add this as an optional extra when making your booking.

Which hire boat is dog-friendly?

We welcome dogs aboard our 5 berth family boat, Narrow Escape. The smaller Mini Escape is a pet-free boat.

Tips for Canal Boat Holidays with Dogs

  • As well as bringing your everyday dog items such as dog bowls, food, a lead and their bed, it also worth bringing a towel for drying them off if they decide to go in for a little swim.
  • If your dog is not confident with water, it may also be worth investing in a doggy life-jacket. There are plenty of styles available these days, and they come in a range of sizes, but the most important thing when choosing one is to make sure that it fits snugly around the chest. We love the range of life-jackets available from Inner Wolf.
Canal towpath and turning circle with a bridge in the background
  • When you arrive for your canal boat holiday, place the dogs bed and bowls aboard first, and then let them have a good explore around the boat before casting off. This will help them familiarise themselves with the space.
  • If your dog is a little nervous once the boat starts moving, stay with them and comfort them while they get used to the noises and movement. Also, remember to give them regular breaks off the boat - walks along the towpath with the person doing locks is a great way for them to stretch their legs and get involved in the fun.
  • Don't let your dog drink water from the canal. Always make sure your dog has access to a bowl of fresh water filled from the boat or canalside water taps.

Customer Reviews

5 Stars
We left the marina instilled with confidence thanks to Corinne and Gareth's instructions. All four of us, along with Tilly Dog, were excited to head off - it was not disappointing, despite the weather. The waterways are calm and relaxing, you meet friendly folk along the way and the locks were good fun and great exercise! Our lovely boat had everything we needed and more..... can't wait to do it all again. Thank You


5 Stars
First time my sister and I had been anywhere near a canal-boat, but something we had always wanted to experience. The owners Corinne and Gareth provided a thorough introduction to our boat - 'Narrow Escape' and imparted clear practical guidance in its handling and the operation of locks. This provided us with the necessary confidence to 'set sail'! An excellent boat, comfortable with all of the facilities you needed. Everything in previous reviews was supported by the really enjoyable three nights we experienced. Great fun and with our new found experience we will be back for more!

C Plowright

5 Stars
Thank you Corinne, Gareth ( and we can’t forget Scott) for letting us experience life on your canal boat on a lovely stretch of water and in a beautiful boat. We almost achieved our aim having the children screen free by end of week. The kids have asked if we’ll be doing another canal boat trip so cannot think of any higher praise.

Bentley Family

Are you ready to planning your dog-friendly boating holiday? Click here to find out more about our cruising routes and the local area.

    Route Guide