Can a single person enjoy a canal holiday?

Want to go Solo? You might be just able to hire a boat on your own, but taking a cruise on a Hotelboat could be perfect relaxation …

  • You may not be able to hire a canal boat if you want to holiday on your own.
  • Most canal hire firms won’t hire to a single handed boater because of the risks.
  • Canal holidays on your own can be hard work and difficult, best for experienced boaters.
  • Hotelboats encourage single travellers, often with single cabins or single rates.
  • Many other hotelboat passengers will also be travelling on their own.
  • You’ll have company, meals provided and experienced canal guides.
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Is Canal Holiday A Good Holiday For Single People?

Canal boats can be skippered and crewed by one person, and it could be a good way to escape for a while and feel like you truly are the master of your own destiny, but some experience is definitely recommended before embarking on any solo adventures.

Most hire companies will be reluctant to rent out a boat to an individual unless perhaps you can convince them that you know what you’re doing. Working all those locks on your own can be hard too! But we’ve a page all about Single Handed Boating and the skills you should practice if you want to ‘go it alone’!


If you’re single or just travelling alone and looking for a holiday where you can indulge in the cruising lifestyle and combine it with meeting new people and enjoying their company in cosy and friendly surroundings, you should consider a hotelboat holiday.


What Is A Hotelboat Holiday?

On a hotelboat holiday, you’ll have your own skipper who will have an intimate knowledge of the rivers and canals, their wildlife, culture and heritage. Whilst the crew operates the locks and navigates the waterway, you can help out as much as you feel like, taking your turn on the tiller or winding the windlass with the reassurance that nothing can go wrong. Or you can just sit back, relax, chat, read a book or watch the towpaths roll by. The crew will keep you safe, comfortable and content so you can focus on having fun and enjoying the notoriously great home-cooked dinners.

Why Should I Choose A Hotelboat Instead Of A Hireboat?

A hotelboat holiday is great for anyone – couples, stressed executives & minions, seniors, groups; just about anyone who wants to relax and be pampered in pleasant surroundings.

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But it’s ideal if you’re contemplating a cruising holiday on your own, a perfect relaxing option for you, especially if you want to escape other pressures and spend time on a hobby, such as photography, painting, bird-watching, writing or just reading a book. Plus you get to meet other like minded people, often making lasting friendships.

What Kinds Of Hotelboats Are There?

Traditional hotelboats often work as a ‘pair’, so they have cabins on two boats for up to 8 or 9 clients, usually with a mix of single, twin and double accommodation. They have a crew of about 4 and operate to a cruising schedule around the canal network. The other guests will come from different walks of life but they’ll all be looking for the same relaxing retreat and will be just as eager to broaden their horizons by meeting new people.

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Many people come back year after year to explore new canals in an environment they know. Most offer single cabins, sometimes with a single supplement, sometimes without. Single narrowboats will take 2 to 4 guests and are usually crewed by the boat owners. If you want to feel like you’re part of the family and indulge in a more genuine boating experience with ‘boat-people’ and less paying guests, this option’s for you. You can get a boat and crew of your own or share with just one or two other people. Riverboat Hotels like those on the Severn are much larger, taking 20 to 50 passengers.

Where Can I Find Out More About Hotelboat Cruising Holidays?

One of our sister sites, www.hotelboating.co.uk has all the information you’ll need, including direct links to on-line brochures, late booking facilities, FAQ pages and even some sample recipes from hotelboat menus.

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All materials and images © Canal Junction Ltd. Dalton House, 35 Chester St, Wrexham LL13 8AH. No unauthorised reproduction.

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