Narrowboat Hire – Grand Union Canal & Regent’s Canal

Hire a boat on the Grand Union Canal and you have a lot of choice of boats, places to go and things to see – as you would expect from the longest canal in the UK! The main line of the Grand Union leaves the River Thames at Brentford and climbs over fifty locks up into the Chiltern hills. It descends then climbs again to a new summit in Birmingham, 137 miles and 166 locks.

Hatton Locks with distinctive Paddle Gear

Hatton Locks with distinctive Paddle Gear

  • Boatmen claimed to do London to Birmingham in five days but allow well over a week if your crew want any sleep!
  • The canal towns of Braunston and Stoke Bruerne with its Canal Museum are well worth exploring.
  • The flight of 21 wide locks at Hatton was built during modernisation in the 1930s with distinctive paddle gear which is usually easy to wind but slow to work the paddles.
  • The Leicester Section 66 miles long with 59 locks and 2 tunnels was built as a broad canal but there are flights of narrow locks at Foxton and Watford.
  • The broad Regent’s Canal links the Grand Union Paddington Arm to Limehouse Basin on the Thames. On the way from Little Venice it runs through Regents Park, past London Zoo, Camden Market and trendy Hoxton on its way to the Thames, lined by tourists, walkers and cyclists. You can also visit the London Canal Museum.
  • Most hire boats are narrowboats. There are increasing numbers of wide beam boats, especially on the southern Grand Union, though many are static. There are width restrictions at a number of bridges and wide beam boats must arrange passage through the tunnels to avoid meeting narrowboats coming the other way.

Boat Hire from family firms on or around the Grand Union Canal & Regent's Canal

Ashby Boat Company Ltd

Ashby Boat Company Ltd.  friendly helpful company located on the tranquil Ashby canal. Their fleet has been inspected by The "Visit Britain Quality Assurance Scheme" Short break /Weekly & Day hire.

Boutique Narrowboats

Boutique Narrowboats. With contemporary designs and king-sized beds, these boat interiors are among the most attractive on the waterways. A warm welcome to narrowboat novices and experienced boaters alike.


CanalAbility Have a great holiday on one of our accessible canal boats, fully adapted for disabled people. Explore the Rivers Lee & Stort or longer journeys to London and the Grand Union Canal.

Chiltern Canal Boat Holidays

Chiltern Canal Boat Holidays is a family-run business providing short breaks and weekly narrowboat hire in the Chiltern Hills countryside. Enjoy a slower pace of life, reconnect with nature and wake up to a stunning new view every day!  Dog-friendly. Beginners welcome!

Grand Union Narrowboats

Grand Union Narrowboats. Small family run company. 2,4 & 6 berth four star graded narrowboats for weekly hire on the Grand Union and Oxford canals. Experience the Northamptonshire countryside at its finest.

Kate Boats

Kate Boats, a family run business, with quality narrowboats from two bases on the Grand Union Canal, ideally situated on the Warwickshire ring.

Beginners welcome, full instruction given.

Napton Narrowboats

Based at Napton Junction, Napton Narrowboats family-run fleet now gives you the widest choice of boats and routes.

Narrowboat Escapes Holidays And Training

Narrowboat Escapes Holidays And Training specialising in traditional narrowboat hire, holidays and training. Based at the heart of England's waterways at 'Braunston Marina' we have six beautiful and historic canal routes within a short distance. Phone: 07944 589 679

Oxfordshire Narrowboats

Oxfordshire Narrowboats. Cruise the beautiful Cherwell Valley & Cotswold Borders toward Oxford & the Thames. Short breaks, families, pets, and large groups are welcome.

Rose Narrowboats

Rose Narrowboats are a family firm with a fleet of 20 luxury narrowboats for weekly or shortbreak rental in the heart of the Midlands canal system.
On-line brochure here now.

The Blue Riband Club

The Blue Riband Club comprises two owner operated companies who guarantee to give you the highest standards of both comfort and service. All boats are Tourist Board annually inspected.

The Wyvern Shipping Co

The Wyvern Shipping Co. have 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8 berth luxury narrow boats on the Grand Union Canal. Weekend and short breaks a speciality.

Transport arranged from all London airports.

Inland Navigators

Inland Navigators 10 passenger day boat from our wharf near Weedon. Cruise this idyllic stretch of tranquil waterway without canal locks to negotiate. Self drive or skipper. Evening skippered cruises.

Canal Rings

Thames Ring
Includes the Grand Union mainline with the River Thames & Oxford Canal.

Warwickshire Ring
Includes the Birmingham & FazeleyCoventry and sections of the Grand Union and Oxford Canals.

The Leicester Section forms part of the Leicester Ring, with the Trent & MerseyCoventry & North Oxford Canals.

More Information

Holiday Cruising Guide to the Grand Union Canal.

More Southern hire firms or narrowboat hire firms in other canal areas.

Day hire boats to cruise with a few friends for a few hours.

Help to choose the right canal boat for your holiday.

Plus lots more advice and tips in our Canal Holiday Advice.

Our Listings

We provide contact telephone and email details free of charge for canal based companies, click for details.
Please note: We provide all contact details as an information service. We rely on traders to keep us informed about these listings so we can't guarantee that details are accurate or up to date. Please see our Terms of Use.

Add a company

Ashby Canal

Ashby Boat Company Ltd
89 Station Rd, Stoke Golding, Nuneaton CV13 6EY.
01455 212671

Grand Union Canal

Blisworth Tunnel Boats
Blisworth, Grand Union Canal
Boutique Narrowboats
Union Wharf, Market, Market Harborough LE16 7UW.
01858 432123
Calcutt Boats
Napton Junction, Grand Union Canal
Chiltern Canal Boat Holidays
Wharf Ln, Cow Roast, Tring HP23 5RE
01296 486216
Foxton Boat Services
Foxton, Grand Union
Grand Union Narrowboats
High Street, Weedon NN7 4QD.
01327 342418
Grebe Canal Cruises
Pitstone, Grand Union Canal
Gunthorpe Leisure Boats Ltd
Inland Navigators (Skippered camping boat)
Weedon, Grand Union
Kate Boats
The Boatyard, Nelson Ln, Warwick CV34 5JB.
01926 492968
LNBP (schools & youth groups)
Braunston, Northamptonshire
Mayfly Narrow Boat Hire
North Kilworth Marina
Narrowboat Escapes Holidays And Training
Braunston Marina, The Wharf, Braunston, Daventry, NN11 7JH
07944 589679
Pilling’s Lock Boat Hire
Loughborough River Soar
River Tove Narrow Boats
Stoke Bruerne
The Blue Riband Club
Shropshire Union and Grand Union canals
The Wyvern Shipping Co
Rothschild Rd, Linslade, Leighton Buzzard LU7 2TF.
Union Canal Carriers Ltd
Braunston, Grand Union Canal
Union Wharf Narrowboats Ltd
Market Harborough

Lee Navigation

Oxford Canal

Elegance Boat Hire
Napton Narrowboats
Napton Marina, Tomlow Rd, Stockton, Southam CV47 8HX.
Oxfordshire Narrowboats
Station Rd, Lower Heyford, Bicester OX25 5PD.
01869 340348
Rose Narrowboats
Fosse Way, Brinklow, Rugby CV23 0PU.
01788 832449

Day Hire

Cosgrove Narrowboat Company
Cosgrove Wharf, Lock Lane, Cosgrove, Milton Keynes MK19 7JR.
Grebe Canal Cruises
Grebe Canal Cruises, Pitstone Wharf, Pitstone, Leighton Buzzard LU7 9AD.
Inland Navigators
Weedon Bec, Northampton NN7.
07815 312317
Lazy Days Day Boat Hire
The Boatyard, High St, Weedon Bec, Weedon NN7 4QD.
MK Afloat
Waterside, Peartree Bridge, Milton Keynes MK6 3BX.
Saltisford Canal Centre
Budbrooke Rd, Warwick CV34 5GN.
Union Wharf Narrowboats Ltd
Union Wharf, Market Harborough LE16 7UW.
Warwick Wanderer Dayboats
At Nicholas park, A425, Warwick CV34.

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

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