We have 17 well-appointed canal hire boats, suitable for all group sizes from 2 to 12 people and available for short break, week or longer holidays.
Union Canal Carriers’ base in Braunston provides 10 different routes, ranging from relaxing to something more energetic. Some routes are nearly lock free, whilst others have multiple locks and tunnels to negotiate.
Download our extensive brochure here to find out more about our range of boats and frequently asked questions. Or request a brochure in the post by using the contact us page or phone +44(0)1788 890784
Enjoyed it immensely boat easy to handle level of comfort was excellent
We had a lovely holiday and a lot of it is down to friendly, personal service from you and the team
Very helpful to have John escort us on the first locks
Thanks for a great week looking forward to next year
Thank you it was amazing.
"Brilliant first time boating holiday. Kids thoroughly enjoyed it. The staff were very friendly and helpful. We'll definitely be coming again!"
"Very helpful, friendly welcome. A wonderful week on a beautiful boat. Many thanks."
"The entire experience was wonderful. Thank you very much."
"Thank you so much for making our first holiday with our baby so special. Staff went the extra mile to help and make us feel comfortable on our first boating holiday. Can't wait to come again!"
"Many thanks to John and Tim who were fantastic with instructions before we set off. Very friendly and welcoming. We had a FAB time! Thanks guys."
Union Canal Carriers is a family run hire boat company celebrating 55 years in business. We understand all about family canal holidays. Over the years we have taken our own children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren and friends on boating holidays. Our small fleet of boats are built and fitted out by ourselves at our boat yard in Braunston meaning that each boat is unique. Our staff are all boat owners with experience of living and working on the canals. We not only love welcoming experienced boaters aboard, but pride ourselves on the thorough tutorials which we give to new boaters, ensuring everyone feels completely comfortable and well informed throughout their holiday. We are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so you know you are in safe hands. If you’ve ever wondered what it must be like ‘Barging around Britain’ like John Sargent, or ‘The Great Canal Journeys’ that Timothy West and Prunella Scales love so much, then why not give us a call +44 (0)1788 890784.
Braunston is a busy canal village set in Northamptonshire’s rolling green countryside. Its church, with its splendid steeple, can be seen for miles around and is one reason it is called the ‘Cathedral of the Canals’. Braunston Junction, with its twinned black and white cast iron bridges, is famous across the canal network as the Junction of the Oxford Canal and the Grand Union Canal. Union Canal Carriers is a picturesque boatyard at the bottom of Braunston Locks and unlike many hire bases, ours is actually situated on the towpath. There is no large, impersonal marina full of boats, just a small interesting collection of historic buildings, recognised for their part in canal heritage. The surrounding countryside is fascinating, with lots of geocaches to hunt for and the Jurassic Way crossing the canal just a little further on from the boatyard. With multiple different routes to choose from, you are sure to find the perfect one for your party, whether it’s a leisurely cruise or a more an energetic holiday.
We have several choices of narrowboats available for weekend, midweek, week or longer holidays, sleeping from 2 to 12 people. Our 3 Barney Boats are unique in the fleet and look very much like private boats, with their coal fires, rose and castle designs and single cylinder engine giving the satisfying ‘pop pop’ sound of a traditional canal boat.
We believe a boat should be handcrafted to cut through the water well, aiding steerage, with a quality interior and the vital large outdoor space. You are welcome to come over and take a look around our boats – please ring to check availability of the boat of your choice. Many customers come back year after year – to find out why call +44(0)1788 890784 and speak to one of our knowledgeable, friendly team about boating holidays, and how we can help you.