Narrowboat with family on holiday

7 reasons why narrowboat holidays are becoming the new eco-friendly alternative…

Looking to cut your carbon footprint whilst still exploring on holiday? A narrowboat escape could be just the ticket and here’s why…


1. No flights (in the air at least!)

The most obvious green benefit of British canal boating is, of course, its location. Narrowboat holidays are  estimated to be some 20 times better for the planet than taking a two-hour flight to holiday over-seas. Reduce your carbon footprint and airport stress at the same time by cutting it out completely, but be prepared

View up the Hatton flight of locksfor any potential flights of locks!


2. Accessible by public transport

Not only are expensive flights avoided with a narrowboat holiday, but bases such as Union Canal Carriers in Braunston are completely accessible via public transport. This can thus reduce your carbon emissions  and leave you safe in the knowledge that all holiday traffic jams will be avoided.


3. Learn to appreciate the great outdoors – whatever the weather!

Boating is a great way for anyone, of any age and activity level, to reconnect with nature. Britain’s canals are often bursting with wildlife just waiting to be discovered. Journeying down the South Oxford Canal from Braunston, for example, offers a complete and calming rural escape; whilst other routes provide the chance to keep active and enjoy the natural world simultaneously.

Blackbird on water


4. Regular servicing

Responsible boat owners will service their boats regularly, keeping the engine bays clear of oil and diesel to reduce possible contaminates entering the canal. Union Canal Carriers’ narrowboats are serviced after each hire to keep everything in tip-top condition.


5. Top cleaning standards, that are just as eco-friendly

Alongside using reusable cleaning cloths, all cleaning products that UCC use from 2021 onwards will be mixed in re-usable bottles and  tested to ensure they meet the highest environmental standards. Union Canal Carriers’ partner, BioHygiene, manufactures cleaning products within the UK which have lower impact on aquatic life and are reduced in hazardous substances.


6. Reducing your electricity use

Narrowboat electrics run on a combination of 12v and 240v power that is produced whilst the engine runs. Thus, whilst cruising the cut you are also charging up the batteries ready for a night’s entertainment. However, although modern tech can easily charge on the boat’s power supply, we wouldn’t recommend bringing the slow cooker!


7. Bin the binning habit

Whilst narrowboat holidays now offer all the mod cons of a twenty-first century home, space still comes at a premium. Smaller rubbish bins and the necessity for unloading rubbish regularly off the boat inevitably create a greater awareness of exactly how much waste we produce. We also encourage holiday makers to bring reusable shopping bags to reduce plastic waste. Just don’t forget to recycle those glass bottles…!