Family feeding ducks alongside canal

Spend less and enjoy more with a UK family narrowboat holiday

With most family holidays it’s the extras that cost… day trips out, kids’ spending money, holiday clothes, holiday insurance, airport car parking, meals out, car hire, fuel and car parking charges, miscalculation of currency exchange. Never mind the ‘what shall we do today?’ discussions!

Narrowboat holidays, on the other hand, are inclusive and inexpensive. Here is why…

Boating holidays give you the freedom (emphasis on free!) to move around from one spot to another. There are no parking fees or fuel expenses to pay on a Union Canal Carriers boating holiday as diesel and gas are included in all our prices. When money is to be spent on ice creams, gifts and provisions, you can easily avoid the larger shopping centres and opt for the small local shops which sit near the towpath. Unlike holidays abroad, boating holidays have no weight restrictions, which means its easy to bring along a supply of food and drink (or click and collect from your favourite supermarket).

Pricey insurance policies and medical expenses need also not be worried about with a UK narrowboating stay-cation. For peace of mind, Union Canal Carriers Cancellation Policy is also included in the cost of your holiday and all of our boats are insured for accidental damage and 3rd party cover.

There are lots of ways to spend your time whilst boating without spending your cash. Working the locks; Geo-cashing; walking the towpath and chatting to your kids; immersing yourself in local wildlife and sharing your experiences with fellow boaters all won’t cost a penny.

Mother reading book to child on board a UCC narrowboat

And, although many boaters enjoy visiting the numerous pubs that sit alongside the canal, quieter (and cheaper!) family evenings can be spent on board the boat. Bring along board-games, play cards, or watch a DVD in the evening with a bottle of wine and snacks. For colder evenings, this can also include enjoying a cosy, real solid fuel fire if you opt to travel on a UCC ‘Barney Boat’. As a treat (you are on holiday of course) plan a family visit to one of the many tourist attractions around the midlands: Drayton Manor, Warwick Castle and Shakespeare’s birthplace are just a few to mention.

If you holiday with friends and family then sharing a larger boat with another family will split the cost of your holiday in half. As covid restrictions are beginning to be lifted the possibility of larger family holidays is looking more and more hopeful! Life is more interesting when spent with people you don’t see every day and the kids will certainly appreciate a holiday with friends.

No need for kennel or pet-sitting charges. Putting your dog or cat in kennels is stressful for both you and your pet alike… so why not bring them on holiday. We love to welcome pets of all shapes and sizes on board Union Canal Carriers hire boats and the first pet goes free!


How to get the best holiday prices

Booking early not only gives you the best choice of the boat but also the best price. Book before 31st January 2022 with UCC  directly for 10% off 2022 prices.

Midweek breaks (Monday – Friday, Tuesday – Saturday) give you 4 nights for the price of 3.

Off-peak times are also less expensive. Why not book a holiday in February, March or September October when the prices are at their lowest and the canals are not so busy?

For weekend trips during term time, collection times can be started after school and boats returned by Sunday evening to work around the kids.

Union Canal Carriers also offer discounts for booking for a longer trip (10, 11, 14 + days) or for booking a second holiday in the same year.

If booked early then multiple payments can also be made against a holiday to help spread the cost.


For more information about Union Canal Carriers holidays from Braunston call our family run office on 01788 890784 or email us at