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Published August 20th 2012
A day out with a difference
Hiring a narrowboat for the day is a fun packed activity which will certainly be unforgettable. Before setting off on your voyage, purchase some supplies for the day such as picnic food, drinks and anything that will make you feel at home on the boat. If you are celebrating a special occasion or birthday and are with a group, then having a theme for the day out is a great idea. The most suited theme is a pirate theme, which can be achieved by purchasing some plastic pirate hats, eye patches, swords and flags before you depart. No matter what age group you're with, everyone will want to join in the fun. A classier idea however is to have a tea party on board. Afterwards, you can explore the countryside together and even have a picnic alongside the canal.
Steering a narrowboat is incredibly easy, and it will only take a short five minute introduction to get you used to the steering of the boat. The owner of the boat will provide you with full instructions and answer any questions that you may have before you leave for the day. The whole family can have a go of steering the boat, which makes the day memorable for everyone. Under adult supervision, kids can steer the boat and try it for themselves as the boats travel very slowly.
As you make your way around the canal, you will stumble upon plenty of perfect spots to have a picnic. There are also plenty of pubs situated besides the canal if you want to stop for food or a cold drink. On board most of the boats however there is a fully working kitchen with fresh running water, of which is perfect for cooking. There is also a toilet, table and chairs on board that are always kept very clean.
Whilst taking in the sights along the canal, make sure you observe the wildlife and stop off for walks to explore the area. Along the river you will come across a variety of wildlife such as ducks, birds, cows, sheep and horses. You will also come across some interesting architecture as you pass under historic bridges along the canal.
Hiring a narrowboat for the day can be booked in a variety of places around the UK. Depending on where you would like to go there will be a range of different pricing for hiring a narrow boat for the day. The usual price is around £160 which can work out to be fairly cheap when split by a large number of passengers. Be sure to tell the owner the exact number of passengers you will be expecting to accompany you, as the amount of people allowed on each boat will differ. A refundable deposit is also usually asked for by the owner of the boat; so it is best to ensure that you know the rules of the boat before you depart.
Planning your day and journey ahead is an advantage. Therefore you can sit back and enjoy the ride and avoid any fees for being late. Late fees depend on the rules of the owner of the boat, who will tell you a time to arrive back by. Maps of the area are given to you upon arrival and the owners are usually happy to give you a route which will give you enough time to explore the area, but also be back in plenty of time. Ensure that you jot down the owner's phone number just in case you might encounter any problems along the way.
No matter what canal you decide to visit, your trip is sure to be scenic, tranquil and you will undoubtedly meet some friendly people on their own boats along the way. As well as the landscape, wildlife and architecture you will also come across a range of stunning boats in addition to the narrowboats. Overall, hiring a narrowboat for the day is sure to be an unforgettable experience for everyone in the family, and is definitely worth a visit.