Drifters Waterway Holidays offers winter cruising on the canals from a number of its bases, with boats ranging from snug narrowboats for two, to family vessels for twelve.

It’s free to moor almost anywhere on the network, so a narrowboat could provide the perfect base for a rural retreat with stops at historic waterside pubs with roaring log fires or to visit exciting waterside destinations like Birmingham, Warwick and Stratford upon Avon.

All Drifters’ boats have central heating, hot water, televisions and DVD players.  Some also have multi-fuel stoves and Wifi.  So, whatever the weather, it’s always nice and cosy on board.

Some Drifters’ boat yards also offer boats for hire over Christmas and New Year, offering the chance for peaceful break afloat in the countryside.

Cheryl Howes, owner of Kate Boats, explains:

“Cruising is different in the winter.  People cover much less distance and it’s more about just enjoying being aboard, making the most of being away from home and being completely isolated in the little bubble that is the boat.  It’s more about reading books, than going through lots of locks.

“The winter months are when the Canal & River Trust does most of its maintenance work, which means some routes aren’t available, but there are always alternatives to choose from.

“Because boat hire is cheaper off season, people will often take a slightly larger boat to give themselves a bit more space.  All our boats are centrally heated, so it’s always nice and cosy on board.  But you do need to wrap up warm when you are underway, and the person at the tiller needs a supply of hot drinks to keep them going! 

“Our boats have plenty of storage on board so you can bring lots of warm clothes. You just need to accept that with limited day length you aren’t going to get as far, and some towpaths do get muddy.”

For more information about Drifters boating holidays drifters.co.uk


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