4 Things Every Parent Should Know About Narrowboat Holidays

steering on a family narrowboat holiday

steering a fox narrowboat

What should you bring?

Can the kids steer a canal boat?

How can your family prepare for the trip?

A Fox Narrowboat trip is more than a holiday; it’s an opportunity to create lifelong memories with your family. Embrace every moment of this unique experience and make the most of your time together with these four holiday tips.

1) Bring Your Own Entertainment

On a narrowboat holiday there will be plenty of time for the children to relax. So to keep them entertained, bring along a selection of games and activities and suggest that they bring a few favourite books on holiday. You could also bring games that include the whole family, such as Trivial Pursuit, or Scrabble. If you bring tablets and other handheld devices they can be recharged on board. Just load them with the games and movies that you know the children would enjoy. Then balance that screen-time with exploring the natural world, off the boat with the rest of the family.

A narrowboat holiday offers the opportunity to see wildlife and birds, which can be a chance to learn about different species and plants: Bring binoculars if you have them. The children may like to take photos or bring their sketchpads. Your family can explore footpaths, towpaths, trails, woodlands and meadows as part of your holiday.

2) Learn About Navigation

Although training in boat handling will be given when you arrive at our hire base, you may also like to familiarise yourself with some basic boating terminology and skills by reading our blog: Is it Difficult to Drive a Narrowboat? Older children can learn boating skills with you, and get involved with steering, operating locks and mooring up. The Canal and River Trust have a series of animated films designed to help boaters navigate the UK’s inland waterways safely. Developed jointly by CRT and the Environment Agency, the animations are designed to complement the Boater’s Handbook. Teach your children about lock safety and involve them in the process, allowing them to participate under supervision.

The children can also help you to plan your trip, both by using a guidebook, and using our interactive waterways map. The map will help you plan your navigation, and what useful things you might find nearby.

Read: Fascinating New Interactive Waterways Map for Narrowboaters

You can plan the places you would like to visit and calculate how long your journey will take you. You can filter the results displayed on the map, to show shops, places to eat, historic sites, nature reserves, navigational information and much more.

3) Be Prepared

The UK weather can be a bit unpredictable, so be prepared for all conditions. Pack clothing suitable for both warm and cold weather, as well as waterproofs in case of rain. Keep an eye on weather forecasts and plan your activities and stopping points accordingly.

We also advise booking your holiday hire boat well in advance if you can. Consider the size and layout of the boat to ensure it meets the needs of your family. All bed linen, towels, and kitchen utensils are provided. Our ‘Rural Fox’ narrowboat sleeps up to four people, and our other boats sleep up to six people.

4) Savour the Moment

A narrowboat holiday allows you to disconnect from the distractions of everyday life and spend quality time with your family. Enjoy each other’s company and create lasting memories. Take lots of pictures to capture these moments together, and encourage your children to take their own photos. You will explore charming towns and villages along the Fenland waterways, each with its own character and history. Stop off at quaint pubs, visit local markets, and immerse yourself in the local culture. Some popular boating destinations include Peterborough, Ely and Cambridge.

Start Planning Your Narrowboat Adventure Today!

Begin your journey of discovery and relaxation by planning a narrowboat holiday in Cambridgeshire. With its stunning waterways, charming towns, and endless opportunities for family fun, a narrowboat holiday is the perfect escape from the ordinary. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the Fenland waterways, create lasting memories, and embark on an adventure that your family will cherish forever.

Start planning your narrowboat cruise today! Check availability now for your next family adventure.

You may also like: The Top 5 Tips for a Family Narrowboat Break

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Image credit: Fox Narrowboats

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