Narrowboats offer a broad variety of options
The narrowboat – or narrow boat as these vessels are originally called – are the most typical boats in the UK. Once, they were built to transport goods through the narrow canals of the British inland waterways. The boats could not be wider then 7 foot, otherwise they would get stuck in some of the locks. By now, most of these boats are used as (semi) permanent homes or as narrowboat rentals.
A lovely example of a traditional narrowboat is the ‘Stepping Stone’ in Surrey, hosted by Julie White. It’s hard to imagine that in the early days, we’re talking about the18th century, these boats were drawn by horses, guided by a crew member – often a child. At first the families who were in the narrowboat business would live on shore. But as soon as competition from the railway rose, those families could often no longer pay the rent and were forced to go live on board of these canal boats. A tough life, with long working days and poor living conditions. How different is the situation aboard over 200 years later: the narrow boat is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the wonderful midlands of the United Kingdom.
Narrow, but not small
As you can see on the Stepping Stone, comfort is a key element of the modern narrowboat. Although the dimensions have not changed – it is a narrow boat after all – the interior suits the needs of a modern holiday maker. The kitchen of the 62 foot vessel allows you to prepare a meal for friends and family. It can sleep up to 6 persons comfortably. The long gone horse pulling the boat forward has made place for a diesel engine and the bow thrusters enable you to maneuver the boat precisely where you want it.
Modern narrowboat rental
If you enter the boat via the stern deck, you’ll be surprised by the space inside. Despite the fact that the boat is no wider then 7 feet, it has a bedroom with a double bed and two other double beds can be created via the convertible seating. The fully equipped bathroom has nice tiling and in the kitchen you will find a cooker, including an oven. Add the flat screen tv, WiFi, music docking station and you know this boat is offering the best of both worlds: the tradition and atmosphere of long gone days combined with all the luxury of the 21st century.