The Perfect Socially Distanced UK Staycation

The Perfect Socially Distanced UK Staycation

2020 hasn’t been your typical year, and if you had been looking forward to a summer holiday, the chances are you’ll have been disappointed. This has left a lot of people looking for their coronavirus holiday – a break from the pandemic that’s safe, affordable and unlikely to be the victim of the next quarantine or lockdown.

The word ‘staycation’ might be awful on the ears, but there are a lot of people looking for staycation ideas in the UK right now and it’s understandable – the continental holiday in the sun is something we’ve all come to look forward to so much that the UK can be overlooked as a destination for British holidaymakers.

It turns out, however, that we might just have the perfect solution – in fact, if there were ever a getaway better suited to the current global situation, we can’t think of one. Whether you’re the gregarious type, looking to take in as many different bars and pubs as possible, looking for beautiful scenery, or simply want to get away from the constant news cycle with your partner or family, a canal boat holiday offers tremendous variety and potential.

Whether you’re looking for a short break or a week-long cruise through the glorious Lancashire countryside, you can be sure of serenity, wildlife and beautiful natural and architectural sights as you wind your way along the fantastically maintained Lancaster Canal.

You can be as far from the madding crowd as you like – socially distancing as you enjoy the comfort of the boat – or greet friendly locals at one of the amazing pubs and restaurants that are dotted along the picturesque route, all the while you can look forward to taking walks through an English countryside teeming with birds and wildlife, or simply enjoy the sensation of journeying along the historic waterway which was completed in 1826.

While we’re obviously biased, we feel our four wonderful boats offer the best way to enjoy the English countryside, the joy of boating and a series of delightful towns and villages all while retaining the comfort and convenience of a boutique hotel.

Whether you’re looking to squeeze in a getaway before the end of the year, or looking to avoid the risks of holiday cancellations and the nervous anticipation of another travel company going out of business by taking a holiday in the UK in 2021, the chances are we’ll have the perfect boat on which you can have a perfect time.

So stop looking for staycation ideas – you’ve had the best one yet! So get in touch before we’re all booked up and start looking forward to the highlight of your year – whatever year that might be.

Our Australian Friends on Forget-Me-Not

Warren and Merle visited Lancashire from Yamba in Australia, taking Forget-Me-Not out for a holiday cruise. This is what they had to say…

Just touching base as we have now returned back home to Yamba from our great UK and beyond trip. Just want to thank you for the fantastic time we spent on Forget Me Not cruising the Lancaster Canal in July. The scenery was stunning and reaching the Lune Aqueduct gave us a real thrill as we never thought we would do anything like this in our travels. Your patience and training were great and we will  certainly recommend your company to any friends or relatives who are heading over that way in the future to do a canal trip and should we ever return one day we know at least one thing we will be doing, only this time we will make it a week or longer.

We have attached just a few of the hundreds of beautiful snaps we took on our 4 day adventure.

Thank you once again and warm regards

Warren & Merle

It’s a Dog’s Life on The Lancaster Canal

Holly and Maisie were treated to a trip on our beautiful Poppy in May by their kind owner Vicky. To say that these pooches enjoyed their trip is an understatement! Now seasoned seadogs, they are waiting for their next trip.

The Canal is an ideal environment for dogs and their owners, with plenty to see and lots of walks. We’re always happy to welcome well-behaved dogs (and owners) onto our 3 boats.

For owners who enjoy holidaying with their pets, one of our Canal Boats is an ideal solution. As well as lots of dogs, we have also welcomed birds, hamsters and even the occasional cat!

Canalside Events in 2018

There’s plenty going on again this year on the banks of The Lancaster Canal – perfect for our boaters to enjoy!

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Pirates and Baywatch Babes – Paul & Donna on Poppy

The Fowlers on Poppy

The Fowlers have had a lovely few days on Poppy in July.

Peter & Nicole on Poppy

Our guests Peter & Nicole Kamp took Poppy out for a few days at the end of May – we thank them for these lovely photos of their break.

First Timers on the Lancaster Canal

First timers Chris & Jacqueline, with their two sons, took Poppy out in April 2017. Their first time on a Canal Boat. This is their blog about the trip.

by Chris

Day 1

Myself, my wife Jacqueline and youngest son Charlie met Sylvia at Barton Grange Marina this morning and were introduced to Poppy, our floating home for the next few days. Eldest son Chris Jnr was motoring up from Crewe, stuck on the M6.

After picking up some essentials from the nearby Barton Grange Garden Centre Farm Shop (quite expensive!), Sylvia provided a trolley for us to move our gear from the secure Marina car park to Poppy. Next time we will first visit an Aldi first and pick up some bits.

Poppy is amazing, beautifully laid out and luxuriously equipped. Bags of storage space, 2 double beds, central heating, gas oven and hob, a fridge, 2 TVs with DVD players, 240V sockets and even a shower and a flushing loo!

After explaining all the bits inside Poppy, we were took out onto the Canal for a training session. Easier than I thought to sail the boat – the trick is to do everything slowly! We were shown how to sail, moor safely, cast off and turn the boat.

Back at the Marina, Chris Jnr had finally arrived. As instructed, he had brought some Rum.

On Friday afternoon we set off North from the Marina heading towards Garstang. Even at 2-3mph this did not seem to take long. We managed some photos along the way, including one of a swan building a giant nest, another of a Heron in flight and a belter of a grey squirrel balancing on a branch to take a drink from the canal.

We passed bridge 60 at Garstang and moored up opposite the enticing looking Tithe Barn. There’s a technique to successful mooring – you approach the bank dead slow and then have someone step onto the bank with the centre rope to gently pull the boat in. We made the short walk into Garstang town centre in search of fish and chips. At £40 for 4 of us this was not cheap, but the food and service was excellent. A bit of shopping was then done in Booths.

We ventured into The Tithe Barn for a couple before settling back on Poppy for our first night aboard. Here the TV reception was perfect, as was the mobile internet connection.

The beds were really comfortable, one of the best night’s sleep for a long time.

Day 2

From 10am we chugged gently from Garstang Marina towards Lancaster in beautiful weather amidst stunning scenery. Whilst no. 1 son Chris Jnr and I did the navigating, full breakfasts were being cooked in the lovely kitchen.

The supplied Canal Guidebook is a must to refer to, it shows you the bridges as you go. As these are all numbered you have a good chance of not overshooting your destination. There are turning points but if you miss one it can be a long chug before you can come back.

Poppy is one of the most attractive Narrowboats on the canal, we did not spot any quite as nice – apart from her little sister Daisy who we passed a couple of times.

Approaching Lancaster we intended to moor at The Water Witch pub but overshot – despite there being two huge basins (turning points) adjacent. There were a couple of mooring spaces left but we were not confident enough yet to attempt to squeeze in so kept going.

We ended up going over the incredible Lune Aqueduct before we could turn around! Worth it though for the photo and video opportunities.

We planned mooring up in Lancaster again but managed to overshoot once more. Checking the map for turning points we decided to carry on to Galgate and come back up to Lancaster again the next day. Anyway, we thought a city centre might be too rowdy for a good night’s sleep.

We safely moored up in Galgate close to the Marina and the Plough pub and set off in search of food. The Plough was a bit busy with a rugby coach trip so we settled for some nibbles from a Spar and a takeaway chippy.

Back on Poppy at Galgate Marina the TV reception was shaky and the internet connection was poor. Luckily, several DVD’s were in one of the cupboards.

Day 3

We set off at 9-ish to chug back up to Lancaster. By this time we were expert navigators and managed to moor successfully at The Water Witch without embarassing ourselves in front of the early imbibers.

A short walk was made to Lancaster Castle to partake in the castle tour (well worth doing) followed by a visit to the Museum. Us boys then had to suffer a tour of some of Lancaster’s retail establishments before thankfully arriving back at The Water Witch for a well-earned Gin & Tonic.

The Gin of course was for medicinal purposes in order to steady our nerves for the long chug back to Garstang. The 10 year old was adamant that he was not going to stay the night in Galgate again due to the non-existent internet connection. Apparently this would have interfered with his attempts to catch Pokemon.

We debated whether or not to dine at The Old Tithe Barn but ended up cooking dinner on the boat as we were all tired.


What a fantastic break this was!! We have seen the canal as we have never seen it before and had several wonderful days visiting pubs without a care in the world. Definitely an experience not to be missed.

We need your wildlife photos!

The Lancaster Canal is a valuable wildlife corridor – with the entire Lancashire section being designated as a Biological Heritage Site.

Read more here

Have you taken any photos of wildlife along the Lancaster Canal? We would love to feature them on our website!

Please email them to

Getting Ready for our 2017 Bookings

Daisy, Rose and Poppy, our 3 lovely Narrowboats, are all currently enjoying their Winter break at Barton Grange Marina. We have been spending lots of time sprucing little bits up ready for the first bookings in March.

If you would like to come and look round any of the boats (we love showing them off!!) please call us to arrange.