Is a license required to pilot a canal boat?
No, you don’t need a license to use the canals or rivers.
No. Upon arrival at the boatyard you the staff will provide you with plenty of tuition, help and advice on how to navigate the waterways if required. There are a few basic rules which you will need to follow. These will be cover in a manual which you should also receive a when you arrive.
You will be cruising at a max speed of 4-7 miles per hour. You long you spend travelling per day is entirely up to you but remember you can not use the waterways once it is dark. So if you, for instance, cruising about 5 hours a day and add any delays for locks (around 10 minutes per lock) you would travel around 100-140 miles per week.
You will be able to travel anywhere so long as:
- You have enough time to return to your boatyard on the morning of the final day.
- It is within the waterways covered by the boat’s licence.
Use our canal guides for details of suggested routes.
You will find moorings close to waterside restaurants and pubs, villages and towns and in the countryside located along the canal towpath. The vast majority of these are free to use. The manual that you receive at the start of your holiday will have lots of information regarding these.
You’ll find many great walks along the canal, whether it’s the towpaths or in the surrounding countryside – perfect for dog walking. The majority of boatyard are happy for you to have a small number of well-behaved pets and there is usually no extra charge for bringing them along.
Before you pack check your booking to see if you will be able to use your own 240 volt appliances. Most boats have a 240v system but you may be limited to using only the electrical appliances which are provided on board. There are usually 12v accessory sockets available, the same as those found in a car. These can be used for charging mobile phones or cameras etc. The leads will not be provided so make sure you bing your own.