Lancaster Canal Boat Hire
Enjoy a lovely family outing on the Lancaster canal in one of our spacious and comfortable narrowboats.
If you always wanted to explore Lancashire by its canals, we offer the perfect Lancaster Canal boat hire.
Ideal for a weekend break or a day trip, you can book one of our luxurious narrowboats and enjoy a leisurely trip through romantic Lancashire scenery.
Full tuition is included with every boat hire. Before you begin your journey, our boat hire guide will walk you through everything you need to know about handling the narrowboat.
Our boats are easy to handle and by the end of the journey, you will become boating experts.
If you want to experience what it is like to travel our beautiful historic canals but are not ready to commit to a full holiday yet, you can enjoy a family taster day for up to four people.
Our RYA qualified skipper will take control of the narrowboat and introduce you to managing the controls by yourself.
Enjoy a relaxing cruise through the picturesque surroundings and perhaps stop for a picnic on the way.
Very soon, you will be confident enough to take one of our narrowboats out on a day trip by yourself or for a longer holiday.
Lancaster Canal Routes
You can experience a wonderful boat holiday while enjoying the beautiful Lancashire countryside. Our narrowboat hire offers a memorable family day trip, a weekend break or a longer holiday.
Simply enjoy the view or explore the many walking trails along the way. Life is never better than enjoying time with good company on a canal boat.
There is nothing more enjoyable than cruising on a narrow boat and enjoying life on the water. And since dogs are welcome, you do not need to leave your family friend at home.
You can stop and leave the boat to relax in a local Lancashire pub or spend your time in one of the historic towns along the canal.
Traveling on the canal
The Lancaster Canal runs for 42 miles without the need to open any locks. The canal route can be followed north past Lancaster City and Morecambe Bay up into the Lake District.
You can also travel south past the lovely old market town of Garstang and towards Preston.
Along the way, you will be overlooked by the foothills of the Pennines and enjoy views over pleasant pastureland.
The canal branches out to the historical fishing village of Glasson Dock which includes six locks along the way.
Lune Aqueduct trail
The Lune Aqueduct trail is a historic tour which takes you on a historical journey along the Lancaster Canal.
The tour begins at the old Packet Boat House south of Turnover Bridge and takes you through to Skerton Weir on the River Lune.
You can scan QR codes along the trail to visit webpages providing insights into the trail. You will learn about fascinating stories from the rich history of the local area from experienced guides.
This three-mile walk is from the Royal Geographical Society’s ‘ Discovering Britain’ series.
The walk introduces you to the history of the River Lune and the Lancaster Canal. This area played a significant part in the industrial revolution.
Discover the many historical buildings in Lancaster born of this waterways period.
You can follow this tour from the Three Mariners Pub on Bridge Lane through to Westfield War Memorial Village Gates on West Road.
The history of the Lancaster Canal
The Lancaster Canal has spent most of its history isolated from the national waterway. Only in 2002 was the Ribble Link opened which connected it to the Leeds & Liverpool Canal Tarleton branch.
Engineered by John Rennie, the Lancaster Canal developed its own unique personality. The aqueducts and bridges are impressive in their classical scale.
The reason for the isolation of the Lancaster Canal from the rest of the waterways is the problem of crossing the Ribble Valley.
The canal was never profitable enough to be able to afford the engineering work required to create aqueducts and locks to cross it.
In the 1960s, the construction of the M6 motorway cut the northern terminus at Kendle off from the canal. However, a restoration of this section is planned in the near future.
Places to visit from the narrowboat
One of the country's few coastal canals, the Lancaster Canal links Preston to Kendal through some beautiful landscapes.
With 41 miles of lock-free canal, it is the longest such stretch in the country.
Anywhere along the route, you can stop and get out to enjoy some wonderful sights and activities. There are opportunities for walking, cycling and canoeing along the way.
You can download local guides from the canal and river trust.
Here are some of the major attractions you can enjoy on the trip.
Lancaster city visit
You can easily explore the heart of Lancaster City from the canal. Here you can go shopping and explore the historical sights and end the day relaxing in a waterside pub or cafe.
Favourite waterside pubs include:
- The White Cross
- The Mill Inn
- The Water Witch
Here you can stop for something to eat or enjoy a pint or glass of wine overlooking the canal.
The lovely town of Garstang has wonderful historical architecture including a 15th-century barn, aqueduct and canal basin.
There are plenty of unique shops to explore and enjoyable walks nearby the canal.If you want to get something to eat while in Garstang these are popular destinations:
- Barton Grange Garden Centre
- Guy's Thatched Hamlet
- Crofters Hotel
- The Tithe Barn
Another alternative is to stop nearby one of the many grassy areas in Garstang where you can enjoy a family picnic.
The village of Bilsborrow is another popular destination along the canal route. While visiting this peaceful area you can walk the dog or follow the beautiful Bilsborrow pub walk.
These pubs are full of character and you can finish the walk with a meal at Owd Nell's Tavern.
The at the harbour at Glasson Basin first opened in 1787. It is a peaceful village with marina and small port used for leisure boating.
If you decide to pay a visit to Glasson Basin you can enjoy a bite to eat at one of these charming inns and restaurants.
- Dalton Arms
- The Mill at Conder Green
We hope this guide has provided some interesting information to help you enjoy your narrowboat holiday on the Lancaster Canal.
If you want more information about Lancaster Canal boat hire, speak to us today to book your narrowboat trip.