Family Boating Days
Millie, our 28ft narrowboat, can be hired by the day for parties of up to eight people so is ideal for birthday parties or other family celebrations. The hire price includes a qualified RYA Helmsman/Instructor and local guide FREE OF CHARGE. However, if you have a photo card RYA Helmsman Certificate, or have successfully attended a WWT Boat Handling Experience Course in the last year, then you can elect to steer the boat yourself.
The helmsman will steer the boat for you or give you instruction so you can steer the boat yourself. Anyone in the party can have turns at the helm including young adults and everyone will be invited to help work the locks.
Price is £220 per day for up to eight people.
This is a great way to enjoy a voyage along the Grand Union Canal through a delightful part of Warwickshire countryside.
The boat departs from our training centre at Nelson's Wharf, Stockton, Warwickshire where there is plenty of parking and toilets for your guest's comfort on arrival. The boat will be ready for departure from 9.00am but you choose what time you leave. The boat needs to be back for 4.30pm and the route you take within these times is entirely up to you but the skipper will be on hand to advise.
The boat is fully equipped with seating, tables, crockery, cutlery, powered cold box, small gas hob and flushing toilet. You can bring your own picnic lunch and enjoy it on the boat or by the side of the canal. Alternatively you can arrange a lunch at one of a choice of canalside pubs along the way.
Millie has flexible sides which can be folded up to provide an open air experience but quickly zipped closed to make her weatherproof for those last minute changes in weather. The zip down sides have windows so even when closed there is still a great view.
You are welcome to decorate the boat to suit the occasion and you are welcome to come early in the morning to set it up.
Possible routes include:
Route East toward Napton: Just three locks out and three back on this route with lots of open countryside to enjoy. Lunch venues include the Folly Inn at Napton locks or the Kings Head within a short walk of the canal. Please ask to check current availability.
Route West toward Bascote: For the lock hungry there are 10 outgoing before a long lock free section followed by 10 locks on the return. Locks present a great team event for the family or work colleagues. Choice of canalside lunch venues on this route include The Boat Inn and The Blue Lias Inn.
No Locks Route: A very pleasant day can be had without operating locks at all. Leave the Wharf and take relaxed low speed cruise East toward Calcutt. It takes about 50 minutes to get there. Turn below the lock and head back at a leisurely pace stopping for a cup of tea by the side of the canal. Carry on past Nelson's Wharf and past the Boat Inn which is a little further on beyond the next bridge. Turn above Stockton Top Lock and back to the Boat Inn. Moor up and enjoy a long, leisurely lunch at The Boat Inn. Lunch and a mooring outside the pub. The Boat Inn is an award winning pub and must be booked in advance to avoid disappointment. This relaxed cruise will allow time for passengers to have a try at steering under the supervision of a competent steerer.
The best way to plan your day is to decide whether you want a lot of locks to operate or just a few. This will decide the direction. Then choose your lunch arrangements, e.g. picnic or a selected public house. From there we can suggest a suitable route which can even be a combination of the routes above. We are very flexible and the planning can be left until the day of the trip if you prefer, especially if you want to see the weather forecast first.
Millie is short enough that she can be turned with care just about anywhere on the canal including between the locks so you don't need to keep going for a wider section.
Sadly, we can't supply the picnic lunch and we will have to leave it to you to book a lunch venue so you get exactly what you want.