Charter Cruises

Whilst we can’t run our usual cruises this year we’d still like to offer you an opportunity to experience the wonder of the English canals.

Our Hotelboats
We’re offering you the chance to charter hire Karnataka, our traditional butty boat, for a five or six night cruise between the wonderfully historic cities of Warwick and Stratford upon Avon. Experience the pinnacle of the canal builders art on the Grand Union Canal – wide, deep and fast – then enjoy the contrast of the Stratford Canal, with its narrow split bridges and unique barrel roofed cottages.

Your holiday will be fully catered: cooked breakfast, elevenses, light lunch, afternoon tea and a three course dinner all served in the boat’s spacious lounge. The lounge also contains hidden treasures – a modest bar with a selection of spirits, beers, ciders and soft drinks as well as some very nice wines from around the world.

Our Spacious Lounge

The boat can accomodate five people in comfort. All cabins have their own sink, a socket for phone charging and comfortable lighting for late night reading. There is a spacious double cabin to the rear of the boat, with a genuine king size mattress bed – very unusual on a narrow boat. There are two en-suite single cabins, one with a high bunk, the other with a low one. Finally, we’re opening up what would usually be a crew cabin. It’s slightly smaller than the others, but still has plenty of storage space. The shower and loo are just next door. If you have a larger family we can also offer the traditional boatman’s cabin at the rear of the boat, which can sleep two. It’s not quite as luxurious as the other cabins, no shower or loo, but would be suitable for the more adventurous members of your group!

Our Route (on alternate weeks this cruise will run in the opposite direction)

This is a five night cruise which starts in either Warwick or Stratford upon Avon. The first night is spent in the the departure town, so why not drop off your bags and explore these wonderful historic towns?

We leave Warwick and immediately hit the first lock of the impressive Hatton Flight. A morning’s work gets us to the top of the flight, where we catch our breath and look back on the stunning views of St Mary Church in the distance. A short tunnel journey brings us out into the beautiful Warickshire countryside, where we will cruise for the rest of the day, before mooring up near the award winning Tom O’ the Woods pub.

Day two takes us onto the Stratford Canal via Kingswood junction. There are more locks today, narrow this time, so you’ll see the crew working hard to pull the unpowered butty into the locks. We approach and pass under the M40, but soon leave the noise behind as we make our way to our night’s mooring at Lowsonford. After dinner, why not visit the Fleur de Lys pub, just a few minutes walk down the towpath?

Our third day is a little more relaxed, as we head further into the Forest of Arden. The locks are fewer and further apart with good walking between them. The afternoon is almost lock free, so sit back and watch the beautiful countyside drift slowly past. The highlight of the day is Edstone Aqueduct, not as tall as Pontcysyllte , but just as impressive in its own way. A few miles of gentle cruising brings us to our mooring at Wilmcote, the home of Mary Arden and her family. A post dinner walk into the village is well worth the effort. You could take a peek at Shakespeare’s family farmhouse and enjoy a glass of wine at The Mary Arden Inn.

Our final day is lock heavy, as we make our way down into the Avon Valley. The Wilmcote locks are a proper flight, with the locks close enough together for the crew to haul the butty boat between them, always an impressive sight! The afternoon takes us into the Stratford suburbs, with occassional locks taking us down to the river level. A last lock, a turn and a very low bridge, brings us into Bancroft Basin, our final mooring, with its fine views of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the River Avon.

If you would like to extend your charter for an extra day, we can offer two possibilities: a day’s cruising on the river enjoying the natural beauty of the Avon Valley and the idosyncratic river locks, or for Shakespeare fans, we can spend an extra day in Wilmcote for you to visit Mary Arden’s Farm (subject to it reopening).

Costs

All charters will begin on a Monday at 4:00 p.m. and end either Saturday or Sunday at 9:30 am. The cost will be £3250 for a five night charter and £3750 for six nights. This includes your cruise, accommodation and full board. Entry to historical sites is not included in the price.

Booking Conditions

All our usual booking conditions apply except:

  • The age limit for children is lowered to 10 years.
  • Full payment will be required for all bookings.
  • Our COVID-19 guarantee will apply to all bookings.

Booking

Charters will commence on Monday 3rd August and then run every Monday until the end of October. Please email (rosie@bywaterholidays.co.uk) or call Rosie (07380 941 042) to check availability Alternatively, fill in the form below and we will contact you.