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Description:narrowboat and boating holidays UK direct. Drifters are a collection of the country's leading UK narrowboat holiday operators dedicated to bringing you the best in boating holidays on the canals, rivers and inland waterways of England, Scotland and Wales.


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narrowboat boating holidays direct UK About Us| Site Map Narrowboat Holidays in the UK Home Drifters Narrowboat Holidays Short Breaks Short Break holidays in Britain Blog News from the waterways Quality Assured Tourist Board Grading Scheme Family Fun Fun for all the family Membership Application FAQ's Your Questions answered Resources Narrowboat Websites Contact Narrowboats and Boating Holidays Direct Narrowboats Direct allows you to book your boating holiday directly with Drifters operators meaning you get the very best attention and some of the very best deals around. take a look at the Drifters Club with its unique approach to finding you great prices and opportunities to take a very special holiday afloat. Use the portal on the left of this page to find your perfect boat and location and even book your holiday at the time it suits you best. With Drifters Narrowboat Holidays, nothing is left to chance and you have the additional security and reassurance of the Drifters Grading Scheme to ensure your boat is simply one of the finest craft available for hire anywhere in the UK. DRIFTERS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Do you provide maps on board for the canals? The boats will have outline maps in their handbooks, but we recommend that your purchase a guide book to the canals you will visit - you can purchase these from the boatyard when you pick up the boat, or order them from us on the booking form. More..... Which is the best map / guide book? We sell various maps and guide books. Ones with ring binders are easiest to use while steering, but others may give more information about facilities that are a short distance from the canal itself. More.... Can we have the boat early? As our boats are usually in use each week, your boat is likely to be being cleaned and prepared for you on the day of your arrival. Therefore, to avoid you having to hang about while the cleaning is completed, you are advised not to arrive early, as we will not be able to let you onto the boat before the published time. Do the boats have heating? What type of heating is there on the boat? All our boats have heating throughout. This is usually provided via radiators fed by a diesel-fired boiler. More.... Can we drink the water on board? The water in the on-board water tank on the boat is quite safe to drink, and will be refreshed each time you stop at a water tap to top up the tank. More.... Do we need to bring water? No, we fill the water tank on the boat before you set off, and you can stop at frequent water taps located along the canal to replenish the supply. Can new use our hair straighteners / tongs / hair dryer/ iron? Many of our boats have 240 volt power available, but this generally has a limited maximum power rating. You'd need to ask about this once you have chosen a particular boat. What does 4+2 mean in the boat description? This term in the description of a boat indicates that is has permanent beds for four, with two others that can be made up at night, generally in the dining area. More....... Why are there so many different boat layouts and classes? Our fleets are continually being developed, and we want to give you as much choice as possible. If you need any help deciding, our booking office staff will be pleased to discuss your requirements. Can we take canoes / kayaks? There is no space for canoes on boats apart from on the roof. In general, there is not sufficient clearance under bridges for the canoes to remain safe. What type of toilet is on board? All our boats have fresh water flushing toilets - just like the ones at home. Can we sleep on board, but stay at the boatyard overnight? Our boatyards are generally locked up at night for security, so if you did stay you would not be able to get out of the yard. Can we fish on the canals or rivers? Yes, fishing is a popular pastime on boating holidays. But you will need an Environment Agency rod licence to do so. Why is the damage waiver fee separate? The damage waiver is a separate insurance premium to protect you from the cost of any damage the boat might suffer. Why is the damage waiver not refundable, even if no damage is caused? The damage waiver is a separate insurance premium to protect you from the cost of any damage the boat might suffer. How fast does the boat go? Narrowboats travel at less than four miles an hour, although you might travel slightly faster on some rivers. Will the fuel last all week? The diesel fuel in the tank will last you all week unless you travel particularly long hours each day. Do I need to bring my own anchor? No. Anchors are only required on rivers, and we will provide one should you need one. Where is the first pub? The guide books and maps will show you the location of pubs and restaurants by the canal, and the staff showing you round the boat will be happy to advise you about where to say the first night. Where are the brakes? Narrowboats do not have brakes - slowing down and stopping is achieved very simply by putting the engine into reverse gear at any time. Have you got a life jacket for the dog? No. You need to bring your own flotation devices for pets. Do we do (operate/open) our own canal or river locks? In general you will operate the locks yourself, and this is part of the fun. You will be shown how to do this before you take the boat out. On some rivers, the locks are operated for you by lock keepers. How much would the boat cost to buy? This is obviously very variable, depending on the age and size of the boat, but it will be in the range of £30,000 - £70,000. Can I use my own Sat Nav? Certainly, although they're not strictly necessary in order to find your way on the canals. You can use it to keep track of where you are in relation to the 'outside world'. Can we walk on the roof? In general, it is safer not to walk on the roof of the boat. The roof can be slippery, particularly when wet. Low bridges and overhanging trees can also present sudden hazards. How heavy is the boat? In general, the boat will weigh between 10 and 20 tons, which is why it takes a little time to stop! Where can we moor or park? On the canals, you can in general moor anywhere there is space on the towpath side. The exception is where there are designated permanent moorings or other 'no mooring ' signs. On rivers, you can generally only moor at designated mooring places (which are shown in the guide books). Do we pay to moor up? No. In general, mooring is free for the first 24 hours at any place. On rivers, you may be asked to pay a small mooring fee. How deep is the canal? Canals are generally only about three feet (1metre) deep, but the bottom is muddy. Near locks, they can be considerably deeper, as can rivers. Has the boat got air conditioning? Boats do not have air conditioning - this is a fresh air holiday. They do however have plenty of ventilation for hot days - and heating for cooler evenings. How do you turn the boat around? There are designated turning points (known as winding holes) which are all shown in the guide books. By the time you need to turn, you will have mastered the control of the boat. Can you swim in the canal? Swimming in the canal is not recommended. There is a small chance of catching an infection from the water if it is swallowed. Do we take the ropes with us? Absolutely. All the ropes on the boat are part of its fittings. You'll be shown how to use them before you set off. How big is the engine? The engine is in the order of two litres capacity. It will have sufficient power to enable you to safely navigate the canals or rivers you encounter on your holiday. Is there space on your boats for a travel cot? Space is limited, but there will normally be space in the lounge or dining areas. Do you supply cot sides for the beds? Yes, if you request this in advance. Do you supply high chairs for infants? Yes, if you request this in advance. Is there room to store travel cots / high chairs when not in use? Yes, but storage space is limited on narrowboats. Can we bring TV/ DVD players or laptops? Our boats all have TVs and most have DVD players. Laptop charging is available on all boats shown as having 240 volt supplies (this is on almost all of our boats). If two people arrive for the show round and the rest of the party arrive the following day, can you do another show round for them? In general, no - but there should be no need for this. Can we bring a bike and is there any way of securing it to the boat? You can bring bikes, but they have to be left on the roof of the boat. They may also need to be removed at low bridges. We also request you to bring mats to protect the roof of the boat from scratching by the bike. Not all boats have a secure method of attachment for bikes. Can we take some family members out for the day if they don't stop overnight? Yes, as long as you do not exceed the maximum number of persons permitted on the boat (for stability reasons). Do we need a licence to steer? No. You will be given instruction when you pick up the boat. We can also send you a DVD before your holiday, if you ask. Is the boat hard to steer? No. We will give you instruction before you take over the boat, and a member of staff will accompany you as you start off. Do we need any insurance (boat or personal)? It is always advisable to have travel insurance for any holiday, but you do not need any special insurance for a boating holiday. Is it a safe holiday for children? Yes, with a few simple rules, such as not running around at locks. We provide lifejackets for children on request. Can we have our shopping delivered to you at the yard? Most bases can allow this if you ask in advance. Where do I park the car? We have ample free car parking at each of our bases. Is the car parking secure? The yards are staffed during the day and locked at night. How many cars can we bring? A maximum of two cars per party. If you need to bring more, make arrangements with the boatyard beforehand. How can I reach the boatyard by public transport? What times are the buses and trains? What is the local taxi number? We are more than happy to help you with public transport, and our booking staff will be able to advise you on specifics. Can I collect the boat from one base and drop it off at another? In general, no - but in some specific instances we can provide this facility. Please ask if you want to do this. What's the weather forecast? We have not more idea of this than the weather forecasters, but for any rainy days we do provide waterproofs for the steerer. The remainder of the party can stay warm and cosy inside the boat. How far can we go? A general rule of thumb is that you will cover about three miles her hour, then allow twenty minutes per lock. But remember that you will not want to cruise all day - you may stop for meals or to investigate a canal-side village. How long will it take me to get to anywhere? The guide books and maps show distances and numbers of locks: you should assume you will only cover three miles and/or locks in an hour. Where are the toilets? Flushing toilets are provided on each boat, with several on larger boats. Toilets are in separate compartments, along with showers and wash hand basins. Who has the right of way on narrow sections of canal or aqueducts? Where boats are approaching one of the few narrow sections on the canals, priority is given to the first to arrive. Where is the nearest supermarket? The guide books will show you the location of shops, and our boatyard staff will be pleased to point you in the direction of the nearest one to the yard. Do we need to pump out (empty) the toilets? No. Can we use a computer and Game Boys? On any of our boats that have 240 volt supplies on board, you can use computers or electronic games. What is provided on the boats? The brochures and web site list typical inventories. Broadly, everything you need for your holiday apart from food and drink and towels. What facilities are on the boats? All of our boats have hot and cold running water, flush toilets, a cooker and a fridge. Also a TV, lighting and heating and comfortable beds. There is a lounge and dining area, and at least one shower. Our higher graded boats will have additional facilities beyond this. Will the gas last all week? Yes. We will always send you off with sufficient gas to last you for the week's holiday. Are there plenty of pubs and restaurants along the way? On most routes, there are plenty of pubs and restaurants next to the canal, or a short walk away. The guide books will show where they are situated, with contact phone numbers. Are there lots of things to do and towns to visit along the way? Each route is different, but a study of the guide book will reveal plenty of things to see and do along the way: and the travelling itself is very enjoyable. Where does the waste toilet water go? There is a secure holding tank on the boat for toilet waste, which we will deal with after your return. How long does it take to go through a lock? It is safest to allow twenty minutes per lock when calculating your speed of progress. I practice, it will take you much less than this once you have done a few. Where does the canal go to? There are over 2000 miles of canals to choose from, and our bases between them offer you the chance to explore most of these. Some are rural, offering a great way to see the countryside, while others take you though the hidden sides of towns and cities. Do you hire all year round? In general, the canals are closed for maintenance work between November and March, which is when we do remedial and improvement work on the boats. Can we bring pets? Pets are welcomed on some boats, for a fee. Check with the company concerned if in doubt. Can we drink and drive? No. Just as with cars, the person in charge must be sober. Do you provide bedding and towels? We provide all bedding, but not towels. What do we need to bring? Bring clothes for outdoor wear, including soft-soled shoes for wearing on board. Towpaths can be muddy, so it is wise to also bring stout shoes. We provide waterproofs for the steerer, but not for other members of the party. You should bring towels and all washing supplies. Do not forget cameras and binoculars. Will we get sea sick? Only in very rare cases Can we cruise at night? No, it is not safe to cruise after dark. Do you provide life jackets? Yes. You need to ask for these when you pick up the boat. Where will we get to the first night? Our staff will be happy to advise you when you take over the boat. How much does it cost? The prices shown in the brochures and website are in general fully inclusive prices. Some companies charge for fuel as an extra. Can granny manage the steps? In general, getting on and off the boat is easy, although in some places there may be gap between the boat and the bank when you are moored. It can be a little difficult to negotiate inside the boat with sticks, due to lack of space. Is there a SCART socket on the TV for a games console? On some boats only. Ask us once you have chosen a boat. Is there a DVD player on the boat? Most of our boats have DVD players: this is shown on the brochure and web site. Do we have to queue for locks or moorings? In general, no. At busy times, you may have to wait a few minutes for some locks or water points. Do we have to pay for locks or moorings? You do not have to pay for locks, even if they are operated for you. A very few major structures do carry a usage fee. Mooring is in general free, except on some rivers where a small charge is made for mooring. Do we have to pay for fuel? Most of our companies include fuel in the booking price, although some do charge for the fuel you use. This is made clear at the time of booking. Do you provide waterproofs? We always provide a full set of waterproofs for the steerer, and usually some others. Do you provide a centre rope or side fenders? Yes, in general, unless there is a safety reason for not providing them. Do you provide mooring hoops for mooring to metal piling? In most cases, yes. Are the toilets smelly? No: they are cleaned out thoroughly before each holiday. Is there a cafetiere or garlic press on board? We provide a cafetiere for coffee, but not in general a garlic press - we don’t expect you to do elaborate cooking on your holiday! Is there SkyTV or an iPod dock? TV reception is not always good on the canals. Sky TV is not available on our boats, and most boats do not have an iPod dock either. Is the scenery pretty with small villages? This depends on the route you choose, but the slow pace of the canal does enable you to appreciate the countryside you pass through. Stopping at a canal-side village is one of the pleasures of a canal holiday. Are there any special things I should know about water safety? Canals are safe places providing some elementary care is taken. No-one should run near a canal, and particularly not at locks. Boats and locks can be slippery when wet. Children in particular should not walk on the sides or roof of the boat. Safety instructions will be given as part of your handover when you pick up the boat. Do I need any special boating skills? No. You will be instructed when you pick up the boat. We can also send you a DVD before you start your holiday. What sort of home comforts are there on board? All of our boats have hot and cold running water, flush toilets, a cooker and a fridge. Also a TV, lighting and heating and comfortable beds. There is a lounge and dining area, and at least one shower. Who is allowed to steer the boat? Any adult can steer the boat, and children can do so under supervision. How easy are the locks to operate? Surprisingly easy. You will be shown how to do this when you pick up the boat - and if there is a lock nearby, our staff will come and work it with you. What attractions can you tell me about that will keep the kids entertained? A good guide book will prove invaluable for this, and we can give you some local advice when you arrive. What boat maintenance will I be expected to do? Very little. We will explain the few minor items when you are shown round the boat. Are there any extras to pay, like on some of the budget airlines? No, although some of our companies ask you to pay for the fuel you use. Can I take a holiday at any time of the year? In general, the canals are closed for maintenance work between November and March, which is when we do remedial and improvement work on the boats. Do we have to make the beds up each night? Most beds are permanent and can be left made up. If you use any extra beds in the living area, they will have to be converted each night. How cold does it get on the boats at night? Narrowboats are surprisingly cosy, and there is always heating available throughout the boat. Where can I buy food on the way round? The guide books will show you details of all the local shops. Are there safe places to moor? On the canals, you can in general moor anywhere there is space on the towpath side. The exception is where there are designated permanent moorings or other 'no mooring ' signs. On rivers, you can generally only moor at designated mooring places (which are shown in guide books). We will tell you if there any places it is inadvisable to moor. Drifters Narrowboat Holidays Direct. Choose a start location: Search All UK Canals River Thames Northern England Central England Southern England UK One Way Hire Wales Scotland --------------------------------- City Breaks By Boat --------------------------------- Show All City Breaks Bath Birmingham Cambridge Chester Edinburgh Ely Glasgow Oxford Stratford upon Avon Warwick Worcester --------------------------------- Or Select A Waterway --------------------------------- Ashby Canal Ashton Canal Avon (River) Bridgewater Canal Calder & Hebble Caldon Canal Coventry Canal Droitwich Canal Forth & Clyde, Scotland Grand Union Canal Great Ouse (Cambs) Huddersfield Canals Kennet & Avon Leeds & Liverpool Llangollen Canal Macclesfield Canal Monmouth & Brecon Nene (Cambridgeshire) North Oxford Canal Oxford Rochdale Canal South Oxford Canal Shropshire Union Staffs & Worcs Stratford Upon Avon Thames (Isis) Trent & Mersey Union Canal, Scotland Worcs & Birmingham --------------------------------- 1 Week Cruising Rings --------------------------------- Birmingham Ring Black Country Ring Cheshire Ring Droitwich Mini Ring Four Counties Ring Leicester Ring London Ring Stourport Ring Warwickshire Ring --------------------------------- 2 Week Cruising Rings --------------------------------- Avon Ring Four Counties Ring Leicester Ring North Pennine Ring South Pennine Ring Thames Ring Warwickshire Ring Starting on which dates? 8th Jul - 14th Jul 2016 15th Jul - 21st Jul 2016 22nd Jul - 28th Jul 2016 29th Jul - 4th Aug 2016 5th Aug - 11th Aug 2016 12th Aug - 18th Aug 2016 19th Aug - 25th Aug 2016 26th Aug - 1st Sept 2016 2nd Sep - 8th Sep 2016 9th Sep - 15th Sep 2016 16th Sep - 22nd Sep 2016 23rd Sep - 29th Sep 2016 30th Sep - 6th Oct 2016 7th Oct - 13th Oct 2016 14th Oct - 20th Oct 2016 21st Oct - 27th Oct 2016 28th Oct - 3rd Nov 2016 4th Nov - 10th Nov 2016 11th Nov - 17th Nov 2016 18th Nov - 24th Nov 2016 25th Nov - 1st Dec 2016 2nd Dec - 8th Dec 2016 9th Dec - 15th Dec 2016 16th Dec - 22nd Dec 2016 23rd Dec - 29th Dec 2016 ---------------------------- 2017 Holiday Dates ---------------------------- 30th Dec - 5th Jan 2017 6th Jan - 12th Jan 2017 13th Jan - 19th Jan 2017 20th Jan - 26th Jan 2017 27th Jan - 2nd Feb 2017 3rd Feb - 9th Jan 2017 10th Feb - 16th Feb 2017 17th Feb - 23rd Feb 2017 24th Feb - 2nd Mar 2017 3rd Mar - 9th Mar 2017 10th Mar - 16th Mar 2017 17th Mar - 23rd Mar 2017 24th Mar - 30th Mar 2017 31st Mar - 6th Apr 2017 7th Apr - 13th Apr 2017 14th Apr - 20th Apr 2017 21st Apr - 27th Apr 2017 28th Apr - 4th May 2017 5th May - 11th May 2017 12th May - 18th May 2017 19th May - 25th May 2017 26th May - 1st Jun 2017 2nd Jun - 8th Jun 2017 9th Jun - 15th Jun 2017 16th Jun - 22nd Jun 2017 23rd Jun - 29th June 2017 30th Jun - 6th Jul 2017 7th Jul - 13th Jul 2017 14th Jul - 20th Jul 2017 21st Jul - 27th Jul 2017 28th Jul - 3rd Aug 2017 4th Aug - 10th Aug 2017 11th Aug - 17th Aug 2017 18th Aug - 24th Aug 2017 25th Aug - 31st Aug 2017 1st Sep - 7th Sep 2017 8th Sep - 14th Sep 2017 15th Sep - 21st Sep 2017 22nd Sep - 28th Sep 2017 29th Sep - 5th Oct 2017 6th Oct - 12th Oct 2017 13th Oct - 19th Oct 2017 20th Oct - 26th Oct 2017 27th Oct - 2nd Nov 2017 3rd Nov - 9th Nov 2017 10th Nov - 16th Nov 2017 17th Nov - 23rd Nov 2017 24th Nov - 30th Nov 2017 1st Dec - 7th Dec 2017 8th Dec - 14th Dec 2017 15th Dec - 21st Dec 2017 22nd Dec - 28th Dec 2017 How long for? Full Week Weekend Break Midweek Break Show All Available Which day of the week? (Optional) I don't mind Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday How many people (Inc. infants) 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 How many double beds (Optional) - 1 2 3 How many single beds (Optional) - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Drifters Club - Free Membership Copyright ? 2011 Direct Boating Holidays (Drifters leisure Ltd.) About Us | Contact Us | Site Map Whois

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