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Shire Cruisers reviews 2019

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  • Experience - Sowerby Bridge start

    "Plenty of places and things to do off the boat or stay on boat and admire the view." - Anne Helps, Cambridge

    "Scenery very nice. Lots of walkers, bikers, friendly people. Evening meal at the Colliers. Music & dancing at Brighouse Basin. Musical entertainment on board with live artists." - Ron Plant, Northumberland

    "Fantastic. Friendly people helped us with the locks. Hebden Bridge craft market was fab." - Debbie Fletcher, Lincoln

    "We loved the nature around us, the towns had everything we needed." - Stead family, Buckingham

    "Scenery spectacular. Loved the old mills, canal side gardens, renovated properties, bird life, views across the valley and houses perched on hillsides. Excellent trip. Thank You." - McDonough, Oxford

    "Scenery to Todmorden quintessentially English." - A. Keenleyside, Cornwall

    "Scenery was fantastic. People were friendly. Pubs were dog-friendly. Took train to Todmorden from Hebden Bridge - excellent & cheap." - Mr & Mrs Barnes, Stafford

    "Gentle relaxed cruise, no rush." - Katie, Oxford

    "Took dogs along some of Pennine Way. Saw some wonderful gardens." - Alan Day, Hereford

    "(Standedge) Tunnel was amazing experience. All the folk we met were very friendly and helpful. The scenery was very pleasant throughout and central Manchester unrecognisable from my last visit 30+ years ago." - Walker, Northumberland

    "People nice and helpful. Lots of pubs, OK." - Carlander, Worcester (Sweden)

    "Superb route, lovely views, lovely people, good pubs." - Hebden, Northumberland

    "Delightfully quiet and attractive scenery." - Dutson, Worcester

    "Lots of wild life, ducks, herons, geese, swans, kingfishers, green woodpecker, even otters!!" - Phipps, Sussex

    "Very quiet - did not come across any traffic other than Lock 28 to Hebden Bridge. Enjoyed the scenery, heritage, mills etc. Friendly local people. Liked Hebden & Todmorden." - Cook, Oxford

    "All the people have been so so friendly. Scenery beautiful. Most pubs fab. Hebden Bridge is absolutely Great." - Gillian W, Stafford

    "Lovely pubs, dog friendly, & nice food. Amazing weather & parade in Hebden Bridge." - Helen Spencer, Oxford

    "Green and beautiful. Herons, ducklings, Handmade Parade at Hebden was unexpected." - McGowans, Devon

    "The highlight for the kids was feeding the wild life. We brought plenty of oats & birdseed. The Cromwell Nature reserve was a surprise bonus. The playground at Salterhebble was also fun. We hadn't realised that a 'navigation' included rivers. The rivers were some of the best bits as they were so quiet." - Muirhead, Westmorland

    "Perfect, met lots of families with children who were fascinated and wanting to help, everyone was super friendly." - Deb & Keith, Devon

    "Hardcastle Crags, Heptonstall & Hebden Bridge were the highlights." - W, Devon

    "Hebden Bridge +++ nice pub. Many people joined the locks, helped each other, super!!" - Rapp, Oxford

    "Loved summit. Very picturesque. A lot of locks! Hebden Bridge quirky." - Slack, Stafford

    "Other boats we met were really friendly. Found lovely peaceful mooring spots just above Lock 30 and 33. Good walk up to Stoodley Pike from Hebden Bridge." - Buckman, Worcester

    "Really enjoyed it. We got very slick so Day Wed did Tod to the Winding@ 29 then back to Stubbing Wharf. Learnt from boaters in locks." - Simon Butterworth, Northumberland

    "Fantastic scenery, lovely friendly people, good food (we saw a Kingfisher and Heron)." - Hammond, Lincoln

    "Loved the remote summit. Wonderful Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band concert in Halifax." - Beadle, Stafford

    "We had a really great week even though there were some rainy and windy moments. We followed our original plan to go to Wakefield and had outings to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and also to see the Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band playing in Halifax (they were sensational)." - Gauge, Westmorland

    "Amazing best 40th birthsay ever really enjoyed everything on the boat was great." - Mark, York

    Experience - Barnoldswick start

    "We liked the changing landscape - the wide views of the Pennines and Aire Valley; the leafy woodlands; the stone-built towns and villages and the historic features of the canal construction." - Paul & Stephanie, Norfolk

    "Beautiful weather always a great start. Wildlife included seeing heron, deer, squirrels, young ducks & gees & swans, gaggle of Canadian geese (31) all swimming in line." - Jon Spence, Cambridge

    "I’ve just returned to work today after a wonderful weekend on one of your boats out of Barnoldswick. Me and my brother took our parents to celebrate their 80th birthdays. None of us had been on a narrow boat before and we all ended up asking ourselves the same question - ‘why on earth have we never done this before ?!‘." - Andrew Mounter, Rutland

    "Incredibly picturesque; friendly people along the way, very helpful lock keepers; lovely scenery in which to go running! Many swans, which we don't have back home!" - Hill Family, Norfolk (South Africa)

    "Pleasant scenery, very tranquil and quiet. Lots of wildlife. The people were very friendly. Visited Skipton Castle, walked and enjoyed the wildlife." - Ogilvie, Gloucester

    "Skipton Castle woods & castle. Meal at the Narrow Boat Pub Skipton. Pendle Heritage Centre at Barrowford." - Hope, Somerset

    "The whole experience was wonderful. The scenery was stunning. Everyone we met was friendly & helpful. We visited the castle at Skipton which was Great." - Ian & Harriet, Rutland

    "Amazing - very relaxing. Beautiful scenery - weather was perfect." - Mark Roach, Gloucester

    Experience - One way trips

    "The scenery lush & green. People all very friendly." - Akehurst, Dorset

    "Very interesting locks - many differences from those we are used to in the Midlands. People were very kind and welcoming, and scenery wonderful. Lots of lovely wildlife. Had great day in Skipton, took a trip on the Settle & Carlisle railway, & a day on the Worth Valley Railway." - Woodall, Dorset

    "Very positive experience. Standege Tunnel a particular highlight & the CRT guide was helpful & good company. Enjoyed the variety of different lock systems and being on river. ☺" - Mo Murray, Cornwall

    "Lots of help from other people at locks etc. Route very attractive." - Watson, Dorset

    "Lots of locks! But we enjoyed doing them & getting lots of walking. Manchester centre OK - suburbs - not pretty - interesting! Summit & descent lovely." - Love, Cornwall

    "Scenery excellent, people generally very friendly, pubs are good. We liked to walk, watch wildlife." - Coombes, Worcester

    "Lots of helpful people along the way - fellow boaters sharing info, friendly pilots at Standedge Tunnel, chatty chap at Aspley Marina, CRT man at Locomotive Bridge sharing knowledge." - Shelton, Cornwall

    Experience - Rings

    "Scenery - overall very interesting and varied. Favourite sections were the summits of the Huddersfield and of the Rochdale, and our favourite places were Marsden and Todmorden, and Uppermill and Hebden Bridge. Met some friendly folk on and off the water." - Olley, Lincoln

    "Lovely scenery in Yorkshire/Lancashire country. Great, helpful friendly people. Welcoming pubs - usually dog friendly." - Coad, Hereford

    "Glorious countryside. Loved the industrial / post industrial landscape of Greater Manchester." - Waters, Buckingham

    "Despite having to change plans several times, we had a superb holiday and have come home with a great sense of achievement! Having the right clothing meant that we didn't get wet even on the soggiest day and we could always retreat into our cosy boat." - Harbidge, Buckingham

    Food & drink

    "At Luddenden Foot a new Indian is opening up - se we had free food at the pub!" - Debbie Fletcher, Lincoln

    "Nice food at Cross Keys pub. Nice curry in Skipton." - Eric, Somerset

    "'The Pub' in Todmorden a gem with great real ale & atmosphere." - Balding, Buckingham

    "Recommend the 'Railway' pub in Cavendish St, Skipton. 100m from visitor moorings at Bridge 179. Excellent food & good beer. Friendly service." - Farr, Rutland

    "The Riverhead in Marsden - fabulous." - Olley, Lincoln

    "Ate at The Weavers, Luddenden Foot - excellent meal. Very reasonable price. Very hospitable landlord - treated us like royalty (birthday) Friday. Sat ate at Rim Nam Thai Restaurant, Hebden Bridge - v. good but need to book. Coffee where we moored - Café on the Wharf - above Black Pit Lock - newcomers, and keen to please. Quayside position, very nice in the sun. Final night, Sowerby Bridge - Syhiba. Excellent again." - McDonough, Oxford

    "Anchor Inn serves very tasty food, well worth advising a visit." - Jon Spence, Cambridge

    "The Waggon Inn at Uppermill was very accommodating on a Saturday night." - Helen Murray, Worcester

    "Great food at Shoulder of Mutton @ Mytholmroyd & The Olive Branch (Hebden Bridge)." - Heather Heard, Hereford

    "Lovely pub in Hebden, Stubbing Wharf." - Katie, Oxford

    "'The Weavers' - L. Foot. Thai meal Hebden. W/spoons in Tod. White Lion - Hebden - all excellent!" - Alan Day, Hereford

    "Fish & chips in Skipton Bizzie Lizzies. Went there about 20 years ago. Fabulous chinese at Horbury about 10 mins from canal. Don't order too much it's huge." - Akehurst, Dorset

    "Fox & Goose Pub - Co-op." - Gillian W, Stafford

    "Great curry in Slaithwaite. Good pub meal at the Waggoner." - Hill Family, Norfolk (South Africa)

    "'Navigation' is a good pub @ Sowerby.Bakery at Slaithwaite a must!;" - Mo Murray, Cornwall

    "Local pubs very welcoming especially Cross Keys where food was outstanding and salted caramel cheesecake was to die for! Also New Inn at Foulridge - delicious Hunter's ribs and welcoming hostess. " - Mr & Mrs Milburn, Rutland

    "Excellent Thai restaurant in Hebden Bridge." - Nichols, Sussex

    "We loved our stop at the Colliers Arms." - Deb & Keith, Devon

    "Great food at Stubbing Wharf." - W, Devon

    "Pubs along the way served excellent and reasonably priced food. Recommend Cross Keys - Marton; Cock & Bottle - Skipton; Swan inn - Gargrave and the Fountain Inn - Barnoldswick." - Ogilvie, Gloucester

    "Stubbing Wharf pub good food!" - Rapp, Oxford

    "Cross Keys at East Marton very good - Anchor at Salterforth also very good." - Latham, Cambridge

    "Recommend Cardamom Hebden Bridge." - Philip, Suffolk

    "Stubbing Wharf Pub really good (wifi)." - Simon Butterworth, Northumberland

    "Incredible food at Stubbing Wharf." - Mel & Ryan, Devon

    "We ate well in the Barge & Barrel, Elland, Wheatsheaf in Burn, Meze restaurant in Brighouse, the Midland Hotel, Woodlesford, the Ruddy Duck in Wakefield and the Capri Bistro in Horbury Bridge." - Becket, Sussex & Northumberland

    "Visited pubs - The Anchor at Saltersford, The Cross Keys at East Marton, The Slaters Arms at Bradley & Airedale Heifer at Riddlesden. All very welcoming with great food. Recommend all of them." - Ian & Harriet, Rutland

    "Really good food at the New Inn Marsden and the Duke's Head at Romilly. Good Café at Lock 2 of the Diggle Flight." - Andy Knight, Cornwall

    The boats

    "Layout perfect, well equipped, condition good." - Ron Plant, Northumberland

    "We are fans!" - Andy Bain, Cornwall

    "Fab - had everything we needed. Great layout, great condition. Amazing shower! Surprisingly comfy beds." - Debbie Fletcher, Lincoln

    "Very comfortable and cosy." - Stead family, Buckingham

    "We liked the storage facilities provided. We liked the semi-traditional stern with its seating." - Paul & Stephanie, Norfolk

    "Boat excellent." - Eric, Somerset

    "Layout and equipment was perfect." - Mick & Sandra Dawson, Norfolk

    "Generally excellent. The toilet and shower are the best of any of the 7 or 8 boats we have hired." - The Olleys, Lincoln

    "Very good layout, comfortable bed, all clean and in working order, well equipped." - Rachel Dewhirst, Dorset

    "First class - everything has been thought about - and provided." - McDonough, Oxford

    "Layout good. Particularly like the multi-coloured mugs - good size & colour coded for individual preference." - Sarah Totterdell, Buckingham

    "Heating in barge fantastic." - Jon Spence, Cambridge

    "Very happy with the boat and everything on it." - Mr & Mrs Barnes, Stafford

    "Nice quality fit out & sturdy nice looking boat & paint job." - Katie, Oxford

    "Couldn't fault it. Everything we needed. Resorted to heating on last day, cold & wet. Dry and warm in no time!" - Alan Day, Hereford

    "All worked well. Comfortable." - Walker, Northumberland

    "Boat lovely, beds comfy." - Akehurst, Dorset

    "Excellent - everything we needed." - Hebden, Northumberland

    "Fabulous shower which is needed after locking all day in the rain!! Very comfortable and just the right length for novices, & manoevrable." - Martin & Liz Whenmouth, Suffolk (New Zealand)

    "Very well equipped, in great condition." - Phipps, Sussex

    "Layout of Buckingham is great, shower cubicle very nice, all equipment good." - Ward, Buckingham

    "Great boat, clean, good layout and fittings and utensils good. Comfy bed." - Cook, Oxford

    "Fab, had everything we needed. Very comfortable." - Helen Spencer, Oxford

    "Just the right size for us. Bed comfy." - McGowans, Devon

    "Very impressed - all 7 of us had a large drawer for our clothes, plus plenty of storage space in kitchen & bathroom." - Muirhead, Westmorland

    "Devon, perfect for 2 persons, easy to manoeuvre, lovely layout and very comfortable and clean." - Deb & Keith, Devon

    "Well-equipped kitchen, and boat in general. Very comfortable, warm and cosy." - Ogilvie, Gloucester

    "Excellent. (Couldn't believe the amount of storage space)." - Hammond, Lincoln

    "Lovely boat, sad to say goodbye to it." - Mel & Ryan, Devon

    "Kitchen Layout good - well equipped. Shower one of the best we've used." - Beadle, Stafford

    "Great equipment, super condition, everything we needed!" - Rapp, Oxford

    "The Cambridge was an excellent boat all round." - Latham, Cambridge

    "Very well equipped. Comfortable bed." - Slant, Stafford

    "Great boat, amazing how much fits in! Loads of storage." - Buckman, Worcester

    "Very good all round, very impressed." - Simon Butterworth, Northumberland

    "Brillant and as expected from the information sent out." - Becket, Sussex & Northumberland

    "Superb - everything we have needed was to hand." - Mark Roach, Gloucester

    "Faultless condition, v. clean." - Coombes, Worcester

    "The boat was great and we had no complications with either engine, electrics, water or propellor, thanks to the clear instructions provided at the start." - Gauge, Westmorland

    "Very good finish inside and very reliable with no problems encountered." - Nesbitt, Lincoln

    "Amazing." - Mark, York

    "We have to say that Buckingham was a superb boat, with the quietest engine, best heating we have ever had and lovely decor - someone put a lot of thought into her. Even the television worked most evenings which is a first for us. Apart from one or two scratches in the tunnel, we found the steering beautifully responsive." - Harbidge, Buckingham

    "Excellent - felt very familiar having caravanned for many years. Very cosy and well equipped." - Pipe, Oxford


    "A big Thankyou to Everyone at Shire Cruisers for a very enjoyable Holiday." - Anne Helps, Cambridge

    "CRT guys have been brilliant especially cruise into Liverpool and getting us up the 'Ashton 18'." - Andy Bain, Cornwall

    "We needed replacement heating pump. Dealt with very well. We agreed that all staff had been pleasant, helpful and professional. Shire Cruisers are fortunate to have them." - Smith, Sussex

    "Very helpful at each end of holiday. Canal & River Trust staff very helpful at the Bingley locks." - Rachel Dewhirst, Dorset

    "Nigel 'the lock keeper' (Bank Newton) very helpful & informative." - Shelley, Cambridge

    "Excellent! In fact: lockcellent! Thank you." - Alan Day, Hereford

    "Called once to find out how high the river was running. Susan rang back as soon as she confirmed our needs." - Akehurst, Dorset

    "Love the service at the basin." - Phipps, Sussex

    "You have all been so helpful, calm, reassuring and a pleasure to have." - Gillian W, Stafford

    "Lovely friendly & helpful." - Helen Spencer, Oxford

    "Really helpful & friendly. Thank you." - McGowans, Devon

    "We needed a replacement childs lifejacket which was quickly delivered." - Muirhead, Westmorland

    "Very good from yourselves and also from Canal & River Trust." - Andy Knight, Cornwall

    Information Pack

    "Very clear & useful." - Ron Plant, Northumberland

    "Very useful - we watched the DVD, a lot to take in but helped." - Debbie Fletcher, Lincoln

    "Good as it explained where we were going and what there was to do nearby." - Stead family, Buckingham

    "Exceptionally comprehensive & useful." - Farr, Rutland

    "Excellent. Very informative. Very slick operation and user friendly." - McDonough, Oxford

    "Very good information, well presented. Best I've ever had from 9 different companies I've booked with." - A. Keenleyside, Cornwall

    "Excellent in every aspect." - Robertson, Suffolk

    "Very good, including help on phone before out trip." - Dutson, Worcester

    "Excellent. We also got lots of useful info and activity sheets for the kids on the CRT website." - Muirhead, Westmorland

    "Excellent and beautifully written. ☺" - Bayes/Salmon, Devon

    "Very informative brochure & DVD sent to us. On board information concise." - Ogilvie, Gloucester

    "The pack left on the boat for us was hugely useful." - Mel & Ryan, Devon

    "Sowerby Bridge Cruising Guide maps very useful. Could organise crew for bridges before so we looked like we knew what we were doing." - Simon Butterworth, Northumberland

    "Very detailed and amusing in parts. It all made sense when doing it!" - Mark Roach, Gloucester

    "Excellent Information Pack - answered all questions we had." - Andy Knight, Cornwall


    "Will was extremely professional and very helpful. Explained everything we needed to know and more!!" - Anne Helps, Cambridge

    "11/10." - Andy Bain, Cornwall

    "Very well, because we understood how to use the boat and open the locks." - Stead family, Buckingham

    "The Handover was comprehensive. Sam gave a comprehensive briefing about the boat and a comprehensive practical training session at the locks." - Paul & Stephanie, Norfolk

    "Boat (by Sam) spot on - very helpful, covered it all." - Jon Spence, Cambridge

    "Brian was very good at explaining everything, friendly and professional." - Mr & Mrs Barnes, Stafford

    "Very good - felt confident when you left us." - Heather Heard, Hereford

    "Excellent briefing. James brilliant. Also young man who steered us back into Basin!" - Alan Day, Hereford

    "Very good. Sam was very informative and helpful." - Akehurst, Dorset

    "Very good. Josh was fantastic." - Gillian W, Stafford

    "Excellent. Dave was very helpful." - Muirhead, Westmorland

    "EXCELLENT! Felt very confident and at ease about operating the boat, locks, swing bridges etc. Thank you." - Hill Family, Norfolk (South Africa)

    "Will communicated brilliantly, special thanks to him. ☺" - Bayes/Salmon, Devon

    "Sam who taught us how to use the locks was very friendly and efficient." - Mr & Mrs Milburn, Rutland

    "Wonderful. Thank you to Will for his patience & expertise." - Deb & Keith, Devon

    "Sam was excellent. Knowledgeable, informed and patient. Explained everything in detail. Friendly & funny." - Ogilvie, Gloucester

    "Simon was excellent, as it was our first time and we were nervous." - Hammond, Lincoln

    "Susan, your intro was great. Josh on Northumberland and Brian on Sussex gave us as much detailed information as we could possibly want." - Becket, Sussex and Northumberland

    "Absolutely fantastic! Great handover. Introduction was necessary!" - Rapp, Oxford

    "Sam was brilliant." - Latham, Cambridge

    "Couldn't ask for more." - Simon Butterworth, Northumberland

    "Excellent - the handover we had was very useful & done in a very friendly & relaxed way." - Ian & Harriet, Rutland

    "Very informative - easy to understand and was very patient with us!" - Mark Roach, Gloucester

    "Josh was super 20/10 lovely guy, we will defo come back if Josh can stay with us only joking defo come back." - Mark, York

Check availability

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The counties are the names of the boats, not where they start from! Click the map for routes, and the boat for details



Boat Name Berths Route Type
Devon 2 Short Break
Oxford 2 Short Break
Lincoln 2 + 1 Short Break
Suffolk 2 + 2 Short Break
York 4 + 2 Short Break
Hereford 4 + 1 Short Break
Buckingham 4 + 2 Out & Back
Sussex 6 + 2 Short Break
Northumberland 6 + 4 Short Break
Westmorland 6 + 4 Short Break
Stafford 2 + 2 Out & Back
Worcester 4 + 1 Out & Back
Huntingdon 4 + 2 Out & Back
Cambridge 2 Leeds & Liverpool
Norfolk 2 + 2 Leeds & Liverpool
Rutland 4 + 2 Leeds & Liverpool
Somerset 4 + 2 Leeds & Liverpool
Gloucester 6 + 2 Leeds & Liverpool
Dorset 4 + 2 One way
Cornwall 4 + 2 One way