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Shire Cruisers reviews 2020

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  • Experience - Sowerby Bridge start

    "The break was amazing, despite the weather. All the staff were great & loved the whole experience. We will definitely see you again." - Goddard, Hereford

    "Lovely scenery & people. We had a fab time and will definitely come back. Thank you." - Morgan, Devon

    "Stopped off at Hebden Bridge, moored up one night at Stubbing Wharf which was really nice." - Morris, Oxford

    "Absolutely brilliant people, amazing scenery, people couldn't have been friendlier." - Dunderdale, Cambridge

    "Loved the week. Enjoyed the fishing. Ducks & geese v. friendly." - Meyer, Gloucester

    "People were very friendly and often helped you out with locks, or just watched! The scenery was lovely, gets more built up as you go past Brighouse but still very nice. There is a lovely walk from Hebden Bridge to Hardcastle Crags which went along the river - very lovely!" - Sophie, Rutland

    "The markets were really good. Scenery was really beautiful." - Birtles, Stafford

    "Wonderful experience; lovely people on and off other boats; beautiful scenery; peaceful and quiet. Enjoyed visiting Elland/Mytholmroyd/Heptonstall. Great pubs and beer. Tuel Lane Lock a great experience, volunteers so helpful." - Wood, Oxford

    "Loved it - very challenging as total novices - locks were a great experience. Brilliant - beautiful scenery." - Taylor, Devon

    "Nice tow path that seems v, popular especially with cyclists. Great product market at HB - purchased some local honey. Took a fab walk up to Stoodley Pike. Visited Hardcastle Crags & a walk from Summit across Chelburn moor up to Pennine Way & reservoirs and back to Warland." - Baker, Dorset

    "Fantastic, great food in pubs. People v friendly & helpful. Beautiful scenery." - Hodgetts, Stafford

    "Scenery was beautiful. Hebden Bridge was an experience of a picturesque town and a voyage back in time at the restored railway station." - Griffiths, Rutland

    "Fellow canal users - lovely. Saw water vole & kingfisher. Lovely mooring spot just after Lock 5 on way back." - Laura & Toby, Norfolk

    "We've really loved it - it was great having the change of scenery, the activity at the locks and the beautiful surroundings. It was great for the kids, especially our eldest (12)." - Duncan, Suffolk

    "Summit - great! Sunshine, warm, & Summit Inn. 1 day in Hebden Bridge. Walked to Heptonstall, Sylvia Plath grave, quarry." - Willis, Cornwall

    "Spectacular scenery. Great walk up to Heptonstall, old ruined church." - Middleton, Cornwall

    "Scenery beautiful - lots of opportunity for interesting photos." - Dryden, Gloucester

    "Fabulous scenery around the summit, friendly people both on and off the canal." - Coe, York

    "Loved the people on boats & on towpath. Lovely calm canal. Great nature - very close encounter with a fishing heron - felt very blessed." - Boyd, Devon

    "Everyone was friendly & helpful. We enjoyed the scenery, wildlife & walks." - Edwards, Stafford

    "Everything great. People lovely and friendly." - Petch, Suffolk

    "Scenery was stunning, cyclists and walkers were very friendly. We recommend visiting Hardcastle Crags nr. Hebden Bridge, and Hollingworth Lake near Littleborough." - Pryde-Coales, Huntingdon

    "We were lucky with the weather: scenery v. pretty - even the industrial areas are scenic on the canal. People friendly. Good moorings in Tod; excellent canal basins at Salterhebble & Brighouse." - Evans, Cambridge

    "Scenery - intriguing (old mills & architecture). Views excellent." - Rose, Somerset

    "We had a fabulous time, loved the beautiful early autumn scenery. Very peaceful & very active (esp. for two at locks!). Due to Covid we didn't go to any pubs/shops/cafés - still had a fabulous time." - Hofbauer, Lincoln

    "Scenery largely confined to valley bottom but using our bikes as well enabled us to get above the canal and see for miles. We cycled up to Summit and beyond, from Tod, and saved a lot of time. Also cycled from Mytholmroyd up to tops, down to Sowerby & back along towpath to boat. Pubs, people etc. all lovely." - Smith, Norfolk

    "Scenery pleasant particularly on the Calder & Hebble." - Beall, Buckingham

    "Yorkshire scenery gorgeous. Very friendly. Good pubs, fine Ale. Shopping. Drinking. Eating." - Carole & Tim, Gloucester

    "We went to the clog factory at Mytholmroyd which we much enjoyed." - Anthony, Rutland

    "Very peaceful - nice people - chilled. Visited towns on route." - Dempsey, Devon

    "Quiet, friendly. Very pretty area." - Hyde, Northumberland

    "Great scenery, friendly people. Locals magnet fishing. Cheered on virtual London Marathon on Sunday. Climbed up to Stoodley Pike on Wednesday. People watching the boat at locks - hope we were ambassadors for Shire Cruisers." - Pipe, Cambridge

    "Rain - lots - little sunshine. Moors looking very attractive." - Foster, Cornwall

    "Scenery very nice with autumn colours. Clog factory in Mytholmroyd very interesting." - Jenkins, Northumberland

    "Typically idyllic canal scenery - everybody passing by gives a greeting! Spent time discovering HB & Tod - & discovered local ales! Mainly relaxed with dogs!" - Taylor, York

    "Very pretty scenery, first time boating so weren't too ambitious. Enjoyed camaraderie with others en route." - Julie, Somerset

    "Great experience, good banter with other boaters & towpath walkers." - Fernihough, Oxford

    "Due to Covid we had a few walks, met some lovely people on the locks and Hebden - scenery beautiful." - Allen, Buckingham

    "Adored the autumn colours and slow pace. Everyone we met was friendly and helpful. Andrew at Tuel Lane Lock was incredible!!) Tick on my bucket list!" - Wynne, Stafford

    "Great scenery, pretty poor weather (but not a problem), lovely towns & villages." - Wardle, Cambridge

    "Scenery fantastic - weather wasn't!! really enjoyed experience & would do again." - Lloyd, Suffolk

    "The route is lovely, even in the rain, beautiful scenery, lovely towns, lots of shopping & eating opps. We went out to eat twice. Really lovely camaraderie between Shire boats & met some lovely people." - Sorotos, Devon

    "Beautiful autumn scenery, really nice change at this time of year." - Cotton, Suffolk

    "CRT volunteers extremely helpful on return." - Nicholson, Norfolk

    Experience - South Pennine Ring

    "It was a challenge, but one we very much enjoyed. Pennines (both sides) were spectacular." - Walters, Norfolk

    Food & drink

    "Had a meal at the Old Gate in Hebden Bridge - excellent food & service." - Morgan, Devon

    "We moored between Hebden Bridge and Todmorden - went to the lovely Top Brink Inn." - Isabelle, Rutland

    "Our favourite pub was called the Top Brink Inn at Todmorden - excellent food!" - Sophie, Rutland

    "Old Gate bar at Hebden was lovely meal & friendly staff. The Navigation Sowerby likewise." - Cook, Suffolk

    "Hebden Bridge - lunch in Shoulder of Mutton (delish), sweets from Something Sweet." - Taylor, Somerset

    "Lovely food at Stubbing Wharf pub." - Baker, Dorset

    "We had an excellent meal at the Stubbing Wharf pub." - Griffiths, Rutland

    "Great pub at Stubbing Wharf." - Laura & Toby, Norfolk

    "Lovely meal at Waggon & Horses, Walsden & Golden Lion, Todmorden." - Middleton, Cornwall

    "Some good pubs - the Commercial Railway at Brighouse, the White Swan at Hebden Bridge." - Pickard, Cambridge

    "Fantastic food at the Stubbing Wharf pub," - Petch, Suffolk

    "The landlady in The Summit Pub was very helpful." - Pryde-Coales, Huntingdon

    "We went for a drink in Luddenden Foot and had an excellent meal in the Stubbing Wharf Pub." - Feather, Sussex

    "Pubs good (Shoulder of Mutton / Mytholmroyd; Stubbing Wharf / Hebden; Jeremys / Brighouse)." - Evans, Cambridge

    "Pubs good, especially "Stubbings" at Hebden Bridge." - Rose, Somerset

    "Used takeaways - Navigation @ Sowerby Bridge & White Lion @ Hebden Bridge, Leila's kitchen @ Hebden Bridge was lovely - best cake & coffee." - Ticehurst, Cornwall

    "Watergate Tea Rooms in Hebden Bridge very good." - Ham, York

    "Great food at Hebden Bridge & Todmorden markets." - Pipe, Cambridge

    "Hebden Bridge - lots of choice - Shoulder of Mutton very friendly. Tapas bar in Mytholmroyd excellent - very friendly, lovely food. Temujin Restaurant in Sowerby Bridge worth a visit for freshly cooked buffet Asian style." - Jenkins, Northumberland

    "We went to Oddies Bakery in Tod for very nice pies, and had a very nice meal from the Rim Nam Thai in Hebden (next to the services)." - Banks, Northumberland

    The boats

    "Excellent, well equipped and well laid out." - Morris, Oxford

    "I loved the boat! From the outside to the inside it was beautiful." - Isabelle, Rutland

    "I have to say I absolutely loved the curtains!" - Sophie, Rutland

    "Excellent! First experience was exemplary. Very clean." - Birtles, Stafford

    "Surprisingly roomy, clean & up to date & well maintained mechanically." - Cook, Suffolk

    "Excellent, good layout." - Basson, Devon

    "Very cosy, nice and warm heating and shower after wet day." - Stanley, Norfolk

    "Very good. All excellent." - Pearce, Hereford

    "Perfect for the two of us; equipment everything we needed, especially in the kitchen. Comfortable bed and good shower." - Wood, Oxford

    "Perfect for a cosy weekend." - Taylor, Devon

    "Everything you needed. Practical and tidy." - Green, Stafford

    "Nice to have a seating area at the back of the boat by the driver. Boat and equipment in good condition." - Baker, Dorset

    "Excellent, couldn't be faulted." - Griffiths, Rutland

    "Great - spot on. We had everything we needed and more." - Duncan, Suffolk

    "The three bed layout was excellent for our crew. Beautiful internal woodwork." - Middleton, Cornwall

    "Well equipped, good layout, comfortable. Would thoroughly recommend Cambridge." - Pickard, Cambridge

    "Great boat. Had everything we needed and felt very spacious and well laid out. Clean & everything in good condition." - Turner, Lincoln

    "Devon was great. Small & bijou.☺" - Boyd, Devon

    "Great layout. Warm. Everything worked. Great shower!" - Petch, Suffolk

    "Nice layout, good amount of storage space. Nice to have Cafétière onboard." - Pryde-Coales, Huntingdon

    "V. good indeed. "Cambridge" ideal for two people." - Evans, Cambridge

    "Toilet facilities are the best we have ever come across. Very clean on collection." - Rose, Somerset

    "Excellent. Well planned, everything we needed, very comfortable & cheerful." - Hofbauer, Lincoln

    "Equipment & condition excellent. Especially good, compared to past boat holidays, were the lighting and the telly." - Smith, Norfolk

    "Rutland is so easy to steer/drive and beautifully quiet." - Anthony, Rutland

    "The boat was fine; just right for the two of us. Particularly impressed by battery life." - Ham, York

    "Well designed, practical & comfortable. Everything you need was provided." - Hyde, Northumberland

    "Well equipped and comfortable. Very cosy with the heating. Layout spot-on!" - Pipe, Cambridge

    "All very lovely and cosy and everything required was here." - Cowie, Gloucester

    "Great space, layout all great for us." - Taylor, York

    "Very well thought out plan & clean." - Taylor, Suffolk

    "Boat excellent, good condition, everything we needed." - Julie, Somerset

    "Loved it! Adored my small but perfectly formed galley kitchen. Heating system was great. Had everything we needed." - Wynne, Stafford

    "Perfect for us warm cozy & shower was brill!." - Lloyd, Suffolk

    "Very well equipped and comfortable." - Cotton, Suffolk

    "Heating brilliant. Bed very comfortable." - Nicholson, Norfolk


    "Excellent, we have had an amazing megga holiday, peaceful & we have been so chilled out. Thank you for such a great break, everything you have done is perfect." - Dunderdale, Cambridge

    "V. friendly & helpful during Covid crisis!" - Meyer, Gloucester

    "We didn't need any assistance on our holiday (unless we suddenly sink in the last 5 hours we have left). Update: we didn't ☺. Very helpful on the handover. I thoroughly enjoyed my holiday and would like to come again some time!" - Sophie, Rutland

    "Your own website was great. You were very helpful and explained everything I needed to know." - Birtles, Stafford

    "Everything we needed to know was in the blue manual." - Stanley, Norfolk

    "Very helpful. There was always a wise and helpful voice at the end of the phone to advise and sort out problems. Thank you!" - Pearce, Hereford

    "Very helpful; kindly checked for 'missing' phone and found a replacement water tank cap! Thank you for a great holiday." - Wood, Oxford

    "We got stuck at Long Lees Lock and a lovely man came to help us, and then helped us with the guillotine gates, very helpful. Thanks to him." - Taylor, Devon

    "Could not fault it - excellent. We had an extra gang plank brought out to help with our canal unfriendly dog, whenever we called about anything there was a prompt, helpful response. Everyone was really friendly - thank you!" - Duncan, Suffolk

    "V. helpful (Shire Cruisers). Canal Trust people helpful, esp. Colin (Huddersfield)." - Walters, Norfolk

    "Good service - helpful during booking & sending info." - Willis, Cornwall

    "Very friendly & helpful from enquiry through to booking & holiday." - Edwards, Stafford

    "Thank you to all your staff, showing patience with us when showing us the ropes and also seeing all the hard work you were putting in to comply with the Covid regulations and give confidence to be able to relax and enjoy the holiday." - Meyer, Gloucester

    "Susan was very helpful on the 'phone arranging our holiday at short notice. Helpfulness from booking to setting off - " 5 STARS"." - Rose, Somerset

    "Extremely good & helpful service." - Ticehurst, Cornwall

    "First time we have been helped and taken up locks. Found it very helpful as it was very busy. Thankyou to all the staff 10/10." - Carole & Tim, Gloucester

    "Top service." - Broadhead, Westmorland

    "All the staff we met were friendly, relaxed, informative and very patient with us hapless novices!" - Taylor, York

    "Excellent helpful service." - Taylor, Suffolk

    "Very helpful as soon as we arrived from lady who greeted us." - Fernihough, Oxford

    "It was really nice that there was someone to meet us on our return to the moorings on Thursday night." - Sorotos, Devon

    "Excellent, friendly and smooth, will definitely come again." - Cotton, Suffolk

    Information Pack

    "Very good, very detailed but easy to digest." - Morris, Oxford

    "Information Pack was very useful and I often found myself quoting it. My favourite was 'don't ram the bank, gently touch it'. The Information Pack explained things very well and leaflet about Hardcastle Crags was very good. Pub recommendations were very useful as well." - Sophie, Rutland

    "It was very good, lots of information. Easily understood and very useful." - Birtles, Stafford

    "Very useful; thanks to the different guides, we had an idea of what to expect and where to go." - Wood, Oxford

    "Plenty of good information." - Wood, York

    "Brilliant, best we have ever had in the many holidays on narrowboats we have taken." - Griffiths, Rutland

    "Fantastic - it was great to have the info before - as first time boaters there was so much to take in, so it was really helpful to have been able to absorb some of it beforehand." - Duncan, Suffolk

    "V. good info pack. V. helpful phone calls prior to booking/departure." - Walters, Norfolk

    "Website - excellent - best one we've seen - loved the route suggestions - that's what made us book. Used the little Shire Cruisers brochure/booklet daily. Also loved the literature map - enjoyed visiting Ted Hughes birthplace." - Boyd, Devon

    "Excellent and the DVD was very helpful." - Edwards, Stafford

    "Helpful & good links to all the necessary information to look at before the trip. Good email communication." - Ham, York

    "Very useful as we were first time boaters." - Hyde, Northumberland

    "Very useful and very welcome before the holiday." - Bailey, Hereford

    "Very good and helped to make sure we knew what to bring and what was supplied. Also helpful in planning a route." - Jenkins, Northumberland

    "Invaluable." - Fernihough, Oxford

    "Very useful information to read before we came. What to expect on our boat etc." - Wynne, Stafford

    "Excellent - so much useful guidance for boaters, on routes & things to do along the way. Real sense you know the area really well. Cannot praise this enough." - Sorotos, Devon

    "Really useful with personal info for our boat." - Banks, Northumberland


    "Excellent. Dave was very thorough and we left feeling confident after the handover. Everyone at Shire Cruisers was friendly and approachable." - Morgan, Devon

    "Smooth handover of boat, I like how they just leave you to unpack the car without any hassle. Instructors on locks were very good - Sam was very chatty." - Sophie, Rutland

    "The employee Sam was brilliant. He put us at ease, was very knowledgeable and friendly." - Birtles, Stafford

    "Very thorough (David) and well put over in a friendly style. Even though we have been boating every year for 43 years, we didn't feel we were being patronised - well done." - Cornwall

    "Couldn't be more helpful." - Cook, Suffolk

    "Man who showed us round was helpful and had all the basics needed. Once all the people have left you it's easier to work things out for yourselves. Just take your time." - Stanley, Norfolk

    "Very thorough and your colleague made the handover good fun and very reassuring." - Pearce, Hereford

    "This was excellent; Brian was very thorough and prepared us really well." - Wood, Oxford

    "Very helpful, James was excellent." - Wade, Lincoln

    "Extremely well. Thank you Josh." - Green, Stafford

    "Excellent!" - Wood, York

    "Great instruction from Sam! A local man living on a boat in Hebden Bridge was impressed at our knot tying skills, something Sam had taught us!" - Baker, Dorset

    "Brilliant and very efficient." - Griffiths, Rutland

    "Excellent - we felt really well informed." - Duncan, Suffolk

    "Exactly right." - Walters, Norfolk

    "Sam was AMAZING!! Thank you." - Jo, Cambridge

    "You guiding us through the 1st 3 locks made us feel safe & secure from the very beginning of our holiday (excellent)." - Middleton, Cornwall

    "Very helpful young man re: introduction to boat and locks." - Dryden, Gloucester

    "The briefing proved very useful, reminding us of all the useful information in the Information Pack, and an in depth boat handover." - Coe, York

    "Excellent, again - best yet." - Boyd, Devon

    "Excellent & plenty of info from our handover crew." - Edwards, Stafford

    "Special thanks to Joshua, he has the patience of a saint!!" - Meyer, Gloucester

    "Loved Josh! Enthusiasm in bucket loads." - Petch, Suffolk

    "Brian was very helpful and patient, as it was a few years since I steered a boat!" - Pryde-Coales, Huntingdon

    "Simon was excellent. Very thorough." - Coates, Suffolk

    "Brilliant (very patient with us) and with the talk and tuition through the first locks, we felt pretty confident." - Rose, Somerset

    "Excellent handover - thank you, Josh." - Hofbauer, Lincoln

    "More thorough than other companies we have used." - Smith, Norfolk

    "Very detailed briefing before handover & midway. Very informative handover @ Ashton." - Ticehurst, Cornwall

    "Sam's level of instruction was great." - Val, Somerset

    "James was excellent." - Anthony, Rutland

    "Very good - well done Josh." - Busby, Oxford

    "Invaluable, professional instruction. Took all worries out of our first experience, and we will be back." - Hyde, Northumberland

    "Couldn't have been better. All questions answered and lots of tips and advice." - Bailey, Hereford

    "Went very well. Instructors extremely helpful and informative." - Pipe, Cambridge

    "Excellent - despite rain helped through first 3 locks - never had service like that before!!" - Foster, Cornwall

    "Very thorough. Brian very patient and helpful when showing us over the boat." - Jenkins, Northumberland

    "Briefing was good and person who showed us first few locks was very friendly and helpful." - Cowie, Gloucester

    "Great tuition & advice regarding boat and help with locks." - Taylor, York

    "Excellent & informed briefing." - Taylor, Suffolk

    "Handover thorough, patient team. Detailed enough to feel confident. Reassured that could call if a problem." - Julie, Somerset

    "Excellent briefing & instruction from Sam - felt quite confident setting off on our own." - Carle, Devon

    "Geoff showed us around the boat and was very informative. Handling the boat & lock instruction gave us great deal of confidence." - Fernihough, Oxford

    "JAMES was friendly, informative and reassuring for us first-timers!" - Wynne, Stafford

    "Excellent - South Africa Jim was a diamond!" - Lloyd, Suffolk

    "Really amazing. I felt much more confident. The team who do it are really nice & very informative." - Sorotos, Devon

    "James an amazing calm instructor." - Nicholson, Norfolk

Check availability

Use this form to check availability. When you find the boat you want, click 'Book this holiday now' and you can pay your deposit or hold for 48 hours - or ring 01422 832712.

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