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Shire Cruisers reviews 2023

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  • Experience - Sowerby Bridge start

    "We live in a rural area anyway but being woken up by a woodpecker was a first. Shops/markets in Hebden were a pleasure as usual." - Vincent, Westmorland

    "Lovely calm canal & photogenic reflections. Lots of friendly people, all interested in the boat & some helping with lock gates. Became confident boaters." - Barbara, Dave & Banksy, Lincoln

    "Met really nice boaters who helped us along." - Shaw, Suffolk

    "Scenery - magnificent. Hebden Bridge - walk round old terraces, canal towpath." - Rheinberg, Lincoln

    "Tunnel amazing - scenery fantastic on Huddersfield Narrow. Was lucky to see a roe deer on towpath. CRT volunteers great." - Palmer, Oxford

    "These canals are incredibly scenic. we always find people are friendly and the pubs are OK!" - Perkins, Northumberland

    "Found boaters very friendly, advise, supportive, willing to share using locks. Towpath users, local community, very friendly. Loved the scenery." - Johnson, Suffolk (Australia)

    "Scenery was beautiful, very peaceful, friendly people especially at Mirfield." - Steve, Gloucester

    "Great experience especially for our kids." - Brown, Rutland

    "Enjoyed Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve. Friendly & helpful people at locks & on towpath." - Richard, Suffolk

    "It was wonderful! Lots of things to do along the way! Scenery fantastic! Was like being in a different world! So many ducks, ducklings, geese, goslings & 1 angry swan. Active holiday but still very relaxing!!!" - Payne, Huntingdon

    "Lovely scenery. The people were so friendly. We passed a junior school group at the Nature Reserve which was fun. Everyone talks to people on a boat! We enjoyed the aggressive swan at Elland!! 🙂 " - Dean, Huntingdon

    "Met many friendly/helpful people. On way back went through about 6 locks with a couple in small wooden boat. Much easier and faster than just 2 of us!" - Mole, York

    "Scenery fantastic. Everybody was very friendly." - Graham, Oxford

    "Wonderful scenery, friendly & helpful people all along the route. Fun to see other Shire Cruisers." - McBride, Bedford

    "Glorious scenery, lots of wild flowers. Mostly cruised & enjoyed the canals & rivers. Loved the Selby Canal - really lovely. Selby - lovely little town with a beautiful abbey." - Totterdell, Hereford

    "Peaceful trip. Plenty of places to stop and wander." - Blundell, Devon

    "Scenery lovely, despite a few showers (although good to keep the water flowing!). Chilled out week." - Ashcroft, Devon

    "People were nice and always helpful. Scenery lovely." - Harvey, Lincoln

    "Highlight of the week was watching the kingfishers dart along the edge of the water and across the front of the boat." - Greenwood, Bedford

    "Scenery was amazing: such a beautiful backdrop to a fantastic week, everybody we met was friendly welcoming and enjoyed chatting about the boat and our experience. We visited Halifax on the train, and visited sites of the Happy Valley series in Hebden Bridge & Sowerby Bridge." - Clark, Suffolk

    "Lots of sailing and lots of locks but we loved it. Beautiful scenery, friendly people. Shared lock duty with someone travelling alone so she appreciated the help of our 6 teenagers." - Harrington, Westmorland

    "Great weekend break. Lovely scenery, pubs, people, ducks & geese. Hebden Bridge outstanding" - Jill, Hereford

    "Enjoyed some great walks, Rim Nam Thai esp. & other boaters." - Eastwell, Lincoln

    "People very friendly & welcoming. Found some good Pub Food and Dog Friendly Pubs." - Houghton, Worcester

    "Scenery is gorgeous, some great people on the other Shire boats. Visited Hebden Bridge for shopping, lunch etc." - Browne, Bedford

    "The scenery got less industrial the further we went. Loved the buildings, industrial heritage. We found Hebden Bridge attractive and lively on a Saturday and we particularly enjoyed Todmorden. Everyone we met was pleasant, helpful on occasions and engaged with us. We walked from Todmorden to the Summit and back, calling in at the Summit Pub halfway." - Pye, Devon

    "Nice scenery, crew somewhat irritable, locals charming, Dutch boaters entertaining. Pubs pleasant, Hebden Bridge bohemian." - Lane, Bedford

    "The scenery is stunning, the people so friendly and helpful and it was a pleasure to visit Hebden Bridge which is such a nice place." - King, York

    "Mix of lovely scenery, hills & farms & wildlife, with towns, built up areas & industrial areas. Lots of ducks, geese, swans, cows & horses & a big black cat." - Dykes, Lincoln

    "Beautiful valley. Friendly people. Good food along the way." - Chrisman, Hereford

    "Spent a few days in Hebden, hit the pubs, met some lovely locals, just good stuff. Pretty damn beautiful." - Will, Norfolk

    "Lovely scenery, lots of good pubs, met some other nice boaters going through locks etc." - Willey, Buckingham

    Experience - Barnoldswick start

    "Janet & I are finally but sadly at Heathrow Airport ready to fly back to Canada. Thank you for renting Somerset to us. We all enjoyed the trip and the lovely Yorkshire country that we travelled through. It was a very nice first trip on an English canal and I hope we shall do another." - Hutchinson, Somerset (Canada)

    "Liked mooring at Gargrave, Kildwick & Skipton. Managed some evening walks at most places we stopped. Met some interesting folk. And not forgetting the varied scenery." - Jones, Cambridge

    "Great scenery, very peaceful." - Skinner, Cambridge

    "Very good. Spectacular scenery. Eanam Wharf very good for overnight stay. Burnley - interesting town, embankment great. Visited Pendle Heritage Centre - very interesting. Lots of quiet, scenic moorings. Loved all the old mills and industrial heritage." - Savastino, Cambridge

    "Scenery amazing East Marton way, Gargrave beautiful. Co-op Gargrave very handy. People very friendly & helpful." - Julie, Cambridge

    "Scenery fantastic, pubs good, villages & towns good to explore - excellent CRT volunteers." - Chappell, Somerset

    Experience - One way trips

    "Rural scenery jaw-dropping. The Wigan 21 was a great experience. x2 = 7 canal wonders of the world to tick off → Barton swing bridge & Burnley embankment!!" - Langdon, Somerset

    "Impressed with varied scenery." - Haywood/Kemp, Dorset

    "We enjoyed good weather (merely 2 rainy days in fortnight). Rolling Pennine hills on the L&L canal particularly enjoyed. Friendly, helpful boaters and volunteers along the way. We visited Skipton (castle/woodland walk), Saltaire (Salt's Mill), Wakefield (National Coalmining Museum), Leeds (city centre). Hebden Bridge quieter than expected." - Baker, Dorset

    "The route provided a variety of scenery on both Canals and Rivers. The Calder valley is lovely and the difference between canal and river cruising provided an interesting change of scenery and a different vibe. Was interesting to see how much broader the river became and we got a real sense of being on a "navigation" which still has large working vessels. The route then turned onto the Aire and its large powered locks which dwarfed our boat . Leeds was great and we found mooring at Granary Wharf to be safe and relatively quiet (after about midnight), we had an otter playing round the back of our boat whilst we were there. The canal from Leeds is surprisingly beautiful, within a couple of miles its hard to believe you're still in Leeds. We made up for lost time by doing Leeds to Saltaire in a day (thanks to a superb crew). Saltaire is really pleasant and again mooring up was safe and quiet. The next day we went up to Skipton for beers by the canal then fish and chips. Moorings were quite busy but plenty available just North of the town basin. This left us with a final push to Barnoldswick which we managed with a run through Foulridge tunnel, a turn round and back to get the boat pointing in the right direction for handing back." - Williams, Dorset

    "Pretty villages of Gargrave & Kildwick with good tea rooms. 24 hours in Leeds, mainly shopping centres but Corn Exchange & indoor market good. Brighouse - lovely library and art gallery (Smith's) uphill on Halifax Road." - Smith, Dorset

    Experience - Rings

    "A wide variety of highs & lows - nice friendly people, beautiful scenery. Standedge memorable." - Bullen, Bedford

    Food & drink

    "That's Amori Italian restaurant was 5 star. Barleywine Pub very friendly. Hebden Bridge - Turkish rest. 5 star." - Lavender, Somerset

    "Luddenden Foot - Beer @ Old Brandy Wine while we ordered takeaway from That's Amori online. Lovely pasta & lamb kebab! Stubbing Wharf pub: good food, dog friendly. Recommend Jo's Café on bridge up to Cragg Vale." - Barbara, Dave & Banksy, Lincoln

    "Stubbing Wharf - Hebden Bridge, Indian Slaithwaite - very modern, Aya Sophia - Hebden Bridge." - Bullen, Bedford

    "Stubbing Wharf Pub very good. Mooring surprisingly quiet & can access pub's wifi!" - Sonnberger, Lincoln (Australia)

    "Fabulous meal at 'That's Amori' (Fri) at Luddenden. Owner very attentive." - Snarr, Suffolk

    "Fish & chips at Crown Fisheries." - Rheinberg, Lincoln

    "Loved the pubs - Navigation (Sowerby) - Jenny great host, and Caddy Shack (Elland). Great beers in all." - Johnson, Suffolk (Australia)

    "Good food & service at 'The Moorings' (Sowerby Bridge) & Jeremy's at the Boathouse in Brighouse." - Richard, Suffolk

    "Millers in Brighouse (great!). Curry in Syhiba (Sowerby Bridge) (great -byob!)" - Allery, Bedford

    "Best Sunday lunch at Mason's Arms, Gargrave; best homemade ice cream at White Lion, Hebden Bridge." - Baker, Dorset

    "Loved the fish and chips in Brighouse and Jeremy's." - Dean, Huntingdon

    "Mason's Arms amazing." - Julie, Cambridge

    "Eating out good & vfm." - Graham, Oxford

    "Supper @ the Jenny Wren at Beale." - Totterdell, Hereford

    "Went to the Hogs Head, David enjoyed their ale." - Jones, Oxford

    "Fish n chips in Hebden Bridge, Blue Teapot (dog friendly) in Mytholmroyd. Cracking coffee after a hard-ish day." - Ashcroft, Devon

    "Flowerpot at Mirfield recommended." - Harvey, Lincoln

    "We ate at the Shoulder of Mutton in Hebden Bridge, Stubbing Wharf Inn, That's Amori in Luddendenfoot and Temujin in Sowerby Bridge. The food all tasted amazing and reasonably priced." - Clark, Suffolk

    "Elland was worth stiff walk up hill to Ashby's Café & very quirky shops." - Holliday, Bedford

    "Stubbing Wharf pub good. Summit pubs a long walk!" - Bosley, Buckingham

    "We prepared and ate meals on the boat. Except the stop on our return to Hebden Bridge where we went to Il Mulino (v good)." - Weaver, Oxford

    The boats

    "Boat was excellent in every way. Clean, well equipped, comfortable, would book again." - Lavender, Somerset

    "Layout excellent. Great music system. Kitchen well equipped. Lots of passers by complimented the boat. Pet ramp definitely useful." - Barbara, Dave & Banksy, Lincoln

    "We loved the boat." - Langdon, Somerset

    "Very clean." - Snarr, Suffolk

    "Very well kitted out. Lots of room for just two of us." - Shaw, Suffolk

    "Good layout. Everything worked." - Rheinberg, Lincoln

    "Very impressive." - Haywood/Kemp, Dorset

    "The boat was well presented with an amazing amount of storage space even though there were 7 of us!" - Perkins, Northumberland

    "Good comfortable layout for 3 and clean, good condition, everything you could want." - Johnson, Suffolk (Australia)

    "Well set up with everything we needed." - Richard, Suffolk

    "Everything up to scratch. Toilet and Shower excellent and copious hot water really made things easy." - Blane, Lincoln

    "Lovely! Lots of storage. Not short of any equipment, good condition too." - Allery, Bedford

    "Fantastic 5★. We were very comfortable." - Payne, Huntingdon

    "The boat was great. Very well equipped for our needs." - Dean, Huntingdon

    "Very clean!" - Mole, York

    "Fantastic, kitchen all functional like at home." - Julie, Cambridge

    "Very good - well equipped, good layout. Beautifully built - we noticed all the screws are aligned - great attention to detail." - McBride, Bedford

    "Superb layout." - Totterdell, Hereford

    "Layout fine, condition excellent and clean. Well stocked with crockery etc." - Jones, Oxford

    "Really good, had everything we needed! Great attention to detail. Devon was a lovely little boat. Just the right size, not too big!" - Ashcroft, Devon

    "Very well designed." - Greenwood, Bedford

    "The boat was well equipped and ample for a family of 4 and a small dog. The boat was clean and well maintained." - Clark, Suffolk

    "Enjoyed the different areas for games/eating/sleeping/sitting." - Harrington, Westmorland

    "Great - best shower ever on a boat." - Holliday, Bedford

    "Lovely boat, suited our needs perfectly." - Browne, Bedford

    "We loved 'Devon', handled beautifully, responsive and cleverly thought out." - Pye, Devon

    "Well equipped and very clean." - Wray, Suffolk

    "Very good condition, well appointed & equipped, very comfortable." - Lane, Bedford

    "The layout was pretty much ideal for us (two couples). The boat was in good condition and we had no issues at all." - Williams, Dorset

    "A great quiet engine. A good standard." - King, York

    "Good layout. Well equipped. No problems with engine." - Chrisman, Hereford

    "We loved our lil Norfolk, became very quickly attached to her, had everything we needed." - Will, Norfolk

    "Boat overall excellent, compares well with others we have hired." - Willey, Buckingham

    "Excellent layout and condition." - Chappell, Somerset


    "You are all very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. We'll be back because a long weekend is never long enough - one day we aim to reach the summit! ." - Vincent, Westmorland

    "Good communication & friendly service. 😊 " - Bullen, Bedford

    "Only had one issue - unable to start engine after taking on water at Aspley Basin. My fault as choke/stop not fully down. Nigel answered immediately & talked me through issue." - Palmer, Oxford

    "Service is excellent from start to finish. Very friendly staff. Would definitely love to return." - Johnson, Suffolk (Australia)

    "Very helpful and accommodating. No assistance needed which is to your credit." - Blane, Lincoln

    "Very helpful advice and assistance. Thank you for your attention to our needs this fortnight." - Baker, Dorset

    "Excellent. Thanks for the phone advice. It's given us the confidence to attempt a canal holiday in the future. Thank you all." - Dean, Huntingdon

    "Very helpful, we didn't need assistance but communication was excellent throughout the booking etc. process." - McBride, Bedford

    "Everyone was so helpful and encouraging." - Jones, Oxford

    "Everyone very happy & informative." - Blundell, Devon

    "We had such a great week - we couldn't wait to get home and get booked again! We enjoyed every single moment - from Paula's warm welcome, your invaluable advice and James's excellent tuition. It made things so much easier for us first timers. When we were getting the boat ready to leave the men that were preparing the boats were so friendly and efficient - you have an excellent team." - Hogg, Devon

    "We have inadvertently found a perfect holiday for 6 teenagers who like to be active but with plenty of time for downtime too. Thank you 😊." - Harrington, Westmorland

    "All the staff we met were brilliant - Susan - comprehensive briefing with lots of stuff I didn't know or needed to be reminded of (make sure you've signed up for the Canal & River Trust notifications service before you arrive a) You need to know what's going on and b) Susan will ask you about it). Paula - poor Paula was left in the hot seat during our holiday and she coped admirably. Dave - Superb boat hand over and advice with a few laughs thrown in." - Williams, Dorset

    "Excellent service, helpful & understanding when we needed to change dates." - Dykes, Lincoln

    "GREAT. Cannot emphasise enough how much we loved it / you guys." - Will, Norfolk

    Information Pack

    "Very useful. We did study hard beforehand." - Barbara, Dave & Banksy, Lincoln

    "Extremely informative & very detailed." - Bullen, Bedford

    "Exceptional - lots of reading to digest." - Snarr, Suffolk

    "Very useful - excellent research tool." - Haywood/Kemp, Dorset

    "The Pack brings together a lot of the needs on the trip. Useful to view at home." - Perkins, Northumberland

    "Helped with planning our journey." - Jones, Cambridge

    "Very useful & covered virtually* everything we needed to know. (*the supposedly missing thing was there all the time...Ed)" - Richard, Suffolk

    "Worth the time spent reading it." - Blane, Lincoln

    "Very comprehensive & useful. We have booked many times before but info was still useful." - Allery, Bedford

    "Very good preparation. Watched the video." - Payne, Huntingdon

    "Very useful. Helped us to pack and we could research food outlets in advance helping us to plan how much food to bring. Anticipated some of our questions about handling the boat." - Dean, Huntingdon

    "Fantastic." - Julie, Cambridge

    "Very comprehensive thanks." - Ashcroft, Devon

    "Very good. Thorough & helpful." - Jill, Hereford

    "Very useful because it prepared us beforehand but the folder on the boat was first class and much appreciated." - Pye, Devon

    "Very useful - The information pack / manual on the boat was the best I've ever seen in terms of content and ease of use (colour coding)" - Williams, Dorset

    "Very useful - we watched the DVD content on YouTube." - Chrisman, Hereford

    "It definitely helped us ger mentally ready." - Will, Norfolk


    "The handover was very good, lots of information. Including advice on local area." - Lavender, Somerset

    "We left Sowerby Bridge feeling confident (although novices)." - Barbara, Dave & Banksy, Lincoln

    "Susan was clear & very precise. Very thorough." - Langdon, Somerset

    "Worked well - the lock demos were useful." - Shaw, Suffolk

    "Fantastic. Very thorough and never had so many maps/info provided - thanks so much for a great holiday." - Palmer, Oxford

    "Sam was very good, gave us relevant information inc. suggestion to try Foulridge Tunnel which we did!" - Jones, Cambridge

    "Briefing was thorough and informative before we set off, and the use of the 1st 3 locks was an excellent introduction and put us at ease." - Johnson, Suffolk (Australia)

    "The handover was good, complete, and useful even though we have some experience. Being taken down to Salterhebble was good." - Appleby, Worcester

    "The training through the first locks was great and also the guys made it fun for the Kids." - Steve, Gloucester

    "Handover was great. Your guys told us all we needed to know." - Brown, Rutland

    "The man who did the boat was excellent. We are not novices but thought he pitched it just right." - Flinn/Davis, York

    "Well presented and explained the present issues & things to consider. Great on-board & locking explanation by Josh." - Richard, Suffolk

    "Simon was excellent!! No surprises after his briefing." - Blane, Lincoln

    "Great handover, gentleman was lovely." - Skinner, Cambridge

    "Brilliant. Respectful of the fact we had plenty of experience, showed us novel things (eg handspike) but didn't push stuff we knew. Boat & office crew friendly." - Allery, Bedford

    "James & Susan were very comprehensive. Told us everything. Would not have managed if it wasn't for the briefing." - Payne, Huntingdon

    "Simon and the other instructors did an excellent job." - Dean, Huntingdon

    "Couldn't have been better." - Julie, Cambridge

    "Very good, loved sense of humour from handover person." - Graham, Oxford

    "Excellent tuition from Simon - his enthusiasm is infectious and we were confident lock operators before we knew it! Susan provided good background information." - McBride, Bedford

    "Good, I think we had Josh take us out. Very helpful and informative. A calm and reassuring start." - Ashcroft, Devon

    "The handover was very informative and done at a pace that was easy to follow, with informative detail why daily maintenance needs to be done." - Clark, Suffolk

    "Very good. Detailed & friendly advice." - Lane, Bedford

    "The handover from Dave was fantastic and his time and trouble turning up at the first lock was much appreciated (the requirement to use the wooden "bat" to open the gate paddles was a new one on us!)" - Williams, Dorset

    "Geoff did a good job." - Smith, Dorset

    "Exceptional. Friendly and done with good humour." - King, York

    "Great to have help through first locks." - Chrisman, Hereford

    "Great, Jim was a great instructor and (we) felt that we knew enough to get by." - Will, Norfolk

    "Well done - comprehensive. Sam was very personable." - Chappell, Somerset

Check availability

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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