1. Luxury staycation away from the crowds
Christmas 2020 is certainly going to be unlike any other so why not set aside your usual plans and start a new tradition. A 5-star narrowboat break on the tranquil Monmouthshire & Brecon canal in Wales guarantees you a relaxing holiday in glorious surroundings, with plenty of space for everyone. Unlike our houseboat holidays, where the narrowboat is permanently moored, you can go cruising on these Christmas and New Year breaks, thanks to the Canal & River Trust opening the entire Mon & Brec canal for the festive fortnight.
Moor up without another boat in sight, and have the splendid views of the Beacon Beacons National Park all to yourself. Sleeping up to seven people, our well-insulated, centrally-heated narrowboats have beds with luxurious sprung mattresses, crisp white linen, duvets and Welsh woollen blankets.
Some also have a wood burner or log-effect gas fire for that extra cosy touch in the lounge. The shower rooms are immaculate with a constant supply of hot water, fluffy white towels and Gilchrist & Soames toiletries. Some boats have ensuite shower rooms, Heron has a luxurious wet room with his and her basins, and Harrier has a roll-top slipper bath. Designer fabrics, handmade furniture, wooden flooring, granite worktops and chic light fittings complete the picture. We have designed and built each narrowboat to be unique. We love them all. Which one do you like best?
2. Cooking Christmas dinner is simple
Your narrowboat has a high-spec kitchen with a full-size cooker and fridge, microwave, coffee machine, Dualit toaster, and every gadget you could possibly need to cook and serve a superb festive meal. Pots and pans include a steamer and roasting tins, other useful utensils include a garlic press, and, off course, there's a corkscrew/bottle opener.
In our nearest town, Crickhowell - winner of the Great British High Street Awards 2018 - you'll find a superb range of independent shops including butchers, bakers, grocers, off licence, bookshops and a department store. Order your celebratory food in advance and collect it on your way here. There may even be chance for some last minute gift shopping.
3. Romantic boltholes
If you're looking for a fairytale hideaway for just the two of you, we have a delightful selection of narrowboats. Wren has a curvy theme and an open-plan design, with a log-effect gas fire, walk-through shower and an oval kingsize bed. In Kingfisher there's a kingsize bed, and you'll find two leather armchairs, a log-effect gas fire, mood lighting and surround sound system in the lounge. Heron's double bed is located in the forward cabin with large picture windows and French doors onto the deck. The stylish metal bed glides to the side to provide a wider walkway during the day, and there's a double shower in the wet room. Harrier's delights include double-ended roll-top bath, 5ft half-tester bed, and cosy wood-burning stove in the lounge, while Owl is particularly special, with a 4-poster bed and on-deck hut-tub!
4. Dog-friendly narrowboats
If you're a dog lover, you'll certainly want to spend the festive season with your best friend. Dogs are very welcome on all our narrowboats, and we do not charge extra for them to come on holiday! We even supply a towel for your dog so you can wipe their paws, after exploring the canal towpath or the surrounding mountains.
In our experience, some dogs enjoy sitting on deck watching the world go by as you cruise along, others like to walk along the towpath, alongside the boat. And, if you don't have a dog, you'll be pleased to know that our cleaning regime is so thorough, we're pretty sure you'd never know that a dog had been on board.
5. Relax and go green
We think the fastest way to slow down this Christmas is to spend time by water, and the Monmouthshire & Brecon is a must because it's considered to be the UK's prettiest canal. Families will enjoy the boating experience and the welcome fresh air. There's the chance for all ages and abilities to help out - whether that's operating the locks, choosing where to moor or making a cup of tea for the helmsman (who's steering the boat). You'll discover time to play games, time to enjoy meals together, and time to make new memories. And, of course, it's a far greener holiday than jetting off overseas. For the ultimate green boating break, choose Coot - our 5-star eco-friendly hybrid-electric narrowboat.
6. Boxing Day and New Year's Day walks
Situated within the Brecon Beacons National Park and Blaenavon World Heritage Site, the Mon & Brec canal is rich in heritage and wildlife. There's no end of choice for your Boxing Day or New Year's Day walk - whether you fancy a short stroll along the towpath, or a challenging hike up to a peak such as Table Mountain, above Crickhowell.
7. Celebrations with a difference
Your narrowboat will have a festive touch, with a Christmas tree and decorations, and there'll be a bottle of fizz chilling in the fridge when you arrive. You can simply relax and enjoy a festive season with a difference.
Choose your favourite narrowboat with the help of our videos.