Canal Holiday Booking Information & Guides

Book your canal holiday with us:

  1. Choose your boat from our Boats page
  2. Check the Price.
  3. email or ring us to check that the boat is available
  4. Print out our booking form or use our Secure Online Booking Form
  5. Make sure you have read our booking conditions
  6. Fill in the booking form and send it, with your deposit, to us.
  7. We’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions below.
  8. See what our customers say about Chas Hardern canal hire.


The Canal and River Trust have a Boating Handbook which we strongly advice you read through before starting on your boating holiday. We will send an attached copy when you book but it can also be viewed via these links:

Boaters Handbook PDF: canalrivertrust.org.uk/media/library/141.pdf

Boaters Handbook DVD: youtube.com/watch?v=lXn47JYXs44


Can I recharge my mobile phone/camera/laptop, etc? May I bring any other 240volts ac. appliances?

All boats have 12v-240v AC inverters with 2,500watts (2.5KW) output, (enough for most household appliances used singly). ( which is suitable for charging mobile phones, laptops, cameras, games consoles, etc. but not mains hair dryers).

What bedding is provided?
We provide one pillow with case per person and blankets on request. Sheet, 10.5 tog duvets and one large bath towel per person can be hired from us ( see booking page) or you can bring your own. Bedding is provided at no charge if arriving by public transport or from abroad.

What cleaning materials are provided?
We provide 2 large bin bags and 2 toilet rolls. there is a pack containing on oven glove, duster, 2 tea towels, floor cloth and sponge dish washer. We also supply washing up liquid and a kitchen spray. You will need to bring hand soap and shampoo.

May we bring bicycles?
Bicycles are welcome, but please bring a piece of tarpaulin or old carpet to protect the boat’s paintwork, and either bungee cords or rope to tie them down. Please note that we cannot accept responsibility for damage caused by low bridges, trees, etc. Please also note that cycling isn’t, officially, allowed on towpaths except on designated cycleways.

Can we bring our pets?
Any usual household pets are welcome without charge. However please bring your own pet bedding and feed bowls and do not allow dogs on the soft furnishings or blankets. Remember that you will be liable for any damage done by pets (see conditions of hire).

Do you operate a shopping service?
If you have an online shopping account with Tesco/Waitrose/Sainsburys, etc you may place an order to be delivered to our boatyard. If you are coming by car, there are also village shops 2 miles distant from our boatyard. We can take you there if you are coming on public transport.

Is there any overnight accommodation locally?
We are happy to provide you with phone or website details of local B&B or hotels.

How do we get to you by public transport?
Nearest mainline railway station is Crewe. We recommend a taxi to our boatyard (approx. 13 miles). Visitors from Ireland, Liverpool and Wirral may come via Chester on railway or bus. Buses run hourly between Chester and Crewe (no. C84). Nearest bus stop is 3/4 mile from our yard (Beeston crossroads – Red Fox public house). We can arrange to collect you and your luggage from the Community Centre bus stop in Tarporley’. ‘Arriva’ buses run at 1/2 hourly intervals between Crewe and Chester (hourly on Sundays).

Can we pick up our boat before the usual starting time?
Boats that start in the afternoon are often ready for occupation by lunchtime – subject to prompt vacation by previous occupants, and no major maintenance requirements. Please call us if you intend to arrive early.

What boat handling instruction do we get?
On booking you will receive a booklet covering operation and handling of your boat through locks and along the canal. When you start your holiday we show you how all the boat systems and safety equipment operate. We then accompany you along the canal for 1/2 mile where we turn (wind) the boat and accompany you through the first 1 or 2 locks, which are adjacent to our boatyard. Everything is fully explained until you are quite happy to go solo. There is also a comprehensive manual supplied on the boat.

Do you supply waterproofs for the helmsman?
As boat steerers come in many shapes and sizes we suggest that you bring your own wet weather gear. We also suggest that you bring suitable footwear for possibly muddy towpaths.



A range of books are available – those listed below being for the areas most requested by hirers. The prices include postage and packing within the UK, overseas postage at cost price. These guides can be ordered with your booking form or purchased at our shop on arrival.

Pearsons Canal Companions
Pearsons guides are much more detailed than other volumes. They are arranged to cover the most popular routes and rings – obviating the need to buy several other guide books to cover a voyage. The guides give every interesting canal feature and historical reference, together with information about nearby features, pubs, towns, shops, etc.

rose2Four Counties ring – £11.00
rose2Cheshire ring – £11.00
rose2Welsh Waters – £11.00

Nicholson OS Guides
Nicholson map books cover all the canals in an area at 2″ to the mile. Some canals they show are not covered by other guides. They show navigational and physical features, services and amenities. Alongside the maps is information on towns and villages, major attractions en route, pubs, boatyards and moorings. These books are spiral bound to lay flat when open.

rose2Four Counties and Welsh Canals £19.00 inc UK Postage
Includes all of Shropshire Union & Llangollen, and the parts of Staffs & Worcs and Trent & Mersey that form the ‘Four Counties Ring’

rose2North West and Pennines £15.00
Includes the parts of the Trent & Mersey, Macclesfield, Peak Forest, Ashton, Rochdale and Bridgewater Canals that form the ‘Cheshire Ring’. Also the full length of the Leeds & Liverpool.