Canal News from Chas Hardern’sdotchas1

Welcome to our news and updates page.

Chas Hardern has been hiring boats for holidays since the early 1970s. To read how he started from a farm on the Llangollen Canal near Wrenbury click here. (small pdf download).


See the article about us in the May issue of Waterways World.

For our Danish, Swedish and Norwegian customers- an article by Mons Kettenhoej on his Chas Hardern Boating adventure – Link to Article.

News update

Due to expected lack of water on the Macclesfield and Peak Forest Canals there will be cruising restrictions ongoing from the 3rd of April 2023. The Bosley flight will be closed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.  The Marple flight will be closed on Tuesdays Thursdays and Sundays. Both flights will be closed on Fridays.


Recently vloggers “Those Happy Days” spent time on one of our boats! A great watch you can find below.

Please see ‘Lock Flight Operating Times Macclesfield and Peak Forest’ on the Stoppages list on  Do please contact us if you would like to discuss your proposed route.

On the 28th of April 2017 we appeared in a Channel 5 programme ‘Barging Brits in the Sun’ (we had no say in the title!!!). Many thanks to Darran, Donna and family who had theirs week holiday being trailed by a camera crew.


chasWe were delighted that in March 2016 Chas Hardern was awarded the annual ‘Keay Award’ by the Historic Boat Society for the best restoration of a wooden boat in  the previous year. On our facebook page ‘Chas Hardern Boats’ we have a folder of pictures of the restoration of our 1937 boat ‘Dorset’.



Darren & Alexandra
An ongoing programme of events at Ellesmereport boat museum.



Ongoing Events & Places of Interest


One of the largest and best Zoos in the UK





The Lion Salt Works’ as shown on the ‘Restoration’ T.V show has now been fully restored and is open tot he public. It shows the old art of open pan salt mining and has a café, gift shop and toilets. Worth a look!


Chester cathedral is running ‘Cathedral at height’ tours.
‘This spectacular guided tour will take you behind the scences at Chester Cathedral-providing an unparalleled level of public access’ For the fit with a head for heights only.
Book through

A great place full of interest this time of year is Chester Zoo. Plenty of new baby animals both large and small -you could easily spend a whole day there and then go on to visit the boat museum at Ellesmere Port.

Easter Boat Gathering at the National Waterways Museum at Ellesmere Port. Details on

Audlem Music and Arts Festival.

Middlewich folk and boat festival.


Llangollen International Music Eisteddfod

This is a wonderful mixture of music from all over the world. Evening concerts this year include Alfie Boe & Van Morrison.

Nantwich Show on Wednesday

A lovely show for all the family with cattle, horses exhibitions and crafts all very close to the canal at Nantwich.


Skippered instruction days

If you are hiring a boat for a canal boat holiday or would just like a day out to decide if it is for you, we offer comprehensive instruction.

Hire Boat Handover

Our experienced engineer has completed the British Marine Federation Hire Boat Handover Audit and can cover all aspects of boating from what to wear/bring to safely negotiating a staircase lock. Courses are tailored to your experience and subject to availability and canal maintenance stoppages.

Please contact us to discuss your requirements and to check availability.


Monday to Friday 10.00a.m to 3.00p.m – £100.00

Saturday and Sunday 10.00 to 4.00p.m – £150.00

You are welcome to use the boat facilities for making lunch.

A £20.00 reduction is available on your holiday should you then choose to book one of our boats. (not available with any other price reduction)