Packing Tips For A Summer Canal Boat Holiday

Summer is the perfect time to hire a narrowboat, as you can enjoy cruising down the canal on long, warm evenings, watching the sunset on the horizon. 

It is always important to pack the right things to make your holiday as comfortable as possible, though, so read on for our summer packing guide.


British summers are unpredictable, so it is essential to check the weather forecast before you start putting things in a suitcase. 

Assuming the weather is expected to be warm, pack some light, comfortable clothes that are easy to move around in as you will be getting on and off the boat frequently. 

It is also wise to prepare for the worst so a raincoat is a must, as well as slipper socks and a jumper for the evenings, in case the temperature drops. 

A sunhat and sunglasses are also essential so you can stay on deck without the glare of the sunshine getting to you too much.  

Whatever the weather, bring grippy shoes, such as trainers, so you don’t slip on the floor, and hard-wearing gloves for when you are working the locks. 

Food and drink 

This is a self-catering holiday so you’ll need to pack essential food and drink items you can’t live without, from coffee and tea bags to cooking oil, salt and pepper. 

You might be planning to eat in pub gardens for dinner, tucking into scampi and chips or a burger in the evening sunshine, but you’ll still need to bring enough to make breakfasts and lunches. 

Don’t forget some snacks, as well as condiments, and a few drinks. If you are planning on bringing wine, it is wise to buy boxed ones instead of bottles to avoid them falling and smashing. 

Ice packs and ice cube trays are sensible too, as they will keep your food and drink cool when you’re out and about. 

Cleaning equipment

It is sensible to bring some essential cleaning equipment with you, such as washing up liquid, bin bags, extra toilet rolls, and a sponge. 

During the summer, more dust can be brought into the boat, so you could bring a cloth to wipe down areas so they don’t get too mucky.

Essential electronics

Thanks to lighter evenings, it is unlikely you’ll need a torch, but you could pack one just in case. 

Don’t forget chargers though, as you’ll want to make sure your phone has enough battery so you can snap photos of your trip. You might even spot otters in the water or unique birds in the trees that you want to grab a picture of. 

Binoculars are a good idea too if you are a nature enthusiast, so pack these in your bag. 

Sun protection

British summers can be a wash out, or as last summer showed us, temperatures can sky-rocket. So it is best to be prepared and bring some sun cream with a high SPF. 

Mosquito repellent and After Sun are also sensible items to have, as well as First Aid kit, packed with paracetamol and dehydration tablets, in case of sun stroke

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