Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update


Hollie (Jun 2021) - "Had a wonderful time on Driftweed, family of 4 adults, never been on a narrowboat before and was made to feel welcome and with help from Sophie we were on our way! Thank you so much, we have some lovely memories from our trip."

Henry (Jun 2021) - "ThGreat narrowboat holiday with GU Narrowboats. This was our 6th narrowboat holiday, and the first with GU Narrowboats. The communications with Steve before the holiday were excellent - including helpful discussions on possible routes. Collection day was well-organised (with all appropriate Covid-19 precautions in place) and Jeff kindly came with us for the first 20 minutes to ensure that I was familiar with the controls of our paticular narrowboat - 'Driftweed'. Driftweed had been well-prepared by the cleaning team (thanks ladies) - including sanitisation of all surfaces, and 'fogging' twice (once before surface cleaning, and once after). Super space and facilities on 55ft Driftweed for a couple - probably the best storage space of any boat we've hired. Very quiet engine - when we passed Crick Marina on tickover, another narrowboater asked if we were electric! Lots of comments from other boaters and public on how attractive the paint job was on Driftweed. Steve and the team have obviously looked after Driftweed well, and repainted/blacked to keep her looking good. We rented for a week, and managed to cruise up the Grand Union Leicester Line - via Watford and Foxton staircase locks (both manned by very helpful CRT volunteers), Crick and Husbands Bosworth tunnels, to the wharf at Market Harborough. We also went down to the end of the Welford Arm on the way back. 7-14 May was an ideal time to go - with few other boaters on the canal (Covid-19 influence as well) - with changeable weather, but mostly dry and pleasant. Well done Steve and team - we'll definitely be back!"

Kevin (Jun 2021) - "We have just come back from a 5 day trip on the Grand Union Canal which we enjoyed very much. Steve was friendly, responsive and helpful through the booking process. Upon arrival at the boatyard we were able to park the car right next to the berth. We were then shown the boat which was clean, well equipped and modern with a comfortable bed, TV and a surprisingly useable kitchen. Following an hour of careful tuition by Sophie we were unleashed on the waterways. After that we spent 5 days going down to Stoke Bruerne, the beginning of a lock run and then back to Weedon. The highlight was the Blisworth Tunnel. The whole thing was very enjoyable. I recommend a relaxing holiday using Grand Union Narrowboats."

Martyn (May 2021) - "Steve and his team could not be more helpful. So accommodating and personable. The narrowboat was superbly equipped and immaculately clean. Thank you, we had a great time and would definitely recommend."

Giles (Oct 2021) - "From beginning to end a total pleasure, superb staff, great boat with everything you need, spotlessly clean, flowers and wine waiting for us on arrival. Helpful friendly tuition, excellent pub advice and really friendly. Can't recommend highly enough."

Julian (May 2021) - "A week's holiday for myself and my wife aboard Ragweed in May. We were welcomed with a vase of flowers and a bottle of wine - an unnecessary touch that made this family-run firm stand out. Ragweed is an excellent medium-sized boat for two which we found easy to handle and maneuver through locks etc. Steve gave good instruction. The thing that struck us most was the attention to detail throughout; the way everything in the boat worked has clearly been refined over several years. The kitchen was thoughtfully equipped, enabling the preparation of a good meal from scratch. Highly recommended."

Lindsey (May 2021) - "Fantastic trip on Hawkweed, very comfortable and everything you need for a holiday up the Grand Union, friendly and helpful staff on hand, very professional and knowledgeable, beautiful fresh flowers and a complementary bottle of wine on board. Can’t wait for our next trip!! Very Covid aware company and boat was cleaned and sprayed internally before our arrival."

Nicola (May 2021) - "We have been narrow boating for over 12 years now and found Steve's company extremely helpful from the start with the booking process simple and easy. Upon arriving at the boat yard we were greeted by Steve and his friendly staff and were taken through the whole process which was thorough. We hired two boats, Tassleweed and Jimsonweed, both exceptional! Very Clean, Welcome pack, dishwasher and washing machine on one of them! We could certainly tell that Steve looks after his boats which are very well maintained. We had the most wonderful weekend and cannot wait to return...... This part of the country with the Grand Union Canal is great for boating with lots of beautiful pubs to stop at along the way! Would thoroughly recommend this company!"

Mark (Apr 2021) - "Just returned from a week away and Steve and team are great. From booking onwards the whole thing was easy and relaxed. The boat "Tasselweed" had central heating, dish washer, washing machine, microwave and fresh flower all of which were more than we excepted. The boat was spotless and in first class condition, other people we meet on the canal told us all of this companies boats are in top class condition and they are probable the BEST company to hire from on the Grand Union Canal."

Pauline (April 2021) - "A fabulous staycation. Our only regret was that we didn't book for a longer trip. Steve and his staff give great customer service. Nothing is too much trouble for them. As novices my husband and I were a bit nervous about the steering and the locks. We got great training and weren't left on our own until we felt safe. Steve then met us the next day to teach us and help us through our first locks. The boat was immaculate and had everyrhing needed on board. Including fresh flowers and a bottle of wine! We will definetly be booking again and look forward to another tranquil trip on the beautiful canals."

Roy C (Oct 2020) - "Just returned from a week with friends on Hawkweed and Ragweed. Steve and his team are brilliant, communication from first contact to end of our holiday was perfect, especially considering the times we are in. When we turned up the boats were spotless and perfect. The tuition and explanation provided was excellent to get us on the way, Steve then met us the following day at the first locks and stayed with us until we were all comfortable with their operation. We had a small issue with one boat and after trying a few things over the phone Steve was straight out and had it all sorted in no time. We would highly recommend and are already looking to book next year. Thanks Grand Union Narrowboats for a great week having fun and making memories with friends."

Ann Greenfield (Sep 2020) - "From start to finish we had a fantastic week on board Ragweed Steve and the staff at the boatyard were excellent following all Covid 19 guidelines 100% value for money we loved it and so did our dogs."

Carl H (Sep 2020) - "Excellent week on Jimsonweed. The owner Steve is always happy to help and nothing is to much trouble. The boat was very clean and has everything you could need, the additional measures in place made us feel assured in this current climate, very COVID safe. We have used several boat companies over the past 12 years, and Grand Union Narrowboats stands out above the rest, so much so we have already booked for next year. Carl and Kate."

Grafton travellor (Sep 2020) - "We had a lovely week heading first North to Braunston on the GU, then South to Banbury on the Southern Oxford. Driftweed is a lovely boat - very comfortable and well fitted out for the just the 2 of us. Very spacious cruiser deck, with good perch seats. Lots of useful cubby holes and stowage space inside. And she handles very well. We have hired narrowboats a number of times over the past three decades. Grand Union Narrowboats are, by a long way, the best firm we have hired from. They are a small family run firm and Steve, the owner, really goes out of his way to give his clients a good holiday. Nothing is too much trouble, with attention to detail and prompt customer service. Flowers and bottle of wine in the cabin on arrival. On the first afternoon, Steve caught up with us 3 hours down the cut to check things were going OK - a very nice touch. Finally, the firm's safe Covid processes on arrival and departure were clear, well ordered and inspired confidence."

Kate R (Aug 2020) - "We have had a great week on Tasselweed, our first family canal trip has been made so much better with the guidance of Steve and Geoff, who spent a lot of time with us ensuring we knew who to run the boat and operate the locks (even though this meant joining us on the morning after we collected the boat!) We had such fun navigating the locks, Steve’s recommendations of local pubs were spot on, and the route he suggested was brilliant with both an incredible tunnel and an aqueduct to navigate. The boat was incredibly well prepared, of an incredible standard and very comfy. Would definitely recommend Steve to anyone considering a holiday on the canals!"

Andrew (Jul 2020) - "On arrival we were impressed by the Covid precautions that had been instigated to ensure everybody's safety, we were given a full tour and instruction of the 70ft boat 'Tasselweed', then a briefing about canal safety. Tasselweed is the pride of Steve's fleet and we could not fault it in anyway from the fresh flowers and the little personal extras to the unexpected dishwasher and washing machine. This is our 6th barging trip, Steve is a small independent family run business that stands out above the rest as he really values his customers and has great attention to detail, striving to ensure that your holiday is the best it can be. We can see why Steve gets so many returning customers, especially as you can do so many different routes from his marina."

Mick (Jul 2020) - "Jimsonweed, what a boat our first holiday since covid 19 from the first contact with Steve until its cheerio on the last day everything was top class. On arrival everything was done to covid standards and Steve did not miss a thing. We have had many a narrow-boat Holiday, brand new boats and old boats but JImsonweed was the best, she may be dated but she is pure class and quality, everything was on board what you needed including a lovely bottle of wine and a bunch of flowers. The beds were the most comfortable we have had and the boat was so resposive it was a dream to drive, the location of the yard is perfect for starting your holiday."

JRR849 (Jul 2020) - "Just back from a fantastic mid week break on the Grand Union Canal in the first days after Covid lockdown. Driftweed was in absolutely perfect condition, Steve and the team did a wonderful job on handover both at the start and end of the trip. They were very clear communicating how they were adapting to keep the trip safe and Covid-friendly. We want to come back for a 2 week trip next time!"

Justine (Sep 2019) - "We have just got back from a fantastic week on Tasselweed ( 4 adults, a teenager and a ) I cannot fault anything the holiday was fab from the beginning to the end. We were greeted by Steve and his team on arrival they helped us unload and load onto the boat we were a bit stressed after 4 hours in traffic! We were informed and advised about every area of the boat before we departed. The boat was spotless and the little touches ( flowers and wine ) much appreciated. We had a great trip along the Grand Union Canal, lots of lovely places to stop and eat. A truly memorable experience and we all look forward to coming back soon."

Amanda (Sep 2019) - "This was our first experience on a canal boat. we went with our dog and another couple on Jimsonweed for a week. the boat was lovely, very clean and well decorated. it was well equipped, we had everything we needed for the week. Steve and his staff were amazing, really friendly and helpful. thankyou to Sophie who travelled with us when we set off to show us the ropes and make sure we knew what we were doing. we had a wonderful time and would definately book with Steve again."

Blondiekh (Aug 2019) - "...I had visited a few places & we decided that Steve’s Company was the right fit! It literally was such a Fantastic experience from 1st contact to our last moment! Steve has a really Great team & all extremely helpful!...Made the trip so much better having them on hand to show you personally how to do everything to make the most of your time with the Narrowboat rather than just watching a video....We were complete novices & got the hang of it pretty well on day 2....Thank you we had a great time seeing our beautiful county from a completely different view. Will 100% do this again."

Debby and Simon (Jun 2019) - "Booked a 4 night break for two adults and a dog. Absolutely loved it. Steve and his crew work hard to make sure you have a safe holiday experience. Ragweed is so well equipped, spotlessly clean and well looked after. I did watch the dvd four times and felt ready to tackle this new experience"

Glen (Jun 2019) - "Brilliant time away. Very friendly, helpful and accommodating. Nothing was too much trouble!! Boats were clean comfortable and decked out really well."

Barry (Jun 2019) - "We said last year we'd be back, and we have just returned from another week on board. We hired Driftweed for a week and went south on the Grand Union canal to Cowroast. Another fantastic trip, the boat was great and more than big enough for the four of us. Yet again Steve and the team at Grand Union Narrowboats made sure everything was perfect and they really do make every effort so you can enjoy your time on a Narrowboat. I would definitely recommend them if you are looking to hire a boat. Contact them and they will help you to get the boat and route that is right for you. There are so many route options when leaving the yard at Weedon you are spoilt for choice. We have done a couple and look forward to working our way through the remaining ones!! We will be back, again!!"

Anonymous - Worcester (Apr 2019) - "You know you've had an amazing time when you don't want to come home. And when you have the engine on that little bit slower to eak out your last hour of cruising time.
We spent Easter weekend on ragweed and everything from start to finish was perfect. Communication from Steve beforehand was great and we had the best training from Sophie.
The boat was beautifully presented and super comfortable. It had everything we needed. So much so that we never left the boat all weekend. We took enough food and drink so we didn't need to stop and it was always our intention to properly 'get away from it all' so we did. We moored in some remote places with just the birds for company.
We travelled north from the boat yard and made our way to Elkington (bridge 28) over three days. Setting off early on Sunday morning was probably my highlight. We were exceptionally lucky with the weather and the mist on the water as the run was rising made it really very special. "

Evelyn (Apr 2019) - "Had an amazing week on Tasselweed. Week started off well with brilliant training (which is good as we are complete novices). Boat is really comfortable with everything that you need provided. Cant wait till we can go again and cannot recommend it more. Check out Tassleweed on YouTube."

TravellingBilburys - Devon (April 2019) - "This was, without doubt, one of the best holidays we've been on.
The people we met, the places we slept, the pubs we visited, and the food we ate were all lovely but the pace of life and the quality of time together made this a family holiday to remember.
Steve and his team were absolutely amazing from our first enquiry through to teaching us the basics of the boats and locks and setting us off on our own. A big thanks to Geoff, who stayed with us for the first few miles until we were confident rather than just giving us the keys and sending us off like some of the other crews who had boats from other yards we met had happen to them.
Our boat, 'Tasselweed' handled like a dream and Steve's reassurance that canal boating is a contact sport made me feel a bit less guilty about the scratches we put on it!
Sorry about those Steve!
We had a week and got to The Moorings in Royal Leamington Spa. Stop here, you will be impressed.
Another standout pub was The Old Olive Bush at Flecknoe- amazing food and a really friendly landlord. Bit of a walk but well worth it. Phone first though as they aim for quality of experience over quantity of covers and the dining area is not large.
Others well worth a visit we're The Two Boats, The Narrow Boat and The Boathouse at Braunston (so good we went in twice!). There are loads more we didn't get to and will definitely be coming back again to try some more.
It is the sign of a great holiday if you are sad when it comes to an end. We were all really sorry to have to leave but we will be back again as soon as we can."

Hexcelskis - Canada (Jan 2019) - "Have to confess we really enjoyed our amble along the 200+ year old canals. A lot of UK history along the routes no mater which way you go.
The longboat was well prepared and ready for the trip. Kitchen, bed, restroom, towels, guide books and fuel. The only additional task was to top up the potable water tank as required along the route.
Phil was thou rough with the ‘pre-sail’ checklist to go over all the procedures for piloting and living on the longboat. This was followed by a slow cruise along the canal. Lessons were also given for operating the locks.
Weedon is a family run business and the owners are proud and take care of their boats.
One has to set themselves in a different mindset on these canals.
They were originally designed for horse drawn boats so the overall longboat speed is a fast walking pace.
By chance we even got filmed on the youtube series 'Cruising the Cut', really recommend watching some of these before renting a narrowboat."

Pete L (Jul 2018) - "We just had the best week on Hawkweed. I've used many different companies on my numerous canal holidays but these are by far the best company I've used. They're a family company and really look after their customers. Steve and Phil welcomed us on our first day and they even helped us unload our car! They’re both very helpful and are always available should you need them. As for the boat... simply brilliant. Very quiet, new engine, all the creature comforts you need away from home. Shower is a real plus as this is something I've always felt let's the boats down, but the shower was great on Hawkweed. The simple best recommendation I can give Grand Union is that we are about to book again for next year! We would definitely recommend! "

Barry (Jun 2018) - "Just returned from a week aboard Tasselweed. There were 4 of us and the boat was fantastic. Everything you’d need and more - even a washing machine!! We packed up with everything we’d need for the week and Steve had already covered some of these things. It’s the little things like tea, milk, tea towels, the lovely toiletries that make the difference. Steve’s attention to detail is fantastic, he is very knowledgeable about the canals and did everything needed to make our holiday great. We arrived late on the Friday due to traffic and managed to get the first hour in on Friday night. Steve then came out on Saturday morning to make sure we were totally happy going through the locks etc. We had a great week going through tunnels, locks and just enjoying the canals. We cannot recommend Grand Union Narrowboats highly enough. We will be back!"

Anod (May 2018) - "Had a fantastic week on Tassleweed going from Weedon to Warwick & back. We had brilliant tuition from Steve at the start which meant that we could enjoy ourselves & have a stress free holiday right from the word go. There was 6 of us (3couples) on the boat, it exceeded our expectations regarding storage & space. I strongly recommend this company & boat"

Anonymous (April 2018) - "We've just returned from a great week aboard Hawkweed on the Grand Union, North Oxford, Coventry and Ashby Canals. We are experienced hirers and boat owners, and cannot fault either the boat or the service we received from owner Steve and his colleague Phyl. The business is run with a refreshing personal touch, yet with total professionalism - it's clear Steve has gained vast customer service experience in the marine leisure sector. We received a thorough demonstration of the boat, which was very well-presented - and the welcome touches such as freshly cut flowers in a traditionally-painted water can, a bottle of wine, fresh milk and tea were lovely to come on board to. It's wonderful to see the 'Weed' boats available for hire once again; refreshed, updated and resplendent in their new company colours - people seemed pleased to see the boat as we travelled, and it's exciting that a couple more are due to return to service. Steve and team should take pride in a job very well done - thank you for looking after us so well.!"

Barbara S (Sep 2017) - "Excellent service by Steve. Thank you for the lovely extras, very nice touch. We have had a fantastic week, Blissworth tunnel was an eye opener. Would highly recommend grand union narrow boats weedon. We look forward to a return visit in the future. Thank you."

West Midlands (Aug 2017) - "Four of us had a wonderful holiday - second week in July - on Tasselweed. The very thorough safety aspects and training given by Steve was second to none and enabled us to thoroughly enjoy our holiday with confidence, unlike some we met who hired from a very well known company and were shown a short video and a model boat! They found steering and manoeuvring in and out of locks almost impossible and commented 'never again'. But we had no such problems due to Steve's training. The boat was fully equipped and came with all the creature comforts, two permanent double beds and accommodated four adults with ease. It is obvious that the vessel is maintained to a very high standard by Steve and everything works perfectly. Being 'first timers' we chose the route along the Ashby canal which has fewer locks than other routes and was easily manageable in a week. You certainly get a different view of the world with canal cruising, a wonderful, scenic, tranquil, slower, mega relaxing pace of life. The Union Narrowboats website is simplicity itself to use, with the 'price you see is the price you pay', everything is included and great value, compared to some. So thanks to Steve and Union Narrowboats for a great holiday"

Helen & Michael Reed (Aug 2017) - "Hawkweed - wonderful week! We had a fantastic week on Hawkweed. Steve was really friendly and helpful throughout the booking process and also on arrival. The boat truly exceeded our expectations - fluffy towels provided as well as a thoughtful pint of milk and bottle of wine. Plenty of hot water and lots of kitchen equipment. Thorough hand over much appreciated and he even met us the next morning to give me lock training. I loved doing the locks - a good way often to chat with other boaters. We took Hawkweed south on the Grand union and made it south of Leighton. Going through the 3km tunnel at Blisworth was a highlight! And who knew cruising around Milton Keynes could be so beautiful. Great pub food incl Three Locks at Soulbury, Globe at Leighton Buzzard and Black Horse at Linford. Lots of interesting places to stop off at along the way and experience a slice of industrial heritage and lots of wildlife too including herons, kingfishers, moorhens, swans and ducks. Definitely recommend a holiday with Grand Union Narrowboats and thanks again to Steve and his crew."

Debra (Aug 2017) - "We hired Tasselweed during the last week of July 2017. There was everything you could ask for, plus some lovely extras which where a lovely surprise. Tasselweed was very clean and well equipped for our family of 4 plus Molly the dog who loved her holiday too. Steve is really friendly, he went through the tuition in great detail and ensured we understood everything and were confident ready for our holiday. He stayed with us for a short time as we first set off then we met him at the first locks for him to go through the procedures. Nothing seemed too much trouble and we would certainly recommend Steve and his colleagues to anyone thinking of a canal holiday in the Midlands."

Anthony G (Jul 2017) - "We hired Hawkweed over the weekend and had an awesome experience! The boat was faultless and the guys who run the company where really helpful at showing us what to do as we had no experience before. The area was beautiful and there's some great pubs along the way. I would definitely use these again in the future when we look to take it out for a week"

Nice, France (July 2017) - "A magical week on Hawkweed - Our holiday on Hawkweed (May 2017) was a really special and unforgettable experience – I particularly wanted to mention the following: The boat itself is comfortable and very well equipped – there was even a cafetière – and it’s clear that a lot of thought has gone into client comfort. The bed remains as a bed so no having to put bed away / remake it morning and evening. This holiday was a first on the canals for me and I was quite nervous about managing the steering, the locks, the mooring… I need not have worried as Steve and his colleague gave really thorough tuition before letting us loose on our own, calmly staying alongside us as we completed our first locks and moorings. The experience of moving slowly through beautiful countryside was fabulous – what a way to relax. Hawthorn blossom everywhere meant glorious hedgerows and the canal birds were out and about with their babies. People we met and chatted to were friendly and, when it came to the locks, we always found kind people to give us a hand. A final comment is to say how thoughtful Steve is as an owner – there were all the basics in the kitchen cupboards to start us off on our trip and he went out of his way to make life easier for us – we went up to Weedon by train and he even assisted us with arranging transport to and from the station. We would have no hesitation in recommending Grand Union Narrow boats and fully intend returning for another holiday with them next year."

Carol H (Jun 2017) - "Great service by family owned company - We hired 'Hawkweed' for a week in May 2017 and cruised up to Market Harbourer and back, taking in the Watford and Foxton Locks (largest staircase in UK). The canal also included two tunnels, Crick and Blissworth. Wonderful relaxing time with the opportunity to meet people along the way. The only downside was the fact that tne hedgerows on the tow path often hid fabulous views across the Avon Valley. Steve and Steph have restarted the Weedon Narrowboat hire business. We met many people along the Canal who spoke highly of the "Weed" boats. Personally we were very impressed by the quality, layout and presentation of the boat. Seve went to extra lengths to make trip enjoyable with lots of little extra touches to personalise the trip. The hire price was all inclusive and gave the best value for money we could find. We have no hesitation in recommending this service."