Valentine’s Day

Published on: 07/02/23

If Valentine’s Day has inspired you to think romance, then how about leaving dry land and taking to the water in comfort and style? You don’t need to pull on a wetsuit or head for the high seas; the UK is replete in inland waterways which offer a plethora of relaxing and inspiring river-based relaxation, perfect for that special date, or larger gathering.

From punting through our most illustrious and historic university cities to leisurely exploring the Lancashire countryside, or discovering our biggest cities from a secret new viewpoint, consider a trip in a punt, sailing or canal boat. Cruise in comfort with tours designed to show off the best scenery and surroundings, raise a glass or enjoy delicious meals on specialist sailings, or take the tiller and strike out on your own!

Oxford River Cruises

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Just being amongst Oxford’s history, architecture and “dreaming spires” is surely enough to tempt the flintiest heart into the mood for romance! And that’s before you step aboard for a leisurely cruise along the Thames, amongst picturesque villages, or before a stunning sunset, glass of champagne in hand. Taking in stunning scenery on the tranquil river Thames in and around the city, Oxford River Cruises’ sightseeing river tours are designed to suit all tastes. From lazy lunchtimes to elegant dinner cruises, and of course romantic trips, options include sightseeing, Oxford Experience, Afternoon Tea Cruise, Picnic Cruise, Sundowner, and Cruise and Dine in partnership with The Folly Restaurant.

Conveniently setting sail from central oxford, private boat hire options also allow you to tour the river at your own pace and escape from the busy areas of Oxford to more secluded parts of the river, where cares drift away with the gentle flow of the water. Staff are brimming with tips for excellent riverside restaurants and ancient inns to enjoy intimate dining, or step ashore a stone’s throw from majestic Christ Church College and continue enjoy exploring the best of collegiate Oxford.

Granta Moorings, Cambridge

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If you’re tempted by or closer to England’s other famous University town, we’ve got you covered, thanks to central Cambridge’s Granta Moorings. Swap the boat for an open punt for two, the perfect way to get a unique of the city’s classical architecture, ornate bridges and sweeping river meadows. Choose a piloted trip and let the professionals do the hard work; smartly decked out in traditional boaters and waistcoats, they’ll pilot you on a delightful tour including the famous Bridge of Sighs, Kings Chapel and eight riverside Colleges.

With the experienced and friendly team on hand, you can be as laid back as you like, or take the hand’s-on option to try out your own punting skills during the trip. If three’s a crowd, keep it intimate and hire one of their sleek new punts or canoes- all decked out with blankets (and umbrellas) as standard. Choosing your own itinerary and pace, pop in a hamper and bottle-opener, and let your cares float off down the river, or step off and recline on the grassy riverbanks. Epitomising everything ‘Cambridge’ for nearly 30 years, all options are perfect for those who want to kick back and relax.

Lancashire Canal Cruises

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Established in 1881, Lancashire Canal Cruises bring heritage and history to peaceful landscapes and wonderful wildlife-watching opportunities along the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. Departing daily from The Slipway Inn at Burscough, an anchor’s throw from Preston, Southport and Liverpool, their wide variety of public, bespoke and private charter cruises will transport you through idyllic locations and into a totally relaxed frame of mind. From breakfast trips to gin-raising leisurely afternoons or warming hot-pot evening cruises, whichever you choose, their comfortable 12-passenger narrowboats are decked with refreshment and washroom facilities, even central heating for comfortably sailing, whatever the season!

On your voyage through the peaceful and tranquil countryside you’ll encounter historic windmills, wharfs and mills, sailing under stone and swing bridges (which you can help open if you want the full experience!). With an abundance of birds and waterfowl, look out for kingfishers or rare visitors from nearby Martin Mere nature reserve. Your friendly skipper will supply knowledgeable commentary, sharing the history of the canal, its hidden history, and ensuring you don’t miss any sightings. Choose from an array of public cruises, or go exclusive with private hire and bespoke itineraries, the perfect way to connect and spoil yourselves with friends, family or that special partner.

Go Boat, London and Birmingham

GoBoat is the ultimate fun self-drive boat hire experience; you are the captain, so you choose your route, with excellent suggestions and maps from the friendly GoBoat team. From GoBoat’s central location in Paddington, enjoy access to the unseen side of London as you travel up Regent's Canal, through Little Venice, the 249-metre Maida Hill Tunnel, past London Zoo and up to Camden Lock. Each eco-friendly electric GoBoat can seat up to 8 people, and no boating experience necessary, as you’ll be taught all the simple instructions you’ll need. Children and dogs are very welcome on board, if you want to make it a family trip.

As well as Paddington, you’ll find GoBoat hire locations at GoBoat Canary Wharf and GoBoat Kingston, giving you further choice of sailing destinations, including GoBoat Paddington. Further afield, GoBoat Birmingham, located at Brindley Place, gives you access to a stunning section of Birmingham's vibrant canal network. Pack a picnic, and set sail on a 1, 2 or 3-hour adventure with your companions whilst experiencing London and Birmingham from a whole new perspective.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We have also put together a list of frequently asked questions at the link below, which include some Top Tips and Did you know information, which you can use to show off with your friends and family

  • Read our frequently asked questions (FAQs) - Click Here

We hope that you have enjoyed reading our article called Valentine’s Day and that you have found the information above include our FAQ page helpful in deciding on which venue you to choose for your Activities and Days Out

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