Canal Boating For The Disabled

A UK Canal Boating Article

Category : General


UK Canal Boating Holidays can be enjoyed by those with special requirements or by those who are less mobile. However for safety reasons at least two of the crew on each canal boat must be active enough to operate the boat and locks.

The cabins on our canal boat are accessed by steep steps inside the front and rear doors. The inside of our canal boats are not suitable for wheel chairs due to the restrictions caused by the width of bulkheads and doors. Some canal boat companies and disability trust groups offer boats which are especially adapted for those in wheelchairs.

These canal boats are usually wider to provide improved manoeuvrability for wheelchair users and often have specialist built in facilities such as low level bunks and wide access boarding ramps. Some companies and trusts are also able to offer transfer hoists and hydraulic lifts .

The Bruce Trust, is a registered charity providing specially designed, purpose built, canal boats, for hire for disabled guests. Their adapted canal boats operate from two bases along the Kennet and Avon Canal.

The Canal Boat Project are a registered charity that hire purpose built and adapted, wide beam accessible canal boats for holidays and short breaks to people with disabilities. The Disabled Afloat Riverboats Trust provide boating holidays for people with physical, visual, aural or learning disabilities and welcome unaccompanied guests.

If you want to cruise the beautiful Llangollen Canal the Lyneal Trust operate canal boat and canal side holidays for people with disabilities and their families. As well as their holiday boat, The Shropshire Lass, they operate day boat hire and a wharf side cottage and chalets. For over thirty years the Peter Le Marchant Trust, has been providing day outings and canal boat holidays on the waterways for people with any kind of disability or serious illness. The Trust operate from Loughborough and cruise the Grand Union Canal through the Leicestershire countryside.
The following websites may prove helpful when planning a canal boat trip or holiday for people with special needs and requirements:
The National Community Boats Association at are a boating organisations who provide access and services on the UK’s waterways for the benefit of their local community.

For expert advise on travelling as or with a disabled person whether it is just for the day, a short trip or a holiday visit
The British Waterways website will provide you with a host of information regarding canal and narrow boat travel.
There are also a number of canal boat companies who offer day trips for the disabled and for special needs passengers.

Operating on the Macclesfield Canal the charity canal boat the Mary cruise through the beautiful Yorkshire countryside.
The Seagull Trust, offers cruises on Scotland’s canals for people with special needs. This charity runs day cruises from branches at Ratho near Edinburgh, Falkirk, Kirkintilloch and Inverness.

The South Staffordshire Narrowboat Company Limited operates the Ernest Thomas II, the Staffordshire and Worcestershire and Shropshire Union Canals, providing day trips for the elderly and disabled in the South Staffordshire and West Midlands area.



More Canal Boating Articles


Holiday Bases











Places to Visit