The Best UK Boating Trips

By Charlie Colville

2 years ago

Set sail around the nation in style

As an island nation, Britain is poised for greatness when it comes to boating trips and holidays. Whether you fancy a trip down the Thames or a great exploration of the Scottish lochs, these are the nautical expeditions bound to get all hands on deck.

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The Best UK Boating Trips

The Runnymede on Thames, Windsor

Boat on the Thames

Guests booking in to the Runnymede on Thames in Windsor will have a chance to experience a range of river activities fit for the whole family. Hire an electric-powered riverboat for a calm afternoon spent soaking up views of the nearby bank, before trading in your sea legs for a picnic on land. Those wanting an adventure further afield (in style) can hire the diesel-powdered Antaris Sixty6 launch, which features a collapsible roof, drinks cooler and Bluetooth stereo. And once you’ve hung up your captain’s hat at the end of the day, you can retire in one of the hotel’s riverside rooms. The best of both worlds.

The Salty Blonde, Channel Islands

Fancy a spot of island hopping? For a tour of the Channel Islands, look no further than The Blonde Hedgehog in Alderney, which has just launched a new boat for bespoke trips across Guernsey, Sark, Herm and Jersey. The boat, known as The Salty Blonde, is a Redbay Stormforce 11 metre RIB that can take the battering of waves along the British coast. And if a tour of the channel isn’t your bag, why not get up close and personal with some of the local aquatic wildlife with a trip around Alderney itself?

Glenapp Castle’s Hebridean Sea Safari, Scotland

Glenapp Castle Sea Safari Glamping

Explore the Scottish isles in modern luxury when you embark on one of Glenapp Castle’s Hebridean Sea Safaris. Comprised of two nights exploring the coast and another two nights in the castle itself, the excursion is designed to bring adventure and comfort together. Burgeoning sailors will travel with a professional crew towards remote islands, coastal castles and distant inns, with a private chef onboard to cook up some mean marine cuisine. In the evening, set up camp on the remote island of Jura, tuck in to some dinner and retire to your very own glamping tent. On your travels, make sure to keep an eye out for local wildlife along the Ayrshire coast – it’ll be worth it to spot one of the many basking sharks to dolphins, minke whales and seals living in the area.

Lundy, Devon

An excursion from the north Devon coast to the small rocky island of Lundy makes for a great day-trip if you’re in the area. Measuring just three miles in length and half-a-mile wide, Lundy stays true to the phrase ‘small but mighty’. The island is home to 42 scheduled monuments, a clutch of listed buildings and enough wildlife for it to be comparable to the Galapagos. Visitors can hitch a ride to Lundy on the island’s ferry, the MS Oldenburg, a two-hour trip that offers views of dolphins and seals.

CalMac Ferries to the Isle of Mull, Scotland

View at Tobermory village on isle of mull in Scotland

(c) Getty Images

The second biggest island of the Inner Hebrides is an ideal spot for a boating trip – and can easily be done in a day. Ferry trips to the Isle of Mull are run by Calendonian MacBrayne, which offers travel for both passengers and vehicles – meaning you can explore beyond the port by car, if you feel so inclined. From the deck of the ferry, keep an eye on the waters for dolphins racing each other through the waves. On land, visitors can look forward to scouting the Scottish countryside, visiting historical landmarks, or looking round the picturesque town of Tobermory (the real-life inspiration for BBC children’s series, Balamory).

Falcon Boats in St Davids, Wales

Discover some of the beautiful islands (and its inhabitants) dotted along the Welsh coastline on your next trip to Pembrokeshire. Starting from Britain’s smallest city, St Davids, visitors can take a trip round Ramsey Island with the award-winning Falcon Boats service. Your guide will introduce you to the local wildlife and keep you entertained with stories of shipwrecks, legends and history.

Canterbury River Tours, Kent

River Stour in Canterbury, Kent

(c) Zoltan Tasi, Unsplash

Craving a culture fix? The cathedral city of Canterbury is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that draws in millions of visitors each year, and you can explore its rich history via the River Stour. Flowing through the heart of Canterbury, the river allows visitors to catch a glimpse of famous sites like Canterbury Cathedral and St Augustine’s Abbey as they gently float downstream. You can even choose a theme for your boat tour, from historic and evening ventures to the ghostly ‘Chilling Tales’

Featured image: Glenapp Castle’s Hebridean Sea Safari


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