Drifters’ Top 5 reasons why canal boat holidays are great for pets:
1. Narrowboats are like floating holiday cottages, with space for domestic pets too;
2. Canal boat holidays are especially great for dogs, with plenty of towpath walks and dog-friendly canalside pubs;
3. Many Drifters operators allow the first pet to travel free, while others charge a supplement of between £25 and £35;
4. No extra vaccinations or pet passports are needed for your pet to cruise the canals; and
5. Narrowboats with open cruiser-sterns at the back offer extra room ‘on deck’ for pets and the family to enjoy the ever-changing view.
Drifters’ Top 3 dog-friendly destinations:
1. Navigate to Wrenbury & the South Cheshire Way – from Drifters’ canal boat hire base at Bunbury on the Shropshire Union Canal in Cheshire it takes around six hours, passing through 11 locks, to reach Wrenbury Mill on the Llangollen Canal. The journey takes boaters through the Cheshire countryside along 10 miles of waterway. The historic village of Wrenbury, which is on the South Cheshire Way offers lots of countryside walks. And there’s a choice of dog-friendly pubs to visit: the canalside Dusty Miller, and the Cotton Arms in the village. ***The 62ft ‘Topaz’ narrowboat for up to six people is available for a weekend break 4-7 August for £1,435. Price includes boat hire, gas, car parking, tuition on arrival, buoyancy aids, bed linen towels and first pet. There’s a compulsory non-refundable damage waiver of £50 and a £70 fuel deposit is taken for short breaks (three or four nights), £110 for a week. Charge based on use, circa £15 per day. Second pet is charged at £25 for a short break, £35 for a week.
2. Cruise to Cannock Chase for miles of walking trails – on a short break from Drifters’ base on the Trent & Mersey Canal at Great Haywood in Staffordshire, canal boat holiday-makers can cruise to Cannock Chase Forest. Once a Royal Forest, Cannock Chase is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with over 6,800 hectares of landscapes and miles of walking trails to explore. ***The 58ft ‘Lady Andrea’ narrowboat for up to four people is available for a weekend break 18-21 August for £1,215. Price includes boat hire, gas, car parking, tuition on arrival, buoyancy aids, bed linen towels and first pet. There’s a compulsory non-refundable damage waiver of £50 and a £70 fuel deposit is taken for short breaks (three or four nights), £110 for a week. Charge based on use, circa £15 per day. Second pet is charged at £25 for a short break, £35 for a week.
3. Boat along the Kennet & Avon Canal to Savernake Forest – there are over 4,500 acres of woodlands to explore at Savernake Forest – doggy heaven. From Drifters’ narrowboat hire base at Devizes, it takes around 11 hours, passing through 30 locks, to reach the village of Wootton Rivers, a great starting point for a variety of walks around the Forest. ***The 58ft ‘Snooty Fox’ narrowboat for up to six people is currently available for a week from Devizes 9-16 September 2023 for £1,530, saving £334. Price includes diesel, gas, damage waiver, bed linen, towels, canal map, life jackets, parking and tuition. Pets are extra, charged at £30 each.
Drifters offers 550 narrowboats for hire from 45 bases across England, Scotland and Wales. 2023 hire prices start at £590 for a short break, £815 for a week. Narrowboats range from 32ft to 70ft and can accommodate up to 12 people. Tuition is included as part of all Drifters’ holidays.
For more information about Drifters boating holidays call 0344 984 0322 or visit
For more information about visiting the canals go to