Christmas on the waterways

Christmas on the waterways

Are you going to be spending the Christmas on the waterways? Then you need to be prepared and remember that it will be a little bit different from a traditional Christmas spent inside a house.

Obviously, there will be limited space and so having a large number of people won’t really be possible. You could perhaps meet friends and family at another location and then retire to your narrowboat after.

Simplistic Christmas

Having Christmas onboard your narrowboat is very simplistic – the lack of space makes for an easy and stress-free Christmas!

However, just because there is little space does not mean that you cannot celebrate in a way you have in the past – it’s just a little more dialled back.

You can still have a Christmas tree but due to the lack of hight on board, you would only be able to get a short one. Or to save even more space, you could get a ‘ladder-style’ Christmas tree that will last year after year. You can also have lights up but perhaps use smaller battery operated fairy lights so you don’t have to sacrifice any outlets to have the place looking Christmassy!

Be aware if you are hanging decorations from the ceiling as they may end up in your face everytime you walk past!

Christmas Dinner

Christmas dinner on a narrowboat

Should you like to have a traditional Christmas dinner onboard, this is completely possible. If you are buying a turkey, be sure to check the size of your oven before purchasing!

If you don’t want the hassle of cooking, then why not go to a pub or restaurant? We recommend you book well in advance to avoid disappointment though.

We recommend you stock up well onboard if you plan to be cruising around during the days leading up to Christmas. You don’t want to run out of gravy come Christmas day, or worse run out of fuel!

Take a look at our previous post ‘10 Winter survival tips for living on a boat‘ for some top tips on how to live on and maintain your boat over the Winter.

Narrowboat rental

If you don’t own a narrowboat but really want to experience Christmas on the waterways, then there are a plethora of companies that will rent them out. Here are just a few:


There are also plenty of events going on all over the UK. From Santa Cruises to Winter wonderlands complete with grottos, a Santa splash and Christmas Camps!

Here are a few websites for more information:

  • Canal & River Trust – A charity who look after and bring to life 2,000 miles of waterways. Here you will find information about the Santa Cruises.
  • Inland Waterways Association – A membership charity that works to protect and restore the country’s 6,500 miles of canals and rivers. Here you will find Christmas socials and the Christmas Camp.
  • Dudley Canal & Tunnel Trust – Created to protect & preserve the tunnels. Here you will find Santa Boat Trips.
  • Scottish Canals – Look after the Scottish canals, conserving them as part of their heritage, and transforming them to play a vital role in Scotland today. Here you will find Santa boat trips and a Winterwonderland!


Take a look and see how others have celebrated Christmas on the waterways!

We hope you enjoyed this post on Christmas on the waterways. If you have any other tips, tricks or advice, please feel free to leave them in the comments below. We love hearing from you!

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Owatrol Team
About Owatrol Team

Our team are ready and willing to support you with your requirements whether it is protecting your newly laid deck or renovating a luxury yacht, whatever the application Owatrol has the solution you are looking for.

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