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Dog-Friendly Boating Escapes

Discover the hidden delights of the Berkshire countryside on a dog-friendly canal boat cruise beginning at Aldermaston Wharf. Together with your best furry friend, meander along the gentle waterways on a comfortable berth packed with modern amenities through the nearby towns of Newbury, Thatcham and Reading. Stop off for some fabulous walking opportunities and make sure to visit fido-friendly sights along your route starting in West Berkshire. A superb location to cruise through the peaceful countryside onto the beautiful Kennet and Avon Canal, all ABC Boat Hire canal boats at Aldermaston Wharf berth two to twelve and come equipped with all you need to swap the hustle and bustle of life in the city for an idyllic boating escape with your canine companion.

Begin your boating adventure for the first time or as a more experienced crew member with full tuition provided at the start of every journey. A handover ensures you are comfortable operating the canal boat and includes where you can moor and how to operate locks, lifts and swing bridges. Most visitor moorings on canals and rivers are governed by the Canal & River Trust and are free of charge, meaning your boat will be permitted to moor anywhere on the towpath side of the canal as long as no obstruction is being caused. An overnight fee may be charged for overnight moorings at a select number of privately owned sites such as The River Thames. 

A suggested route for more experienced crew members for a charming mix of rural and urban waterways is The Grand Ring, taking in parts of the Kennet & Avon Canal, River Thames, Oxford Canal and Grand Union Main Line Canal. This route from Aldermaston includes two tunnels, 198 locks and can be completed in 14-21 nights with highlights including a sweeping stretch of countryside from Moulsford to Wallington perfect for walking opportunities. A collection of dog-friendly waterside pubs also surround the waterways in Oxford including The Head of the River and The Flowing Well at Iffley lock near Folley Bridge, surrounded by rich history and enchanting spires.

For those yet to embark on a wonderful canal boat cruise along the waters or for crew members seeking a more laid back meander, an in and out 7-10 night route is recommended to encounter less locks and spend more time exploring the best dog-welcoming places along the way. Recommended routes include Windsor’s return journey, a seven day cruise where you and your best furry friend can enjoy the abundant green spaces of Eton College, taking a lovely lakeside walk around Dorney Lake before arriving at the royal town of Windsor where the delightful views of its famous castle can be admired while paying a visit to the Great Park.

All dog-friendly canal boats are available from April to November. Arrive on Friday, Saturday or Monday for a 3, 4, 7, 10, 11 or 14 night stay. Please note that each route has individual changeover dates. In a canal boat berthing 4, enjoy a 3 night stay from £999 or 7 night stay from £1,399 in the low season, excluding fuel supplement. Supplements apply on summer dates and larger boats.

What To Expect

It's important to bring along a bed, bowl, food, lead and toys for your dog whilst on board and may be advisable to invest in a harness or life jacket for your dog. A welcome pack is provided as well as a TV, CD player and free Wifi. All the ABC dog-friendly canal boats are individually handcrafted in this country with unique interiors and different styles. They come with a well-equipped kitchen where you can whip up a meal for your guests and furry friend too. The kitchen features a four burner gas stove complete with grill and oven, fridge, sink drainer, sink, crockery, cooking utensils and cutlery. Dog-friendly canal boats with routes starting at Aldermaston Wharf include a Thames licence within the boat hire fee and come equipped with a 12-volt electricity supply. All boats are able to carry around 100 gallons or 450 litres of water. It is advised to refill your water daily by automatic electric water pumps, these are located at many water points along your route which are shown in a Canal Cruising Guide available to be purchased on arrival at a small fee. The boat is fuelled for your arrival and an additional fuel deposit of £90 per week or £50 for a short break is required. When the boat is returned, the balance is refundable after deducting the amount of fuel used. Buoyancy aids are compulsory and available free of charge for both children and adults at the marinas. These do not need to be booked in advance but should be requested upon arrival in order for the correct size to be fitted in preparation for your journey.

Bow wow factor

A canal boat trip makes a fabulous adventure for your canine friend. You have the freedom to go where you want and your dog will love stopping off at the riverside dog-friendly pubs on route.

Need to know

Accessible by Train
Accessible by Train
Dine With Pet
Dine With Pet
Pub Within 1 Mile
Pub Within 1 Mile
Rural
Rural
Satellite Television
Satellite Television
WiFi
WiFi

Featured Boats

The dog-friendly canal boats berth from two to twelve with bedding configured as singles or doubles. There is a small wardrobe for storing clothes with freshly laundered bedding for each crew member. There is a bathroom with toilet, basin and shower, one medium towel per person and even a hairdryer.

Weaver

Sleeps up to 4. One rear cabin which can either be configured as one double bed or two singles with sprung mattresses. There is a small wardrobe for storing clothes. The seating area can be converted into a double bed in the evening, if required. Freshly laundered bedding for each crew member. Additional bedding available on request.
Accommodates

4 adults   3 pets  

Bunting

Sleeps up to 5. One forward cabin which can either be configured as one double bed or two singles with an optional high level berth. The seating area in the saloon can be converted into a double bed in the evening, if required. There are wardrobes located throughout the boat for storing clothes. Freshly laundered bedding for each crew member. Additional bedding available on request.
Accommodates

5 adults   3 pets  

Gull

Sleeps up to 6. Two cabins, both can either be configured as one double bed or two singles. The seating area in the saloon can be converted into a double bed in the evening, if required. There are wardrobes located throughout the boat for storing clothes. Freshly laundered bedding for each crew member. Additional bedding available on request.
Accommodates

6 adults   3 pets  

Lark

Sleeps up to 6. Two cabins, both can either be configured as one double bed or two singles. The seating area in the saloon can be converted into a double bed in the evening, if required. There are wardrobes located throughout the boat for storing clothes. Freshly laundered bedding for each crew member. Additional bedding available on request. There is an additional TV in one of the bedrooms.
Accommodates

6 adults   3 pets  

Thrush

Sleeps up to 6. Two cabins, both can either be configured as one double bed or two singles. The seating area in the saloon can be converted into a double bed in the evening, if required. There are wardrobes located throughout the boat for storing clothes. Freshly laundered bedding for each crew member. Additional bedding available on request.
Accommodates

6 adults   3 pets  

Dove

Sleeps up to 6. Two cabins, both can either be configured as one double bed or two singles. The seating area in the saloon can be converted into a double bed or 2 single beds using the fold down bed, if required. There are wardrobes located throughout the boat for storing clothes. Freshly laundered bedding for each crew member. Additional bedding available on request.
Accommodates

6 adults   3 pets  

Eagle

Sleeps up to 7. Two cabins, both can either be configured as one double bed or two singles plus an additional high level berth in the forward cabin. The seating area in the saloon can be converted into a double bed in the evening, if required. There are wardrobes located throughout the boat for storing clothes. Freshly laundered bedding for each crew member. Additional bedding available on request.
Accommodates

7 adults   3 pets  

Woodpecker

Sleeps up to 8. Two cabins, both can either be configured as one double bed or two singles. An optional high level single bed can be added in both cabins. The seating area in the saloon can be converted into a double bed or 2 single beds using the fold down bed, if required. There are wardrobes located throughout the boat for storing clothes. Freshly laundered bedding for each crew member. Additional bedding available on request.
Accommodates

8 adults   3 pets  

Warbler

Sleeps up to 8. Three cabins. The two rear cabins can either be configured as one double bed or two singles. The mid cabin next to the second bathroom has a permanent double bed. The seating area in the saloon can be converted into a double bed in the evening, if required. Optional wider beds available. Freshly laundered bedding for each crew member. Additional bedding available on request.
Accommodates

8 adults   3 pets  

Owl

Sleeps up to 10. Both cabins either end of the boat can be configured as either one double bed or two singles. An optional high level single can be added above a single bed in either cabin to both cabins. The two seating areas can be converted into a double or two single beds using the fold down single in the evening, if required. Freshly laundered bedding for each crew member. Additional bedding available on request.
Accommodates

10 adults   3 pets  

Swan

Sleeps up to 12. Both cabins at either end of the boat have two sets of bunk beds (8 singles in total). The two seating areas can both be converted into a double or two single beds using the fold down single in the evening, if required. Freshly laundered bedding for each crew member. Additional bedding available on request.
Accommodates

12 adults   3 pets  

Dog-Friendly Nearby

The Kennet and Avon Canal is 87 miles long, links London with the Bristol Channel and passes through some spectacular landscapes including Wiltshire and the rolling Cotswolds. The route winds through the Avon valley, Caen Hill, Devizes and Bradford on Avon with dog-friendly waterside pubs including the Canal Tavern, the Barge inn and the Boathouse.

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