If you’re anything like me, you bought a narrowboat (or want to buy a narrowboat) because you have a bit of a wanderlust. There’s nothing like cruising along at 3mph with a mug of coffee on the roof hatch and giving a friendly nod to the heron on the bank, whilst having no idea what lies ahead around the next bend of the canal.

Sure you have your canal guide, and a vague awareness of the location of the next water point, (and more importantly the next pub), but you don’t know what the view will be like! And that’s what I love. Steering around another corner, or through a bridge hole and discovering fields and countryside that I’ve never seen before; then coming face to face with a surprised cow – or a disgruntled fisherman!

But if you have a home mooring and a job that keeps you from continuously cruising then you can begin to get to know your home waterways like the back of your hand. If you do get two weeks off in the summer you may find that you can only cruise to the exact same places you have cruised to before.

That’s where the hire boat comes in: With a day boat or holiday hire you can explore somewhere new for a few hours, a week, a weekend or even take a cheeky midweek break. A short train ride from London you will find the refreshingly uncrowded waterwaysof east England, including the River Ouse, Nene and Middle Level. Adam Henson from BBC’s Countryfile described the Fenland waterways as a “hidden gem”.

The River Nene can be accessed from the Grand Union Canal and will take you from Northampton to the ancient city of Peterborough, passing through many interesting towns and villages along the way. The Middle Level waterways are a mixture of natural rivers and man-made channels that were started early in the 17th century. From here you can join the River Ouse near Denver and head towards Ely and Cambridge, experiencing plenty of English heritage and stunning scenery.

Fox Narrowboats lies in the centre of the Middle Level, close to the beautiful, idyllic, riverside villages of Upwell and Outwell. Fox Boats is a family run narrow boat hire and build business, that also offers marina moorings and RYA helmsman training. If you’ve never hired a boat before check out their narrowboat FAQ; from can I bring my children/ pet to can I charge my mobile phone on board? And if you’re thinking of buying a narrowboat, hire boating is a great way to ‘test the water’!

Would you like to write for us?

This is a reciprocal guest post from Fox Narrowboats. You may also like our upcoming guest post on the Fox Narrowboats blog. If you’d like to see your blog featured here, and would be happy to host an article from us on your blog or website then get in touch! Contact Peggy.

Peggy Melmoth

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