We offer daytime trips year-round aboard our three spacious boats based at Nash Mills just to the south of Hemel Hempstead on the rural Grand Union Canal. Do book as early as you can, particularly for summer months to be sure of getting your preferred date.
Trips are a mixture of fun, adventure and tranquility.
Have a go at steering the boat and helping to work the locks – the friendly volunteer skipper and crew will show you how, and make sure you do things safely.
Enjoy the company of the rest of your group, absorbing the peace and calm of the boat gliding along in leisurely fashion.
We also have on board a great collection of music CDs, games and colouring activities to suit a range of age groups.
Read what our clients have been saying about their Waterways Experience
All our boats have lifts, ramps and disabled toilets to make them fully wheelchair accessible. Group organisers are advised to read our passenger safety information, and to take advantage of our offer to show you over the boats and answer any queries in advance of booking – talk to the Bookings Team on 01923 723819 to arrange this.
Food and drink
The boats have well-equipped kitchens for self-catering. We provide tea, coffee, squash & condiments but ask you bring your own milk and other consumables. There are full-sized cookers so you can bring things to re-heat – or even cook from scratch if that’s your thing!
If you prefer not to be self-catering, ask the Bookings team about fish and chip delivery to the boats or a recommendation for outside caterer who can deliver to the boat base.
Route options for day trips
A day trip lasts up to seven hours (6 hours in winter). If you’d like a longer trip during summer, please talk to the bookings team.
Your booking period begins at the time agreed at the time of booking. If you arrive late, it might be necessary to reduce the distance travelled.
Choose to travel north towards Bourne End or south towards Watford. There’s an interactive map on the Canal & River Trust website if you’d like to explore online first, or you can use this useful canal route planner. Typically, setting off from the base by 10.00 am gets you to Winkwell (to the north) or to Grove Bridge (travelling south) before it’s time to turn round and head back to Nash Mills to arrive by 5pm.
If you’re travelling north, why not moor up for a quick visit to the interesting Hemel Food Garden & farm shop (open 10.00am – 3.00pm Monday to Saturday). It’s canalside near B&Q.
Half day and evening trips
We offer half day and evening trips lasting up to 4 hours. When considering an evening trip, you need to plan on the boat being back at the base before sunset.
If you choose to head north, the turn round point is Two Waters Road (B&Q). Travelling south, we turn back at Hunton Bridge. But don’t worry, the scenery really does look different from the other direction! Again, please arrive on time to avoid time over-run.
View our safety policy: this is our first priority.
Particularly important – please read our passenger safety information
About the crew
The skipper and crew are responsible for the safe navigation of your boat. They are all volunteers receiving no reward other than the satisfaction of helping you enjoy yourselves. Our terms and conditions are clear that you as hirer of the boat are responsible for clearing up the kitchen and cabin areas before disembarking. We don’t provide catering services, but are happy to help you with suggestions and advice – please discuss your requirements with the bookings team.
Complimentary taster trips for special needs children
Thanks to a generous legacy, we are able to offer free introductory trips for children and young people with special needs. Click here for the application form.
HIRE TERMS AND CONDITIONS – please read these before you book!