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Winter cruising

Winter Cruising

Winter on the Lancaster Canal is a wonderful time, the countryside and winter wildlife can be even more beautiful than during the summer. On a canal boat you get to experience this up close, with your boat right there to keep you warm and dry when you need it.

Our boat is designed for year round use, with a fantastic multi-fuel stove to keep you warm and all of the coal you need included in the cost of your trip. There is also a central heating system which uses heat supplied by the stove and engine to distribute the warmth throughout the boat. Additionally, there is hot running water provided by the engine for hot showers, plus unlimited 4G WiFi and TV for when you want to hunker down.

There are a couple of things that are important to note when planning a winter break on our boat:


Whilst the interior of the boat can be kept warm, it is important to bring suitable outdoor clothing with you so that you can keep warm whilst on deck and operating the boat, this should include hats and gloves. It is recommended to take shorter turns at the tiller during very cold weather and to ensure hot drinks are at the ready. Please don’t use the gas stoves as space heaters due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and don’t be tempted to block up ventilation grilles for the same reason – ventilation is essential.


This is not a common occurrence but during some winters the canal can freeze over for a few days. If the ice is thick it is important not to cruise with the boat as the boat can be damaged as it moves through the ice. It is also important that you do not attempt to walk on the canal. Please contact us in this event and we will make arrangements which work for you, this would either be to continue your holiday on the boat and we can ensure that you are provided with the food and supplies you need whilst stationary, or to collect you and your belongings from the boat and return you to your vehicle if you would prefer to end your holiday early. 


Winter is generally the period during which the Canal & River Trust carry out essential repairs to the network. For winter 2020/21 the Canal & River Trust has announced a plan to carry out works which require closure of some sections of the canal and this will reduce the lock free length of the Lancaster Canal for some of the winter to approximately 80% of its total. These works are:

  • Replacing a culvert between bridges 19 and 21, near Lea Town. 2nd November 2020 to 15th December 2020. In practice, this means the turning point ('winding hole') north of bridge 23 must be used to turn around. It is not possible to cruise into Preston (the southern tip of the canal) during this stoppage.

  • Repairing the canal bed and washwall from bridge 122 to bridge 126, Bolton-le-Sands. 2nd November 2020 to 19th March 2021. In practice, this means the turning point ('winding hole') south of bridge 119 must be used to turn around. It is not possible to cruise further north than Hest Bank during this stoppage.

  • Installing stop plank grooves to lock number 7, Glasson Basin lock, Glasson (Glasson branch of the canal impacted only). 18th January 2021 to 12th March 2021. In practice, this means the turning point ('winding hole') east of bridge 6 must be used to turn around. It is not possible to reach Glasson at the end of the Glasson branch during this stoppage.

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