What a lovely holiday we have just had coming out of lockdown April 2021.
As a family of 5 including the dog! We had a fantastic time, the slower pace of life, the diverse scenery heading from Bath toward Devizes, navigating various locks, swing bridges and of course pubs. As a family the wider barge was perfect with more space to spread out and pretty easy to operate once we got our confidence. What we loved the most was working as a family, it was something for everyone and we even phoned Peter to see if we could stay longer……it was booked…we shall just have to book again! Peter was excellent, always had time to talk before the trip with some top tips and helped immediately when we thought there was a problem, first class boat along with first class support from Peter.
Thank you from the Jeffrey family – Somerset.

Hello Peter,
Just a quick note to say how much we enjoyed our holiday on Premier Cru. We appreciated your instruction when we arrived on the boat, which was helpful, friendly and very thorough. The boat itself was as good as we hoped - very spacious, well equipped and everything worked perfectly. The log burner was a real plus (and well used). The weather was \"mixed\" with pouring rain and strong winds, neither of which spoilt the holiday and Premier Cru proved easy to handle and kept us warm in what was not the best weather we could have had.
Thanks once again for all your help and for providing what was a superb experience.
Peter - if you want to use this on the web site please do.
Paul, Bristol UK

Mon-Fri break We all had an amazing time loved the challenges of the locks + swingbridges. Boat really well equipped +so warm.
The England Family

Hi Peter
Hope you are well and enjoying this mild weather. Just wanted to say how much we enjoyed our holiday on your lovely boat . Very spacious and comfortable . Made such a difference to take a boat on the canal out of season . You asked if I could send you a picture of the jigsaw puzzle we did whilst on holiday and I'm attaching a couple of photo's.
Take care
Sally - Dorset

Thank you so much Peter for lending us your lovely boat, it was an amazing stay (tiring too!). My family and I were talking about coming again last night; everyone said yes. We also bumped into the people on the Premier Cru, they also said it was amazing. The only bad thing about my stay is that I fell in the canal.
Polly aged 10

Boat well equipped and very warm. Beds fine! We enjoyed the sunny Spring weather and renewed our acquaintances with locks and swing bridges from 20 years ago. Scenic canal

Great holiday thank you Peter. Weather fantastic all crew burnt to a crisp.The boat was warm on a cool morning or evening.All locks navigated in one piece.
Smarts of Scotland

The boat had everything we needed and once we mastered the steering there was no stopping us. Such a beautiful area and we are all leaving very relaxed. Would do it again. Thank you Peter for all your friendly help and advice.
Tom, Diana (kent) Adam and Jacqueline (Devon)

Lovely week on the water. Blessed with subshine+ peaceful nature. Loved the boat - bathroom very luxurious.- dog was left at home. Thank you.

Thank you Peter, had a lovely time on your clean and spacious boat, will try and book again. Thank you so very much
Rose, Neil and Jack

We've had a lovely five days on the boat and we will recommend it to all our friends and family Thank you!
The Watkins Family

What a lovely 60th Birthday Celebration spent on the canal with a dear friend, my grown up children and our beloved Jack Russell 'Lola' ( no mobiles) just peace/talk/banter and a lot of laughs. Weather mixed but hey we're British!! Cross Guns wonderful by the canal, watching the wildlife( and not just the creatures!) Kingfisher times 2 baby Moorhens, plenty of ducks/drakes all very close to our boat. Last evening spent at Bathampton Mill. Very good. Sadly its time to leave.
Greenwood family Dorset.

Thanks peter, Boat was great, lots of space, weather was great. Enjoyed Bradford on Avon, pubs at Hanham lock. Scenery+ wildlife fantastic. Great times thanks.
The Isle of Man Team cheers!

We really enjoyed our week aboard Premier Cru- 60 locks including Caen Hill. The superb weather made it all the better despite the soggy finish. Very comfortable, spacious boat and peter always willing to resue us when needed. Would definitely recommend to others. Thanks.
Dave Jane, Linz Jonny

Brought my husband, parents from Las Vegasand teenagers- crazy I know. Had an excellent time doing something I never thought I'd like! Intersting things happen when no one has access to Wifi, telephones or any decent TV channels. Day1 Awesome, back to nature,pub dinner and a sroll. Day 2 Whinging teenager, hungover adults and canal rage. Evening; lovely pub meal enjoyed by laughter regarding our lack of nautical skill. Day 3 We ran like a well oiled machine. teamwork in action. Go team GB. Evening: said teenager, shock horror was reading and commentedon such a lovely holiday. Thank you! This trip brought us all back better together.
S Jones

Our first time- A wonderful, challenging experience. Premier Cru a lovely comfortable boat. Thank you so much.
John Brenda, John Di

We're had a fantastic trip, great boat, great scenery, great pubs and great people. First, but not the last time on a canal boat. Thank you. Ps. while dancing to ABBA.... we broke some of the wine glasses, but we bought new ones and added four extra champagne glasses....
Uigdis, Thor, Per-Erik

We had a fantastic weekend on the Grand Cru. The weather was amazing and the boat had everything we needed and was really comfortable. Bradford was beautiful and great fun to explore and had some great kids parks which eight year old Ethan loved. It was a lovely peaceful break. Thanks! :)
Kristen, Darren & Ethan - Australia

Lovely big boat in a beautiful part of the country. The service from Peter has been amazing (including taking receipt of some goods ordered down from Cheshire and hand delivered to the boat - real service!). Great places to stop for food/drink: The George in Bathhampton; Crossguns in Avon Cliffe; riverside/floating cafe at Bradford on Avon; bakery fabulous and worth a visit for fresh food in village of Bradford on Avon; the Barge Inn - Seend Cleeve between locks eighteen and nineteen - amazing food and lovely place to moor; Bath well worth a visit and can recommend (highly); the Peking Chinese in Kingsmead Square. In four days we ate and drank a lot, but what more is there to do on a relaxing boat holiday. We have had mix weather, but it hasn’t stopped us doing anything we wanted to do.
Thank you, Ps. fishing hasn’t been great.
The Jones family, Cheshire.

Booking from December 21st until January 9th.

Just a big thank you from us hiring your Grand Cru boat over Christmas, New year and my birthday. We both had a lovely time and a great rest. Also thank you for the food and alcohol that you put onto the boat, we both enjoyed them. The service from you was punctual whenever we needed gas, logs, firelighters and towels. We both wish you all the very best with health and happiness for 2015.
From Betty. UK

Peter, we had a fantastic time on Grand Cru last weekend and so enjoyed your company and hospitality throughout. It was a great idea from Nicola to book the experience and we loved our time on board !
Ken & Kathy Watson, Devon UK

Hi Peter,I wanted to thank you for the fantastic stay we had on Premier Cru and Grand Cru in April. We all absolutely loved spending Easter weekend sailing (if that's the right word?!) up and down the beautiful Bath countryside with a gin in hand. The boats were so comfortable and spacious and beat everything else we saw hands down. The complimentary bottles of wine you left on the boats was a very kind gesture - thank you.We also really appreciated your overview of the boats and showing us how to handle and operate them so clearly, especially with the late arrivals and numerous calls for directions.All 12 of us wouldn't hesitate to recommend Bath Canal Boat Company - it was the perfect long weekend for a group of friends and having the two boats worked out really well. Thank you again, hopefully we will be organising another trip on the boats!
Sian Jenkins London

Thank you for the weekend. We had a relaxing time and will be back for more. The Premier Cru is a comfortable boat well appointed and situated. The log burner was most welcome and used to keep out the Autumn chill. The boat had every thing we needed including no wifi reception! just right for a peaceful time, bottle of wine was well chilled and ready for drinking. provisions plentiful. Friendly people every where. Thank you Peter
Wilkinsons Cornwall

Excellent advice on here! http://www.bathcanalboats.co.uk/boating.html as an experienced liveaboard boater and after the recent sinking of a narrowboat in the lock at Bath I thought I would see what advice was being given to those wishing to holiday on the canals. By far the best is contained here, if you follow this advice you can't go far wrong and will have a wonderful, easy and relaxing time on a canal holiday.... the way it should be. Boaters are always happy to assist someone in need of advice, physical help or just about anything, if those needing that help have been respectful of others! Don't be afraid to ask.’
Mr C marshall

After hearing of canal trips from Grandchildren (4) and great grandchildren (10) for quite a few years and being a little bit envious, who would have thought that in my 101st year I would actually experience one! Thanks to Peter at Bath Canal Boat Company and my two grandsons I had a fantastic time last week in great luxury, very cosy and very warm and all being well hope to repeat in Autumn
Many thanks
Mrs Wooltorton

Were lucky enough to get a late booking on Grand Cru, as I am disabled, recovering from a fractured spine and need a break after yet another operation well… What can I say! We have just had one of the most relaxing, stress free breaks – ever. The boat was like a floating apartment Tardis like inside with everything you could possibly need provided other than food and drink. The beds are amazing, and had the best week’s sleep that I have had in months! This boat cannot be bettered by anything else on the canal which cost a lot more, and in the lovely owner – Peter Brown – You could not find a nicer helpful and friendly chap… He even picked us up from the station and back to help us out purely as a matter of goodwill, and we struck lucky to have had the personal care and the finest, most amazing barge – even had a roll top Bath! – On the canal came home full of happy memories with batteries fully charged and can only quote from the terminator ‘I’ll be back’
Many many thanks.
Mr and Mrs West, Cardiff

“ My husband and I with our 4 dogs have just got back from a 4 night stay on Grand Cru. It’s the fourth time we’ve been and it won’t be the last! As we enjoy walking we wanted to explore a different area this time so cruised away from Bath and moored up by Limpley Stoke. Peter stayed with us whilst we got used to handling the boat as this is the first time we have chugged anywhere on our own. We cruised the next day too and had a lovely trip, turned the boat round and then moored up for the next 3 nights. The heating keeps you warm but it’s lovely to have the fire on instead. We have stayed when it’s been -14c and still been super cosy but this time it was mild anyway. This really is a lovely way to explore the local area and the canal is a fabulous place to be in any season. Peter is a charming, laid back bloke who really puts you at ease so even if you are a complete novice he’ll soon have you relaxed and ready to go solo. Highly recommend, 5 stars all round!”
Paula and Drew, Yeovil

I just wanted to drop you a short note to say how much my family and I enjoyed our time on the Grand Cru. We were particularly impressed with the luxurious internal fittings (particularly the fire) which is better than many hotels we have stayed at. Having breakfast on the rear deck, enjoying the local canal scenery and watching the world go by is an excellent way to start the day. It was a completely hassle free couple of days and the assistance from you was first class, especially given our lack of knowledge on boating generally. We will certainly be back for more and once again, thanks for a fantastic few days.
The Astons - Singapore

Hired la "Grand Cru" from Friday to Sunday. Turned out to be one of the best weekend breaks I have had in years. Beats airport security cues and budget airlines, hands-down.
Mr. D. Joyce - Wapping London

We hired the Grand Cru boat and spent three gorgeous days bobbing down the canal. The boat was superbly equipped, the sleeping accommodation was excellent and the living accommodation was big enough for two adults and three very boisterous children. Well worth it.
Mr. Hook - Bristol

Four grand days on the 'Grand Cru' Three families (one from Cardiff, one from India and another from USA) got together on this lovely boat for an extended weekend. It was, in fact, a family re-union. Peter's hospitality was brilliant as was his boat. We parked our car by the boat at the outskirts of Bath and hopped on to the Grand Cru. We left some luggage at Peter's place and soon after he showed us around, we were off eastbound. To accommodate all of us, Peter arranged for extra beds and even a portable baby-cot for our six-month old! The boat was considerably different from the usual canal-boats. It was longer and much broader and had a spanking new look. It sure did draw the admiration of the passer-by! Overall, it was a fitting place to hold the reunion of our family of three generations. Most importantly, we got the personal touch of the owner alongside his professional attitude.
Syamantak - India

Hi Peter, We have just returned from a seven day break onboard your boat Premier Cru and we wanted to say how much we had enjoyed ourselves and that we would have no hesitation in recommending friends and family to try a trip through your company, on the Kennet and Avon canal. The boat was very spacious, comfortable and clean and it was just right for our party of four adults and two children aged 9 and 7. After a nervous start, supervised by you, we quickly got the hang of moving forwards in a relatively straight line and we found ourselves cruising leisurely through some of the most beautiful countryside England has to offer. Having never been a holiday like this before we did not know what to expect but we all have come home saying that it was the most relaxing break we had ever been on but at the same time there were lots of things to see and do to keep us and the children occupied. A fantastic adventure from start to finish. Thanks again, and we hope one day to come back for another trip. Best wishes,

The Lockley Party - U.K.

We have just returned from a brilliant 4 day break aboard Premier Cru, from making the first contact with Peter until leaving the boat yard everything went brilliant. It was easy to make the booking with Peter and when we arrived his knowledge really put us ease. Being a wide beam boat it was surely home from home,so much space compared with a normal narrow-boat, proper beds, wood burner for chilly nights a TV that actually works and easy to drive especially when going into locks. If you are thinking of having a narrow-boat holiday then this is the boat for you, if not this one; Grand Cru which is the sister boat..
A great had by all, once again cheers Peter. Mr. M. Grieves Somerset

Dear Peter,
We are home, trying to get used to the Israeli weather again – around 30 degrees and 60% humidity.
We wanted to thank you again for the experience we had – your hospitality, the good advice and the wonderful recommendations (especially Polpero). You have our phone number and our E-Mail, and if you are ever in Israel again be sure to look us up, we'd love to have you over. Thank you again

Gili and Yair - Israel

Hi Peter Want to thank you again for our lovely weekend. We hired the fleet of boats for a big family weekend, which was such a delight. Peter and his crew were amazing: really helpful and set us up for a great trip. The boats have EVERYTHING you might need, are spacious, comfy and brill. Barging is pretty easy to get the hang of and such a beautiful part of the world to drop down a gear and relax stopping by some fun old Inns en-route. Highly recommend to anyone planning a barge holiday and especially recommend Bath Canal Boats as a company, enjoy!

Elizabeth - London

As first time canal boaters we were quite apprehensive about what was in store. As soon as we arrived, the warm, friendly welcome set us at ease. The helpful advise on boat handling and locks was excellent and we didn't feel at all rushed, within an hour aboard we were cruising down the canal relaxing with our bottle of chilled complementary wine! Grand Cru is a beautiful boat, superbly equipped and we had an unforgettable holiday...we enjoyed it so much that within 3 months of our first trip we had to book again for some frosty evenings (weather!) in front of the log fire. Would highly recommend for any time of year.

The Boyles - Portland, Dorset

Last December I spent my birthday weekend on Grand Cru with my partner. We had a wonderful romantic time. Peter Brown gave us a big welcome and explained everything to us in great detail. We did not feel rushed. The canal boat was well equipped, very clean and the fridge was stocked up. The wood burning stove and central heating kept us warm and cosy. Peter Brown reassured us that he was at hand if we had any difficulties but we didn't have any!!!!! I highly recommend this for an amazing weekend break on the Avon Canal.

Mrs. Davies - Wimbledon, London

We really enjoyed our 5 days "afloat" and the peaceful "away from it all" feeling. The most notable things were the superb fire, the sense of space, the high quality sound system and the high standard of cleanliness. Thank you. Without wishing to be critical, the map was out of date as there is no water where shown East of Bradford just before the turning point. We refilled at Alverton Marina on Christmas Day but could have run dry. Also the 60W wall light is essential for comfortable reading in the evenings. Luckily we found a shop that sold new bulbs, its probably worth keeping one or two in case. Thanks again and I hope the 2008 season is a good one for you With best wishes

Gary & Jewel Dyer - East Sussex

Hi Peter We are now back and settled into our daily grind after our stunning weekend break on the Premier Cru. We can't thank you enough for your warm hospitality. We had a perfect family reunion! Peter is a real diamond..! We had the Premier Cru booked from Friday to Monday but we decided to head to Bath a day earlier and spend some time in town. Peter offered to pick us up from the center of Bath so I emailed him about our early arrival plans. Within the hour Peter called to say the Boat would be free on the Thursday night and that he would be happy for us to stay on it at no extra cost!He saved us money on a B&B and it also meant we could set off first thing Friday morning which gave us an extra 6 hours of cruising time!This made a huge difference to our holiday as the light in mid November meant we could only cruise till about 4.30pm! We were first timers, so Peter explained everything we'd need to know with clear instructions and plenty of details, including swing bridges and locks.His relaxed manner made us feel completely at ease and confident we'd be able to cope. Being mid November, the canal was fairly quiet which i think made for a great experience over a long weekend. You can imagine how life would slow down even more during the summer months with more boats around. (Not that i can see any problems with that!)But you do get lots more hours of light for cruising which would make up the difference.

The boat itself is a real gem. Compared to others we saw the Premier Cru was just beautiful! It has everything you need. The bed was more comfortable than mine at home! The width and layout of the boat was perfect for 4 adults, giving us a comfy and relaxed space to chill out together at night. And between the central heating and a log fire, we were always feeling nice and toasty! The complimentary bottle of wine and milk & tea was a lovely touch too.

We took lots of food on board which meant we could stop and moor up for dinner anywhere we liked. This gave us more freedom to choose a picturesque and quiet spot and not rush to make a certain marker on the map or pub. (However the pubs we did see along the way were really lovely too).On Sunday the flushing toilet and the pump that empties the water in the bath tub stopped working.We were stumped for a while then figured it must have been a fuse that had blown. We had a go but couldn't get it to work.I left a message with Peter and within half an hour he was on the phone talking us through it to get it working. I also left behind my necklace, which isn't expensive, but very dear to me.I messaged Peter and he said he'd post it back to me that day. After my first day back at the daily grind, I got home and there waiting for me was my necklace.An inconvenience that was dealt with graciously.I can't recommend Bath Canal Boat Company enough. We had an amazing time.It's a great experience that everyone should try at least once in their lifetime!We can't wait to come back and give it another go.

Thanks Peter for EVERYTHING! Kind Regards.

Debbie, Matt, Stacey & Paul. (London, UK & Texas, USA)


I just wanted to write to say how much we enjoyed our honeymoon on the Grand Cru. It was really special to pull up to the beautifully decorated boat complete with ribbons and champagne- and such a surprise! . It was a brilliant post wedding chill out.

Elizabeth - Bristol

My stay on the Premier Cru. I stayed on the Premier Cru boat from the 27th to the 30th May 2011, we picked up the boat and met the owner Peter, he showed us around the boat and it was amazing it was so tidy and clean it looked brand new. Peter then took us on a little trip down the canal to show us how the boat worked he was so good at explaining everything that when we had a go ourselves we looked like we had done it before! Peter jumped off the boat and let us turn the boat around ourselves, after we had turned around we came across another boater coming towards us and we had to pass each other but because it was shallow we ran aground, but with a little help we were soon on our way again. Our first night was amazing the beds were so comfy and we loved the wood fire it was so lovely and warm. The next day I got out a magnet that Peter told me about so I tied it up and chucked it over the side it was a new type of fishing for me!, within the first go I caught a blue buggy this was another great thing about the boat there are so many things to do you never got bored, we would love to come again we seemed to be the envy of the other boaters as we even had others asking to look around and they were so jealous of the luxuries and space we had! Peter was so friendly and welcoming and the little touch of the welcome pack of tea, coffee, sugar and of course wine for Mum and Dad was a nice touch. We would recommend Peter and his crew and will be definitely returning for a longer trip.

James aged 13.5 away with Mum, Dad, Sister, Auntie & Uncle for 50th Birthday celebrations - Berkshire

Hi Peter, Tim Kennedy here in Edinburgh. Sorry it has taken so long to get back to you sadly real life is not as easy going as canal life! More than happy to offer feedback on our week on Grand Cru in august. Apart from the obvious stuff about the size and comfort of the boat, we were impressed to find bacon eggs wine and various other goodies on board already for our consumption. We also liked your relaxed and laid back manner as you introduced us to the boat and canal life. Being available on the phone to give us directions to Stonehehge on the last day also wins you some brownie points. This was our fourth year spending a week on the canals and was easily the best due to the size of Grand Cru and your friendly and chilled manner.... keep up the good work and continue to deanalize ( if you know what i mean!) canal life. thanks again from all of us.

Mr. Kennedy - Edinburgh, Scotland

Hi Peter, Tim Kennedy here in Edinburgh. Sorry it has taken so long to get back to you sadly real life is not as easy going as canal life! More than happy to offer feedback on our week on Grand Cru in august. Apart from the obvious stuff about the size and comfort of the boat, we were impressed to find bacon eggs wine and various other goodies on board already for our consumption. We also liked your relaxed and laid back manner as you introduced us to the boat and canal life. Being available on the phone to give us directions to Stonehehge on the last day also wins you some brownie points. This was our fourth year spending a week on the canals and was easily the best due to the size of Grand Cru and your friendly and chilled manner.... keep up the good work and continue to deanalize ( if you know what i mean!) canal life. thanks again from all of us.

Melissa Shipman - Richmond, London

Had an absolutely fantastic time aboard the Premier Cru - managed to pick the best weekend for weather all year! The boat was extremely comfortable with everything that we could possibly need for our long weekend. Would thoroughly recommend Bath Canal Boat Company and will be back next year so we can attack the Devices locks as we only managed to get to the bottom and back in the time we had. If you're looking for a relaxing holiday – you can't beat boating. Many thanks again and we look forward to seeing you sometime soon.

Tom, Richard & Karen - Cambridgeshire

The boat was ready in every sense when we arrived, and an excellent hand-over dispelled any nervousness we had, as first- timers. We were particularly impressed with the thought that had gone into fitting out, the galley was excellent and well-equipped and the heating and fireplace were very good, sadly also necessary. Thoroughly recommended!

J. Haycock from Africa Explorer

What a fabulous weekend we had on Grand Cru! My husband and I could not have asked for a more romantic setting and the fact we had great weather, for February, was an added bonus! The boat is absolutely beautiful and the accommodation is of a very high standard. There is plenty of room on board and the wood burning stove gives the boat such a cosy and romantic feel. There were lots of lovely touches on board, such as flowers, a bottle of wine, food in the fridge, milk and all the essentials needed. We received a hugely warm welcome from Peter Brown and his son Joshua and with a thorough pep talk from Peter before we set off, we were able to get the most out of life on the canal. We highly recommend a trip on Grand Cru. Excellent!

E. Hawkins - London

We had a wonderful stay on the Grand Cru, our passenger's age ranged from 12 to 70 and everybody enjoyed the holiday. Most of us had never experienced this type of holiday before, so nobody could wait to get going, and once we had, none of us wanted to go home. We were all impressed at how big the boat was, and how well everything was set up.It was lovely to see other people on boats too, who waved and said hello as we passed them. It was a very peaceful and fun holiday and we would all love to do it again.

F. Smedly - Hatfield

Just a brief note to say thanks very much for such an excellent weekend spent cruising the canals around Bath. We thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone we're already looking forward to the next trip back! Thanks also for the superb restaurant and pub recommendations! Best wishes!

Ed - Pool, Dorset

We needed a boat that could cater for two 6ft 4" blokes, two ladies who like their comfort and a baby with a 4x4 off-road V8 buggy! The Bath Canal Boat Company came up with goods. Gentle, yet expert advice before we set off and a quick pint got us all into the lazy weekend mood immediately. We pootled down the canal towards Bath, feeling very proud that we had one of the best boats on the canal. The main event for us happened on Saturday afternoon, somewhere between Bath and Keynsham on the river Avon, when Gilbert and I decided to save the life of a sorry look sheep that had fallen into the river. The sight off two idiots slipping and sliding up the river bank in our underpants with a muddy, miserable and soggy looking sheep was one to behold, the ramblers walking through the field at the top got quiet shock too. Anyway, a wonderfully memorable weekend on board an incredibly comfortable and spacious boat. If you are thinking of renting on the Kennet and Avon, don't bother looking any further... this is the way to do it. Just don't try and farm-yard heroics, best left to the RSPCA!

M. Chiles - Bath

It's pleasure to give this review as writing brings to mind memories of a great time we spent on Premier Cru. We made a crew of five, Anne and Frank from Paignton with Retriever boat hound Max, and my daughter Nicola and me from Bremen. Unlike the ordinary 7' beam narrow boat Premier Cru as a 10' wide beam avails of a corridor and cabins. More privacy and spacious living on the one hand require more foresight in wide beam navigation on the other, but this is a matter of course in the relaxed boaters' community anyway. We enjoyed assembling in the wide and comfortable lounge with log fire, using the fully equipped galley and after all resting in a closed cabin. We chartered the boat early September 2010 for a 4 days cruise on the Kennet & Avon Canal from Bath eastward up to Devizes and back. Water ship Farm outside of Bath makes an ideal starting point for a boat break of any duration, either westward into Bath and further down into tidal waters towards Bristol, or eastward along the valley slope above River Avon with stunning views of the lovely hilly landscape over the Dundas and Avoncliff aqueducts. We moored at the Cross Guns Free House on the towpath above the river at Avoncliff aqueduct and had a decent walk on paths through wood and pasture land along River Avon to Freshford with the traditional Inn under a huge beech tree. Both pubs are worth-while a stop. In order to get an impression of the Caen Hill flight with its 16 locks we proceeded up to Marsh Lane Bridge and turned the next day right before the Hill section. In thoughts we pass beyond and back soon to this delightful spot.

Best Regards, Gunter & Crew - Bremen, Germany

Hope you are keeping well. The weather up here has turned rubbish, so we are thanking our lucky stars that it was 100% better a couple of weeks ago. I thought I would write this review for you whilst all the memories are still fresh, so here it is.Four first-time canal boaters, three full days of lovely sunshine, two o'clock start and one 30th birthday celebration were all the ingredients for an amazing holiday on board Grand Cru. We cruised from Bathampton to Bristol floating harbour and back again over 4 days. The sun shone down on us as we trickled along at 4mph admiring the river and enjoying a few glasses of wine on deck. Grand Cru was a lovely home from home, with everything we could have needed on board. Peter gave us some excellent driving tuition and helped us when we encountered the first lock. The rest was plain sailing, lots of laughter, some real relaxation and a great time had by all. We cant recommend Grand Cru enough - enjoy!

Anna, Phil, Laura & John - Sheffield

We hired the 'Grand Cru' for 7 days in early September for a family reunion. We all thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and were impressed with the space on-board the Grand Cru - it feels quite palatial compared to your traditional narrow boats! We (5 adults) did not feel cramped (in spite of having to spend quite a few hours in doors due to inclement weather!) We were impressed with the pot-belly fire (though were not impressed that we had to light the fire twice... in early September !!) and also the well appointed crew quarters - the beds were really comfortable. The Grand Cru's galley is also well appointed - so much so that the crew were treated to some quite amazing meals prepared by the Head Chef (i.e. Mum) and we all appreciated the bottle of wine, bacon and eggs provided on arrival - very nice touch! We have recommended Bath Canal Boats and the Grand Cru to a number of friends already and look forward to booking another trip with you soon. Many thanks

The Peacock Family - Hunter Valley, Australia - Toronto, Canada & London, U.K.

Hi Peter, Hi Josh, I trust you are both well. I felt I just had to write to you to say thank you and congratulations. We have just returned from what must be the most relaxing, peaceful and enjoyable break we have ever had. Maureen and I arrived on Friday afternoon to a warm welcome from yourselves, parked right next to the mooring, and went straight on board. Your tour of the boat and talk through were first class. Premier Cru is, I have to say, superb. The cleanliness, decor and facilities are excellent. On you departure we set off in the direction of Bradford on Avon with full confidence. After about an hour of cruising we decided to moor up for the night due to failing light. We were about ten minutes walk from the nearest pub in a lovely quiet spot with few boats nearby. I lit the woodburner and Maureen and I went for dinner. On return Premier Cru was lovely and warm inside. We decided to take full advantage of the bath, a rarity on canal boats, and we sat in the bath together for almost an hour drinking wine, such peace and tranquility in this day and age is so hard to find, but we found it. We lay on the sofa beds watching television well into the night in front of a glowing red fire, paradise. In the morning it was cold outside but thanks to the central heating we were lovely and warm inside. Later that morning the rest of the family joined us and we continued our cruise. At every loch all eyes were on Premier Cru, and at one loch while I was waiting to open the gate, I was asked by one fellow boater, if I was the one on the Queen Mary, as he pointed to Premier Cru. I was so tempted to make out she was mine, but had to be honest. The following days proved as brilliant as the first day, and enjoyed by all, such a shame we had to return, and worse still return to work. Well enough said, and once again many thanks. You mention on your web site,"a small company", maybe, you would struggle to find such professionalism and high standards in a large company.

Ian & Maureen Hardy - Northampton

What a great holiday we had, from the moment that we set foot on the spacious modern and extremely comfortable boat, we felt at home. The expertise that Mr Brown taught us, with humour, in such a short space of time was amazing. We felt confident from that time and the experience way out passed our expectations and I would have no hesitation in recommending Bath canal boats to anyone in the future...

Richard McCraith - Chipping Sodbury

A group of four of us hired the Grand Cru over a long weekend. Excellent break from the city and the boat is situated on a great stretch of canal. The boat feels more like a cottage than a small boat with plenty of room to move about and has all the essential cooking and entertainment equipment. The views were fantastic as we headed up the canal and plenty of pubs and villages to stop off at. Peter was very accommodating in terms of meeting us late on the Friday and gave us some excellent instructions on operating the boat. Would definitely recommend this to friends as a perfect weekend escape.

Graham - London

We had a wonderful weekend especially because of the two wonderful sunny days that made our trip even better. A special thank you for the time you spent with us and the relaxed manner of your communication and assistance. We always felt safe and reassured that if we had any problems you would be there to help us. The Grand Crew is very spacious and equipped well. It was a pleasure and experience to travel with her. You may remember that the trip was a 30th birthday present for our daughter following her exhausting treatment for breast cancer, there is hardly a week goes by when she doesn't mention that weekend away. She had such a wonderful time and has said on many occasions that it was the best birthday present she has ever had. We bought her a painting in Bath of the canal boat moored by "The George". This is now hung proudly in her lounge as a constant memory! Thanks again Peter and also to your good lady wife who met us on our return. Kind Regards

Danny & Jennifer - Devon

Always eager to spend some time on a 'Cru'! Here's a review... "There's no better way for a group of city-weary folk to relax than spend a few days on the river, and after a week on Grand Cru the idea of doing anything other than cruising along at 2mph caused furrowed brows! It was unanimously the holiday of the year and we couldn't recommend Bath Canal Boats more, the easiest and most effective getaway in the country."

Dave Cornthwaite, Little Book Creative Design Company - East Dulwich, London

We found the experience of living on a broader beamed boat very different from the narrowboats we had hired before. The spacious lounge/kitchen area was a pleasure to sit in during the evenings, and the stove made it really cosy. The kitchen was well equipped with everything we needed. The DVD player and books provided helped to keep the children entertained too. The feeling was more like staying in someone's home than in a hired boat. The bathroom has significantly more space in it than the very cramped ones found on a narrowboat. Handling was very similar to a narrowboat, though more care was needed at bridgeholes, and technically everything worked well on the boat. We had to take the weedhatch off once; Clearing the prop was fairly easy. The high point of the trip for us was an evening cruise into Bath, with the low sun golden on the stone of the ornate buildings as we passed by, and in some cases under them. The whole of this stretch of canal is delightful though, especially as it criss-crosses the steep sided valley just east of Bathhampton, and I'd highly recommend it. We got to the bottom of the Devizes locks and back in 5 days and had time to go into Bath and back as well, but those who prefer more stops or shorter days might want to take a week over it. We appreciated your flexibility in letting us keep the boat a bit longer as the next hirers were coming later. A few minor issues, we would have liked more fuel provided for the stove, as we used all there was, plus some dead wood we stopped and gathered. It would be good to make the arrangement of the double bed cabins, with one partially over the other a bit clearer in the brochure, as it came as a bit of a surprise to us. My wife hurt her back when the step up to the back cabin bed slipped. It would be good to make that secure. I was also a bit unhappy about the hygiene of the water filler being flush with the deck. We cleaned and dried off the deck around it carefully before opening it, but of course we couldn't know it the previous people had done the same.

Ian Anderson - Guilford

I went on Peter Brown's Grand Cru mid-September with my partner Gary and my 80 year old parents, our first time on a canal boat. First of all, I would like to say that Peter is very friendly and relaxed, he was very helpful both before and during our holiday, it really made us feel relaxed from the start. His boat "Grand Cru" is very comfortable, well kitted out and spacious. We started from Bathampton and went eatswards to Caen Hill Locks (flight of 29 locks, just West of Devizes). Each of us found exactly what we wanted out of our 4-day holiday. My fit and active father thoroughly enjoyed opening and closing the swing bridges and locks. My mother enjoyed putting her feet up and admiring the scenery. My partner, who always likes a challenge, learnt to navigate perfectly even through narrow spaces (especially considering Grand Cru is a wide-beam), and managed to get through a fallen tree lying across the canal ! He relished the necessary but simple daily boat checks. He probably had the most demanding job, although you wouldn't have thought so, looking at him smiling constantly whilst at the tiller with the occasional beer in his hand. He found the superbly calm and relaxing evenings in the comfort of our 10-foot wide boat very enjoyable. We were pleased to have brought enough food and drinks with us, to alternate our home-prepared meals with those in the Pubs on the way. As for me, who likes being active as well as taking it easy, I found everything I wanted: opening locks, a bit of navigating, walking on the toe path alongside the boat, picking blackberries, taking photos, etc... Another aspect of this holiday is that you meet great people and you have the possibility of making friendships. We would do this holiday again!

M. Egan

Nous avons beaucoup aimé notre petite croisière sur la péniche dénommée Grand Cru, au départ de Bathampton qui se trouve juste à l'est de la ville thermale de Bath. Nous étions avec notre fille et son compagnon qui, résidents en Angleterre, s'étaient chargés de la location. Nous avons été très bien accueillis par le propriétaire et agréablement surpris par la taille et le confort du bateau (cuisine équipée, chauffage central, télé, etc). Notre trajet entre Bathampton et la série d'écluses à l'ouest de Devizes se résume ainsi : tranquillité, beaux paysages, écluses à fonctionnement manuel, promenades à pied sur le chemin longeant le canal, escale dans un Pub, visite de la jolie ville de Bradford. Bref, repos total pour certains et activités pour les autres : chacun y a trouvé son compte. A notre retour, nous avons visité Bath, un must !

Odette et Raymond

Hi Peter Our family (my husband and I and our two teenagers aged 17 and 14) together with 4 friends, the Ingrams and the van Rooyens, fulfilled one of the items on my bucket list in July 2011. We went for a week long barging holiday on a canal boat. After carefully surfing the web for many weeks I settled on the Kennet & Avon canal as it allowed us to include Bath, Bradford-on-Avon, Devizes and what was reported to be a beautiful rural area of England. After sifting through the numerous boat hire options in this area, I settled on Bath Canal Boats as the boats were wide-beam and looked really spacious and comfortable on the well layed out website. I contacted Peter and received immediate and helpful assistance. Both choices turned out to be winners. The area between Bath and Devizes is stunning and the accommodation couldn't have been better. We arrived on the 2nd July and were collected from the Bath Coach terminal by Peter and his son Josh who took us out to where the boats were moored. The ladies left the training and test run to Peter and the men while Josh Kindly took us up to the local Spar to buy a few provisions to see us through to Bradford-on-Avon. The boats were spacious, clean, well laid-out and quite easy to operate after a thorough training session from Peter. The bathroom on Premier Cru is very modern and the beds were as comfy as home. We had constant hot water and appreciated the many plugs for our various items of technology. We started off towards Bath because that is the direction the boats were facing and turned around at the next winding hole and headed towards Bradford-on-Avon. We learnt quickly not to steer to close the banks and made good use of the pole to get us back on track. We moored for our first night before the Avoncliffe aqueduct and were enchanted by the local pub feel of the Cross Guns. Waking on Sunday to the most beautiful birdsong and a crisp sunny day, we moved on to Bradford-on-Avon where we moored next to the Tithe barn. I had arranged a guided tour of the town with the Tourism office and we spent a very interesting 2 hours with Ed who showed us the interesting historical sites of the town. The walk up to the weavers cottages was quite steep but the views were well worth the climb. Monday saw us through to Sells Green where we overnighted after a great meal at the 3 Magpies. On Tuesday we went as far as Foxhangers wharf and then cycled up to Devizes (we rented bikes in Bradford-on-Avon and put them on the top of the boats). Quite a long ride but very pleasant. I had arranged a tour of the Wadworth's brewery which was very interesting. Devizes is a lovely town and has a very nice shopping area. Because of the late sunset, we were able to travel back as far as the Barge Inn at Seend where we had another great pub meal and spent the night. Wednesday was spent getting to Bathampton and although it was quite a lot of driving (does one drive a boat?) the scenery was so lovely and the pubs we stopped at were so enchanting that it was certainly no hardship. It was the first rainy day and, being used to hot weather, we found it quite cold. Hooray!! We got to try out the fire in the lounge. Brilliant. We moored for the night and ate at the George. Thursday saw us to the beautiful city of Bath. We moored before the top lock as we didn't want to waste precious time with locks. The town centre was an easy 15 minute walk (10 minutes once we found the shortcut) and we spent Thursday and Friday exploring the city. Early on Saturday morning we turned Premier Cru around and then discovered that Grand Cru is a tiny bit too long to turn at that point so Steve and Ivan had to take their boat through the top lock, turn around and then come back through the lock. We arrived back at Claverton at 10 and Peter took us back to the Bath rail station. One mistake I made was to overestimate the distance we could travel. I worked on 3 miles per hour but in reality, with all the boats that one is passing, 2 miles per hour is more realistic. Next time I will rather reduce the distance and increase the exploring of the towns and surrounds. The one couple on the Grand Cru complained about having to sleep with their feet in "the hole" but managed to work out a plan and it never detracted from the experience. Pumping out and filling up the water was easy and although time consuming was no hassle. Of course it helps to have bigger children that can attend to that while mom and dad go to the pub for a pint What a spectacular holiday! It appealed to each member of our party in different ways. It's a busy holiday but so relaxing at the same time. I uploaded an edited version of my holiday video to youtube if you would like to see a few of the sights we saw (this can be found in the downloads section too)

Kind Regards Linda Penny - South Africa

Wir hatten Grand Cru im Oktober 2009 für 8 Tage gemietet. Die Übergabe des Bootes verlief völlig problemlos. Der Liegeplatz des Bootes war Dank der guten Wegbeschreibung, die den Buchungsunterlagen beigelegt war, prima zu finden. Wir hatten ein Auto gemietet; eine Abholung von Bath oder Flughafen Bristol wäre aber problemlos arrangiert worden. Wir wurden in die Handhabung des Bootes eingewiesen und auch die Bedienung der Schwingbrücken, von denen es am Kennet & Avon zahlreiche gibt, wurde an der nächstgelegenen Brücke geübt. Das Boot ist mit allem ausgestattet, was man braucht und wesentlich geräumiger als die Boote, die wir bisher kannten. Die Gasheizung machte superwarm und zusätzlich gab's noch genug Holz und Kohlen, um den gemütlichen Kamin einzuheizen. An Bord ist für Unterhaltung gut gesorgt: Fernsehen, DVDs, Bücher und viel Reiselektüre und Kartenmaterial. Auch Kaffee, Tee und Zucker gab es reichlich, hat für die gesamte Fahrt gereicht. Sogar ein passendes Handyladegerät wurde uns besorgt, da wir unseres vergessen hatten. Wir sind bis Devizes und zurück gefahren (lässt sich problemlos in einer Woche bewerkstelligen - aber man sollte nach den Schleusen mindestens einen Tag Verschnaufpause einplanen). Mal abgesehen von der Schleusentreppe bei Devizes ist der Kanal ansonsten sehr ruhig und verwunschen. Insgesamt eine sehr schöne Woche. Die Übergabe des Bootes am Anfang und Ende der Reise lief sehr entspannend ab und auch zwischendrin war immer jemand für Notfälle zu erreichen. Eine absolut empfehlenswerte Reise!

Kind regards Cordula, Dieter und Luca

I just wanted to send you a quick email to let you know how much we enjoyed our trip on the barge this weekend. After our training session, we set off towards Bradford-on-Avon. Although it was raining to begin with, by the time we got to the first aquaduct the sun was shining, and the boys in our team were feeling a lot more confidant handling the barge (us girls did have a go but only sporadically!). The scenery en route was simply stunning. Being amidst such beauty has made us all feel really relaxed and the fishing was great too. It was a great team building experience, and though we were worried about the locks, we felt a big sense of achievement after completing them plus there were always friendly people about to help and cider to cheer us on. Needless to say after lots of fun and challenges all day, we slept well in the cosy cabins each night. We will definitely recommend you to our friends, as it was such a fantastic holiday!

Tasmin, Sam, Barney, Jake & Helen - Bristol

Hi Peter. We rented the Grand Cru for one week in late July. What follows is a translation of Jonas's (10 years) and Emil's (15) brief review above of one week on the Grand Cru in late July: "Your boat was really cool. It was really nice to simply lie on the roof, reading a book or just relaxing. The beds were really comfortable, and I liked the living-room area with the stove. Sailing on the K&A canal, we spotted rabbits, cows, and sheep." Let me just add that the adults enjoyed it very much as well. Would like one day to do an extended version of that week.

Sincerely, Kåre Kildevang - Denmark

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