Updated 5th May 2021

The canals are currently fully open for navigation, subject to use of dayhire and holiday hire boats in line with current government guidance as below. We offer a sensible socially distanced handover without too much fuss whilst observing prevailing government & industry guidelines.

From 12th April 2021 UK self-catering holidays in England (including boating holidays) are permitted to take place  onwards but will initially be restricted to single household groups (including a support bubble where applicable). Dayhire is currently allowed for up to 6pp* or for one household of any size up to our boat capacity of 10pp.(*For more detail on dayhire party make-up restirctions please scroll to the bottom of the page.)

From 17th May 2021, the restriction will be amended to allow two households to share a single self-catering accommodation unit (such as a boat or cottage). Therefore this applies to both holiday and dayhire boats.

From 21st June 2021, (subject to change by HM Government) all restrictions regarding boat hire/ capacities should be lifted, potentially allowing guests from more than two households to holiday together.

It remains your responsibility to check the current rules and regulations which apply to you and your party prior to booking your holiday or traveling to your holiday destination.

Your Covid-19 Booking Guarantee

We understand that everyone is looking to enjoy a well-earned break as soon as the current restrictions permit. You can be confident that you won’t lose your holiday should you be unable to proceed as planned without contravening Government Covid-19 Regulations. We guarantee that should you be prevented from taking your holiday for your dates booked, where doing so would mean breaking current Government Coronavirus Regulations, any monies paid will be transferred to a suitable alternative holiday at a later date.

We no longer staff our office and work from home/ flexibly. Therefore please contact us by email and we will reply or call you as soon as we can.


The maximum number of persons allowed onto our dayboats can be anything up to 10pp (insured capacity) but must currently follow Government legislation and the ‘Rule of Six’. White Horse Boats is not responsible for enforcing the make up of your party but will be recording the names of all persons aboard the boat and, where the number exceeds 6pp the extra persons will be required to justify their presence on the boat in writing on the crew manifest (e.g. member of the family’s social bubble). Reasons for exceeding 6pp which meet Government legislation are

  1. an official company works outing
  2. a family/household that is larger than 6pp
  3. where those above the 6pp limit include no more than one adult from outside the household who have booked the boat AND any of their children BUT they must all be a part of the hirer’s family’s social bubble This means that it is possible that there could be a family of any size and then a further adult and their children, right up to 10pp (the boat’s capacity) 

Please note that the responsibility for the hire party make-up is solely that of the Hirer; White Horse Narrowboats accept no responsibility whatsoever. However, should the Police or other authority request proof of the party aboard the boat, we shall be supplying the Crew Manifest, as completed by the Hirer, as evidence that we have fulfilled our responsibilities. 

You have booked the dayhire boat in accordance with our advertised Terms and Conditions and because the boat remains available to you to hire, no refunds are being offered; however, if you would prefer to transfer the booking to a date next season you are very welcome to do so on the specific condition that if similar conditions are legislated for by the Government no further transfer or refund shall be provided. A £25 transfer administration fee will be charged at the time of transfer. The final date for any transfers to be accepted by the Company is Monday 17th May 2021 or 72hrs before your hire is due to commence, whichever is the sooner


COVID-Safe Please note to help minimise the possible spread of the coronavirus we will not be providing pillows, tea-towels, hand towels, dishcloth, scourer or oven gloves, so please add these to your packing list.

If you have hired bedding we will provide it laundered and packaged for you to make up your bed (including pillow and duvets). We are ensuring our normal thorough pre-hire clean, but also paying particular attention to areas often touched. We are following the prevailing advice from the government with regards to social distancing and minimal contact.

VAT on boating holidays

From 15th July 2020 VAT on boat hire has been reduced to 5%, and we are delighted that the government has done this to help us stay afloat! 5%VAT is included in our quoted prices. Please note that, in line with our Terms and Conditions, should the government increase the rate of VAT before your holiday commences we reserve the right to add this amount to your holiday cost – we will of course advise you should this become the case.

Please refer to our Terms & Conditions