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The top five boat tours in Lancashire, according to Tripadvisor

Written by on January 15, 2022

As the days start to get longer and brighter, our minds start turning to planning adventures for spring and summer.

And Lancashire has plenty to offer for families looking for day trips on the water within a short drive from home.

READ MORE: Camelot Rises full schedule with zombies taking over former theme park site

We’ve found Tripadvisor’s top five-rated boat tours in the county, which have been rated highly by users of the online reviewing website.

Take a look and see if one near you made the list or if a venue catches your eye, to pencil into your diary for later in the year.

Ellerbeck Narrowboats, Chorley

Beautiful, serene views from a Ellerbeck Canal Cruise boat
Beautiful, serene views from a Ellerbeck Canal Cruise boat
(Image: Ellerbeck Canal Cruise/TripAdvisor)

Hire a self-steer narrowboat and travel along the Leeds-Liverpool canal. No licence is necessary and this is the perfect experience for anyone who has always wanted to steering piloting a narrow boat. Prefect for parties and private events.

Tripadvisor reviewer Happy-traveller said: “We had a fantastic day on our canal boat, it was so much fun and the weather was kind to us too. We were given a thorough introduction and safety talk by Lucien who was very welcoming. The boat was in good condition and very clean. On board there was seating, gas hob, sink, toilet and sufficient cups and plates etc. There is a very detailed support manual telling you of different stops along the way. There are no locks to deal with, so it’s an easy day on the water. The whole experience was fantastic and I definitely want to do it again sometime”

Lancashire Canal Cruises, Burscough

Hop on board Alfie Bhoy for a trip down the canal
Hop on board Alfie Bhoy for a trip down the canal
(Image: Lancashire Canal Cruises/TripAdvisor)

Enjoy and afternoon tea, full English breakfast or evening tapas on board one of the Lancashire Cruises boats.

The company offers bespoke private bookings and you can hire ‘Alfie Bhoy’ for a full or half day, with the boat also fully licenced with a bar and a skipper to guide you will also be available.

Tripadvisor reviewer Lynne C said: “Had a fantastic afternoon on the canal cruise, which also provided afternoon tea & a glass of wine, excellent value for money.

“The skipper provided us with a wealth of information while travelling along the canal, highlighting historical events, kingfisher birds & much more. We will definitely be revisiting for another trip.”

Canal Boat Cruises of Riley Green, Hoghton

The interior of Rile Green, ready for a private party
The interior of Rile Green, ready for a private party
(Image: Canal Boat Cruises of Riley Green/TripAdvisor)

You can hire one of these boats for a short trip or a longer holiday. The boats are also popular for important family celebrations, such as weddings, anniversaries and birthdays.

Tripadvisor reviewer MC said: “From the start of the trip, the staff were welcoming and professional. The barge is spotless and the food was excellent, we had the afternoon tea… gorgeous! Nothing was too much trouble for the staff, would highly recommend.”

Blue Swan Boat Hire, Burscough

Blue Swan Boat Hire offers a range of services, including for family functions
Blue Swan Boat Hire offers a range of services, including for family functions
(Image: Blue Swan Boat Hire/TripAdvisor)

Another narrowboat company based out of West Lancashire, the Blue Swan Boat Hire also offers afternoon tea and breakfast cruises, with birthday celebrations and entertaining young sailors their speciality.

Tripadvisor review Dave said: “It was very enjoyable and relaxing. The weather was fab and the afternoon tea was delightful. Amy and Lee were friendly, informative and looked after us well. I would highly recommend to everyone to take a wee cruise down the canal on the Blue Swan.”

Reedley Boat Hire, Burnley

Boats ready to go at Reedley Boat Hire
Boats ready to go at Reedley Boat Hire
(Image: Reedley Boat Hire/TripAdvisor)

Hire the six-berth narrowboat, which has been lovingly restored and renovated, for a day or even a week.

Learn about the history along the route of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, taking in the Pennines and even head over the boarder to Yorkshire and Merseyside.

TripAdvisor review Mary said: “Hired a barge for the day. Excellent day. Very relaxing watching the world go by. Will do again next year.

Keep up to date with places to visit in your area by adding your postcode below

Please note: Foulridge Canal Cruises, Colne was ranked fourth on TripAdvisor, but we have opted not to include it as the most recent review was October 2019.

To keep updated, follow Discover Lancs on Facebook and @LiveLancs on Twitter.

Have you got news for us? Contact our what’s on and tourism writer on denise.evans@reachplc.com

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