This was only our second canal boating holiday and we also spent a weekend on one of the houseboats at Beacon Park in January 2017 having already booked our June trip.
The weekend alone was worth our time and money and it was a great chance to see what the Owners do out of season - basically build one new boat, returb one or more and do maintenance on the whole fleet.
So to our second ever canal holiday ... seems to us the two main criteria are "the boat" and "the canal" and in this case the boat is the star (well 5* actually) .... they are all different, very luxurious, very well built and beautifully equipped. Most of the boats are traditional style wood interiors but with very different layouts whereas the newest boat goes for off-white interior with stainless steel kitchen and an amazing shower ...!!!
We were on board Osprey - excellent 2 bed 2 loo/shower with galley and lounge at front - and me the driver at the back. Osprey like a lot of the boats has bow-thrusters - a real boon for first and second timers on this canal especially when passing under some bridges in particular. I won't give you the numbers - enjoy them when you find them!
The brochure and the online system are excellent; the booking process fine; the arrival day welcome and even the friendly departure day all worked well. On arrival day make sure you get at least 2 pieces of flapjack each if you can.
A word on the canal ... its a closed canal in that it doesn't link up with any others; average speed is 1.5mph given the bridges (we went under 95 of them - twice); the scenery is spectacular and will differ between the seasons as the foliage changes.
Beginner or experienced boater you will enjoy the boats and the canal.
We had wonderful time, the weather was really good, the canal not to crowded and the boat (Hobby) was just the right size the two of us and our two labs. On arriving at Beconpark Boats the handover to was fast and efficient allowing us a good start to our holiday, the return handover was just as simple and efficient. The owners and there staff were helpful, courteous and such a pleasure to deal with we have already booked for next year.
We had a fabulous week on Kingfisher - a luxury canal boat just perfect for two. The finish and design of the boats are first class - no expense spared and luxury bedding, towels and accessories. A five star hotel room couldn't compete.
The trip on the canal was great - we enjoyed great countryside, peace and quiet, life in the slow lane and wonderful country pubs.
The owners and staff couldn't be more helpful and friendly. Nothing was too much trouble. We wholeheartedly recommend Breacon Park Boats for a 5 star canal
This was our second holiday with Beacon Park Boats which says it all I suppose! Their boats are superbly fitted out and very comfortable. We had Hobby on our last trip and a bigger boat this time - Peregrine - we took MIL with us and wanted her to be comfortable as she is in her 80's. A little disappointed to have missed out on a welcome :( - what! No flapjack! Still have the recipe Sarah gave us years ago. We were extremely lucky with the weather and enjoyed hot sunshine during the journey through the locks, phew! I have a ridiculous fear of taking the boat through the locks for some reason but I went in and out like a pro coming back. If I can do it anyone can. Because of the long, light evenings we continued until 7pm or later on a couple of days and managed to keep to our plan to cover most of the canal. This plan was almost scuppered by the new Talybont lift bridge which decided to grind to a halt during operation by my husband, leaving him to direct road traffic over the bridge. The traffic lights were on red, barriers still up and our boat waiting patiently to go through for an hour and a half. What fun - not! Finally got some help after dialing emergency number but it caused us quite a delay and we had to change our itinerary. Please Sarah and Alastair if this continues put some pressure on to get this sorted. We were told it happens often. Not only does it spoil things for canal holiday makers but more importantly those who are going about their daily business on the roads. We found the canal to be shallower than before even in the middle, causing problems lining up for bridges. Your new wharf is beautiful. So pleased you have gone from strength to strength and have so many beautiful boats. Good wishes for the future.
If only all canal boat companies were this professional, and boats so well equipped. This was our first hire from Beacon Park Boats and our experience was superior in all respects from all others we have hired elsewhere. Apart from a company that clearly knows how to do customer service the canal itself suits those like us who prefer cruising with very little traffic (one day passing just 3 other boats). The scenery is variable and stunning, a plethora of quiet locations to moor up against in the evening, and just the right amount of locks and bridges to make the trip interesting but not tedious.
We hired Osprey, which was incredibly well equipped, clearly well maintained and very cleanly presented at handover. A minor battery hiccup was rectified canal side at 8.00pm on a Sunday evening, within a couple of hours of us phoning it in. Looking at other hire boats on the canal we were glad that we made the decision to hire from Beacon Park - the saying that you get what you pay for holds true.
We had a fab week on the Condor wide beam boat and the whole experience was excellent from start to finish. It's a great set up and the team who welcomed us were super friendly and helpful. On the boat you have everything you need - the beds are lovely and comfortable, the showers are amazing (really they are!) and the kitchen was really well equipped. There were 5 of us (plus dog) on the boat and you felt like there was plenty of room. The canal itself really is stunning. Incredibly peaceful and beautiful scenery - excellent for a few early morning runs as well! All in all a brilliant holiday on a gorgeous boat - a great way to escape away and fully relax.
This was our first visit to this canal. Beacon Park Boats made it truly memorable by providing a five star boat offering every amenity one could ask for. The whole team were welcoming both upon arrival and when we returned a week later. The canal is beautiful offering stunning views however if we had one negative comment to make it would be the lack of canal side pubs. Other than that we thoroughly enjoyed our time.