WE spent a long weekend on the kestrel boat. The boat had everything on it that you could ever need.
Everything was fantastically clean and of excellent quality. There was even a towel for the dog
The handover at the beginning was well presented and very well explained - having never done this before.
We enjoyed this so much we have already booked for next year - 2018.
Our first time on a narrow boat and what a surprise it turned out to be. Looking for something that the whole family, including the dog, might enjoy - we stumbled upon Beacon Park Boats in a part of the world that we already knew to be rather special.
I can report that not a single moment of this holiday was less than 100% enjoyable. Relaxing and active at the same time, we met lots of lovely fellow travellers and indulged in the luxury of what can only be described as a floating boutique hotel suite but without staff.
After a comprehensive handover you are let loose with a state of the art narrow boat with all mod cons (including bow thrusters normally reserved for plastic gin palaces) and quickly achieve a Zen like state of relaxation. Added to this, the Mon and Brec canal is simply breathtakingly beautiful. I doubt there is a better yard to rent from, nothing could touch the attention to detail and pride with which this service is delivered.
We wondered if this holiday could possibly live up to last years.....which was on the same boat! It did indeed! We had a great week and the changeable weather didn't really affect the enjoyment since we had wet proofs for the odd (warm) shower. It was great to revisit old haunts at Talybont (the Star) and Llangynidr (Coach and horses) and note the portion sizes were as huge as ever. The boat was immaculately presented and we were very well looked after from arrival to departure. Thanks so much and will be booking again for next year though will probably select a different boat just for the change!
We hired Hobby for a week in mid July and were blessed with excellent weather for 6 out of 7 days. Hobby was well kitted out and very comfortable to stay in. We had a great induction video before we set out and good guidance on how to handle the boat and navigate the canal, which is incredibly narrow and shallow. Within the first day I think I had reached expert level and so we had very few problems with grounding or collisions!
Can't fault Beacon Boats on anything. It was an excellent week.
This was our second trip with Beacon park boats, our first (a short break) was on Harrier a traditional narrow boat which we enjoyed so much we booked our second holiday upon our return. This time we chose Kestrel, a wider boat which we found easier for our dog Jet to get about in but tested our skills navigating some of the narrower bridges The boats themselves are very high spec with every conceivable luxury. As for the Mon & Brec canal, it is absolutely stunning, the changing views at every bridge and bend are breath taking. We were woken up most mornings by ducks or swans pecking at the side of the boat. The local people we met along the way were also very friendly and helpful as were our fellow boaters.
We received an excellent handover from the team at Beacon Park who are very friendly and welcoming. Thanks to Alasdair and Sarah (and team) for creating such wonderful boats and holidays
We arrived in the pouring rain after a rather longer journey than we expected due to accidents and roadworks. Waiting for us was a hot drink and homemade flapjacks.
We boarded Wren which was to be our home for the week. It was truly amazing. The granite worktops and all the accessories in the kitchen were unbelievable. There was cleaning stuff, bin bags, tea towels and anything you could possibly wish for in any kitchen.
The bed was bigger than our bed at home. The bed linen was top quality and the lambs wool blanket on the bed with matching cushions was to die for. (I will certainly be purchasing one of these!).
The double walk through shower was brilliant too, but don't put your socks on before you walk back through it!! Toiletries were also complimentary.
As you go along the canal you get great comments about the boat and everyone was very friendly and there would always be someone to help you if you weren't sure what to do.
We stopped near a pub each night so I didn't have to cook and had some great meals. I was particularly impressed with Bank & Bar Kitchen in Brecon, it was very busy and may be best to book, but was well worth the wait. The White Hart and The Old Rectory Hotel were also very good.
All in all we had a very good holiday despite the changeable weather. Do take some good books as we couldn't get wifi, radio or TV.
Would I recommend Beacon Park Boats? You bet I would.
We were first time canal boaters and 'Buzzard' set the bar very high for any future ventures. Beautifully designed and built, everything on board was to a very high standard. We slept extremely well in the comfortable bed and were warm and safe even when the Welsh weather turned wet and windy.
We were given a thorough introduction to the boat and soon felt reasonably confident in steering, mooring and filling up the water tank. The Mon & Brec canal was more challenging than we expected, being very narrow in places and with many low bridges. We only tackled one lock but might have done more if we'd known that volunteers patrol the canal on most days and will help boaters through the procedures.
We didn't see very much wildlife, a heron on three occasions, one glimpse of a kingfisher, lots of ducks, but the views were lovely and it was very peaceful all along the stretch we did (Llangynidr to Goytre). There are not as many canal side pubs and shops open as we had expected, so it's a good idea to take provisions and cook on board. The galley kitchen was very well equipped to do that.
We couldn't get TV reception at all on the stretch we did, but WIFI worked occasionally. We listened to our music CDs and watched some films on DVDs borrowed from the library at Beacon Park Boats. All in all we thought it was a great way to unwind.