We have had a great family week travelling on the unspoilt Brecon canal at a wonderfully relaxing pace. As there were 6 of us we opted for one of the broader barges which offer more living/sleeping space (Puffin). There were no problems at all navigating the canal. The front bow thrusters make steering easy. There is only one substantive set of locks (a run of 5) but local volunteers were on hand to give guidance and we went through all of them in approximately 2.5 hours. There are plenty of canal side restaurants/pubs if you prefer to eat out. The boat itself is equipped to a very high standard. The Beacon Park Boats operation is very slick and professional. Would recommend to anyone. We take holidays seriously in our house and this is one of the best we have ever had.
Picked up our boat "Hobby" for a weeks holiday. Had a leisurely week travelling to Brecon and back with our two dogs. The canal is very dog friendly, loads of pubs very welcoming of pets, so no trouble finding somewhere to eat out. However the kitchen on-board the boat is fab and well kitted out, so we fended for ourselves a few nights. We have used Beacon Park Boats for quite a few years now and are never disappointed. We will be back again next year!
A first time canal boat holiday (children 11&12). They'd always wanted to sleep on a boat and thought it would be very exciting. I was a little apprehensive that they and we would be bored as we are an active family. I needn't have worried! I think partly to the size of our boat, it was huge, and we had to manoeuvre it between the many bridges, locks, an aqueduct and a long dark tunnel not to mention the other narrow boats mooring on the canal and filling up our water each day, it was a joint operation! This added to the working together feel of the holiday. Runs along the canal are also easy as are plenty of dog walks. The canal is narrow in places and shallow so the odd 'getting stuck in the mud' happens but you have your poles and bow thrusters to get you out of trouble. We found plenty of pubs and a few shops/cafes along the way and if you refer to your information provided you can plan your journey and stops. The children were tired after all of the fresh air and exercise so we ate on the boat 2 out of 4 evenings. The kitchen is great with a full size oven, microwave, grill and fridge with a small freezer compartment so no need to go out if you don't feel the need. We also found BBQ spots along the way too.
Although WiFi is included the signal and that of the TV is poor. Take DVD's and family games for entertainment.
We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the boat in general, 2 bathrooms with good showers, fittings and 2 fixed double beds and linen. Looking at other boats on the canal we were pleased that we had booked with Beacon Park Boats. The staff were helpful and friendly and were genuinely interested to ensure that you had a great time.
A great experience for the family, it's one off the list and we wouldn't hesitate in recommending Beacon Park Boats.
Tips - if you want to navigate the bridges with ease, pick a smaller boat than we did it will be more relaxing but if you want the kids to be involved Puffing is great.
Stock up on supplies from Waitrose about 10 minutes away from the wharf.
If you want to explore the area then you will need a week on the boat as 4 night just wasn't long enough to get out and about.
Pick a boat with bow thrusters they can get you out of sticky situations!
Having read the other reviews I'm finding it difficult to think of some other way of saying how excellent this Company and it's boats are , so I will just go with the flow and use words like luxury, spotless, welcoming, well organised, fun, beautiful, relaxing, friendly... the list goes on. This was our first family narrow boat holiday and I have to admit to being slightly anxious about it but I needn't have worried. From start to finish, even through some awful weather (one full set of waterproofs provided on boat) this was a fabulous, relaxing holiday. The locks are actually good fun and there is quite often a volunteer on hand to help if you want some. Everyone is friendly and happy and laid back, a real escape. Great food and service to be had at The Coach & Horses and The Bear in Crickhowell. Try and book ahead as the pubs en route tend to be busy. My top tip is to take a pair of gloves each for mooring up, the ropes can be a bit harsh on your hands, especially if they're wet. We will be doing this again and I can't imagine that we would be able to do any better than Beacon Park Boats...and I'm fussy! Thank you to Sarah, Alasdair and all of their hard working staff.
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!