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“Wonderful Family Day Afloat”

Middlewich Narrowboats
Certificate of Excellence
Wrexham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Wonderful Family Day Afloat”
Reviewed November 30, 2013

We have just returned from the wonderful day out with family and friends aboard Wrenbury Navigator. Arrived at the boatyard at 08.00 to a warm friendly welcome from the staff who kindly made us all hot drinks - especially thoughtful given the temperature was barely above freezing. Plenty of parking is available at the yard and it was easy to load our gear on board. The boat was very well appointed and spotlessly clean throughout, having ample capacity for our party of four adults & thee children. We chose Middlewich Narrowboats for our dayboat hire because unlike most other day boat firms, they actually use proper full size boats and they will also let you take them through the locks. Although we are experienced boaters, the staff still showed us around the boat to comply with safety regulations. I had booked the trip for my friends 40th birthday, and the staff played 'happy birthday' over the Tannoy at the wharf - most thoughtful! By 08.30 we were on our way and the staff helped us down the first three locks since water levels in the pound are extremely low (lock gates leaking and due imminent repair by CWT). We were lucky to enjoy incredible weather - very cold but sunny and not a breath of wind all day. The radiators soon had the cabin as warm as toast, which kept the ladies and children happy below whilst my mate and I savored the tranquility and beauty of the Trent & Mersey along the Dane Valley at the stern. We were luck enough to see two Kingfishers and plenty of Herons. Although we didn't quite manage to get as far as the Anderton Boat Lift on this occasion (courtesy of a one hour lunch stop), we still had an amazing day. I don't think I've ever seen such spectacular long shadows as those cast across the fields by the trees and warm late afternoon sun. The red skies backdrop is simply stunning at this time of year - winter cruising can be a gamble with the weather, but if it pays off the rewards are unbeatable. Coming back up the Middlewich locks was a bit of a struggle to say the least, due to the state of the leaking gates and extremely low water levels, but Middlewich Narrowboats informed me that CWT are repairing these this winter which will be of great benefit. Managed to get back to the wharf at 16.15 just as the light was fading and were greeted by another very warm welcome from the staff at Middlewich Narrowboats. I highly recommend boating at this time of year - the scenery is at its most fantastic and the canals are empty - we only passed three other boats all day! Great boat, lovely staff, superb section of canal, incredible value for a family day out. Many thanks.

Visited November 2013
1 Thank Russ S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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96 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
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English first
Coventry, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
280 reviews
89 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 166 helpful votes
“Boat spacious and comfortable, ran out of gas and base closed upon return”
Reviewed November 9, 2013

Easy to find and the handover was very efficient and thorough. We were on our way within 30 minutes of arrival. Rudder was not true so took a bit of getting used to. Despite being told there were three full gas bottles we ran out after 5 days bought a new one and got a full refund at end. Boat was mechanically very good with no problems, very comfortable and warm. The stove was wonderful and the kitchen area was spacious.
Got back to boatyard on time and found it was closed, so had to ring owner and wait 30 mins to get our car out and hand keys over. Just weren't expecting us back?
Would use again

Visited October 2013
2 Thank alan b b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
18 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Short Break”
Reviewed September 15, 2013

left on a short break on the 7th September. Arrived promptly for 1430 (departure time) and was promptly left waiting for someone to instruct us on the locks etc. Finally got away at about 1600 which meant we could not get as far as we wanted on the first day.

Boat was VERY OLD but bedding was spotless and everything worked as it was supposed to. The boat was in need of a deep clean as debris could be seen down the side of the fridge. Toilets were spotless.

Throughout the trip everything worked first time every time no issues boat was reliable and very quiet inside even with the engine running. All in all a good trip with excellent service from the staff. Only bugbear the wait to get away promptly.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank JimmyFareham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Bromwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Never again!!!!”
Reviewed September 7, 2013

Just returned from a weeks holiday (ordeal) on "Larch". On arrival we were told that the boat was not ready to board at our scheduled time, some two hours later we finally departed, with no apologies from the staff. This made our first days planned destination impossible. It soon became apparent that the boat was very dirty and ill maintained.

i.e. two opening portholes broken, bathroom door would not shut or lock, kitchen sink was dirty brown (which cleaned up with some elbow grease), boatmans cabin was too filthy to sleep in, having ash all around the base of the stove (obviously from winter time), the floor was unsafe with loose boards, also in the engine room, all swabs throughout the boat were dirty with an 1/8 inch layer of human skin fluff under them, all horizontal surfaces were covered in grime, dinette swabs did not fit properly to make up a double bed nor did the upright supporting tubes fit successfully, several lights did not work and almost all wall lights had no shades left on, wood around the doors and steel work was rotten with a piece of plywood screwed on to cover this, engine room doors did not lock and the general outside appearance was truly shocking.

We continued our journey and cleaned up as best as we could and decided not to make a fuss, BIG MISTAKE!
Whilst cruising through Wolverhampton on the Shropshire Union Canal we passed through bridge number 3 and the boat left the water as it slid over something really solid underwater. The tiller shot up in the air and the rudder obviously bent and came out of the skeg. These boats are by their nature deep drafted and very heavy so handling became EXTREMELY difficult. As soon as we stopped for the night we telephoned the owner, Greg to inform him what had happened so that he would be prepared on our return. It was hard work getting any response from him but we told him we would do our very best to get the boat back before time to allow him more time to organise a repair. In order to achieve this we cruised for three 11/12 hour days. The steerer's hands were blistered even though gloves were worn. On our return late Friday afternoon Greg's response was not to say anything. We explained what had happened again but he refused to believe us saying that it was impossible to do such damage without leaving the boat on a lock cill. We told him in no uncertain terms that we had not cilled the boat and repeated how the damage occurred. However, he kept saying that his insurance did not cover cill damage so we explained the accident AGAIN assuring him that we had been boaters for 45 years. We also have owned an S M Hudson built boat of similar size ourselves and there is no way that we would ever cill a boat but would own up to this if we had. We asked Greg if he was calling us liars but he just kept repeating himself saying that it was impossible to cause this damage the way we said. He also said that the lowest part of the boat was under the engine room doors, this of course is rubbish as the bottom plate is completely flat and only the counter rises. We reported the obstacle in the canal to the Canal and River Trust personnel and warned other boaters of the hazard at bridge number 3.

All in all we would NEVER give our business to this company again.

Visited August 2013
18 Thank Joy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Excellent Boat and Excellent Service”
Reviewed August 26, 2013 via mobile

Myself and 9 friends booked one of the larger boats for 4 nights in August. The price was very competitive and the communications and planning beforehand was perfect. Middlewich boats where extremely helpful and easy to deal with. The boat was ideal and far more comfortable and well kitted out than we expected. Highly recommended. A brilliant trip had by all!!

Visited August 2013
3 Thank Andy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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