Top 10 Boat Trips in the UK

As a series of islands and famed for our levels of rain, the UK is very much a land of water. However, there is an upside to all the water we have lying around in Great Britain and that is the wide variety of great boat trips that can be taken up and down the country. One great thing about working for Great British Trips is that we get to try lots of them out on our travels so we thought it about time we shared our favourite experiences with you. Below is a list of our top 10 UK boat trips and the reasons why.

1. Mersey Ferry
Liverpool’s ferry across the Mersey was immortalised in song in 1965 by Gerry and the Pacemakers but it’s actually a rather enjoyable journey. The boat trip is of course practical – providing travellers an easy way to cross the wide channel but the ferry cruise also provides a commentary on the buildings that can be spotted alongside Liverpool’s historic World heritage water front. Using the ferry you can also hop off on the other side and visit the spaceport and U-boat experience too.

2. Windermere Lake Cruise
Lake District
The enormous Lake Windermere is England’s largest lake. Set right in the heart of the Lake District National Park the lake is surrounded by mountains and a sunset cruise on the lake is simply divine. Surrounded by idyllic beauty, you can take a full cruise all the way around the lake or jump off at one of several stops to visit villages or take a hike to some phenomenal locations. The large cruise vessels provide an enjoyable commentary as well and have toilets on board.

3. Thames RIB Experience
The river Thames has a widely used Thames river cruise which is an enjoyable traditional way to see the city of London from its famous river. A more untraditional route however it via the Thames RIB boat. This speedy RIB boat will take you on a super-speed voyage through the city where you can see all of London’s major sites. The fastest boat in our top 10, for thrill seekers looking for something new and different this exciting trip must be top of your list.

4. Cambridge Punt
From the super-charged to the super relaxed, the Cambridge punting experience is traditional, enjoyable, relaxing and really quite good fun! If you don’t fancy risking a dip in the Cam yourself, you can hop on board one of the frequent punting tours and let an experienced informative guide do the work for you. A tour of the College ‘backs’ is probably the most interesting and gives you chance to see some of the incredible colleges that has no public access or tours. For a first-timer to Cambridge, this punting tour is non-optional!

5. Stratford River Boat
Stratford on Avon
There are a couple of options for Stratford boat trips including a large restaurant dining cruise called the Countess of Evesham however, for a great walk-on sightseeing boat cruise the 45 minute Bancroft Cruises are a great option. The journey takes you through the heart of Shakespeare’s old stomping ground including past Trinity Church where he currently resides. The cruise takes you past the famous theatre as well as through some beautiful countryside.

6. Loch Ness Monster Hunt
This popular boat trip was an absolute must in our list. Although in one sense very similar to other loch and lake cruises, this one has the added bonus of Nessie hunting! There are several boat trips that go from Fort Augustus at the end of the lake but our favourite is the monster hunting cruise that includes a special radar to help the monster hunting. The lake cruises vary in length and can take you as far as Urquhart Castle or on a full lap.

7. Pembrokeshire Wildlife Tour
Blenheim There are lots of options for tours around the Welsh coast of Pembrokeshire. The coast is a haven for marine wildlife and boasts an abundance of seals, puffins, dolphins, porpoise’s even whales and many rare coastal birds that can only be found in this part of the country. Many of these animals live on or near tiny islands just off the coast and can be reached by special guided wildlife tours. Our personal favourite is a RIB boat which speeds you across to the islands where the engine cuts out and the small boat can go easily in and out of small coves and inlets to see some of the rarest marine life in the UK.

8. Ullswater Steamer
Lake District
The Ullswater steamers take you on an environmentally friendly steam boat cruise of one of England’s most beautiful lakes. In the heart of the Lake District, these lake voyages provide a commentary about the area and stop various points around the lake. These stopping points provide a great opportunity to hop out and walk back around the lake to the starting point. It’s an easy flat walk, several miles long with incredible views and we highly recommend it.

9. Cornish Mackerel Fishing
One of the strangest boat trips on this list is also probably our most favourite. Cornwall is packed with little fishing harbours and many of these offer mackerel fishing boat trips around the stunning Cornish coastline. Whilst the fishing is merely an excuse to go on a delightful boat journey around the coast, it’s actually surprisingly good fun itself! Unlike normal rod fishing which requires immense amounts of patience, mackerel fishing allows you to catch several fish at a time, with a rod and it’s easy to catch anywhere between 3 and 50 fish on a single trip! Don’t worry though if you’re not keen on getting your hands dirty, the captain will handle the fish for you so you can simply reel them in and take them home for tea (or throw them back in of course!).

10. Loch Lomond Cruise
The final boat trip in our list is that of a cruise on Loch Lomond. If you’re looking for serenity, romance and wide open spaces which are wholly unspoiled, this is the cruise for you. Either as a ferry to explore other parts of the lake or as a relaxing cruise itself, the Loch Lomond boat cruise is simply peaceful and enjoyable for all.


By Ruth Lancey, GBT Team member

Date: 2017-11-28 13:20:53