Canal Cruising News

Updated  August 06 2019 09:15:12.

BBC Club Canal Cruising Home Page


Watch the CRT Videos

Posted:  24/04/2023 16:45

Top - Home

I've added two items to the home page that link to Canal and River Trust videos on YouTube.

1) CRT Safety Videos

This links to a new series of animated films designed to help boaters navigate the UK’s inland waterways safely has been launched by CRT and the Environment Agency.

2) CRT Boater's Handbook video

This 25-minute video goes into more detail about the key elements of boating. This contains information that all boat users should be aware of so please watch this before you start you holiday.

Follow these links to the CRT web site for more information about the Safety Videos and the Boaters Handbook Video.



Your 2024 Cruising Base

Posted:  12/03/2023 23:22

Top - Home

Are you enjoying Kings Orchard as a cruising base? Would you like to start from somewhere new in 2024? 

Your views on where we base Savoyhill are really important but bear in mind that we need to use marinas operated by ABC. 
If you have a strong preference for our 2024 base then please email and let me know what it is.



Savoyhill Base 2023

Posted:  12/03/2023 14:54

Top - Home

Our base for the 2023 seasons is once again Kings Orchard Marina on the Coventry Canal near Lichfield, close to the historic junction with the Trent & Mersey at Fradley. This base offers a wide variety of routes including the Black Country, and Warwickshire Rings and good access to the Coventry Canal into the City of Coventry, the Trent & Mersey either east or west or a gentle cruise with few locks along the Ashby Canal.  
For the more experienced crew with 2 weeks to cruise, there’s the East Midlands Ring, a rural route which includes Foxton staircase locks and Fradley Junction.


Club member discounts

Posted:  26/06/2021 14:45

Top - Home

As you know, as a member of the Canal Cruising Group you are entitled to a £100 a week discount on the cost of a week’s hire. To qualify for this, you should ensure that you keep up to date with your BBC Club and Canal Cruising Group subscriptions. You then need to apply to the Club at for your discount code which will be emailed to you. This is NOT transferrable.

If you are a BBC Club Members but not a member of the Canal Cruising Group you are entitled to a £50 a week discount on the cost of a week’s hire.  You automatically qualify for this discount as a member of the BBC Club.  You need to apply to the Club  at for your discount code which will be emailed to you. This is NOT transferrable.



Damage and Accidents

Posted:  26/06/2021 14:44

Top - Home

Please can we remind boaters to let me know should they incur any damage to Savoy Hill during their trip and also to leave a note at reception at the base so they are aware too.

You won’t be charged for any repairs but it’s important for the club to aware of any issues so that we can arrange any work required to remedy the situation.
Please also report to reception any minor breakages or missing items from the inventory as the staff at the base can usually replace such items straight away.



Stay Safe

Posted:  12/04/2021 08:40

Top - Home

In this months CRT news letter they have shared this link to the Marine Accident Investigation Bureau Digest. This is well worth looking at if only to remind yourself how a nice day out can so easily go wrong.


2020/21 Winter Maintenance

Posted:  18/11/2020 10:26

Top - Home

Savoy's winter maintenance has started. In January they will lift her out and clean the hull and see if she needs blacking as she is now 3 years old. 

Alex will be meeting with Richard (when this lockdown finishes) and go through the boat to identify any other problems, sort out the Wi-Fi router and get some clear instructions of how it works.


Fuel and Damage Deposits

Posted:  18/11/2020 10:23

Top - Home

We have been asked by Alvechurch to go back to £90 fuel deposit and £50 damage waiver, which somehow got lost from the system. This brings us in line with their standard way of working.
Rosemary at Abacus will update the system so that this will show when payment for balances for 2021 go out.


Covid-19 Guarantee

Posted:  17/11/2020 10:25

Top - Home

We have introduced a new Book with Confidence Coronavirus guarantee on UK Canalboating website which states:

If you are not able to go on your boating holiday due to Government Advice you will be able to: 

Move your holiday to a later date with no amendment charge;
Have a full no quibble refund if Government advice prohibits you from taking your holiday.


Savoy Hill is now at Alvechurch Marina

Posted:  11/08/2020 11:28

Top - Home

Savoy Hill on her mooring at Alvechurch Marina, July 2020


Photograph Gallery SH V in Manchester

Posted:  18/05/2019 08:38

Top - Home

Tim has added a new photo gallery with pictures of Savoy Hill's trip to Manchester in May 2019.

Travelling up on the Trent & Mersey canal


Barton Swing Aqueduct on the Bridgewater Canal


Carbon monoxide alarms become mandatory for boats

Posted:  07/04/2019 22:25

Top - Home

From 1st April 2019 at least one carbon monoxide (CO) alarm became a requirement on nearly all private and non-private boats in scope of the Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) Requirements. BSS Certifications will not be issued to boats without alarms.


July 2019 CRT Boaters Update

Posted:  07/04/2019 20:19

Top - Home

Click here to see the July 2019 edition of the CRT's Boater's Update.


Discount code for Club member bookings

Posted:  09/01/2019 09:00

Top - Home

We have a new bookings process now that the boat is being managed by ABC.

Details are on the bookings page.

The main change is that you now have to "buy a week" from their booking page and they handle all the payments.

The bookings table on new web site (coming soon) will be updateable and will show you what is booked and what is free. However, the on-line bookings form is no longer required and Alex is no longer managing the bookings (although he is still available for advice!).

Discount Code

The discount code is on our bookings page and also available from the Club office.


Our Facebook Page

Posted:  08/01/2019 23:06

Top - Home

Don't forget to share our Facebook group with current and ex-BBC Staff.


Shropshire Union reopens

Posted:  21/12/2018 08:56

Top - Home

Amazing job by CRT, volunteers and contractors.

Read the full story here:


New Savoy Hill 360 degree tour

Posted:  28/04/2018 22:34

Top - Home

Carl Onens has very kindly create an internal tour of Savoy Hill 5 for us.


The New Savoy Hill is due in May

Posted:  27/04/2018 17:56

Top - Home

This year we will be saying good-bye to Savoy Hill 4 and welcoming our latest boat Savoy Hill 5. We are hoping that the latest Savoy Hill will be available for hire from Anderton Marina in Cheshire from May 2018. She is currently under construction and awaiting fit-out. In the mean time the current Savoy Hill will continue to operate from Gayton Marina in Northamptonshire. Click here to visit the bookings page.



Posted:  02/04/2018 13:20

Top - Home

There are currently two major issues affecting the canal and river network.

There is a major breach on the Middlewich Branch. CRT are asking for donations to a repair fund. Please visit Just Giving if you wish to contribute. There is more information here.

There has also been a major oil spillage on the River Lea. This appears to be engine oil and diesel and is thought to be due to illegal dumping. The Lea is closed to prevent the spread of the oil slick.


New boat update

Posted:  19/02/2018 16:57

Top - Home

The main construction is now finished and engine fitted. At the moment she is being fitted out a Alvechurch and delivery is on schedule for the middle of April. Once handed over she will be taken to Anderton and start her cruising career. I had hoped to add some photos but there seems to be a problem with that function of the website.

Alex Christison


Latest CRT Newsletter

Posted:  16/01/2018 22:57

Top - Home

See the latest CRT Newsletter - click here


Booking a narrowboat holiday through AirBNB or Gumtree?

Posted:  10/09/2017 11:38

Top - Home

Not an issue for Savoy Hill but for anyone looking at alternative ways to hire or as a way of selling time on their own boat here is the advice from CRT.

From 12 June 2017 boat owners will be able to apply for a Static Letting Licence for static boats which will cover all types of boat rental, including long-term renting, Airbnb-style short breaks, and overnight stays. The boat owner will need to have a permanent mooring and should talk to their local planning authority to see if planning permission is needed. The price will be the same as for the current Self-Drive Holiday Hire licence.

If you rent out your boat you'll have a duty of care to those onboard. You'll need to organise a non-private boat safety certificate, commercial insurance and proof that youve gone through the handover procedure correctly.

Alongside this we [CRT] will be introducing a new process for dealing with boat owners who may be breaching the terms of their licence by renting out their boat.  If a boat is suspected of being rented out illicitly the Trust will contact the registered licence holder, as well as hand posting letters onto the boat itself to alert renters.  

Please don't rent a boat without the correct type of licence it will not have been checked by us [CRT] and could potentially be unsafe.

Tim Durham


Boat licensing consultation update

Posted:  16/08/2017 16:04

Top - Home

Boat licensing consultation update (from the CRT website)

Regular [CRT Blog] readers will remember that a month ago I reported on the boat licensing consultation. Following the completion of the opening stages we and Involve, the independent charity commissioned to carry out the consultation, are reflecting on the rich discussions weve had so far with boaters. Once complete, the third and final stage of the process will get underway in which all boaters are encouraged to take part.

Read More.....

  Added by Tim Durham

Savoy Hill - Spotted

Posted:  26/07/2017 13:12

Top - Home

Roger Stocker is out and about on the Grand Union and has spotted Savoy Hill.


Visit the Boater's Update

Posted:  05/06/2017 12:06

Top - Home

The June edition of the CRT Boater's Update is now availabl.

Canal & River Trust have a blog that you can visit at any time to catch up with the latest canal news. Click here to go to


Welcome to the new Canal Cruising website

Posted:  01/04/2017 00:00

Top - Home

You are now using the new Canal Cruising web site! It should be much the same as the old one but takes into account the changes in the way the bookings are now being handled. 

For example, the Bookings page has a table showing what has been booked and what is available as before, along with the prices, but the bookings process has been changed.

The site will also work much better on phones and tablets.

If you have any technical issues with the site please let Tim know by sending an email to

For techie people - we have moved from Microsoft servers, ASP3 pages and Microsoft Access database to Linux, PHP and the on-line MySQL database.


Work starts to restore historic pumping station

Posted:  01/03/2017 13:20

Top - Home

From Towpath Talk

A MAJOR 700,000 project to restore a two centuries-old canal pumping station in Soulbury is under way.

The work is being carried out by the Canal & River Trust with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund who are contributing 391,100 to bring the historic building back into use.

Using specialist heritage techniques, teams from the trust, including heritage apprentices, will repair and rebuild the roof and brick walls, replace guttering and underpin the rear wall. New doors and windows, in keeping with the character of the building, will also be installed.

Built in 1838 and listed Grade II, the station also houses a pump which plays a vital role in keeping the Grand Union Canal open and is one of a series located along the canal. Without these pumps, the canal would run out of water during the busy summer boating season.

James Clifton, from the Canal & River Trust, said; Soulbury Three Locks Pumping Station has been helping to keep the Grand Union Canal topped up for almost 180 years and it is wonderful to think that a structure dating back to the year Queen Victoria was crowned is still being used today.

The Canal & River Trust is delighted that, with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund, we are able to restore this important part of Britains working heritage.

Stuart McLeod, Head of HLF South East said: Thanks to National Lottery players, this piece of canal heritage will be restored for generations to come. Once finished the building will provide a base for a local craftsman, giving it a new lease of life, after being empty for so many years.


2017 Prices

Posted:  02/02/2017 08:57

Top - Home

Booking is now open for 2017. You'll be glad to know that the prices are the same as 2016. Visit the Bookings Page for more details.