Sheffield Hire Base a success

Sheffield Canal Basin

(Victoria Quays - Sheffield Canal Basin) 

We pride ourselves on our overall flexibility, offering totally flexible start and finish points for your Experience, anywhere on the Inland Waterway network, and indeed this will always be one of our foundation stones of operation.


We had numerous and repeated queries about operating some boats from Victoria Quays (Sheffield Canal Basin).

Sheffield is not generally thought to be an ideal start point as it takes a couple of days to get anywhere, and has links via some commercial waterways and tidal rivers - which for a novice can seem a little daunting.  For these reasons we've historically tended to avoid using Sheffield as a start point - unless one of our customers has chosen to end their Experience here.

Being customer guided we your comments on board (excuse the pun) and started to trial one dedicated boat as our 'Sheffield Hire Boat' for 2008-2009.  This was a break with our 'start anywhere, finish anywhere' tradition, for the first time offering a 'start and end at Sheffield' Experience.

It has proved such a success that we have decided to extend the trial to cover the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

Even an old power station takes on a romantic hue at dusk

(Cooling towers at the disused Thorpe Marsh Power Station at dusk)

Having mentioned the potential downsides of having Sheffield as a start point, we reckon it's also worth mentioning some of the quite unique positive points, not least the remarkable insight into the local industrial and waterway heritage, glimpse into the last remnants of commercial inland waterway operations (large sand barges, and tankers abound on the Aire and Calder, don't worry, they're quite 'narrowboat friendly' and you'll seldom have any issues, if at all).

Sheffield also acts as an ideal start point to explore the under-rated delights of the Northern waterways - which, unlike the busy and often congested popular tourist waterways of the Midlands, offer miles of peaceful, quiet cruising on well maintained and pleasant canals and river navigations.

Although suited mainly for customers with experience of broad canal and tidal river navigation, we offer a free RYA Helmsman Course for those with little or no experience.  Don't worry too much about your level of confidence or competence, our boats cost a fortune and we're not going to allow you to set off unless you are totally happy in all aspects of boat handling, navigation and safety.  As always, our overall aim is to ensure you get the very best of positive life-changing experiences during your time afloat, and we're here to ensure you set off happy and fully in control, not worried that something may go wrong if you meet the Rix Owl oil tanker on the river Aire (we've met her, she's big!).

Full details of our Sheffield Hire are available here.