UK city breaks

Seek a calm oasis in the centre of the city

We asked boat owners to tell us their top tips for things to do on a city break. Whether it’s calm canals or luxury marinas, Beds on Board boats offer a unique way to see the city. 

Staying on a boat in the centre of some of Britain’s most dynamic cities offers the chance for a quiet escape, while still enjoying all the attractions which make a Uk city break the perfect getaway. 

Stay on a narrow boat in London

Hidden away near Paddington Station in the heart of central London sits Little Venice, an oasis of peace and tranquility. The waterway is where the Grand Union Canal meets the Regent’s Canal and is as famous for its regency architecture.

Just a short walk from tourist attractions Madame Tussauds and London Zoo, but a stay on the canal shows a completely different side to Britain’s capital.

Beds on Board boat owner Sam has two narrow boats, Velvet Morning and Barbara moored in Little Venice. 

Stay on this boat

“We do get a lot of Londoners staying for a ‘quiet getaway’. The barges are within walking distance of Portobello and Notting Hill. You can take the waterbus through Regent’s Park, pass the zoo and on to Camden to enjoy the great market. There are wonderful local restaurants and pubs - Clifton Nursery is a favourite. The oldest nursery in London which also had a fantastic cafe for brunch, lunch or an afternoon cream tea.” Sam, owner, Velvet London.

See Sam's top things to do in London

Watch football from a canal boat in Manchester

Moored a short walk from Old Trafford, ‘The Captain’ is the perfect boat from which to explore the city’s sporting heritage. If you prefer Manchester City then the Ethiad Stadium is only a short tram ride away. If retail therapy is more your thing, the Trafford Centre is just a stones throw away.

The Captain’s interior was handcrafted from reclaimed wood from Somerset Churches, and her mooring in the New Islington Marina is an easy stroll to some of the city’s best restaurants in the vibrant Northern Quarter.

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Owner Robin has lived in Manchester for 20 years - Find out why he thinks Manchester makes the perfect UK city break location.

"Manchester is an ace city with loads of museums, exhibitions, concerts and shows, please do ask us any questions and we will help arrange your stay".

Find out Robin's top tips

Be star struck by the cityscape in Liverpool

The view from the Albert Dock in the centre of Liverpool’s docks is second to none, with the Grade 1 listed Liver Building providing the perfect backdrop for a stunning sunset from the 45ft yacht Gabrielle. Boats moored in this central dock are near some of the city’s biggest museums, including the Tate Gallery, which are all free entry, and just a stone’s throw from the Liverpool Arena.

For some of the city’s more quirky culture, why not stay on a yellow submarine or in the Titanic Boat Hotel.

Stay in Liverpool

But don’t just take our word for it, owner Ken has lived in Liverpool for all his life and moors his boat Gabrielle next to the Tate Gallery.

“It’s a beautiful place to keep the boat but because of the tides there are restrictions on when I can sail. I don’t mind because there are not many boats in the dock and I have a fantastic view. Last night the water was so still it was like glass, people on the quayside were stopping to take pictures of the water and Gabrielle!”

View Ken's top things to do in Liverpool

Go shopping from your sailing yacht in Portsmouth

Home to the Tudor warship Mary Rose and Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory, the Historic Dockyard is a short walk from Gunwharf Quays shopping, and many boats listed on Beds on Board. A trip up the Spinnaker Tower offers great views of the Isle of Wight, while nearby Gosport marina is a short ferry ride providing a quiet escape after a busy day of outlet shopping. 

"Better than a hotel room and any hotel room view. Allegro is a wonderful luxury boat with everything you could possibly need for relaxing break away from it all." 

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See the world's biggest ships in Southampton

The city’s marina provides a luxury retreat with unique views. Watch the world’s biggest cruise liners and supertankers as they embark on their lengthy voyages. The Titanic museum explores the area’s close connection to the historic liner, with many good bars, restaurants and shops providing a welcoming pause. The marinas are perfectly placed for pre cruise stays. 

"A great alternative to a hotel...... Better by far, what could be a better way to wake up on a beautiful day than on a yacht and sit outside enjoy breakfast, drinks, fresh air." Sue, guest.

Stay on a boat in Southampton