Barging Holidays

Consider a luxury hotel barge cruise on some of the most beautiful inland waterways in Scotland and England. Immerse yourselves in the gastronomy, culture and history of the regions you pass through. 

Highlights of a barging holiday in Scotland

  • Visit Glencoe, scene of treachery between the Campbell and MacDonald clans
  • Tour of the Glen Ord whisky distillery
  • Cruise Lochs Dochfour, Ness, Oich and Lochy
  • See Eilean Donan and Urquhart castles
  • Visit Culloden Moor, scene of the last battle on British soil in 1746
  • Tour Cawdor Castle and gardens, home of Shakespeare’s Macbeth
  • Spectacular scenery, wildlife and folklore
  • Visit Clava Cairns, a prehistoric burial site
  • Extraordinary river, canal and loch cruising
  • Excellent walking opportunities
  • Special interest cruises including golf, whisky, family, honeymoon

Highlights of a barging holiday in england

  • Explore Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace
  • Moor beneath and visit Windsor Castle
  • Visit the Tudor manor house of Dorney Court
  • Tour the Stanley Spencer Gallery at Cookham
  • English cream tea at the Stafford Hotel
  • Visit Henley-on-Thames, the Royal Regatta town
  • Tour of Christ Church College, Oxford
  • Great walking and bicycling opportunities along the Thames Footpath
  • Tour of Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey) is also available on selected departures

Why a barging holiday could be for you

  • Charter your own barge for the most wonderful holiday with family or friends
  • Everything is included, from arrival transfers to all meals including an excellent selection of fine regional and international wines and spirits
  • Small group excursions to little known sites
  • Hop off the barge to explore on foot or bicycle at anytime
  • High level of personal on board service

What are the barges like?

There are three boats to choose from offering slightly different itineraries and departure dates. All cruises are 6 nights and 7 days long.

The Hotel Barge Scottish Highlander is an 8 passenger boat and has the atmosphere of a Scottish Country House with subtle use of tartan furnishings and landscape paintings. At 117 feet she is spacious and has every comfort needed for year round cruising. On board you will find four en-suite cabins each with a choice of twin or double beds. One of the cabins is a larger suite which has been designed for those who want extra space during their cruise. Cuisine is traditional Scottish fare – salmon, game and seafood, prepared by your own Master Chef, and the hotel barge’s experienced crew of four will take care of your every need. A cruise aboard Scottish Highlander along the Great Glen as you admire some of Scotland’s finest scenery will be unforgettable.

The Hotel Barge Spirit of Scotland is an elegant hotel barge with extensive public areas inside and out that are perfect from which to admire the spectacular Highlands scenery in comfort as she sedately cruises the Caledonian Canal and the lochs of the Great Glen. Although purpose-built in 2001, her style evokes that of the traditional steamers that plied the lochs of Scotland in times gone by. Having cruised a number of inland waterways in Europe in recent years, Spirit of Scotland will commence cruising in Scotland from June 2017. Accommodating up to 12 passengers in comfort, her interior features a bright and spacious saloon and dining area with picture windows, a separate bar, and an integral forward wheelhouse giving views of the cruise route ahead. The 6 air-conditioned cabins offer a choice of twin or double beds and are complemented by well-designed en suite shower rooms. Outside, there are separate areas where you can relax on a recliner or perhaps in the heated spa pool, as well as a covered dining terrace. And the large upper sun deck is the ideal place to admire the breath-taking backdrop and historic landmarks such as the loch-side Urquhart Castle. All this, together with the traditional Scottish cuisine, fine wines and wide range of whiskies served on board by an attentive crew of 6, combine to ensure a truly memorable cruising experience.

The Hotel Barge Magna Carta

Magna Carta is one of the finest, most luxurious vessels cruising the British Isles today. The ambience created by combining a traditional 1936-built barge hull with fine mahogany, teak and oak woods is outstanding. Modern amenities include under floor heating, spa pool and contemporary en suite facilities for the four spacious 200sq ft suites. The upper deck saloon and dining area feature picture windows and stylish furnishings. Your Master Chef produces a range of mouth-watering dishes whilst you enjoy the riverside surroundings from your floating country hotel. Her experienced Captain knows the Thames well and will pilot the barge and be your tour guide. Your Master Chef will produce a range of mouth watering dishes whilst you enjoy the sights of Royal Berkshire, historic Buckinghamshire and beautiful Oxfordshire from your floating country inn. Two house keepers complete the crew of four.


Cruises operate from early March to the end of October. In the Spring and Autumn months you can enjoy the changing colours of the flora and fauna, whilst June and September will offer pleasantly warm summer evenings and quieter sightseeing excursions.


If you are chartering a barge then children of all ages are welcome. If booking by the cabin children must be aged 12 years or over.


It is possible to charter exclusive use of a barge which makes for a truly fabulous holiday with friends or family or alternatively book by the cabin and travel alongside like-minded people. When chartering a barge the itinerary can be tailored to the interests of your group whether that be wine, cycling or keeping the children happy. 


Prices start from around £1,920 per person based on 8 people chartering a barge or £2,790 per person on a per cabin basis, including flights from the UK. All of the cruises are fully crewed and all-inclusive, which means:

  • 6 nights’ accommodation (Sunday to Saturday) on board in an air-conditioned en-suite cabin
  • All transfers, to / from stated pick-up & drop-off point plus daily excursions by chauffeured barge minivan with inclusive entry fees
  • The services of an experienced Captain, Chef, Housekeeper(s), Deck Hand / Tour Guide
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner aboard. All lunch and evening meals are a gastronomic adventure with local produce prepared with dedication by your Private Chef
  • Any local lunches or dinners ashore
  • An excellent selection of fine regional and international wines and spirits, plus all day open bar, tea and coffee
  • Use of barge facilities such as Wi-Fi, bicycles, boules, barge library, a telescope. Most of the hotel barges also have a spa pool.

If you were considering a hotel barging holiday in England or Scotland or maybe another part of Europe please don’t hesitate to contact us for further information.

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