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Mick in Bangkok

Hire companies on Warwickshire ring

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Just narrowing down my options for hire boat companies and looking for some tips, from my prior post of a few days ago I have opted for the Warwickshire ring, I have looked on the internet and found “Black Prince” and “ABC/Viking” boat hire located in this region but also looking for any recommendations of other hire companies that I may be available, can anybody suggest other options?

Also as far as starting points I am considering Rugby,  Alvechurch and Napton with Rugby being recommended as the most convenient for arriving by train, any suggestions for other starting points would also be appreciated.

Cheers Mick

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Other companies to look at would be; Rose Narrowboats, Willow Wren, Union Canal Carriers, Napton Narrowboats, Calcutt Boats, Kate Boats, Anglo Welsh.

 

BTW, Alvechurch is off the route a bit, but I guess you know that, and with 2 weeks not a problem.  Starting there or at Tardebigge (Anglo Welsh) would change the dynamics as you at starting/finishing on the Birmingham plateau, not a problem at all but a bit different to a Rugby/Braunston/Napton start.  Alvechurch does have a station, you would get a train to there from Birmingham.

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I've never hired a boat but would worry about the logistics of getting there by train if there are no shops close to the hire base. Black Prince at Wigrams turn are very good and know what they are doing but the nearest big shop is miles away and likely 2 days cruising away ( viz Tescos, Lidl in Leamington/ Warwick). Great if you have a car to stock up but tricky if not. Rugby has a big Tesco close to the canal so you can stock up when you get the boat. Similarly Kate boats near Warwick would be good for trains and near shops.

Alternatively, think about hiring a car for the day you travel and get it picked up from the hire base. That way you can get all your provisions sorted before getting on the boat.

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2 hours ago, Dr Bob said:

I've never hired a boat but would worry about the logistics of getting there by train if there are no shops close to the hire base. Black Prince at Wigrams turn are very good and know what they are doing but the nearest big shop is miles away and likely 2 days cruising away ( viz Tescos, Lidl in Leamington/ Warwick). Great if you have a car to stock up but tricky if not. Rugby has a big Tesco close to the canal so you can stock up when you get the boat. Similarly Kate boats near Warwick would be good for trains and near shops.

Alternatively, think about hiring a car for the day you travel and get it picked up from the hire base. That way you can get all your provisions sorted before getting on the boat.

That's what Taxi's are for.

 

Taxi from station to shop, do shopping, taxi from shop to hire base.

 

Simple.

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1 minute ago, MJG said:

That's what Taxi's are for.

 

Taxi from station to shop, do shopping, taxi from shop to hire base.

 

Simple.

....hence why it is better having a hire base in Rugby or Warwick  -will be a lot cheaper in taxi fares. Taxi from Warwick parkway or Rugby to Napton is expensive. Done it many times.

Not sure where OP is travelling from and how many in the party but with train and taxi fares to and fro shops,  it may be cheaper to go to enterprise.

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2 minutes ago, Dr Bob said:

....hence why it is better having a hire base in Rugby or Warwick  -will be a lot cheaper in taxi fares. Taxi from Warwick parkway or Rugby to Napton is expensive. Done it many times.

Not sure where OP is travelling from and how many in the party but with train and taxi fares to and fro shops,  it may be cheaper to go to enterprise.

And cheaper than car hire, hence I pointed out the taxi option.

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3 minutes ago, MJG said:

That's what Taxi's are for.

 

Taxi from station to shop, do shopping, taxi from shop to hire base.

 

Simple.

some hire bases will accept online shopping orders on behalf of hirers.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Jess-- said:

some hire bases will accept online shopping orders on behalf of hirers.

 

 

Good point, very true, we used to do this on the broads, or rather on the Broads the hire base itself used to get the shopping for you in advance.

Edited by MJG

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27 minutes ago, Jess-- said:

some hire bases will accept online shopping orders on behalf of hirers. 

 

 

We will be flying in from Bangkok then train to hire base so not a lot of time to arrange hire cars etc. taxi or online shopping sound like good ideas so will request this when inquiring with boat companies.

 

I'm making a list of pros and cons and hire firms now so appreciate all of the advice.

 

Cheers Mick

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Whilst the logistics from train to boat are important, make sure you pick the boat that you like and feel fits your needs first, as other have said the transport can be solved with a taxi, even it it main cast a bit.   But then you will be paying perhaps a couple of thousand for the boat and much more on flights, so a hundred on taxis is not really a big deal if it gives you what you want.

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6 hours ago, john6767 said:

Other companies to look at would be; Rose Narrowboats, Willow Wren, Union Canal Carriers, Napton Narrowboats, Calcutt Boats, Kate Boats, Anglo Welsh.

I think there is also a hire base at the end of the Coventry.  Valley cruisers IIRC.

Coventry is an easy place to get to by train  and the basin is near the city centre.  It has all the shops you are likely to want/need plus a great pub at Sutton Stop for a first night stop.

N

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22 minutes ago, BEngo said:

I think there is also a hire base at the end of the Coventry.  Valley cruisers IIRC.

Coventry is an easy place to get to by train  and the basin is near the city centre.  It has all the shops you are likely to want/need plus a great pub at Sutton Stop for a first night stop.

N

The basin is just to one side of the city centre, as is the station. Unfortunately they are at opposite sides of the centre, you will still need a taxi to get your luggage across the city (unless you travel very light. I completely agree about shopping and about the Greyhound at Hawkesbury.

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2 hours ago, BEngo said:

I think there is also a hire base at the end of the Coventry.  Valley cruisers IIRC.

Coventry is an easy place to get to by train  and the basin is near the city centre.  It has all the shops you are likely to want/need plus a great pub at Sutton Stop for a first night stop.

N

Yes it is Valley Cruisers, and a valid option; but a bit of a walk from the train station, with luggage I think you would still get a taxi.

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4 hours ago, MJG said:

And cheaper than car hire, hence I pointed out the taxi option.

I said it may be cheaper to go to enterprise. An enterprise car for 24hrs, pick up at Heathrow, drop off at Daventry is circa £60 for a reasonable car. If Mick has 4 in his party, (as I alluded to in my post) then one way train fares plus taxis (to somewhere like Napton) are likely to exceed £60 - so if he chose a Napton based option, a hire car may be the best option giving you freedom to  shop where you like. 

Having recently returned to the UK on a 14 hr flight from Asia, I do not envy Mick at all with his trip. Maybe start from Rugby and go clockwise so you have a few easy days to start!

 

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Thinking sideways, Oxfordshire Narrowboats are literally just across the canal from Heyford station (trains from London Paddington, though you have to change at Oxford). But it will take you 2 days hard, 3 days soft to reach the Warwickshire Ring at Napton. Swings and roundabouts.

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11 minutes ago, Dr Bob said:

I said it may be cheaper to go to enterprise. An enterprise car for 24hrs, pick up at Heathrow, drop off at Daventry is circa £60 for a reasonable car. If Mick has 4 in his party, (as I alluded to in my post) then one way train fares plus taxis (to somewhere like Napton) are likely to exceed £60 - so if he chose a Napton based option, a hire car may be the best option giving you freedom to  shop where you like. 

Having recently returned to the UK on a 14 hr flight from Asia, I do not envy Mick at all with his trip. Maybe start from Rugby and go clockwise so you have a few easy days to start!

 

It may well be that with a group of 4, that it is cheaper, and certainly easier, to just get an Uber from Heathrow to the boat yard!

  • Greenie 2

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1 minute ago, john6767 said:

It may well be that with a group of 4, that it is cheaper, and certainly easier, to just get an Uber from Heathrow to the boat yard!

.....and certainly easier if the flight gets in a 6am in the morning as many of those south asian flights do. Changing trains doesnt sound like fun after a long flight.

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15 minutes ago, john6767 said:

It may well be that with a group of 4, that it is cheaper, and certainly easier, to just get an Uber from Heathrow to the boat yard!

Yup

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18 minutes ago, john6767 said:

It may well be that with a group of 4, that it is cheaper, and certainly easier, to just get an Uber from Heathrow to the boat yard!

Now, Uber offer the first ride free. I wonder how far you could go for nothing?

  • Greenie 1

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Missed this when it was first posted, so I hope this is useful:

If you're flying in to Heathrow, my recommendation would be to get a National Express coach direct from there to Warwick Parkway or Coventry, then a taxi to whichever hire base you choose. The coach is almost as quick as a taxi or private car might be. Kate Boats at Warwick might be the easiest choice for a boatyard.

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