From Saturday 4 July, UK holidaymakers looking for a sun-soaked summer can now travel in England, as announced yesterday by The Prime Minister Boris Johnson. After months of living in confined spaces, domestic tourism is set to boom. Recent polls have shown that now, more than ever, a large percentage of Brits are considering domestic travel and ‘staycations’ as a safer and better cost-effective option for themselves and their families to enjoy some much-needed quality time together in the summer months to come.
Jumping on board a Le Boat holiday is an exclusive way to explore multiple destinations without the need to unpack and repack each time, while ensuring reunited groups of friends and family have their own private space. Le Boat offers the ideal product for a “social distancing holiday” this summer.
For first timers, there is no experience or license required, the onboard kitchens come fully equipped for self-catering needs, beds come with linen and bathrooms have showers, hot water and toilets. Have the comforts of home with the chance to enjoy a leisurely meander or a more adventurous journey along these beautiful waterways.
Does the Thames float your boat?
London may well be known for its hustle and bustle, but the River Thames allows families, groups and couples alike to enjoy the Great British countryside. With pretty towns, it’s a perfect location for boating, river walks, cycling along tow paths and exploring outdoor spaces. Le Boat operates on the stretch of Thames between Oxford and Kingston, spanning four counties with an abundance of pub gardens, al-fresco dining options and countless parks, gardens and attractions to keep everyone entertained. This 96 km non-tidal section of the Thames is navigable by a series of 32 electronically controlled and manned locks, which are very easy to navigate. It is an ideal destination for first time boaters from three nights to a two weeks’ holiday. Cruising from the Benson base in the east, it is easy to access Oxford, Reading and Henley where so many acclaimed restaurants are cooking up a storm along the way. From the Chertsey base, guests can choose whether to head for Hampton Court and Kingston, or Windsor and Eton. Four-legged friend are welcome on board and a staycation on the River Thames also provides many dog-friendly boating-holiday itineraries with plenty of dog-friendly pubs and outdoor spaces.
Prices for a one-week family break this summer (11 July) start from £1,179 for a Tango boat leaving from Benson for 7 nights sleeping six from £2,619 (was £2,919 – save 10%) per boat, £436.50 pp to a Classique Star sleeping 10 from £3,339 (was £3,719 save 10%) per boat, £333.90 pp. Le Boat (023 9222 2751, www.leboat.co.uk)
Prices for a one-week family break this summer (16 July) start from £3,319 for a Classique Star boat leaving from Chertsey for 7 nights sleeping ten, £331.90 pp (was £3,689 – save 10%). Le Boat (023 9222 2751, www.leboat.co.uk)
The other good news is that Le Boat’s Scottish base is estimated to be open on 15 July 2020
The Scottish Highlands have earned their place as one of the top must-see destinations in the UK. One of the wildest, least inhabited and most scenic parts of Europe, Scotland’s Highlands have, for decades, attracted visitors from around the world who are drawn to their unparalleled scenery, unique culture and wildlife. Scotland is renowned for a wide variety of outdoor pursuits and extreme sports; a range of attractions, welcoming locals and delicious local food and drink. During a Caledonian Canal cruise, spend time on lochs (great for fishing) nestled in the rugged valleys along the Great Glen. The lochs are spectacularly beautiful with deep, crystal-clear water to swim in. Families can visit Loch Ness, home to Nessie the monster as well as hilltop castles, quiet waterside towns, lakeside resorts, cosy pubs and listen out for the rich, melodic sound of bagpipes. Head to Laggan, in the Caledonian Canal, a perfect base to explore the whole region by boat in a week and discover Fort William, Ben Nevis (the UK’s highest mountain) and plenty of other stops en route to Inverness.
Prices for a one-week family break this summer (17 July) start from £983 for a Kingfisher Whs boat leaving from Laggan for seven nights sleeping four, £245.75 pp. Le Boat (023 9222 2751, www.leboat.co.uk)
The company has also announced it is rolling out additional health and safety measures under its ‘Covid Safety Charter’. Le Boat has evolved its current operations to make sure that it has taken every precaution to afford all customers an even safer and healthier holiday experience. This includes supplying pre-departure information digitally, giving safety videos in advance, stepping up the cleaning of Le Boat’s bases and boats, Perspex screens at receptions and providing hand sanitiser. Only one person will be required at check-in and customers will be responsible with bagging personal rubbish and stripping beds. Trips can also be rescheduled under its ‘Go Boating with Confidence’ flexible booking policy where a booking can be amended up to the day of departure.