Beginner Guides

Foxton Locks
These Beginner Guides are written especially for those who hire one of our narrowboats from Market Harborough.

Many of our hirers are complete novices when it comes to driving a narrowboat, and we understand that it can be daunting for beginners. As soon as you arrive, our experienced trainers will guide you through the operation of your boat and ensure that you have the skills needed. This may involve going out with you on your canal boat for a little way, to ensure you feel confident during your holiday or day trip.

In the meantime, we encourage you to explore our Beginner Guides. In them, we try to write using plain language rather than boaty terms (with apologies to any purists) and where possible, we refer to features along the local canals which you will come across on your holiday.

If you are new to narrowboating and plan to holiday with us – welcome!

Boat operation

Operating a canal boat from union wharf
From mooring up to lighting the stove on the Boutique Narrowboats, this section includes Beginner Guides to help you operate your narrowboat.


Girl operating foxton locks
This section deals with how to navigate through the local locks, swing bridges and tunnels around Market Harborough.

Waterways etiquette

closing the lock at Welford lock
Who should give way at a bridge? Where can you moor at Foxton Locks? These Beginner Guides will help you become a considerate boater.