12 amazing houseboats in London and around the UK where you can book a stay

Ahoy there (Picture: Airbnb)

Ever dreamed of packing up your things, ditching your flat, and moving aboard a houseboat?

Same here. But before you make that leap, it’s probably worth testing out the boat lifestyle to check you like it (and don’t get seasick easily).

The good news? There are plenty of opportunities to do just that, with houseboats you can rent out for the night up and down the UK.

Even if you aren’t considering boating life, these stays will make for a dreamy take on an unconventional holiday.

Why go for the same-old hotel room when you can spend the night in one of these?

We’ve rounded up the best boating stays you can book now.

Moonshadow narrowboat with honesty bar, Manchester

Behold Moonshadow (Picture: Airbnb)
There’s a full bar inside (Picture: Airbnb)

Right in the city centre of Manchester sits Moonshadow, a stylish houseboat complete with a pretty pink honesty bar loaded with wine, beer, spirits, and games.

It’s also pet-friendly so you can bring along your cat or dog to enjoy the entire boat, which has a double bed and a single sleeper sofa.

There’s wifi, central heating, and a kitchen equipped for cooking, plus some breakfast items provided.

Book through Airbnb

Velvet Morning canal boat, Richmond, London

Keen for a classic houseboat experience? Choose this historical vessel (Picture: Airbnb)
Cosy accommodation for a family or small group (Picture: Airbnb)
The clawfoot bathtub has to be a major selling point (Picture: Airbnb)

A 100-year-old, 57ft long canal boat that can sleep four adults and one child, in the heart of London.

There’s a king-size master bed, a bunk for a child, and a seating area that can convert into another bed, if you’re heading aboard as a group.

Make sure you check out that freestanding tub.

Book through Airbnb

Lady Florence river boat, Kent

Adorable, right? (Picture: Airbnb)
But it packs a lot inside (Picture: Airbnb)

This boat is a bit Tardis-like. It might look small from that exterior shot, but inside you’ll find space to rival your average rented flat.

There are two bedrooms, a sitting room, a kitchen, a bathroom, and two terraces, all with wifi and smart TVs.

Lady Florence sits right on the River Medway in Maidstone, with great views of Allington Castle. Lovely stuff.

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The Ark houseboat, Bishopthorpe

Think houseboats are all teeny-tiny? Think again (Picture: Airbnb)
Wait, that’s bigger than my room at home… (Picture: Airbnb)

Here’s one for your next group holiday: The Ark can sleep up to ten people, with five beds to choose from.

It’s pretty hefty, and each bedroom has its own flatscreen TV. Fancy.

Location-wise, you’re a 10 to 15 minute drive from York city centre, or you can find some cute pubs, shops, and restaurants a five-minute walk away.

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Canal boat, London

There’s a fireplace to keep you nice and toasty (Picture: Airbnb)

Whether you’re a tourist or a Londoner who just fancies trying out houseboat living for the night, this is a solid option.

The boat is moored on Regent’s Canal, easily reached from Angel, and has a comfy living room and cabinette with a memory foam mattress on the bed.

There’s even a desk, so you can work-from-boat.

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Narrowboat with indoor fireplace, East Dunbartonshire Council, Scotland

Surrounded by gorgeous walking trails (Picture: Airbnb)
The ultimate in relaxation (Picture: Airbnb)

Fire up the BBQ at the water’s edge, then enjoy your dinner on the roof.

Or, if it’s a bit chilly, snuggle up inside the 30ft long boat by the Victorian wood burner.

There’s a smart TV and board games to keep you entertained.

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Canal boat, London

Another London option (Picture: Airbnb)
Doesn’t this look cosy? (Picture: Airbnb)

Sweet cottage-style furnishings, a smart TV, a walk-in wet room with a shower and toilet, and a full kitchen, all on the water – what more could you want?

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The River Thames Apartment, Oxfordshire

Soothe your soul in the Oxfordshire countryside (Picture: Airbnb)
Imagine the sunset views (Picture: Airbnb)

A floating apartment that sits on the River Thames near Oxford, surrounded by gorgeous countryside.

After a brisk walk out in nature, return to the boat for a nice hot shower and a lounge in the living room, enjoying the views of the water.

Book through Airbnb

Mandy Sue, London

This grand vessel was used to take cargo from ship to shore for the Navy (Picture: Airbnb)
These days, it’s a rather lovely houseboat with room for four guests (Picture: Airbnb)

One for history buffs. Mandy Sue is a 1939 naval pinnace – a style of boat used in the war to take cargo (think ammunition and food) from ship to shore for the Navy.

Now, it’s been transformed into a gorgeous two-bedroom boat, with a bathroom, kitchen, living area, and a table on the top deck for open-air dining.

Book through Airbnb

Hamble River Beds, Burlesdon

A luxe take on water living (Picture: Airbnb)

Sitting on the gorgeous River Hamble is a floating lodge made of recycled materials.

It’s pretty luxurious, with underfloor heating for added cosiness, two TVs, and a cupboard stocked with games.

42ft long by 12ft wide, this option can accommodate two adults and two children, thanks to a double bedroom and a bunk room.

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River Thames houseboat, Hampton Wick

The Talismere (Picture: Airbnb)

A cosy couple’s getaway, sat on the River Thames near Kingston Bridge.

If you get bored aboard the boat, it’s only an eight minute walk along the river to get to Kingston Town, where you’ll find plenty of bars and restaurants.

Or, you can get the train into central London in 35 minutes. Easy.

Book through Airbnb

Jessie the narrowboat, Little Venice, London

Caption: Amazing houseboats you can book around the UK
Provider: Air BnB
Caption: Amazing houseboats you can book around the UK
Provider: Air BnB

We’re big fans of Jessie, a 57ft long, 6ft 10ins wide narrowboat moored in Little Venice.

Despite being just a stone’s through from Paddington station, a stay in the boat feels like a real getaway from the city, with a cute little deck to sit and watch the world go by.

Inside there’s a double cabin with two single bunk beds plus a sofa that flattens out into a double bed. There’s a bathroom with a shower and toilet, a living area with a fuel stove and wall-mounted TV, and a galley with gas hob and oven.

Book through Airbnb

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