Luxlife magazine nautical award for Best Canal Boat Hire Experience in England 2022

Welcome to Blue Otter Boats!

Blue Otter Boats is a bespoke narrowboat hire company established in 2018. Canal holidays are a relaxing way to discover England, explore heritage sites and simply get away from it all with a countryside retreat on the move.

With a boat on the Leeds to Liverpool Canal in Skipton and another on the Stratford Canal in Wootton Wawen, our objective is to ensure you have a relaxing, safe and memorable canal holiday. Some of our guests are first time boaters while others are seasoned travellers along England’s water highways. If it’s your first time, we’ll go with you through the first swing bridges and locks until you feel confident to go it alone.

Explore the historic routes in Yorkshire and Lancashire or traverse the scenic waterways through Shakespeare’s county to Stratford-upon-Avon. We take pride in providing you with a holiday to remember and a boat you won’t easily forget.

In 2022 we were delighted to be named winner of Nautical Tourism Awards 2022 as Best Canal Boat Holiday Experience – England. On the magazine awards page during the review period from July to October 2022, the judging focused on a range of factors such as performance, ratings, customer feedback and testimonials, usability and market position. We would like to thank all our Blue Otter Boat guests for their reviews on our booking agent page at Hoseasons, as well as engagement on our social media pages across facebookinstagram, LinkedIn, google and twitter. All feedback is welcomed and we constantly strive to improve our service and keep the boating experience fresh.

Live the Narrow Boat Dream

When you take the tiller of Blue Otter, and experience canal life on a narrowboat, a sense of freedom and exploration will quickly become addictive. As you drift gently around each bend, through each lock and under every bridge, a new discovery appears.

Venture further afield to discover the history and intrigue of Great Britain’s canals in all their glory, it all depends on how much time you have and how far you wish to go … and how addicted you become to the narrowboating life!

Whether you’re looking for a holiday with a difference or just want to unwind and take life at a more tranquil pace, Blue Otter narrowboats provide convenience and style for a memorable getaway. In these days of Covid-19, they also offer reassurance of self-isolation while still keeping you on the move for new discoveries and the wellbeing effects that come with being on the water.

A Seal of Quality

Blue Otter narrow boats are crafted by Nick Thorpe Boatbuilders.

Blue Otter Skipton is a 50ft cruiser built in November 2016.

Blue Otter Wootton Wawen is a 60ft cruiser built in February 2017.

Each boat carries a luxurious and elegant feel: More akin to luxury hotel room than Pirates of the Caribbean

A Romp is Taking Shape

 The collective noun for a group of otters is a “Romp”.  If you own a boat or would like to build a boat and become part of the Blue Otter Boat group, managing your own hire operation under the Blue Otter name, then we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with an email to our Chief Executive Otters at

Narrow boat moored up at dusk to a sunset in Yorkshire. Pretty flowers on the roof of the boat. Navigating the waterway