The quirky boats that now rule on dry land, from a 19th Century barge in Suffolk to a former ferry in Cornwall
- A 19th Century Dutch barge moored on the River Deben in Suffolk sleeps four
- A Cornish farm is the setting for The Wild-de-go, once an Isles of Scilly ferry
- Wake up in the roomy cabin of a former fishing boat in Brixham Marina, Devon
If you love the idea of a holiday on water but aren’t sure your sea legs are up to it, there is a way you can still wake up in a cabin and sunbathe on deck – all without rocking the boat.
All around Britain there are quirky and charming vessels available for self-catering breaks where navigation and sailing skills are not necessary.
These boltholes are firmly moored in picturesque spots, so all you need to pack are your striped Breton tops and deck shoes, and leave the anti-seasickness pills at home.
All around Britain there are quirky and charming vessels available for self-catering breaks where navigation and sailing skills are not necessary. Pictured is the Twee Gebroeders
Faithful, a handsome former fishing boat with room for just two, is moored in tranquil Brixham Marina in South Devon. Wake up in the roomy cabin (which has a roof window above the bed that is ideal for star-gazing) and make your breakfast with cutlery from the last Ark Royal, decommissioned in 2011.
Sipping coffee on deck, you’ll be entranced by the boats going by, seabirds and views of Torbay. Buy fresh fish from the market, head to sandy beaches nearby or go further afield to visit Greenway, Agatha Christie’s riverside home. The cost is £140 a night (canopyandstars.co.uk).
A Cornish farm is the setting for The Wild-de-go, once an Isles of Scilly ferry but now firmly fixed in a secluded garden, with original portholes a few steps from a wood-fired hot tub. It doesn’t have a sea view, but the beaches of Bude are a 20-minute drive away. Book it from £90 per night (coolstays.com).
Go Dutch: This 19th Century sailing barge in Woodbridge, Suffolk, sleeps four
A 19th Century Dutch sailing barge, Twee Gebroeders, has retired to a lovely spot – it is now moored on the River Deben at Woodbridge in Suffolk. It is a great choice for a family of four. Crab-fishing tackle is provided, but if you don’t have any luck there, The Riverside Restaurant is a short stroll away. It is all yours from £915 a week (woodfarmbarges.com).
Harbour Houseboat is a converted Thames lighter – a flat-bottomed barge – on the Isle of Wight. It sits on sand at low tide and slowly rises as the tide comes into Bembridge Harbour.
You can sunbathe on the roof terrace while watching other boats come and go, or stretch your legs climbing to the top of nearby 18th Century Bembridge Windmill. The boat is being refurbished, but is usually available from £154 a night for up to six people (canopyandstars.co.uk).