Access for all

If you have any special requirements or need information about the suitability of our boats, or a canal boat holiday, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Access to canal boats for allIf you are visually impared and find the text in our website is too small to read, or you have any difficulty viewing the content please click here for instructions on how to enlarge the text and control the colours.

Canal boat holidays can be, and often are, enjoyed by those with special requirements, or who are less mobile. However,for reasons of safety at least two of the crew on each boat should be active enough to operate the boat and locks etc. (Beginners are welcome as instruction in operation of both the boat and waterway are provided).

The cabins on narrowboats are accessed by steps inside the front and rear doors.

the interior rear steps of a narrowboat or canal boat
the interior front steps on a narrowboat or canal boat
The interior access steps - Front and rear

The stern with its flat deck is normally easier to access from the bank, but has four steep steps down into the cabin.

cruiser stern of a narrowboat or canal boat traditional stern of a narrowboat or canal boat
Examples of cruiser & semi trad sterns or rear decks

The bow is harder to access from the bank as you have to step over the gunwale and down onto the deck, but from here there is only one or two small steps into the cabin.

the bow of a holiday hire narrowboat or canal boat
Examples of a bow or front deck

Once inside the boat the floor is flat with lots to hold onto for those with less mobility. It has everything you need for normal use so you can remain onboard the boat if getting on and off is difficult. The inside of our boats are not suitable for wheel chairs due to the restrictions caused by the width of bulkheads and doors.

access through the inside of a narrowboat or canal boat
interior access through a canal boat or narrowboat
Examples of interior access

If you or your crew need help accessing the boat please contact us in advance and we will try to position the boat for easier access. Our staff will also, on request, be pleased to help you on and off the boat at our Marinas.

Alvechurch do not currently operate any boats specially adapted for wheel chair users or those with severely restricted mobility. However, boating is still possible and you can find more information about boats specially adapted or operated for the disabled at

If you have any difficulty or require more information you can contact British Waterways customer services via their website.

You can also obtain information from The Community Boat Association telephone number 02476 397400 who represent 125 boats and facilities suitable for use by disabled and elderly individuals or groups, or for educational purposes.