12 houseboats you can book a stay in, in London and the UK

Oh over there (Photo: Airbnb)

Have you always dreamed of packing your bags, abandoning your apartment and moving aboard a barge?

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

The good news? There are plenty of options to do this, with houseboats you can hire overnight all over the UK.

Even if you do not consider the nautical life, these stays will make you dream of an unconventional vacation.

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

We’ve rounded up the best nautical trips you can book right now.

15-04 Moonshadow with Honesty Bar, Manchester

This is Moonshadow (Photo: Airbnb)
There is a full bar inside (Photo: Airbnb)

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

It also accepts pets, so you can bring your cat or dog to enjoy the whole boat, which has a double bed and a single sofa bed.

There is wifi, central heating and a kitchen equipped for cooking, as well as a few breakfast items provided.

Book via Airbnb

Velvet Morning Canal Boat, Richmond, London

Fancy a classic barge experience? Choose this historic ship (Photo: Airbnb)
Comfortable accommodation for a family or a small group (Photo: Airbnb)
Clawfoot tub must be a major selling point (Photo: Airbnb)

A century-old 57ft long riverboat that can accommodate four adults and one child, in the heart of London.

There is a king-size main bed, a bunk for a child, and a seating area that can convert into another bed, if you are going on board in a group.

Make sure to check out this freestanding tub.

Book via Airbnb

Riverboat Lady Florence, Kent

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

This boat looks a bit like Tardis. It might look small from this exterior photo, but inside you’ll find room to compete with your average rented apartment.

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

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

Book via Airbnb

Ark barge, Bishopthorpe

Do you think barges are all tiny? Think again (Photo: Airbnb)
Wait, it’s bigger than my room at home… (Photo: Airbnb)

Here’s one for your next group vacation: L’Arche can accommodate up to ten people, with five beds to choose from.

It’s quite heavy and each bedroom has its own flat screen TV. Fancy.

Location-wise, you’re a 10- to 15-minute drive into York city center, or you can find pretty pubs, shops, and restaurants within a five-minute walk.

Book via Airbnb

River boat, London

There is a fireplace to keep you warm (Photo: Airbnb)

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

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

There is even a desk, so you can work from a boat.

Book via Airbnb

15-04 with indoor fireplace, East Dunbartonshire Council, Scotland

Surrounded by beautiful hiking trails (Photo: Airbnb)
The ultimate in relaxation (Photo: Airbnb)

Fire up the BBQ by the water, then enjoy your dinner on the roof.

Or, if it’s a little chilly, snuggle up inside the 30-foot-long boat by the Victorian wood-burning stove.

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

Book via Airbnb

River boat, London

Another option in London (Photo: Airbnb)
Doesn’t that look comfortable? (Photo: Airbnb)

Lovely cottage-style furniture, smart TV, a walk-in wet room with shower and toilet and a full kitchen, all right on the water – what more could you ask for?

Book via Airbnb

The Thames Apartment, Oxfordshire

Soothe your soul in the Oxfordshire countryside (Photo: Airbnb)
Imagine the sunsets (Photo: Airbnb)

A floating apartment located on the River Thames near Oxford, surrounded by beautiful countryside.

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

Book via Airbnb

Mandy Sue, London

This large vessel was used to transport cargo from ship to ship for the Navy (Photo: Airbnb)
These days it’s a rather charming houseboat with room for four (Photo: Airbnb)

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

Now she has been transformed into a magnificent two bedroom boat, with a bathroom, kitchen, living room and a table on the upper deck for alfresco dining.

Book via Airbnb

Hamble River Beds, Burlesdon

A luxurious vision of aquatic life (Photo: Airbnb)

Sitting on the beautiful Hamble River is a floating lodge made from recycled materials.

It’s quite luxurious, with underfloor heating for added comfort, two televisions and a closet full of games.

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

Book via Airbnb

Houseboat on the Thames, Hampton Wick

The Talismere (Photo: Airbnb)

A comfortable getaway for a couple, sitting on the River Thames near Kingston Bridge.

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

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

Book via Airbnb

Jessie the great classic, Little Venice, London

Caption: Amazing houseboats you can book in UK Provider: Air BnB
Caption: Amazing houseboats you can book in UK Provider: Air BnB

We’re big fans of Jessie, a narrow boat 57 feet long and 6 feet 10 inches wide moored in Little Venice.

Although it’s only a few yards from Paddington Station, a stay in the boat feels like a real city break, with a nice little bridge to sit on and watch the world go by.

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

Book via Airbnb

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