where do boaters go for their holidays?

where do boaters go for their holidays?

When you live aboard your boat life can seem like one long holiday, especially if you are retired. So where do we go for our holidays?

the author on her Dutch BargeIt’s pretty much essential for you to enjoy the outdoor life if you live aboard a narrowboat (or wide-beam) so it’s likely that your holiday will be one where you spend your time outdoors, take your dog with you and you’re able to enjoy the freedom of choosing where you go.

Many boaters are also avid walkers and can’t wait to check out the footpath map in the next place they moor up.

However, most places where canals and navigable rivers run offer fairly flat terrain for walking and this leaves a little bit of discontent for those who yearn for higher ground.

If like me, you feel the pull of mountains and crave the peace of untamed and lonely places you might enjoy a bothy holiday.

A bothy is a basic shelter in a wild, remote location, mostly in the mountains or on the coast but always a long way from roads and civilisation. They are often abandoned stone buildings, usually with a fireplace and some kind of sleeping platform; think camping but in a small, stone, wind and watertight structure.

Most bothies are in Scotland but there are also some in Wales and the north of England. You can visit them at any time of year and you don’t have to pay to stay. There’s every chance that you'll meet and share the space with other lovers of wild and lonely places too. You can't drive to bothies but some can be reached by canoe.

For those who love walking, a bothy can add another dimension to an adventure, and young people may even join you if there’s the promise of an exciting overnight stay. I am a bothy enthusiast with an appetite for walking in the hills, views from high ridges and the freedom of wild isolation.

bothies in Scotland

Bothies provide a completely diverse experience to life aboard a narrowboat and it could be something other boaters would also enjoy. I belong to The Mountain Bothies Association which looks after about 100 bothies (although there are lots of others) and I'm part of the maintenance team for Camban Bothy at the head of Glen Affric in Highland Scotland. It's a beautiful site surrounded by some of the biggest mountains in Scotland and a day's walk from the nearest road; some map and compass skills are therefore essential.

The MBA website is a good place to start if you're interested in finding out more, or drop me a message.

Sally Kershaw

You may contact the author by email: sallyteatime@hotmail.co.uk



If there's one thing I am learning from boating life, it is that I am not in control! OK, in a superficial way I am. I get up most mornings with a vague plan of where we are headed and what chores need to be done. I don't know how it is for you, but I can happily waste time if I am not focused. Perhaps that isn't even wasting time - boating life is meant to be about slowing down, escaping the rat race and working out what's important in life. To 'be' rather than to 'do'.

So to a certain extent I do have control but what I am really thinking about is the lack of control in my circumstances. For example, Richard and I have a route plan of the direction we are headed and ideally a  framework of time in which to get from A to B but that's when the problems start.

Our first was realising our 'new' boat batteries (less than two years old) were flat and in fact dangerous because one had actually blown. Awaiting replacements and taking the opportunity to install a more powerful invertor delayed us by a week or more.  A bout of Covid unexpectedly stopped us in our tracks and then just as we were on the move again, a swing bridge failed to open and then a lock gate refused to shut!! All these little annoyances remind me of how little control I really have over what I want to do.

Yet, should it matter? Perhaps it  reminds us that in fact we are not in control of our life. At any moment something can happen that totally alters our path. For me, I learnt this when Richard, my husband, had a serious, near fatal bike accident, taking months of rehabilitation. It changed everything but in fact not for the worse, because it taught me what's important in life and not to 'sweat the small stuff'. From it, I learnt just how precious and precarious life is and that what matters is kindness. We received so much love and support following Richard's accident that it made me understand how kind gestures, however small, can make someone else's life so much better. The commandment of God to 'love thy neighbour' came alive as I realised I was vulnerable and in need of help.

I know that an argument against God is that if he exists, why does he allow bad things to happen?  My understanding is that God is not Father Christmas. Just because I believe in him, doesn't mean I am going to have an easy and charmed life. What I do believe though, is that God wants to come alongside us in all that is happening in our lives, good and bad. There's a saying that, because God is invisible, he needs to use our hands and feet to do his work here in earth. That is what I saw, experienced and understood in the aftermath of Richard's accident. I saw God's love in the actions of those around me.

I often feel we are sent to help certain people and that certain people are sent to help us. To my mind that is God at work. I appreciate that for those who don't believe in God this may sound far fetched but with or without belief, we can all show love and kindness to one another. We may not have control over the circumstances we find ourselves in but we can have control over how we respond to them and how consequently we treat one another and how we live out our lives to make the world around us a better place to be.

making new memories

making new memories


jan & tony lacey making new memoriesWe’re Jan and Tony and in January 2021 we bought a 60ft narrowboat and made it our new home! Previously we’d hired boats for over 20 years and owned a share in one for a while which cemented our love of all things narrowboating.

We both come from the world of showbiz – Tony a musical director and Jan a singer and dancer. We’d both had successful careers in entertainment and television so perhaps it’s no surprise that we took to vlogging (the video version of blogging) although we’d been used to working behind the scenes and not usually in front of the camera.

Like most people, we’d always taken videos of our family holidays and that included our many narrowboat trips, but, our family had never seen them!

In the days during lock down, we decided to share those early videos on YouTube and before long they’d attracted a wider audience. We called our channel, MAKING NEW MEMORIES, because that’s what we were doing, every day!

When we were doing our research into buying our current boat, we went to YouTube to see if there were any helpful vlogs. It was there that we watched David Johns (Cruising The Cut) and Kevin Shelley (Countryhouse Gent) to get an idea of the lifestyle.

At that time we weren’t cruising but put down in video form our thoughts, our visits to nearby waterways and then to looking at potential boats, to eventually moving aboard. Our vlogs now feature a mix of cruising, local history and our life onboard.

So, what can you expect to see here?

Well, there’s the daily routine of how we film, what we see, exploring new waters, meeting people, the kit we use and the tech involved, some helpful tips and advice if you want to start vlogging yourself, plus the situations we find ourselves in – it’s never a dull moment, and we’ll share these with you here with a sprinkling of pictures.

We hope you enjoy reading about our adventures!

the pig place, adderbury

our pub of the season - summer 2022

the pig place, Adderbury

The Pig Place has to be one of the most delightfully different pubs we have ever come across, and I wouldn't be surprised if it were one of very few truly 'outdoor' pubs in Britain. Most of the seating is outdoors, with an abundance of sofas centred around fire pits. Talk about bringing all the comfort of your living room into the great outdoors! The views are amazing, and it's great to sit and watch life pass you by on the canal.

Trotters Bar

Everything at The Pig Place has a pig theme, so it's not surprising to find the bar (a converted livestock trailer) is named Trotters Bar.  It is only here that you can come across seemingly decapitated bar staff. The trailer is not very high, and the staff seem to be universally pretty tall, with the result that when they are not bending low to serve you, you can only see the body up to the neck.

Trotters Bar has a very good range of bottled beers and ciders. Plus the usual range of stronger stuff. The wine that stood out for us was of course 'Shy Pig'.

The Pig Place Trotters Bar

The Trough

You cannot visit The Pig Place without sampling the food - served at The Trough of course! We had a full English Breakfast on more than one occasion, and it was superb every time. The bacon is particularly good, and the sausages were the best ever. Of course The Trough also caters for those amongst us who do not eat meat, and there are even some Vegan options.

The Trough

The Farm Shop

The Farm Shop sells everything from kindling and logs (buy these to burn on the fire pits) to some rather special ice cream from a dairy in Worcester, plus a good range of beers and wines at very reasonable prices, essential groceries, vegetables and of course meat. There is always plenty of bacon, and if you are very lucky you might be able to buy home-produced sausages before they sell out. If you fall in love with the whole concept of The Pig Place, you can even buy yourself a Pig Place T Shirt.

The Sty

The Sty is the only really indoor part of the establishment. Hand built by Dean from recycled building materials, (mainly old doors...) it is a delightfully quirky and cosy area for when the weather is being less than kind. Many events take place here (either inside or just outside): There are fairly regular themed weekends, and always plenty of live music. This might be staff members Greg or Tom playing guitar and singing, customers jamming, or invited guests. There is also the occasional opportunity for very young musicians to have the chance to shine in front of an afternoon audience.

The Sty at The Pig Place

Campsite and Mooring

The Pig Place has a lovely grass pitch for all sizes of tents, plus room for campervans and motorhomes, caravans and trailer tents. Interestingly, the site is on English Heritage Ridge and Furrow land, but as the pitches are not marked out, campers can find their own suitable spot.

There is such a friendly atmosphere at The Pig Place, that a good proportion of campers tend to join in with any festivities, and of course all are encouraged to partake of food and drinks at the Trough and Trotters Bar. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on which way you look at it, children are not allowed to stay. Under 18s are welcome to visit The Pig Place up until 6pm, but then the entire site is child free. Dogs, on the other hand, are most warmly welcomed at any time!

The Pig Place is right on the Oxford Canal, just north of Bridge 187. There are some mooring spots available on the opposite side (towpath side), but The Pig Place has its own visitor moorings. These are free for visitors during the day, but when it is busy you may well have to double up on a mooring. Overnight mooring is available, with electric hook up if you want it, but this comes at a reasonable cost. The management do ask you not to run engines or generators while you are there, as this would impinge on the peaceful enjoyment of others.

The Pig Place, Adderbury - campsite and moorings

The Pig Farm

For some, the main attraction of 'The Pig Place' is the presence of the pig farm. The idea of a pig farm can sometimes conjure up the thought of something dirty or smelly, but here, nothing could be further from the truth. Happy, clean, contented and friendly pigs play and roll and trundle about in their pens and there is absolutely no smell at all.  They scarper inside their wooden huts as soon as the first drops of rain fall, and come out again with the sunshine. They have a very good life, and it is lovely to simply sit and watch their antics.

pigs at The Pig Place

Behind the scenes

The people behind The Pig Place are Dean and his wife Sara. They live in a Narrowboat on The Pig Place moorings, and have several dogs as well as the pigs. They also have a few ducks, and you can't buy fresher duck eggs anywhere. Dean and Sara have spent their lives being that little bit different - from the very beginning when they ran off to Gretna Green to take their marriage vows. When they eventually decided to live on a boat, Dean built one for them as at that time they had plenty of time on their hands but little money. And while he was doing this, he was taken on by a boatyard and became an official boat builder. Dean's creative streak is visible all around The Pig Place, and a member of his staff told us he always had to have a project on the go. The couple also have a love of motorbikes and vintage cars - there are a few classics dotted around. Hence the motorbike night which is held every Thursday - bikers come from all over to eat, meet and have a quick drink.

I asked Dean how they came to be running The Pig Place, and he told me they had been looking everywhere for a bit of land to buy and were incredibly fortunate to be able to buy what they have named 'Narrowboat Acres'.  They have never looked back, and although they say it is hard work, especially in the winter, they love the farm, the pigs, the lifestyle and the people who work for and with them. They were both well and truly hooked from the day they sold their very first packet of sausages from one of their very own pigs.

Dean with his Pig Place van - and a couple of porkers


We had a wonderful few days at The Pig Place. The staff were universally very friendly and welcoming, and Sara and Dean always had time for a chat. We have absolutely no hesitation in recommending this pub as our 'pub of the season', and we shall definitely be returning when we are next in the region. Remember - it is just north of Nell Bridge (187) and Nell Bridge Lock (32) between Kings Sutton and Aynho on the Oxford Canal. Don't miss it!

Dean - owner of the Pig PlaceThe Pig Place is open from early April to the end of October. Dogs are welcomed, but under 18s only allowed up until 6pm. Food is served daily from 8am, and the bar is open from lunchtime.

0789 287 9447



funded and developed by river canal rescue

WaterNav is the UK’s only free mapping and route planning tool that works offline – giving peace of mind to thousands of boaters who have been reliant on an internet connection, via wifi or mobile data, to arrange and track journeys across the inland waterway network.

Funded and developed by River Canal Rescue (RCR), the breakdown company is committed to making the app completely FREE for its lifetime; there are no catches or gimmicks, sign up or hidden charges, and its full functionality is open to everyone.  All users need to do is create an account.

Other routing planning providers only function using the internet (problematic for boaters in areas where signal is traditionally an issue), so RCR’s dedicated programmers looked to NASA to develop an offline solution.

Lead software developer, Brandon Briggs, comments: “NASA uses certain software and algorithms to direct and monitor its robots on internet-free Mars, so we thought why not develop a similar system for the UK inland waterway system.  We adopted a route planning algorithm, which uses a dot matrix system, to reference all the canals and rivers in the UK, and we will not stop there.”

waternav rcr

Launched last year, WaterNav’s new updates now enable users to plan and specify their journey length/time or preferred routes etc, taking into account locks, points of interest and canal/river information etc, and be directed to the nearest available mooring/marina at journey’s end.

Brandon continues: “We are continually developing the app and taking onboard feedback from users, so don’t be surprised if we regularly ask users to update their version.”

 All UK waterways, mapping and route planning are incorporated into a single app and there’s also a help/SOS function linked to RCR HQ, for boaters who require assistance. Plotting the user’s position within a 5m radius has proved invaluable in emergency situations or when cruising on rivers with no access.

WaterNav has around 10,000 users and the figure is growing because it’s simple to set up and use. Access via Google Play or the App Store, register as a user and download the maps. After this, the app can be used offline.

Moving forward, additional community features are being developed for online users. “Boaters will be able to flag up any problems or issues they come across, such as debris in the waterways, lock closures, busy hot spots or pubs that may have closed down etc,” explains Brandon.  “This information, together with CRT notifications, will be shared on the app once verified, and to do this, we’re working on an automated moderating system.”

RCR managing director, Stephanie Horton, adds: “We’re planning to add some really exciting features to WaterNav over the coming year, to encourage new interest from the younger generation, help share some of the amazing features on our canals and rivers and build the community spirit our UK waterways are synonymous with. Funding this app means we are giving something back too, and helping reconnect the community.”

angel community canal boat trust

angel community canal boat trust

angel II of islington

Angel Community Canal Boat Trust, a charity based in Islington, has been providing day and residential boat trips for community groups on its boat Angel II of Islington for over 40 years.

Recently we provided free trips for an especially deserving group. After hearing of their work in raising funds to supply trauma kits to send to their countrymen on the front line we were proud to be joined by the 1st London Plast, a Ukrainian scout group.

Over a very warm and pleasant weekend in June we were joined by 48 cubs, scouts and leaders who took to the canal like the proverbial ducks to water, of which we saw many during our trip.
Split into 4 groups each enjoyed a 3-hour trip between Islington and Little Venice, learning about our historic canal system and how to operate the canal locks, as well as enjoying the wildlife along the route.

Their voices rang out with song throughout the trip bringing smiles and cheers of encouragement from passers-by on the tow path and they made particular use of the acoustics in Islington Tunnel.

After a combined picnic and games session our return journeys were just as tuneful with several enthusiastic renditions of Ukraine’s winning Eurovision hit.

Skipper Phil Gavigan said “the strength to carry on through adversity should be an example to us all. Several of these young people have had to flee their war-torn homeland leaving family and friends behind”.

One of the leaders said “We loved everything. Thank you for making the children smile - the children said it was such a happy day, ‘the best day ever’ “.

Angel II of Islington - Ukranian scouts trip

1. It's not hard work when it is fun. 2. The signed flag presented to Angel II of Islington by some very happy scouts.

To find out what funding may be available for your community group visit our website  or contact our skipper.

turn up the heat it’s time to barbeque

cooking on the cut

turn up the heat it's time to barbeque

cobb barbeque

Finally at this time of year the weather outlook is promising without too much rain, and it’s officially barbeque season, although some of us are hardy enough to light the outdoor coals whatever the weather.

There’s nothing finer than sitting out by the water, on our own little patch of paradise for the evening, watching the world and the water go by, feeling the warmth of the barbie and smelling the wonderful aromas, hopefully whilst not getting smoked out waiting for the fire to get going!

The best tip we all know is not to rush it, how many times do we see the barbeque at it’s best after we have eaten? Next time that happens and if you have any bananas or soft fruit, put them in foil with a dab of butter, a generous pinch of brown sugar, a splash of rum or brandy, pop a few squares of chocolate on top and sprinkle a few nuts if you like, then seal before cooking over the barbeque. It’s the most delicious way to use the last of the heat. Another delicious way to use fruit on the barbeque is melt golden caster sugar with rum and coconut in small saucepan, then brush the mixture all over chunky wedges of fresh pineapple and cook for a few minutes on each side until charred, serve with fresh chopped mint leaves and a dollop of crème fraiche or fresh cream.

Lisa Munday - bbq - flatbreads and pineapple

If you’ve made flatbreads earlier or have any other type of bread such as pitta they could well be the first thing to go on the barbeque and make a good appetiser with dips etc. while sipping a suitable glass of something nice. I’ll be sharing lots of dips, salsa and salad recipes and ideas later.

If anything needs to be marinated, it’s useful to have had it in the fridge all day or night before for the flavours to develop. Most marinades need an acidic base such as a type of vinegar or citrus fruit juice in for it to easily absorb into the meat, the acid acts as the carrier for the flavouring. A useful tip for marinating is to pop the marinated meat, chicken or chunks of vegetables for kebabs in a sealed plastic food bag, then move the contents around in the bag to distribute the marinade around without getting your hands covered, also takes up less room in the fridge when in bags instead of bowls.

The one thing I couldn’t be without is my temperature probe, for safe food, especially when cooking on the bone. They are available in most big supermarkets and cook shops. I like to be sure meat is cooked to at least 65 degrees Celsius and chicken above 70 at its centre, salmon is safe above 50. Be sure to use separate tongs or utensils for raw and cooked meat.

If using wooden skewers soak them in water for 20 mins before threading the meat etc. this helps to stop the wood burning when cooking.

The woody part of a rosemary sprig makes a great skewer to flavour lamb or tie a few pieces together to make a small bunch and use as a brush with seasoned oil and garlic over the meat or chicken.

Threading peppers and onions with the meat helps with flavour, but they can cook quicker than the meat and char too much so make separate vegetable skewers also using mushrooms, courgettes and aubergines with any chosen marinade. Cooking them first and then wrapping in foil to keep warm, or far enough away and separate from the meat is a must for vegetarians!

I love charred whole sweetcorn on the barbeque, doused with herby lemony butter or sweet chilli sauce.

In my bread article I’ve shared a couple of quick pizza base recipes, if nice and thin these should cook successfully over the hot barbeque rack and you’ll get the authentic pizza oven taste.

Halloumi can be quite salty, so soak it in cold water for a few hours, then squeeze the moisture out and flatten it a little to keep it together before putting the skewer through.

My potato wedges recipe although better roasted in the oven works just as well wrapped in foil over the barbeque to save turning the gas on. Use Maris pipers if you can as these hold their shape better. Part-cook in a pan of boiling water then drain and dry with kitchen roll. Toss a bowl together with Malden salt flakes, olive oil, freshly ground black pepper and garlic. Sprinkle with fresh grated parmesan and roast in the oven or over the barbeque until golden and crisp.

Lisa Munday BBQ recipes - potato wedges and coleslaw

Coleslaw is the perfect accompaniment with a barbeque. Simply grate any type of cabbage (I like to use red and white) with onion and carrot, add a little finely grated fennel or celery if you have it and mix together with mayonnaise (or crème fraiche if you prefer), a dash of cider vinegar, a glug of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon, add a pinch of salt and white pepper to season and a tsp of wholegrain mustard. Add a few raisins or sultanas for sweetness with the zing.

Here are a few marinade ideas for the main event

A dry spice mix can be sprinkled over the hot coals and the smoke will add a subtle flavouring to food while cooking.

If your marinade or spice mix isn’t going far enough for whatever is going on the barbeque it’s a good idea to loosen it up with a glug of oil.

BASIC BARBEQUE GLAZE is universal for use with most meat, fish, tofu or halloumi.
Use a base of 3 parts tomato puree and add 1 part sweet and one part citrus.
The sweet is either honey, maple syrup or brown sugar and the citrus either vinegar or fruit.
To give heat add mustard, smoked paprika and chilli powder or paste.

TIKKA TANDOORI For chicken and vegetable skewers, my favourite with mint yoghurt dips, warm breads and crisp salads
2 tbsp paprika, 1 tbsp turmeric, crushed garlic clove or 1 tsp powder or granules, 1 tsp allspice, 1 tsp cayenne or chilli powder, 1 tsp ground cumin and 1 tsp ground coriander.
Combine all the spices with oil, natural yoghurt and a squeeze of lemon juice to make the marinade. The longer the better, preferably overnight for the marinade to work. Alternatively, you can buy a good ready make tandoori masala mix in some supermarkets to use with yoghurt, oil and lemon.

HARISSA PASTE, shop bought, is perfect when used with oil for lamb or vegetable kebabs, as is CHIPOTLE PASTE, with oil and honey for chicken and beef

FOR PORK Use Chinese five spice mix with oil, honey and soy sauce

SWEET SATAY Great with chicken on skewers or tofu
Combine 1 tsp clear honey with 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp mild curry powder, 3 tbsp smooth peanut butter and the thick part of the top of a tin of coconut milk

JERK RUB is ideal for giving heat and spice to chicken, lamb or pork
1 tsp each of allspice, smoked paprika, black pepper, salt
½ tsp each of chilli flakes, cinnamon, nutmeg
2 tsp dried herbs such as thyme, rosemary or parsley
2 tsp salt
Combine all the spices and seasoning to store in a jar until needed. Use as a dry rub or add dark brown sugar and oil to make a marinade.

Combine 50g dark brown sugar with 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard, 2 tbsp tomato puree, 5 tbsp orange marmalade and 2 tsp orange juice. Simmer in a pan until smooth and then smother over the ribs and leave to marinade for a few hours, cook slowly for best results.

Sweet chilli sauce with oil and honey

1 tsp each of smoked paprika, cayenne, garlic, thyme and oregano, pinch of salt and black pepper. Add oil for a marinade and red peppers and onions for skewers.

the hippie boat

featured roving canal traders

jules and pete - the hippie boat

We are husband and wife team Pete and Jules and we live aboard NB Molly with our dogs Polly, Milly and young Eric. We continuously cruise the river and canal network, setting up our extensive outdoor display of Fair Trade Festival Style Clothing, Bags, Accessories, Incense and other ethically sourced merchandise at Events, Festivals and various towpath locations.

our story

pete and julesWe moved onto our first narrowboat in June 2009 after 2 years living on wild & wonderful Anglesey. Initially, we both took a year out in order to fully embrace our plan to cruise here, there and everywhere, but by the end of that year, we had both fallen completely in love with the cut, the people on the cut and boat life, so I took on various freelance drama coaching jobs and Pete became a boat husband!

​Three and a half years later, we realised that all good things come to an end and if we wanted to stay living afloat, then plans needed to be thought out and made, so we sold the boat and returned to our house with the sole purpose of making improvements and selling it. One new kitchen, bathroom and loft conversion later we did just that, waved goodbye to the house that we had actually only lived in for 3 of the 9 years it was ours and bought our next boat.

And so the next chapter of our boat life began: Pete set himself up in business with a friend and I continued freelancing. But, we hardly saw each other and our cruising pattern was of course restricted by having to be within a reasonably commutable distance of work. So, we went back to the drawing board and began to investigate the possibility of becoming roving traders.

In May 2015, we took a Summer out and cruised from the Kennet & Avon to Manchester and back on a 'Reccy' – we met roving traders, we went to festivals and we looked for a Pete & Jules style gap in the market!

the hippie boat

By December 1st 2015, The Hippie Boat was a reality, we were officially licenced traders, we had joined the RCTA and booked our first season of markets, events & festivals – eek!!​ We left our mooring at Radcot in March 2016, armed with abundant enthusiasm and lots of lovely fair trade stock – our trading journey had begun in earnest and we were finally, truly free spirits. We travelled over 1000 miles in our boat in that first year, from London, to Cheshire and Wales, returning to the K&A for our final market of the year, the Christmas market in Bradford-On-Avon.

It was shortly after this, whilst walking the doggies beside the Caen Hill Flight one frosty morning, that we made the decision to look for another boat; the stock kept on board was in desperate need of a room of its own as Pete could no longer stretch his legs out – not so much of a problem for me at 5’2″, but it had become an equal test negotiating the piled up bags and boxes, stacked pretty much everywhere there was a space. So in March 2017, we parted company with the first Hippie Boat, Tkal Kah O Nel and moved onboard our current boat. Molly already had a suitable layout, having two bedrooms. With a few tweaks to the accommodation and the addition of another side hatch, enabling us to trade from both sides of the boat, we embarked on our second year of trading, with the luxury of a large and accessible stock room and comfortable living quarters that work perfectly for the crew.

but why the hippie boat?

Both of us have always embraced the hippie culture, but Pete was lucky enough to experience some of the best of the festivals of the 1970’s before they became more commercialised and mainstream such as Glastonbury, Knebworth, The Elephant Fayre, Womad, Glastonbury Greenfields, Blackbush and Stonehenge. One of these was the Watchfield Free Festival in 1975, which replaced the Windsor Free Festival, where you could get a free meal in return for helping to serve food & wash up and watch bands such as 'Gong' and 'Hawkwind'. Supposed to last for 9 days, it was eventually wound up 16 days later as nobody wanted it to end - well, except for the locals and the police!!!

My own festival initiation and first proper Hippie gathering was at age 14, when I and my friend persuaded my friend's very liberal mum to drive us to the Stonehenge festival and my friend's mum waited in the car for us until we were ready to leave as the sun rose! “

building our own brand

In March 2020 we went to India with the intention of sourcing stock. We had reached a point where we wanted to directly connect with and create relationships with supply partners. The style of clothes & bags that the Hippie Boat sells are made in India, Nepal, Thailand and Tibet and we had been buying wholesale, since we started up in 2015 from small UK Fair Trade registered companies, all of whom have their own supply partners.

However, lots of other small UK businesses selling festival and ethnic style clothing, also buy from these companies and due to the fair trade & handmade nature of the items, popular lines sell out quickly and we couldn’t always source more when we wanted them. We knew that the choice of clothing available in India would be huge, enabling us to diversify and work directly with small manufacturers and suppliers ourselves.

It was a very successful trip and we are really happy and excited to have formed ongoing and mutually beneficial relationships as well as friendships with with small family run manufacturing businesses & sole traders who share our ethics. These are based in Goa, Pushkar and Delhi. It is definitely a good feeling to be able to put a face to the products that we have sourced, to know that everything is handmade to order, that we have paid a fair price to the people doing the hard work and also know that we can take some active responsibility, in a small way, for the human and environmental cost of clothing by choosing cleaner and longer lasting fabrics such as Organic Cotton, rayon, hemp, bamboo and recycled sari fabrics.

We do still buy stock from the UK wholesale partners that we started out with, but we are also developing more and more of our own lines of clothing, working with designers and expert pattern cutters (mainly via WhatsApp) and we now have our own ‘Hippie Boat - Free Spirited Fashion since 2016’ label and have registered our trademark.

The Hippie Boat

hippie boat badge and logoPlease visit our Website, and follow our Facebook page or Instagram account for up to date location information. If we are not going to be in your area in the near future, we are always very happy to post out to you on Wednesday or Thursday of each week.

We look forward to providing you with a customer focussed shopping experience
Jules & Pete



waterways matters

waterways matters

Alison Saunders, Waterways ChaplainAlison Saunders, wife of Mike, vicar of Hungerford, has been appointed Senior
Waterways Chaplain of the Kennet and Avon Canal.

Waterways chaplains work across the nation’s inland waterways to support boaters in need, helping to resolve a wide range of issues from access to benefits and healthcare to being a listening ear and companion to the lonely and anxious. Chaplains are committed to walking one mile of their towpath each week but most walk much more than that. They are happy to chat to anyone they meet, whether it be boaters, fishermen, cyclists or other walkers, and to help in any and every way they can, if asked.

There are about ten chaplains along the length of the Kennet and Avon. Ali says, “I
would love to see more Waterways Chaplains along the canal, to support boaters and all who use the waterway in any capacity, raising awareness of its potential and the challenges for those who live on it.”

She can be contacted by email or by phone 01488 208341.

aqueduct marina builds green credentials with bilgeaway

aqueduct marina builds green credentials with bilgeaway

Aqueduct Marina builds green credentials with Bilgeaway  

Aqueduct Marina, based on the Shropshire Union Canal near Nantwich, is encouraging customers to install River Canal Rescue’s Bilgeaway filter on their narrowboats.

aqueduct marina and bilgeawayThe Marina, a fervent advocate of environmentally-friendly solutions, now stocks Bilgeaway in its chandlery and is promoting the filter to its 147 mooring and 90 hard-standing users, external customers and those buying boats through its brokerage service.

Aqueduct hopes this move takes it one step closer to picking up the UK’s first Inland ‘Clean Marina’ award.

The Marina is already involved in a number of initiatives, including The Green Blue and Clean Marinas, and recently launched its own Greener Marina scheme - a customer communication programme which aims to develop a culture of environmental awareness between staff and customers, helping it gain Cleaner Marina status.

Bilgeaway is described as the world’s ‘first’ environmentally-friendly filtration system. It uses a non-toxic solution to remove contaminants from dirty bilge water, preventing waterway pollution, which are then rendered non-reactive, leaving environmentally-friendly contents in a cartridge for disposal. The housing can be re-used.

The product’s a ‘first’ because while other filter systems trap hydrocarbons, they fail to de-contaminate them, transferring the disposal problem elsewhere (typically a landfill site causing further land-based contamination).

Marina and operations director, Phil Langley, comments: “We are already trying to encourage customers to reduce pollution, emissions and their impact on the environment, and are doing this by promoting the use of solar panels and eco-friendly products.”

RCR managing director, Stephanie Horton, agrees: “Everyone has a responsibility to do their bit and if all boats had a filter installed, in 10 years’ time the waterways environment could look completely different. We’d have clearer canals and rivers and the oil slicks in marinas and harbours would be a thing of the past.”

To find out more visit Bilgeaway and Aqueduct Marina websites.