The Best Floating Shops & Cafes

If you’re a narrowboat owner you’ll no doubt have heard of floating shops and cafes. Found along the rivers and canals of the UK, narrowboat based businesses are providing unique goods and services to those travelling the inland waterways.


Have a read of our favourite floating shops and cafes out there!


  1. The Cheese Boat, various locations

The Cheese Boat was the brainchild of a husband and wife who wanted a way to turn their passion for narrowboating into something profitable. Geraldine and Michael Prescott now travel the canal system introducing welsh cheese to everyone, selling produce primarily from Snowdonia Cheese and Caw Cenarth Cheese Co. You can check out their website to see where they’ll be heading next; as well as what products are in stock, recipes and contact details.


  1. New Call-to-actionThe Herb Boat, various locations

The Herb Boat is home to Sue Cotton, “purveyor of the finest herbs and spices, carefully sourced from around the world.” The Herb Boat travels around the UK’s canals selling herbs, spices, books, antiques and herb-related kitchenware. Visit The Herb Boat on Facebook to find out its next stop.


  1. Floating Coffee Company, Birmingham

This quaint coffee shop on a barge has become a popular eatery for locals around Birmingham. Located on The Waters Edge, The Floating Coffee Company offers breakfast and lunch with low prices and a superb view of the canals in the heart of Birmingham. A great one for families and a go-to spot for both locals and tourists.


  1. Cafe on the Cut, Gloucester Docks

Cafe on the Cut opened in 2014 by Vanessa Radwell, who wanted to transform her narrowboat into a cosy and unique cafe. The Cafe on the Cut supports local businesses by sourcing food and furniture from local producers. Visit the Cafe on the Cut on Facebook to check their opening times and be sure to stop off for a freshly baked cake if you’re in the area.


  1. The Book Barge, various locations

The Book Barge launched in 2009 as an independent bookshop on a narrowboat plying the British waterways. The Book Barge is run by Sarah Henshaw, a journalist and author of The Bookshop that Floated Away. She’s written for the Telegraph, The Independent and Elle Decoration. She is also an editor of the magazines Inland Waterways Association and deputy editor of Waterways World magazine. Although you won’t catch the Book Barge in the UK for the rest of the year, the business has plans to reopen in Burgundy, France, in 2019. Visit their website for more information.


Looking for some inspiration for your next narrowboat adventure? Read our Guide to the UK’s Best Mooring Spots.

The Ultimate Guide: UK's Best Mooring Spots

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