Finding a suitable day out, short-break or longer holiday for Care Home residents, or people attending day care centres, can be a challenge.  CanalAbility offer three specially adapted canal boats which could be the perfect option for Activity Organisers looking for an accessible, fun and stimulating trip. 

For those residents with mobility issues, our specially adapted canal boats have ramps & lifts to enable access via wheelchair and for people with impaired mobility. Unlike the majority of canal boats, our boats also have accessible toilet facilities and our holiday boats have full wet rooms rather than just a shower tray or a bath.  

We steer, and you decide where to go!  Here are some positive benefits a canal boat trip with CanalAbility can bring to the elderly and those who require dementia care:  


  • Simply enjoying the sensation of the sun or wind on the face can be a positive experience and invoke memories.  
  • Being in the ‘great outdoors’-seeing, feeling and hearing nature- brings so many positives for everyone, both emotional and physical.  Our boats can be enjoyed in any weather too! Your residents and carers can sit below deck in comfort and watch the world go by or, on sunnier days, go up on deck with the crew and experience all the sensations a cruise along the river can bring. Colder weather needn’t put you off, our boats are all centrally heated.  

 A change of scenery

  • Getting out and enjoying activities together can help residents stay positive and active. A peaceful cruise on the river is a wonderful way to spend quality time together and reduce social isolation, as well as lifting the spirits and bringing many benefits to general well-being. Our day hire boat can accommodate 12 people and is so spacious that this number may include 6 wheelchair users, so everyone can enjoy a spending time together in a calm and safe environment.  If you need to accommodate more than 12 passengers, you could hire 2 of our canal boats (subject to availability). 
  • Our crew can involve residents and carers in steering the boat. See what our clients have to say, including 92 year old Moya, who enjoyed steering the boat as part of her birthday celebrations.  
  • A peaceful cruise along the river can help people feel calm and secure, and having a change of scenery can be refreshing for many.

Celebrate in Style

  • If you are looking for a celebration with a difference, our boats are the perfect way to create come wonderful memories together.
  • If you are looking for a festive celebration, why not book one of our Christmas Cruises? From as little as £12.50 per head, based on a group of 12, you can enjoy a unique Christmas celebration on-board one of three cosy centrally heated canal boats. Crew are provided and steer you through the sparkling winter landscape of the River Stort, while you prepare your own festive meal, or just put your feet up and watch the world sail by in comfort.

What have our previous Care Home customers had to say? 

“The Residents, some of their relatives and the staff at Cuffley Manor CanalAbility boat and Parndon MillCare Home had two lovely trips on The Stort. a huge thank you to the excellent crews especially our skipper today Ken with help from Mary and John. Very informative, kind and caring people. We would recommend Canalability for a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Well done to all these volunteers you do a great job.”  Pauline from Cuffley Manor Care Home, Potter Bar

 “I took a group of residents on a day trip yesterday and we all had the most fabulous day..thank you so much to all your team” Nicola from Snowdrop House Care Home in Ware, Hertfordshire. 

Our canal boat mooring is on the outskirts of Harlow on the Essex / Hertfordshire border and is easily accessible by road using the M11, or by mainline rail to Harlow Town railway station. We are only 12 miles from London Stansted Airport, 35 miles from Central London and 40 miles from Cambridge. 

If you are a Care Home or Day Care Centre Activity Organiser and would like to find out more about creating the perfect day out for your Care Home Residents, get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you.