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Boat trips

Come along or bring the family for a short trip next Sunday or Bank Holiday, or book a longer trip for a group on another day.

These trips take about 30 minutes run from Melbourne Arm on Sundays and Bank Holidays, from Good Friday until the end of October. Trips start at 12 noon and the last trip is around 4.15 pm. There is no timetable for our short trips and unlike group trips, they cannot be booked. .


The maximum number of passengers we carry is 12 at a time (including children and babies), but we can run lots of short trips on a Sunday.


Children can take turns to steer the boat, under supervision of course. It's easy - just push the tiller to the left and the boat goes to the right! 


We will carry up to two well controlled dogs on short trips, provided that no-one already on the boat objects.

How much does it cost?

We do not have fixed charges for short trips but encourage generous donations to cover the costs of licensing, insuring and maintaining our trip boat and help support the restoration of the canal.  There is a donations bucket on the boat and we have a card reader that takes card or phone payments.  


Trips lasting from 1 – 7 hours can be arranged for parties with a maximum of twelve passengers including children and babies. We will provide tea and coffee during the trip and you are welcome to bring food and drink. 

These longer trips can be arranged for any day of the week except Sundays and Bank Holidays. Our most popular trip is to Gardham Lock, where there are picnic tables, or you could eat on the boat. This takes approximately three hours.  There are various other options, depending on how long you would like to spend on the canal. For example, your party could explore the canal, from Melbourne Arm to East Cottingwith or head in the other direction towards Bielby and pass through two recently restored locks.  

Every year, we have groups celebrating birthdays with a trip on New Horizons and you are welcome to decorate the boat with balloons etc. There are family events, office outings and many other reasons for booking a boat trip. Or you might be interested in having a meal at the Melbourne Arms (which you pass on the way to the boat) or one of the other local pubs at the end of your trip. Passengers are welcome to steer the boat.

This information sheet is sent to those who contact our Booking Manager.


How much does it cost? 

PCAS is a charity and we welcome donations towards our work and running of the boat, but we have no fixed charges. Our Bookings Manager, Steve Ashby, will give you an indication of how much we have received from other groups for a similar trip.

Contact Steve if you would like more information or to make a booking. Please book early because it takes time to arrange a crew for your trip.


Find the Melbourne Arms pub in Melbourne. Typing YO42 4QJ into your SatNav will take you there and the OS Grid Reference is SE 752 443. If you use What3words, will take you to the landing stage where our boat trips start from.  There are maps of the canal on this website. 

Please park considerately in the village and walk down the lane beside the pub to Melbourne Arm. On Sunday afternoons and Bank Holidays the boat may be moored alongside the footpath or away on a trip and will be back soon. Our sign shows where to wait for the next trip. Normally we start at noon and the last trip is around 4.15. Please remember that we only run short trips on Sunday and Bank Holiday afternoons and that all other trips must be booked in advance.  If you have booked a trip, the boat should be moored alongside the footpath shortly before the arranged starting time.

Further information

1. We do not take bookings for Sundays or Bank Holidays because these days are reserved for short trips.

2. Our licence and insurance do not allow us to carry more than 12 passengers including children and babies. Larger groups can be accommodated by running two consecutive trips or having some passengers walking and some on the boat, swapping over during the journey. Our Bookings Manager will be happy to discuss the possibilities.

3. We do not offer boat hire, since our insurance covers only crewed boat trips.

4. We are not a commercial service and may have to cancel a trip if one of our volunteer crew is unavailable (because of illness or other good reason), mechanical failure, very poor weather conditions, flooding, or any reason that would make it difficult to operate the boat safely. This does not happen very often!  On Sundays and Bank Holidays we usually start short trips at noon and the last trip will be around 4:15 pm.  We might stop earlier if there is no-one waiting for a trip, particularly if it is raining.

5. Our skippers in charge of trips have had appropriate training including first aid. Our trip boat has a current Canal & River Trust licence, insurance and a Boat Safety Certificate. Copies of these and other relevant documents are kept on board and you are welcome to inspect them. We can supply details of insurance in advance if your organisation needs this, for example if you are planning a school outing.

6. New Horizons is a small boat and has no access for passengers in wheelchairs, though a small folding wheelchair can be stored in the cabin if the user can safely use the steps.  People with mobility issues should be aware that normal access is down four steps at the front of the boat, but there are handrails to help.  Alternatively, passengers can use the three steps into the galley by arrangement with the crew.  The crew can help but not with lifting passengers.   

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