Water Helps You Unwind Why Not Try It?

Where better to unwind than by the water? Whether you love to be beside the seaside, yearn for calm reflection next to a lake or river, or prefer to sail off into the sunset, here are some holiday-on-the-water ideas to look into

Dog-friendly floating home in Liverpool

 unwind and enjoy a nice long cold evening drink on the deck looking at the water

For an unusual holiday experience, why not book a stay on a floating home in the Liverpool Yacht Club and Marina, on the waterfront. Stay On Board (sleeps four, plus one dog) is a contemporary canal boat with stylish interiors, including a well-equipped kitchen (with dishwasher), Smart TV, a king-size bed, bunk beds and a pristine bathroom. Enjoy watching the action whilst breakfasting on deck; evenings are well spent at the Yacht Club Bar & Restaurant. A seven-night self-catering stay costs from £201 pp (£802 total). £20 supplement for a dog. Visit www.caninecottages.co.uk to book. 

Lakeside with watersports – Cotswolds

After a day on the water, unwind and enjoy a nice long cold evening drink

The House By The Lake (sleeps eight) is a sumptuous, open-plan property in a superb lakeside location near Lechlade-on-Thames. Set within Cotswold Water Park, guests have easy access to canoeing, kayaking, swimming, sailing, water skiing and fishing. After an exhilarating day on the water, enjoy an evening drink on the deck. The house’s minimalistic style invites relaxation: leisurely dinners overlooking the water, and an open fire to sprawl by afterwards. The bunk bedroom with en suite bathroom and separate shower is ideal for children. A three-night self-catering stay costs from £162 pp (£1,291 total). Visit www.holidaycottages.co.uk to book. 

Riverside stay in Dorset

After an exhilarating day on the water, unwind looking back on the days events

The River Frome meanders through the ancient market town of Wareham and this sublime spot is perfect for mastering a range of water based activities from kayaking to SUP. Base yourself at the charming 16th Century The Priory Hotel which is located on a beautiful stretch of river in four acres of riverside gardens. Views of the river and Purbeck Hills abound from the hotel’s luxurious bedrooms and from the award-winning oak-framed Garden Restaurant which specialises in French and English cuisine using fresh, seasonal produce. An overnight stay costs from £220 per room total/ £110 pp (two sharing), including full English breakfast. Call Pride of Britain Hotels on 0800 089 3929 (www.prideofbritainhotels.com).

Family holiday on the Thames River

After an exhilarating day on the water, unwind and enjoy a nice long cold evening drink on the deck and look back on the days events

Take the children for a family holiday aboard Delphia Horizon 3, a 13-metre canal boat – designed to fit within the narrow water ways of places such as Staines-upon-Thames – which has three pristine cabins (each with private bathroom) and comfortable living space. Enjoy a constantly changing view and being gently swayed to sleep at night. Seven-night hire costs from €530 pp (approx. £456 pp) based on six sharing. SamBoat offers insurance (additional cost) to cover Covid-related cancellation, including a full refund up to two weeks before hire. To book, visit www.samboat.com.

Lakeside campervanning at Bewl Water

Located in Lamberhurst, Kent, in an Area of Natural Beauty, Bewl Water is the largest stretch of open water in the south-east of England. The stunning reservoir is set within 800 picturesque acres, and offers watersports including open water swimming, sailing, SUP, windsurfing, canoeing and an aqua park, as well as mountain biking, walking trails and an adventure playground. Stay in a campervan in the lakeside campsite to enjoy all that the area has to offer, retiring to your base each evening for BBQs, midnight feasts and stargazing. A four-berth VW campervan based in Kent with pop-top roof and kitchen facilities costs from £500 for four days, including breakdown cover, one insured driver and mileage (200 km per day). Campervan pitches at Bewel Water cost from £28 pn. Contact www.yescapa.co.uk.

Open water swimming at Luton Hoo Hotel

Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa, the five-star hotel an hour north of London, has recently launched open water swimming on its Capability Brown-designed Lake within its 1,065-acre estate. Open until the end of September and run in association with Active Training World, options include a short 150 m loop for novices, plus a longer 1 km lap for more experienced swimmers. Why not refuel after an invigorating wild swim with lunch or afternoon tea on the hotel’s al fresco dining terrace? The price is £8 per session; under-12s must be accompanied by an adult.

Boat for Two in Tenerife

This summer, you could be slicing through the azure waters south of Tenerife in a new Moni Boat (sleeps two) Easy to drive, she is equipped with water skis, a towable tube, a swim ladder and snorkelling equipment. Seven-night hire costs from €1,600 pp (approx. £1,378 pp) based on two sharing. SamBoat offers insurance (additional cost) to cover Covid-related cancellation, including a full refund up to two weeks before hire. To book, visit www.samboat.com.

Lake Como Bliss

The most elegant of the Italian lakes, Como conveys an almost dreamlike atmosphere, its shoreline dotted with villas, pretty pastel-hued villages and flower-filled gardens, all set against the dramatic backdrop of the southern Alps. Soak up its splendour during a seven-night water side stay at the four-star Grand Hotel Menaggio – set directly on the lake – and enjoy private boat trips to Villa del Balbianello and Villa Carlotta, plus optional excursions to Lake Orta, Bergamo, Milan and St. Moritz. Grand Hotel on Lake Como costs from £895 pp, including flights (Heathrow), transfers, B&B and local reps. Call Jules Verne on 020 3553 3722 (www.vjv.com).

Private Barge Cruising on the Canal du Midi

Where better to unwind by the water than on a relaxing six-night voyage through the vineyards and villages of the Languedoc aboard Anjodi, the stylish ‘hotel barge’ that featured in Rick Stein’s popular ‘French Odyssey’ TV series? Sailing on one of the world’s most picturesque water ways, the Canal du Midi, through south-west France, enjoy superb sightseeing accompanied by delicious cuisine created by your own chef from the best local produce. The price for a private charter is from £3,750 pp (based on a party of eight), including flights (London) to Montpellier, private transfers, all-inclusive cruise, crew and chef, plus a programme of excursions that has been tailor-made for your group. (www.kirkerholidays.com).

Live-aboard motorboats in the Alentejo

Created in 2002, the Alqueva Dam is the largest artificial lake in Europe and its setting, surrounded by olive and cork trees in Portugal’s spectacularly unspoilt Alentejo region, makes it a must for lovers of water based holidays. Explore the lake, and the pretty villages that line its shores, from the comfort of your own motorboat. Sleeping from two to ten people in vessels of one to five bedrooms, the boats are easy to use, have a top speed of six miles per hour and include a convenient overnight mooring that’s within easy walking distance of shops, bars and restaurants for evening excursions. Enjoy the Alentejo afloat from £1,345 pp (two sharing), including return flights (Heathrow), car hire and seven nights’ motorboat hire. (www.sunvil.co.uk).

Beachside Living on a Greek Island

Craving an idyllic water side holiday spot where you’re never far from the sea? As its name suggests, Achladies Beach Cottage is just moments from the sparkling blue Aegean; a short tree-lined pathway (just 15 metres) next to the villa leads straight to the water. Enjoy early morning dips and pre-sundowner swims before returning to relax in this charming property. There are tavernas, supermarkets and a bus stop in the neighbouring small resort, and Skiathos Town is within easy reach by hourly water taxi. A 14-night, self-catering stay costs from £1,242 pp (based on two adults & two children sharing), including flights (Gatwick), 20 kg luggage each, transfers, welcome pack and local rep. (www.gicthevillacollection.com).