Water beds: the UK’s 10 best floating hotels


The Floathouse Amelie, Cornwall

This three-cabin houseboat on the Penryn River near Falmouth aims to be a supremely relaxing perch for its guests. The top deck is ideal for morning yoga while indoors there’s a pitched roof, sofas and floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views of the river. Falmouth is a 30-minute walk away or you can get out on the water with paddleboarding, surfing and sailing on your doorstep.
From £145 a night (four-night min); canopyandstars.com

Sea Breeze and Samphire, West Sussex

A small wooden ark-inspired hut on a floating platform
Ark inspired, West Sussex

On Prinsted Bay near Chichester, in a small marina, these two floating arks-for-two are a perfect watery hideaway. There’s a double bed, kitchenette and shower room, as well as a generous balcony and outdoor seating for watching the wildlife and views across the mudflats. There are also pretty walks around Thorney Island and Emsworth. Breakfast is delivered to the pontoons each morning.
Doubles from £157 B&B; thornhammarina.com/stay-at-thornham

Blackbird Boathouse, Devon

A sunny day, canal boat behind some reeds on a tranquil lake
A lake stay in the Blackbird

On a private lake in north Devon, this converted narrowboat is the perfect stowaway for two. A moody black exterior gives way to a light, bright, open-plan interior with a double bed, kitchen and wood-burning stove. There’s a shower, and a separate bath house on shore. You can fish on the lake – it’s full of rainbow trout – and walk in the woodland close by.
Four nights from £500; tregullandandco.co.uk/blackbird

Harbour Boathouse, Isle of Wight

A dinner table on a boat, overlooking a small harbour, the tide is out
Dinner on deck, Isle of Wight

This houseboat has pretty views across the Solent and used to ferry passengers and goods between ships and the shore. Now it’s moored for a supremely comfortable stay with four bedrooms, two bathrooms and plenty of space. The table seats eight and there’s a range telescope and outdoor area, plus a great crab shack nearby. From £184 a night (4-night min); theharbourhouseboat.co.uk

Secret Water, Suffolk

Sunrise over the marina, with a variety of houseboats
Sunrise on the Waveney

Situated in a working boatyard on the River Waveney near Beccles, Secret Water is a wooden glamping pod with a curved roof and two bedrooms (one double, the other bunks), reached by a floating walkway. The boatyard has a café (guests can get breakfast delivered), and you can fish from the deck – which is ideally positioned for glorious sunsets and sunrises. Off deck, you can rent kayaks and canoes. Secret Water is about to be joined by another pod, Wild Cat Island, and there are also three traditional houseboats available to hire.
From £360 for two nights; hippersons.co.uk/secretwater

The Liverpool Boat

The living area on the Liverpool boat, with views of the marina behind
Liverpool lifestyle

On Liverpool’s historic waterfront, this wide-beam canal boat is sleek and stylish in duck-egg blue. There are two bedrooms – one kingsized, the other with bunks, an open-plan kitchen and two outdoor areas. If you can tear yourself away for some culture, Tate Liverpool is a 15-minute walk away or you can enjoy access to the restaurant and bar at the Liverpool Yacht Club and Marina, where the boat is moored.
Two nights from £498; liverpoolboat.com

Floatel Cabins, Pembrokeshire

A bedroom that opens out to a deck, with water and boats in the background
Water views from Floatel

On the waterfront at Milford Haven, these four light-filled cabins bob gently in the water. Berthed alongside the mothership, the Ty hotel, they’re dog-friendly (as long as your pets don’t want to launch themselves at passing ducks and swans) and guests have access to the restaurant and other facilities of the hotel.
Doubles from £80 (two night min; ty-hotels.com

Good Hotel, London

The Good Hotel, with a walkway across the water
London life at the Good Hotel

This hotel started life as a floating platform in Amsterdam and ended up, via a trip across the North Sea, moored in east London. The rooftop bar serves local beers and there’s a touch of midcentury modern about the furnishings. It lives up to its name: all profits go to running a school in Guatemala.
Rooms from £131; goodhotel.co/london)

Fingal, Edinburgh

The Lighthouse restaurant
Dine in style, Fingal, Edinburgh

Built in the 1960s in Glasgow to ferry vital supplies to lighthouse keepers in Scotland, this boat has been transformed into an opulent floating hotel permanently berthed in Leith, on Edinburgh’s vibrant waterfront. It has been thoroughly luxed up, with oversized beds and roll-top baths, rounded off with a spa. The Lighthouse restaurant offers posh afternoon teas, and even smokes its own salmon.
Doubles from £300 B&B; fingal.co.uk

Sunborn, London

Built in Finland, this sleek yacht, berthed in the Royal Victoria Dock, offers rooms and suites that are surprisingly spacious and good value. The Sundowner bar is full-on glamour with polished brass, outdoor decking and a wide range of cocktails, while the onboard Lands End restaurant looks out towards Canary Wharf with city views and a pan-European menu.
Doubles from £128; sunbornhotels.com/london