The Floathouse Amelie, Cornwall
This three-cabin houseboat on the Penryn River near Falmouth aims to be an extremely relaxing perch for its guests. The top deck is ideal for morning yoga, while indoors there are sloping ceilings, sofas and floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic river views. 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 per night (four night min); canopyandstars.com
Sea Breeze and Samphire, West Sussex
On Prinsted Bay near Chichester, in a small marina, these two floating sheets for two are a perfect water hideaway. There is a double bed, kitchenette and shower room, as well as a generous balcony and outdoor seating for watching the wildlife and lake views. There are also nice walks around Thorney Island and Emsworth. Breakfast is delivered to the pontoons every morning.
Doubles from £157 B&B; thornhammarina.com/stay-at-thornham
Blackbird Boathouse, Devon
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 is a shower and a separate bathhouse on land. You can fish on the lake – it is full of rainbow trout – and walk in the forest nearby.
Four nights from £500; tregullandandco.co.uk/blackbird
Harbor Boathouse, Isle of Wight
This houseboat has beautiful views of the Solent and is used to transport passengers and goods between ships and the coast. Now it is moored for a supremely comfortable stay with four bedrooms, two bathrooms and plenty of space. The table seats eight, and there is a range telescope and outdoor area, plus a great crab shack nearby. From £184 per night (min 4 nights); theharbourhouseboat.co.uk
Secret Water, Suffolk
Set 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 bunk), accessed by a floating walkway. The boatyard has a cafe (guests can have breakfast delivered) and you can fish from the deck – which is ideally placed for glorious sunsets and sunrises. Outside the 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 for hire.
From £360 for two nights; hippersons.co.uk/secretwater
The Liverpool Boat
On Liverpool’s historic waterfront, this wide beam canal boat is sleek and stylish in duck egg blue. There are two bedrooms – one king-size, the other with bunks, an open kitchen and two outside 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
On the water’s edge at Milford Haven, these four bright cottages gently bob in the water. Located next to the mothership, the Ty Hotel, they are dog-friendly (as long as your pets don’t want to lunge at passing ducks and swans) and guests have access to the hotel’s restaurant and other facilities.
Doubles from £80 (two nights min; ty-hotels.com
Good hotel, London
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 beer and there’s a hint of mid-century modern throughout the furnishings. It lives up to its name: all profits go to run a school in Guatemala.
Rooms from £131; goodhotel.co/london)
Built in the 1960s in Glasgow to carry vital supplies to lighthouse keepers in Scotland, this boat has been transformed into a lavish floating hotel permanently docked in Leith, on Edinburgh’s vibrant waterfront. It has been thoroughly luxuriated, with large beds and roll-down bathrooms, rounded off with a spa. The Lighthouse restaurant offers elegant afternoon tea, and even smokes its own salmon.
Doubles from £300 B&B; fingal.co.uk
Built in Finland, this elegant yacht, moored in Royal Victoria Dock, offers rooms and suites that are surprisingly spacious and affordable. The Sundowner bar is full of glamor with polished brass, outdoor terraces and a wide selection of cocktails, while the onboard Lands End restaurant overlooks Canary Wharf with city views and a pan-European menu.
Doubles from £128; sunbornhotels.com/london