8 reasons to adore living on a houseboat

Because there’s nothing half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats…

Over 15,000 Brits have given dry land the heave-ho and taken up residence on the country's waterways. Here are eight reasons why you should join them.

Take a tour: This newly built houseboat, overlooking a picturesque harbour, is full of eclectic finds

1. Freedom!

houseboat with bridge and water

(Image credit: TBC)

Imagine being able to change where you live whenever you feel like it? In a houseboat, you can relocate every day if you want to, with zero hassle.

And when you're ready to settle down, you can always take up a permanent mooring.

2. Ever-changing views

houseboat with wooden flooring and white walls

(Image credit: TBC)

Rolling countryside one week, iconic city skylines the next... all you need to do is weigh anchor and watch the scenery unfold.

3. A sense of community

houseboat with water and trees

(Image credit: TBC)

When you become a houseboat owner you're automatically enrolled into an unofficial secret club that landlubbers don't even know about. Wherever you go, it's like having your own little village on the water.

4. No more nuisance neighbours

On the rare occasions when you do moor up next to someone you don't get on with, you don't have to put up with them for long, as you can just move on.

5. Nature on your doorstep

houseboat with mountain view and trees

(Image credit: TBC)

In the morning you'll wake up to the sound of birdsong, during the day you'll sail past England's green and pleasant lands, and at night you'll be rocked to sleep by the waves lapping against the boat.

You can even fish for your supper or pick berries from the banks without leaving your home - what's not to like?

6. You can get creative with bespoke designs

houseboat with red walls and mattress

(Image credit: TBC)

A houseboat demands that you make use of every last inch of space, giving you the perfect excuse to come up with your own stylish, space-saving designs. It shouldn't cost the earth, either, since you don't have that much space to fill.

Read more: These small bedroom ideas are big on style

7. You can build a floating garden

potted plants with blur background

(Image credit: TBC)

When you live on a houseboat, the ever-changing banks of the canal or river are your garden.

But you can also create your own bit of green space to take with you, by planting flowers, shrubs and herbs in low-maintenance pots.

Prefer life on dry land? Check out these 6 reasons to love living in a studio flat

Let's face it, the reason most people turn to life on the water is the sheer romance of it all. The idea of casting off the shackles of convention and embracing a life less hectic is hard to resist. Plus saying you're a houseboat dweller is a great conversation starter at parties.


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.