Welcome to Barry and Sandra’s Stories & Photography

Hi! Kia ora! Welcome. We’re Barry and Sandra, and we’ve been navigating the canals and rivers of the UK Inland Waterways since April 2009, sharing abundant information about the waterways via our writing and photography. Initially cruising in NBNorthernPride, we published prolifically via a ‘Blogspot’ blog. This inaugural six-month ‘sabbatical’ from New Zealand was spent exploring the northern waterways, the second the south. 

We returned in March 2013 to gain Barry’s UK residency and bought NBAreandare. In May 2014, we moved blog providers to WordPress – which is where you’ve found us. We live in the UK as ‘Continuous Cruisers‘ on the canals and rivers in England and Wales. It’s been an interesting journey finding inventive ways to live, work, and spend time with family whilst moving frequently and living in a very small space.

Enjoying The Best Of Both Worlds

In February 2020, after almost seven years of red tape and expense, Barry successfully gained British Citizenship. We now aim to share our time between the UK and New Zealand, as we have family in each hemisphere. We’ve each tried differing ways to earn ‘enough’ to sustain our chosen lifestyle since then. Sandra finally found the perfect ‘job’ as a self-employed Digital Marketing Consultant with Ad-Extra, in early 2018, and enjoys weaving meaningful work around our life. Barry meanwhile, is happily retired and able to claim a full British pension (a reciprocal agreement with NZ).

In August 2020, we flew to NZ and bought a campervan to take advantage of travelling around New Zealand/Aotearoa for a year while there were no foreign tourists. Aptly christened NZAreandare, we blogged about these adventures – including Barry’s extraordinary images as a slide show at the end of each post. We returned to NZ at the end of November 2022 for six months, to meet our new grandson. During that time we also travelled a tiny part of Australia, catching up with Barry’s siblings. In May 2023, we were back on board Areandare enjoying cruising the northwest of England.

Follow our blog to keep up with the stories and photography of our colourful and often eventful lives.

North Island of New Zealand blogs, click this link

South Island of New Zealand blogs, click this link.

Australia blogs, click this link.

Below are a small selection of images from our narrowboat travels on the UK canals … (Click on the first image to see start the slideshow)

and from our New Zealand campervan adventures …

More About Us

If you’re interested, discover more about who we are here.

Get in touch via our contact page if you want further information or collaborations.

Follow us on our journeys (click on the ‘follow us’ button to the right on computers or below on Tablets/mobile) …

Barry’s Range of Photographic Greeting Cards

Check out Barry’s extensive range of superb Greeting Cards to purchase here or below. Have a look at his range of Digital Jigsaws using his gorgeous images.

Featuring images from on and around the UK canals and rivers.
FREE SHIPPING IN THE UK on orders of four or more cards

As featured in …

16 thoughts on “Welcome to Barry and Sandra’s Stories & Photography

  1. Loved the detailed info about living on a canal boat with all your cost breakdowns it was extremely helpful.
    Just the one question about medical care and obtaining regular monthly prescriptions how does that work?
    Many Thanks
    Gary Bartlett

    • Hi Gary. So glad it was helpful.
      To be honest we’re not entirely sure about medical care and regular prescriptions as we’re both extremely fortunate and don’t need either. But we do know boaters who have medical conditions that require regular check ups and prescriptions. I believe one of the ways is to hire a car to see the GP/Specialist as required.
      Are you a member of any of the Facebook Groups? I think there’s ones for people thinking of narrowboating. People are generally most helpful if you ask a question such as yours.
      Sorry not to be more helpful. Sandra

  2. Hi,
    I am soon to move to a narrowboat and found your blog!
    Could you please tell me if you applied for your visa while you were living on the boat? I was wondering if a boat was considered suitable accommodation by immigration authorities. Did you have to get a property inspection report for the boat if so? I’m going through this myself and there is limited information out there when it comes to applying for a visa whilst living on a boat. I will be on a CC license.

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    • Hi Colin. Pleased you found us 😉

      Throughout the ILR visa process we lived on the boat as continuous cruisers. However … we had a land address initially at my parents until they both died, then the final application at my daughter’s house. It’s why we decided to engage an immigration lawyer at Cartwright King, and initially in NZ. Because us boaters are a little different you ‘normal’ so tick boxes often (actually mostly!) aren’t appropriate to us. But we do know of another kiwi who went through the whole process himself with only his boat as evidence.

      When our lawyer initially talked of getting a ‘property inspection’ we laughed in his face! So ridiculous. It’s a small space. But it’s enough. We didn’t need one.

      Do email via the Contact Us page if it would be helpful to chat further. It’s a minefield!!!

      Good luck and keep in touch.

  3. Great to meet you last year on Sandra’s 50th cruise. Thought I’d just stop by and say hello, it would be lovely to keep up to date with your adventures on the UK’s waterways!

    • Hi Jane! It was indeed a pleasure to meet you and Dom last year – and the Scotland blog with photos is yet to be published so you may even feature … You’re very welcome here, lots of adventures to be had, though nowhere near as intrepid as the one you’re both about to embark on 🙂

  4. Hi
    We are looking to spend more time relaxing and love the river boat concept.
    We are going to France in July to start looking
    Should we start in France or start in England?
    We won’t get to England this trip
    All I ask is a direction as to the best place to start looking, the best yard? in france.
    I am nor sure if you have spent time there b it assume with the experience you have generally you will have some ideas.

    • Hi Rod and Megan. Wow! That sounds exciting for you both.
      Unfortunately we have no idea about Boat Yards in France, or the European Canals in general really. It’s the British waterways that have appealed to Barry. There’s big differences between boating in UK and Europe. Your best bet is probably to start researching using the waterways magazines.
      We’re back in Gisborne in March, so maybe get in touch then and catch up for a coffee and chat with Barry? Send us an email and I can give you our contact details – barryandsandra@nbareandare.com 😉

  5. I am from Gisborne. My parents showed me that you are here. I live in warwickshire now. Where will you be over the weekend?

    • Kia ora Kerry

      How lovely to be in contact with another Gisbornite (not sure that’s a real word lol, but it sounds like it ought to be!).

      We’re currently at Merry Hill, in Brierly Hill, trading here this weekend at a Floating Market. Following that, we’ll be heading to Stourport for the weekend of 3rd/4th September. We’re remaining in the Birmingham area now until around April 2017, so not far from you. We’ve got festivals booked every weekend until early October.

      Do come and say hi when you can.
      Sandra & Barry 😉

  6. Great blog. I’m a Yorkshireman serving in NZ Army (18 years now). Actually reading this in Jakarta. Dreaming of retiring to my ski house in Ohakune AND narrowboat back in Blighty. Good luck with your travels!

    • Kia ora Andy, thank you for taking the time and trouble to comment, much appreciated. We loved our time in Yorkshire, magnificent scenery. Keep dreaming and imagining that ‘best of both worlds’, sounds pretty similar to my aspirations, though not sure if I’ll ever get Barry back to NZ! Don’t wait too long to manifest your dream life 😉

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