Holland and Belgium
Being located in the West of England, Holland was easy to get to for us, either by car or flying from Bristol to Amsterdam. The barges for sale were scattered all over Holland from Rotterdam in the south to Groningen in the north. Be prepared to clock up a few miles in your search for a decent barge.
Belgium was more difficult for local flight connections but a new service was started between Bristol and Brussels. We also used Eurostar where a ticket gave you free travel to all Belgian train stations. We found Harmonie II in a little place called Kerkhoven, just south of Lommel, close to the Dutch border in the province of Limbourg. It was our winter mooring for two years and we were the only barge there among the steel and plastic gin palaces!
Currently (2012) the best methods of searching from the UK is by car as you can often travel over by DFDS ferry for under £20 each way.
This is narrow boat country and the few Dutch barges for sale were either too small for us as they needed to fit the Engish broad canal system or were only any good for the larger rivers. They were universally expensive compared with the continent. If you are looking for the size of barge we wanted then, with one or two exceptions, you should look elsewhere.
Lots of barges here, most situated around Chalon-sur-Sa˘ne in Burgundy. You will also find them in the South of France on canals from the Rhone to Toulouse along the Canal du Midi, in the middle of France in Roanne and just south of Paris. They are owned by a league of nations. We found some nice ships which tended to be poorly specified or overly expensive for what they were.