We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.

Open Days

Each year we hold a number of free open days for the public. We're inviting you along to take a look behind the scenes and find out what it takes to keep our canals and rivers open to everyone.

Reflecting the breadth of the work we carry out, each open day offers a different experience and you could find yourself descending into drained locks, taking a boat trip or strolling along an empty aqueduct. 

A group of people in an empty lock

This year the public will be given the rare chance to see up close some of the finest examples of working industrial heritage in the world, whether climbing down into the iconic Marple Lock Flight on the Peak Forest Canal, walking along a 800-metre drained stretch of Wales’ picturesque Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal or discovering the history of St. Pancras Lock in the bustling centre of London.

Each open day provides the opportunity for local communities to learn about the history and heritage of their area from one of the charity's skilled heritage advisers, engineers and other workers who attend the events and provide free tours. The charity's army of passionate volunteers will also be on hand to share their unique knowledge of the waterways and surrounding area with visitors.

Coming soon

We're finalising our list of Winter Open Days for 2016 and 2017 and we have some great locations for you to attend. Keep checking back here for confirmed dates but the locations we will be heading to are:

  • Lock 72, Middlewich Branch - Trent & Mersey Canal - 26 November 2016
  • River Lock (Lock 1) Leeds & Liverpool Canal - Nov (specific date TBC)
  • Elland Road Bridge - Calder & Hebble Navigation - Nov (specific date TBC)
  • Marple Lock Flight - Peak Forest Canal - 21 January 2017 
  • Audlem Lock - Shropshire Union Canal - 21 January 2017
  • Llangattock relining project - bridges 115-116, Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal - 28 January 2017 
  • Tringford Pumping Station - Grand Union Canal - Jan (specific date TBC)
  • Stoke Bruerne - 4 & 5 February 2017 
  • St Pancras Lock - London - 4 & 5 February 2017
  • Turner Wood Lock - Chesterfield Canal - 25 & 26 February 2017 
  • Doncaster Lock - Sheffield & South Yorkshire Navigations - Feb (specific date TBC)
  • Junction Lock 17 - Trent & Mersey Canal (Fradley) - Feb (specific date TBC)
  • Stourbridge Lock 3 - Dudley Canal - 11 March 2017 

As part of its maintenance programme, the Trust will be working on around 164 lock gates across the country. The new lock gates are made in the Trust’s specialist workshops at Bradley in the West Midlands and Stanley Ferry in Yorkshire

Take a look at our time lapse footage from Hawley Lock in Camden to get a sneak preview into the work involved in changing one of our lock gates. 

All around the country

We hold open days around the country so wherever you are there should be something nearby. While each open day varies due to the work being carried out, at all open days you’ll be able to chat to our engineers, ask questions and find out about the past of the area. 

There’s really no better way to get a feel for the ingenious engineering and expert workmanship that went into making our canals all those years ago.

Have a look at our behind the scenes footage below, taken before last years Tees Barrage Open Day.