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


What was it like in the heyday of the Grand Union Canal? And how busy was Stoke Bruerne as a major hub servicing the boats travelling through the Blisworth Tunnel? With real objects, real stories and a real working canal, the Canal Museum brings history to life.

A school trip next to a lock at Stoke Bruerne A school trip at Stoke Bruerne

We love dressing up here at the Canal Museum. Why not get your class to dress as traditional boaters on their visit to the Canal Museum? But why stop there? We’ve lots for your class to get stuck into on their visit to the Canal Museum:

  • explore a variety of history themes including the Victorians, World War II, the Industrial Revolution as you wonder around Stoke Bruerne – the historic canal side village with attractive buildings, locks and canal tunnel
  • investigate different wildlife habitats and environments as one of our brilliant team will take you on a towpath safari around our nature reserve and pond dipping area
  • discover two floors of colourful displays, artefacts and models telling the story of the growth, decline and regeneration of the canals – suitable for studying transport, Victorians and the Industrial Revolution, as well as tourism and leisure topics
  • build a bridge – have a go at building model canal bridges and find out why arches are a good shape
  • learn how to be safe near water and how to help someone in an emergency (this is also available as an assembly in your school in certain locations)
  • go on a guided walk to Blisworth tunnel pointing out the history and wildlife
  • watch our volunteers as they explain how a lock works

And for the ultimate canal experience you can even take to the water on one of the local boat trips. You’ll need to book these separately from your museum visit.  

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Explorer education team

You’ll get loads of support from our friendly team of Explorer education volunteers. They lead workshops to introduce your class to different aspects of the canal, take you on a history walk along the towpath, show you how the lock works and help bring a trip to the museum to life with stories and anecdotes.

And all our Explorers education workshops typically last between 30 and 45 minutes and are developed by teachers and consultants to be closely linked to the National Curriculum for KS1 and 2 children. You can even download useful self-guided trails and activity sheets before your visit from our Explorers site.

You can take advantage of our dedicated education room for workshops or eating packed lunches on rainy days. But we’ve a safe grassy area for outdoor activities on sunny days.

Cub scouts and brownies

A visit to The Canal Museum and Stoke Bruerne village makes an ideal outing for Beavers, Cub Scouts, Rainbows and Brownies. Our Explorer education team can lead a water safety session if children are working towards their safety badge. We can even arrange for the museum to open in the early evening too!

Grown-ups can learn too!

We also offer a wide range of hands-on learning opportunities for all ages. You can tailor our courses to meet your needs. For information about adult learning classes, including traditional Roses and Castles painting weekends, go to our what's happening page.

Free preview

You can visit the museum before confirming a class or group visit where our team will be happy to help you devise a programme to suit your age group, time available, numbers of visitors and topic.

Book now

For prices and other information, go to our Planning your visit page for schools and groups for booking details.

Last date edited: 12 April 2017