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


Organise your school visits to the Canal Museum in Stoke Bruerne.

A school visit to Stoke Bruerne A school visit to Stoke Bruerne

Stoke Bruerne provides you with an authentic experience of the waterways to bring learning alive across the curriculum. We offer:

  • A historic canal side village with attractive buildings, locks and canal tunnel – ideal for exploring a variety of history themes including the Victorians, World War II, the Industrial Revolution
  • Towpath walks, nature reserve and pond dipping area – perfect for investigating different wildlife habitats and environments
  • Two floors of colourful displays of artefacts and models telling the story of the growth, decline and regeneration of the canals – suitable for studying transport, Victorians, the Industrial Revolution, and tourism and leisure topics
  • Support from our friendly team of Explorer education volunteers. They can lead workshops to introduce your class to different aspects of the canal, accompany 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
  • A dedicated education room for workshops or eating packed lunches on rainy days
  • A safe grassy area for outdoor activities on sunny days
  • Occasional project weeks giving you a chance to explore some subjects in more detail – these might include pond dipping, World War II or different science themes. See our Events listing for more information
  • Optional boat trips for the ultimate canal experience. These need to be booked separately
  • Self-guided trails and other resources which you can download in advance from www.canalriverexplorers.org.uk
  • Café – selling hot and cold drinks, sweets, sandwiches and cake, gift shop – selling a variety of small ‘pocket money’ souvenirs, and bookshop – selling a wide range of canal history books for more detailed research. We can also organise ‘goody bags’ in advance – ideal for school groups

Popular sessions suitable for Key Stage 1 or 2 led by our Explorer Education team include:

  • An introductory session to the canal – why, where, how it was built, what cargoes were carried
  • Canal people – lives of the people working on the canal including dressing up in traditional costume
  • Building bridges – have a go at building model canal bridges and find out why arches are a good shape
  • Water safety – 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)
  • A guided walk to the tunnel entrance pointing out some history and wildlife features
  • A demonstration of how the lock works

Sessions last between 30 and 45 minutes and are most suitable for Key Stage 1 or 2. They can be tailored to suit your age group, time available, numbers of children and topic. Phone us to book a session and discuss the best programme for you.

Free preview

We recommend that teachers visit the site prior to confirming a visit when museum staff will be happy to help you devise a programme to meet your needs.


There is disabled access from the car park to the towpath and disabled toilets. The towpath surface is in good condition between the museum and the tunnel entrance. As the museum is housed in an old corn wharf unfortunately there is no disabled access to the upstairs floors of the museum. However on the ground floor we provide a panoramic view of the museum galleries and a heritage film of the canal.

Online support

You can download the museum trail from www.canalriverexplorers.org.uk

Booking your visit

Please call Louise Stockwin, Operations Manager, 01604 862229 or email louise.stockwin@canalrivertrust.org.uk to discuss your programme and check available dates.

Museum Prices

Up to 25 children £3 per head. Over 25 children £2.75 a head. All accompanying adults are free of charge.

Workshops and activities led by the Explorer education team are free of charge.

There is free coach parking for pre-arranged visits.

Boat trips

These need to be booked separately. There are two options

Narrowboat Charlie, seats 26 trips both to and through Blisworth tunnel, 07966 503609, www.stokebruerneboats.co.uk 

Narrowboat Indian Chief seats 40, 01604 862428 www.boatinn.co.uk 

Please book your boat trip before securing your museum booking.

Last date edited: 10 August 2015