The charity making life better by water

Regional Round up South – July 2023

Our popular Regional Round Up is back, with a twist. This time, with the sun shining and our banks in bloom, we’d like to tell you about some exciting events coming to a canalside near you this summer. We’ve got inner-city kayaking, floating markets and breath-taking boat trips. Everything you need to make it a summer to remember.

West Midlands

Close-up of someone paddling a kayak

Famous for its industrial heritage, there's more to Birmingham than meets the eye. The UK's bustling second city is actually one of the greenest in Europe. Join us this summer for an unforgettable kayaking experience along Birmingham's waterways, as we explore the city's beautiful blue corridors, verdant banks and abundant wildlife.

For two days in August, Walsall Canal will be transformed, as boaters, traders, musicians and artisans gather for the annual Brownhills Canal Festival. With live entertainment, colourful narrowboats and stalls offering everything from hand-made soap to tarot readings, it's a must-see for landlubbers and boat enthusiasts alike.

Step back in time this summer on the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal, as Bratch Locks play host to a rally of historic narrowboats. Opened in 1772, the famous locks boast some of the prettiest canal buildings on our network. Come along, enjoy the scenery and see these marvellous little boats in action.

Wales & South West

A multi-arched aqueduct crosses the valley floor

Do you have a head for heights? This summer, we're offering skippered boat trips across the iconic Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in Llangollen. You'll experience some of the most awe-inspiring views on our network as you traverse the longest and highest aqueduct in Britain, once dubbed ‘The Stream in the Sky'. Truly, a trip of a lifetime.

For a unique running experience, why not check out the ‘Two Tunnels' race in Bath? Featuring the longest underground section of any race in the UK, the course takes runners through two of the city's historic railway tunnels. From a gentle 2K to an energy-sapping ultra-marathon, there are events for all ages and abilities.

Looking for a little adventure? Join us in August for a thrilling paddleboarding and kayaking experience on the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal. Pushing off at Pontymoile Basin, you'll take in some of the most beautiful scenery the region has to offer. Catering for ages eight and up, it's fun for all the family.

Do you know any budding lockkeepers? This summer on the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal in Crickhowell, we're giving youngsters between 8 and 18 a chance to try their hand at the timeless art of lock-keeping. Join us for a fun day out and see what it's really like to guide a narrowboat through a flight of locks.

London & South East

Crowds walk along the towpath, passing many boats covered in bunting selling various items.

Ever considered trying your hand at fishing? This summer, we'll be hosting more of our award-winning 'Let's Fish!' events thanks to the support of our valued partners. With events in Milton Keynes and Reading, we'll have you hooking a fish in no time.

Next month, traders, artists and craftspeople will descend on the Grand Union Canal in Milton Keynes for the annual RCTA floating market. Check out the historic narrowboats, enjoy some live entertainment and shop for everything from artisanal cheeses to hand-made garments. A fun day out for all the family.

This month sees the return of the lung-busting 'Great Western Run', a 145-mile race from London to Bristol along the Kennet & Avon Canal. Following easy-to-navigate canal, river and railway paths, this gruelling event is one of Britain's longest non-stop, point-to-point running races. Pop down to your local canal to see the competitors in action.

Make the most of your summer

Remember, these are just a handful of the exciting activities and events happening across our network in the coming months. For a complete run-down of our summer schedule, please check out our events calendar.

Last Edited: 23 June 2023

photo of a location on the canals
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