The charity making life better by water

Something for everyone on our canals this spring

With spring just around the corner, we’re here to tell you about some of the exciting events taking place on our canals and rivers in the coming months. From open days to heritage tours and fishing sessions, all completely free of charge, discover what’s happening on a canalside near you.

Boating events

We're kicking off boating season in style, with our traditional annual Easter Boat Gathering. From 7 to 10 April, historic narrowboats from all over the country will be congregating at the National Waterways Museum at Ellesmere Port in Cheshire. With live music, food stalls and craft workshops, it's an event not to be missed.

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A view across the canal at Crick Boat Show

The UK's biggest inland waterways festival, Crick Boat Show returns in May. Held at Crick Marina across the spring bank holiday weekend on 27 to 29 May, the event is brimming with exciting activities for experienced boaters to novices to anyone just looking for a great day out. There'll be exhibitions, entertainment, seminars, and free boat trips along the Grand Union Canal. Plus, we'll have our very own boating marquee, where our experts will be answering all your boating questions.

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Floating markets

Our friends at the Roving Canal Traders Association (RCTA), will be hosting a number of floating market events across the country, from Cheshire to London, at some of the most picturesque spots on our network. With food and drink, unique stalls and colourful boats, you'll be treated to a festival atmosphere on the towpath.

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People looking at wares for sale on highly-decorated canal boats.

Walking

Let's Walk! has returned with a brand-new programme of waterside rambles. We'll be offering guided walks along some of the country's most celebrated canals, exploring iconic sites, such as Caen Hill Locks in Wiltshire and Chester's famous Rows. Everyone is welcome, as we aim to improve people's mental and physical health, reduce isolation and encourage new friendships.

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A group of people walking along the towpath

Open days

For a unique insight into some of the incredible work we do as a charity, why not pop along to one of our free open days?

As part of the National Lottery Open Week, we're welcoming you to Diglis Lock Island in Worcester this month. This man-made island in the middle of the River Severn is home to a rare species of fish, the twaite shad. You'll learn how we've been restoring their traditional spawning grounds, with an unprecedented tour of this fascinating site. If you're lucky, you might even spot some wild fish in our underwater viewing gallery.

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Why not explore one of the country's last surviving examples of a purpose-built canal yard. Located in Shropshire and home to pioneering engineers, William Jessop and Thomas Telford, Ellesmere Yard was at the heart of the industrial revolution. Join us on one of our monthly tours in March and April for a rare glimpse into the golden age of canals.

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Fishing

Ever thought about trying your hand at fishing? This spring sees the return of our award-winning Let's Fish! events. Whether you're new to fishing or just a little rusty, our team of expert angling coaches will have you hooking a fish in no time. Sessions are free and open to adults and children, so it's something everyone can enjoy. If you're looking for a new hobby, pop along to one of our fishing events near you.

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A young person sat on the canal bank fishing

Volunteering

If you or somebody you know is looking for a new challenge, why not check out one of our volunteer welcome sessions this spring? You'll get an insight into a range of different activities, from lock-keeping to litter-picking. Whether you have a spare couple of hours or couple of days, there's something for everyone. It's a great way to learn new skills, make friends and get active, so come along and see first-hand what it's like to volunteer for our wonderful charity.

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Keep updated with events happening across our network this spring and summer by visiting our events calendar.

Last Edited: 22 February 2023

photo of a location on the canals
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