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

Five ways to meet new people

Are you tired of the treadmill of daily life? Does your social life need a shake-up? Have you moved to a new area and want to make friends with the locals? Either way, our quick guide to meeting new people will help.

Two ladies talking next to the Regent's Canal Regent's Canal, London

1. Change your habits

It may sound harsh, but if you need to meet new people then you need to start doing things in a new way. This may mean taking up a new hobby or class (see below for more) or it may be as simple as tweaking your existing routine. As a first step, you need to identify some place local to you, where lots of lovely people congregate. Then you need to go there equipped with a smile and some small talk. Our number one tip is, don’t bury your head in a book!

2. Broaden your horizons

Starting an evening class just to make new friends is possibly a bit extreme – but if there’s something you’ve always fancied mastering then why not take the plunge? Chances are you’ll meet a group of like-minded people (say a group of people who all want to learn about Chinese watercolour painting) and you’ll be seeing each other regularly for a good couple of months at least.  

3. Volunteer

The same principles apply – if you volunteer for something that interests you then it’s likely you’ll meet people with similar interests. Plus it’s free, plus you get the warm satisfied glow of knowing you’re giving something back. Take a look at our volunteer pages to see the wide range of opportunities on offer. Whether you’re an outdoorsy person, an indoorsy person, a people person or a wildlife-lover, we’ve got something for you.

4. Market yourself

Everyone’s good at something (according to my kids’ school motto). What are you good at? Are you a secret chess genius? Join a local league. Are you good with numbers? Join just about any club or society and tell them that you’re willing to be treasurer. Handy with a shovel? Our Towpath Taskforce teams will snap you up.

5. Leave your comfort zone

The very best way to start talking to new people is when you’re all about to do something new that scares you a little bit. Take a course in white-water rafting, or abseiling, or mountain biking. Too extreme? Try canoeing, or public speaking, or life drawing. 

Last date edited: 13 August 2015