For kids: Step back in time

Are you in need of recharging?

Our canals and rivers offer spaces on your doorstep to relax and reconnect when we need them the most.

This activity pack will help children learn what it was like to live and work along the canals between 1760 and 1960.

Grand Union Canal Grand Union Canal history

Our education team have created a wide range of resources for schools and youth groups, which can easily be used for homeschool projects too. 

In this ‘Life on the English waterways’ pack you'll find information, pictures and activities that explain more about the people of the canals during this period. Aimed at 9-13 year olds, the pack is a good way to explore history, as well as other subjects, such as art and sociology.

Many of our canals were built around the time of the Industrial Revolution, during the late 18th century and early 19th century. People flocked to them, to find work so they could support their families. Thousands of men and women worked on boats. There were also jobs in canal engineering, transporting cargo and looking after locks.

Families lived together on narrowboats and the children often helped out with chores. They might have had to steer the boat or lead the horse that pulled the boat along.

Last date edited: 12 May 2020