Seven ways to make Mother's Day matter

Time is precious, and we’d all like to spend more of it with the people we love. This year, forget about chocolates and expensive meals, make Mother’s Day all about family time and celebrate the small stuff together.

A family next to the canal A family next to the canal

Noticing the first buds of spring, marvelling at bright yellow daffodils and enjoying the new-found warmth of the sun, these are the ingredients for relaxing weekends and lasting family memories. Our research shows that spending time by water makes you happier and healthier, so what better way to treat your Mum than with a feel-good trip to your local canal?

Give the gift of time

Our towpaths can lead you to a day of adventure, of learning or of simple rest and recreation. Stroll for a while and watch the ripples on the water. Cycle somewhere new, with no fear of getting lost. Pack a picnic and make a day of it or head for a canalside pub or teashop when hunger strikes. Colourful narrowboats, families of ducks and our black and white historic locks will keep all the family interested in what’s around the next corner.

Wellbeing by water

When the daily grind takes its toll, taking time out on the towpath can put the smile back on everyone’s faces. Best of all, this little dose of happiness is available free of charge, all day and every day. Maybe this year, the best Mother’s Day present of all would be a promise to spend more time together, enjoying the little things on your local canal.

Seven ways to make Mother's Day matter

  1. Feed the ducks – remember, bread isn’t good for them but there are lots of alternatives
  2. Watch boats passing through locks – the technical term is gongoozling
  3. Take a family walk
  4. Look out for signs of spring from the towpath
  5. Enjoy a picnic in the fresh air – this one’s weather permitting
  6. Check for rope marks on bridges – these were made by the tow lines back in the days when horses pulled narrowboats up and down the country
  7. Cycle slowly along your local towpath, enjoying the sights and sounds of nature 

Exciting events

Canals and rivers form a beautiful backdrop to events of all shapes and sizes on Mother’s Day and beyond. From free entry at the National Waterways Museum Ellesemere Port, to afternoon tea at the Anderton Boat Lift, find out what’s happening near you

We understand that not all families are the same. An outing with toddlers looks very different to an afternoon with a teenager. Happily, we’ve got it covered. Read how these mums enjoyed spending their free time by water.

Last date edited: 13 March 2019