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Discover the nation's hidden waterway gems

This summer, families, nature lovers and heritage enthusiasts are being encouraged to explore some of the nation’s best kept secrets as TV’s Miranda Krestovnikoff helps us to launch the top ‘100 Hidden Gems’ of the waterways.

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I love visiting the canals, and on a lovely sunny day there really isn’t a better place to be.
Miranda Krestovnikoff

The locations have all been chosen to introduce visitors to the secret delights of their local canal or river and encourage people to enjoy a few hours away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

A ride through history on the Anderton Boat Lift on the Trent & Mersey Canal, delving into the fabulous history of the waterways at the National Waterways Museum at Ellesmere Port in Cheshire and ‘gongoozling' as boats navigate the ten locks at Foxton Locks in Leicestershire all make the list, with many other beauty spots and places of interest included to ensure there is something for everyone. Other attractions include:

  • Visiting one of the ‘seven wonders of the waterways' and enjoy an enjoy a relaxing afternoon watching the boats rise and fall as they make their way along the Bingley Lock Flight on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal
  • Enjoy a fun filled morning visiting the Gloucester Waterways Museum at Gloucester Docks. Discover the secret mystery of the waterways and learn how the canals were built over 200 years ago.
  • Sample a local ice cream from the floating café at Little Venice and hop on a boat to explore London from a completely different watery perspective
  • Sit and enjoy a picnic along the canal as you watch a narrowboat meander slowly through the historic centre of Bath – if you're really lucky you might even catch sight of the blue flash of the the elusive Kingfisher
  • Take a meander around the reservoirs at Tring and see what variety of birds and insects you can spot fluttering along the canal. Stop off for and enjoy a refreshing drink at a canal side café and watch as the colourful boats chug on by.

Free mobile app

We are also launching a free mobile app called ‘Places to Visit' to provide information on each of the destinations. It's available to download along with printable information sheets at

Most locations are free to visit and require just a little imagination to create a fun-filled family morning or afternoon.

TV presenter and mother of two, Miranda Krestovnikoff, who is supporting the campaign and encouraging families to discover their local canal, said: “I love visiting the canals, and on a lovely sunny day there really isn't a better place to be. From the huge variety of wildlife, to treating yourself to an ice cream or cool drink, it's a fun, family place to enjoy the history on your doorstep without breaking the bank.”

Simon Salem, marketing director for the Canal & River Trust, said: “The canals are a wonderful place to visit during the summer and with so many people living within five miles of their local waterway it's a really easy day out during the long summer holidays.”

Last Edited: 22 July 2013

photo of a location on the canals
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