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Top 10 things to do at Crick Boat Show

The 2024 Crick Boat Show, on May 25-27 at Crick Marina near Daventry, is the UK’s largest inland waterways festival, perfect for a family day out by the water.

Museums & Attractions stand at Crick boat show

The annual event, organised by Waterways World in partnership with us and Crick Waterside & Marina, is expected to attract over 26,000 visitors. The event will also feature an extra Trade & Preview Day on Friday 24 May, sponsored by Haven Knox-Johnston and for advance ticket holders only.

As well as being the canal world’s biggest marketplace, showcasing the inland waterways industry with over 200 exhibitors, Crick Boat Show offers a fantastic day out with dozens of boats to view, free boat trips, live music, children’s activities, a real ale bar, and a wide variety of food and drink stalls. Entry to the show is free for children aged 16 and under on Saturday 25, Sunday 26 and Monday 27 May.

Here are the Top 10 things to do at this year’s show:

1. Enjoy a boat trip

visitors to Crick can take a free boat trip along the Grand Union Canal aboard canal boats run by volunteers from the LNBP Community Boating. The half-hour trips run every 10 minutes from 10.10am each day of the show. Visitors can book their free trip at the Trip Boats Marquee on the Quayside when they arrive at the show.

2. Listen to live music

15 live bands will be performing throughout the show in the Real Ale Bar, for the show’s Music Festival sponsored by Aquavista. Young Elton will headline on the Saturday evening (25 May), and Fleetwood Bac will headline on the Sunday night (26 May). Evening entertainment, which is included in the price of the same day ticket to the show, runs from 7.30pm to 11.30pm.

3. Sample the Real Ale & Cider Festival

The show’s Real Ale & Cider Festival goes hand-in-hand with the live music in The Crick Tavern, offering the choice of 50 cask ales, 20 ciders and perries and over 20 gins. And thanks to sponsors LeeSan, the bar is going plastic-free this year, with drink ‘papers’ instead of glasses.

4. Climb aboard the latest luxury boats

Dozens of luxury new boats will be on display, showcasing all the latest lifestyle extras, space-saving ideas and green technology. From king-sized-beds, mood lighting and solid oak kitchens, to underfloor heating, electric engines and solar panels.

5. Step back in time

Thanks to the Historic Narrow Boat Club (HNBC), seven historic boats will be on display at the show, offering an insight into how the working boat families lived when canals were the transport arteries of the Industrial Revolution. The Stoke Bruerne Canal Museum’s cargo carrying ‘Sculptor’ and the tug/icebreaker ‘Sandbach’ will be among the historic boats on display.

6. Enjoy some retail therapy

With over 200 exhibitors from across the canal world, as well as dozens of new boats to look round, Crick offers shoppers the very latest in boating products and services, as well as crafts, gifts, clothing, jewellery and hats.

7. Discover what it takes to keep canals alive

We're hosting a series of afternoon talks and events where you can find out more about the amazing 2,000 mile network of canals and rivers that the Trust cares for.

8. Take a boat handling lesson

Two-hour boat handling training sessions with RYA accredited trainers from Watercraft and the Narrowboat Skills Centre will be taking place at the Show (25-27 May). Lessons will cover the basics of casting off, mooring up, boat etiquette, rope handling, boat jargon and lock navigation. Sessions are charged at £39 per person. Places are limited so advance booking via is essential.

9. Get some expert advice on boating

The show’s free Boat Ownership Seminar programme features advice from Waterways World’s Technical Editor Mark Langley for both new and experienced boaters. Seminars include advice on buying a new or second hand boat, living afloat and boat maintenance. And there will be Masterclasses from a number of exhibitors, with topics including managing water on the canal network with Adam Comerford, national hydrology manager for the Canal & River Trust.

10. Vote for your favourite boat

Visitors to the show can vote for their favourite boat and the result will be announced mid-afternoon on Monday 27 May. Sponsored by Haven-Knox Johnston, there are two categories to vote for: one for the most admired narrowboat; and one for the most admired widebeam. Everyone who votes is entered into a prize draw to win a £100 Marks & Spencer voucher and voters can also enter a draw to win a year’s free boat insurance.

For more information and to book tickets, camping pitches and moorings, visit or call 01283 742970, Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.

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Last Edited: 25 April 2024

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