Read the story of how the Canal & River Trust came to be
Work for us
We have vacancies across all of our waterways and in the offices, museums and attractions that support them. We're one of the UK's biggest charities and we take pride in everything we do
If you're thinking of getting in touch then please take a moment to look through these pages as we probably have the answer on our website
Planning & design
All you need to know about planning and design on our canals and rivers
Find a winter mooring
Find a cosy section of canal to hunker down in this winter
10 reasons to take up canoeing
It's a great way to get fit and explore our waterways at the same time
Share the Space
Take a look at our common sense guide to sharing the towpath
Find a place to fish
From reservoirs to club-managed canals and river stretches - find your nearest place to fish
Get your free guide
Download your free guide today and start exploring the waterway nature near you
Download your free guides
You've nine free days out guides to choose from - where will you go first?
Find a walk near you
Are you ready to ramble? Find a waterside stroll or a satisfying hike along our beautiful canals and rivers
Take a look at our upcoming events here.
Find your favourite waterway
With over 95 canals, rivers, reservoirs, docks and navigations, find out more about your favourite waterway
Something for everyone
Help us make a difference and have fun along the way. Find your perfect volunteer role today
Join our team
Could you join your local Towpath Taskforce team and help us to keep our canals looking lovely?
Desmond Family Canoe Trail
If you're aged 16-25 and would like to get involved with this exciting project, please get in touch
Could you be a volunteer lock keeper?
Find out what's involved with this popular volunteering opportunity
Why we think canals are better with Friends
Become a Friend of the Canal & River Trust today and you’ll open yourself up to new experiences and endless opportunities.
We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.
We've lived aboard for 28 years and I work as a blacksmith artist from my forge on our tugboat Bronte. It's not the most lucrative, but it's definitely the best way of life... you're out in nature travelling around in freedom, and just being outside is amazing. It's a lifestyle rather than anything, but we make enough to live. I think we've been very lucky.
I've been a blacksmith most of my life, and my dad was too. I decided to build Bronte from sheets of steel and set up my own forge on board after I was made redundant during the recession of the 1980s.
Setting up my forge on a canal boat seemed right for me since the canals in Yorkshire have always been part of my life - I was born practically on the towpath because the house I grew up in had the embankment of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal as its back wall!
Our children grew up on the boat and we lived on the Kennet & Avon Canal when they were little so they could go to the local school there. They loved the boat lifestyle, they didn’t know any different, it was just their home! One year they got a dinghy off Father Christmas. I hid it down the Coal Canal next to someone's boat and then rowed it out on Christmas Eve after they'd gone to bed. In the morning we said, "Go and have a look outside!". The kids have left home now, so we sold it a few years ago and they’re still a bit sad about that.
I work in the forge every day, and sell to passers-by on the towpath. Some of my art sells from our website and we travel to some of the boat festivals. My wife updates where we're going to be on our Facebook page. The challenge for my best designs is to be both beautiful and practical. I think the wine holder is probably our best seller at the moment!
The thing I most love about being a blacksmith artist is the instant few seconds of the process when I have to work with the hot metal to get it right. I do pre-plan the design, but then it’s almost as if the metal tells you where to go with it. My style is to go with the metal, and not force it beyond its natural limits. My candlestick design bends and flows in a way that seems a bit like the meandering of the canal near Skipton.
We'll never leave the boat to live in a house. I’d miss the freedom! The lifestyle is good for you, it's grounding and slows you down. Everybody seems envious wherever we go!
Brian, Jane & Gershwin (the dog!), Wrenbury, Llangollen Canal
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