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Narrowboat Holidays Across Great Britain


Festivals and Events

Combine your narrowboat holiday with the fun of a festival!  Whether it’s a canal festival or an event near the waterways, a trip on a canal boat can be the perfect opportunity to experience the best of both worlds.
Canals frequently hold events in partnership with the Canal and River Trust and taking part in these events is a great way to learn more about the work that this great charity does to keep our waterways operational and fun.
We’ve put together a list of some festivals and events on and near our waterways, together with links to find out more.

Festivals & Events


Event: Let’s Fish 2018

Date: April through to October 2018
Venue: across the UK
Get the whole family fishing with our free ‘learn to fish’ events this year.
10 April 2018 to 31 October 2018, 10:00am – 4:00pm
Run in association with the Angling Trust this fun event will get you up and netting in no time!
From Easter through the end of the autumn half term holidays, the Canal & River Trust and various angling clubs are hosting loads of ‘Let’s Fish!’ learn to fish events up and down the country. Not only can your whole family try fishing for free, at some events, there’ll be ‘Explorers’ activities and canoe taster sessions too.
The good news is that they will provide everything you need for free on the day, such as tackle, bait, a rod license and your fishing permit as well as expert coaching from licensed Level Two coaches.
Last year’s events were really busy, so you’ll need to sign up to the event nearest you as soon as possible.
https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/fishing/lets-fish/find-a-free-fishing-event


Event: St Richard’s Canal Festival 2018

Date: 4 May 2018 to 7 May 2018
Address : Droitwich Spa, WR9 8LB
This fun canal festival offers boat trips, live entertainment, community stalls and activities.   This year the festival is focusing on celebrating the 45 anniversary of the start of the restoration of the Droitwich Canals.
Last years event highlights included model boats and demonstrations and vintage Classic Car Shows.
Visit St Richards Canal Festival for more information on this year’s programme of events.
http://www.strichardsfestival.co.uk/


Event: Afternoon Tea at Anderton Boat Lift

Date: 13 May 2018  / 15 July 2018 / 23 September 2018, 11:30am – 4:30pm
Address: Anderton Boat Lift, Lift Lane, Anderton, Northwich, Cheshire, CW9 6FW
Enjoy a boat trip followed by afternoon tea at the Anderton Boat Lift in Cheshire.  Your experience day will begin at 12 noon with a charming river cruise on board the Edwin Clarke trip boat for your chance to journey the River Weaver Navigation and get up close to the magnificent Boat Lift.
Back on dry land, you’ll enjoy a deluxe afternoon tea in the warmth of the stunning Lift View Marquee. Tuck into a delicious selection of finger sandwiches and cakes with unlimited tea or coffee.
Please note: This is a family friendly event, one afternoon tea per person, children’s ticket will be exchanged for a smaller afternoon tea.
Find out more and book tickets here:
 https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/places-to-visit/anderton-boat-lift-visitor-centre


Event: Moira Canal Festival

Date: 19 – 20 May, 2018
Venue: Ashby Canal
This family event is held every year on the restored section of the Ashby Canal, at the historic Moira Furnace Museum, on the North West Leicestershire and South Derbyshire border.  It aims to raise awareness of, and money for, the restoration, extension and maintenance of the Ashby Canal.
The Ashby Canal is being restored from its current terminus at Snarestone to Moira, Leicestershire.  This major project will ultimately reconnect Measham, Oakthorpe, Donisthorpe and Moira to the national waterways network, and provide a green gateway to the Heart of the National Forest.
For more information and tickets visit the website here: http://www.moiracanalfestival.co.uk/home
DAY TICKETS:  Adults:  £5.00, Children: 5-16 years  £2.50,  Under 5’s FREE.
WEEKEND TICKETS:  Adults:  £7.50, Children:  £4.00, Under 5’s FREE.
CAR PARK & PROGRAMME:  FREE
OPENING TIMES:  10.00am – 5.00pm



Crick Boat Show 2018

Date: 26 May 2018 to 28 May 2018
Venue: Crick Marina, Grand Union Canal, Daventry, NN6 7SQ
This May head along to Crick Marina near Daventry for a weekend of fun at the Crick Boat Show 2018.  As well as being the canal world’s biggest marketplace, showcasing the inland waterways industry with 300 exhibitors, the show offers a fantastic day out for all the family with dozens of boats to look round, free boat trips, live music, children’s activities, a real ale marquee, and a large variety of food and drink stalls.
For more information and to book tickets, visit www.crickboatshow.com or call 01283 742970.


Event: Etruria Canals Festival

Date: 2 June 2018 to 3 June 2018, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Venue: Etruria Industrial Museum, Etruria Vale Road, Etruria, Stoke on Trent, ST1 4RB.
Come along to this free event which will be a celebration of engineering past, present and future with a range of hands on activities, arts projects and exhibitors that will bring engineering to life.
Over the course of the weekend there will be a range of different workshops, craft stalls, food stalls, performances and live music, exhibitors and demonstrations. For more information on the programme for the weekend, please visit Etruria Canal Festival 2018 at http://etruriacanalsfestival.org.uk.



Event: The Festival in a Factory at Emma Bridgewater

Date: Thursday 7th, Friday 8th and Saturday 9th June 2018
Venue: Emma Bridgewater Factory, Stoke on Trent.
The Festival in a Factory returns to the Emma Bridgewater Factory on Thursday 7th, Friday 8th and Saturday 9th June 2018 featuring a diverse programme of authors, workshops and performers discussing the creative process and their latest releases, giving festival goers the opportunity to debate with and meet some of the country’s leading writers.
From award winning authors to world-renowned experts, artists and entertainers, The Festival in a Factory is an eclectic celebration of culture and creativity in the inspiring surroundings of the Emma Bridgewater Factory, Stoke-on-Trent, a Victorian pot bank where Emma has manufactured her iconic handmade and hand decorated pottery for more than twenty years.
Tickets for all events are £8 and available from the www.newvictheatre.org.uk, at the Box Office or by phone or the Festival website www.festivalinafactory.co.uk Follow us on Facebook or Twitter @SOTLitFestival for news and updates.
https://festivalinafactory.co.uk



Event: Middlewich Folk & Boat Festival

Date: 15 June 2018 to 17 June 20189:00am – 7:00pm
Venue: Trent & Mersey Canal, Shropshire Union Canal, Civic Way Middlewich  CW10 9AS
Come along to this years festival where you can enjoy activities that cater for all of the family.    The festival will continue the town’s tradition of Morris Dancing displays, a Celidh night, stalls, workshops and celebration of the rich heritage of Middlewich. For more information please visit Middlewich FAB Festival
https://www.middlewich.org.uk/middlewich-fab-festival/


Event: Park Life Music Festival

Date: June 9-10th, 2018.
Venue: Heaton Park, Manchester, M25 2SW
Parklife is an independent music festival held annually in Manchester and in 2018, the festival will be headlined by Liam Gallagher.  If you can, getting a ticket for VIP colonnade area will be totally worth it. There you can enjoy comic performances, the best lineup of street food, secret bars and a game of Bongo’s Bingo.  The ticket price is £95 for the full weekend.


Event: Foxton Locks Festival

Date: 16 June 2018 to 17 June 2018
Venue: Foxton Locks, Grand Union Canal, Foxton, Market Harborough, LE16 7RA
For two days this historic landmark playes host to a exciting family festival, activities over the weekend will include craft marquees, live music, food stalls, children’s activities, historic re-enactments and more.
For further information and ticketing, please visit Foxton Locks Festival 2018
https://www.foxtonlocksfestival.co.uk


Event: The Accrington Pals

Date: 23 June 2018 to 24 June 2018
Venue: National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port, Shropshire Union Canal, South Pier Road, Ellesmere Port, CH65 4FW.
A Boaty Theatre Company outdoor performance to coincide with the 10-year celebration of National Armed Forces Day in the 100th anniversary year since the end of World War 1.
A moving and hard-hitting play, set in Accrington during the first few years of the WW1, that was first presented by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1981.
The Accrington Pals follows the story of the innocent and enthusiastic men who volunteered their services to their country after Kitchener’s call for a New Army. Their experiences of life on the Western Front are contrasted with the lives of the women left behind in Accrington; women who have had to band together in the face of the financial and social changes that accompanied the sudden mass-absence of several generations of local men.
An emotional rollercoaster of a play that offers a glimpse at the lives of those who answered Kitchener’s call and those they left behind.
“These mothers, wives, daughters and lovers of the Pals didn’t knuckle under sheepishly to authority in the way I had supposed.” – Peter Whelan (1982)
As this is an outdoor production, please check the weather forecast and come suitably prepared, whether that means sun cream, waterproofs and jumpers.
Times and prices to be confirmed.



Event: Northwich River Festival 2018

Date: 14 July 2018 to 15 July 2018
Venue: Weaver Navigation, Trent & Mersey Canal, Northwich, CW8.
The fun river festival includes Dragon Boat Racing, Street Theatre and a Duck Race plus a range of other activities.  For more information visit Northwich River Festival.  http://northwichriverfestival.org.uk


Event: Wilderness Festival

Date: Thursday 2nd – Sunday 5th August
Venue: Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire
The Wilderness Festival is an experience of music, theatre and arts, food and drink, talks and debates, workshops, wellbeing and family.   The aims are to inspire, challenge and enrich lives. Everyone is invited to be part of a community and a celebration. Wilderness has a vast and unique programme that celebrates each art with equal significance.
Find out more at https://www.wildernessfestival.com



Event: Horses at work

Date: 12 August 2018
Venue: National Waterways Museum Ellesmere Port, South Pier Road, Ellesmere Port, CH65 4FW.
For over 200 years canal boats were pulled by horses, and for much longer the country depended on them for work and warfare.   See one of the boats being towed along the canal and other horse related activities.  This makes for an excellent day out for families with activities for the children.
Usual admission prices apply. https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/places-to-visit/national-waterways-museum



Event: IWA Festival of Water

Date: 25 August 2018 to 27 August 2018
Venue: St Neots River Ouse, St Neots, PE19 7AB.
The annual Festival of Water comes to St Neots, Cambridgeshire over the 2018 August Bank Holiday Weekend. A weekend of fun for boaters, campers and all who love spending time by the water. There will be attractions for all the family and boats lining the mile of River Great Ouse that flows past Regatta Meadow.
For more information and to book a mooring or campsite pitch, please visit the IWA Festival of Water
https://www.waterways.org.uk/events_festivals/festival_water/IWA_festival_water


Event: Stoke Bruerne at War

Date: 8 September 2018 to 9 September 2018
Venue: Stoke Bruerne, Grand Union Canal, NN12 7SE.
For the eleventh year in succession the canalside village of Stoke Bruerne is all set to go back in time to the days of the Second World War. This award winning popular re-enactment weekend has increased in size and popularity year on year, probably due to its unique atmosphere which sees living history groups and individual re-enactors combining with historic working boats to tell the story of what life was like in wartime Britain.
Weekend passes are £10 (accompanied children under 16 are free) which includes parking and free entry to The Canal Museum. All surplus proceeds go to the organisers, the Friends of the Canal Museum, a Registered Charity, who support the Museum and its work.
For further information please visit Friends of the Canal Museum
http://www.friendsofcanalmuseum.org.uk



Event: Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Date: 28 September 2018 to 30 September 2018
Venue: National Waterways Museum Ellesmere Port, South Pier Road, Ellesmere Port, CH65 4FW.
“Though this be madness, yet there is method in it…”
Considered among the most powerful and influential works of world literature and with a story capable of seemingly endless exploration, research, retelling and adaptation, Hamlet is believed to have been one of Shakespeare’s most popular works during his lifetime and still ranks among his most performed across the globe.
A masterful exploration of the human condition that seems more than capable of withstanding the tests of time (being already over 400 years old and still in such high demand is certainly an achievement not to be scoffed at!).
With so many famous speeches, scenes and moments this play is an absolute powerhouse for performers, directors and audience alike; definitely one to save the date for and book in advance!
Times and prices to be confirmed.


Event: Halloween Monster Mash

Date: 27 October 2018 to 28 October 2018
Venue: National Waterways Museum Ellesmere Port, South Pier Road, Ellesmere Port, CH65 4FW.
Explore the National Waterways Museum and earn yourself a treat on the way!
Visit the darkest corners of the exhibition rooms, encounter the mischievous character, solve the riddles, put a stop to “evil” plans and gain your reward, becoming a hero and saving the day in the process!  This fun event for kids features some of your favourite movie “monsters”, ghouls and ghosts.
It’s going to be scarily good for all age groups. Although children will need to be accompanied by grown ups.
Watch this page for times and prices. https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/places-to-visit/national-waterways-museum