Canal Events

Canal and Waterway Events 2017

Canal events listings

Like to help restore our derelict canals? Join a WRG Canal Camp!

IWA’s Waterway Recovery Group (WRG) is always looking for more volunteers to get involved in its programme of Canal Camps, so why not lend a hand this year and help restore Britain’s derelict canals. Volunteering with WRG is a great experience for anyone who loves being outdoors and enjoys meeting people from different backgrounds and of different ages (18+). WRG offers volunteers a fantastic chance to learn new skills such as bricklaying, stone walling, machine operation and restoration techniques! Most weeks cost just £63, which includes food and accommodation. Contact Jenny Black on 01494 783 453 ext 604 or by email. Click here for a list of 2017 Canal Camp dates.

Do you have a waterways event to publicise?

If you or your company or organisation has canal event news or other canal information you'd like to share, please click on the Add an Event button below and use the form. You can also email News Releases to us.


Information on this page is provided by the organisations where listed. Thanks to the Inland Waterways Association ( for permission to use material from their Bulletins and Events Calendar.


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IWA Working Parties March 2017

Wednesdays 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th & Saturday 11th March - IWA Ipswich Branch supporting River Gipping Trust Pipps Ford (Needham Market, Ipswich, Suffolk IP6 8LJ) or Baylham Mill Lock (Mill Lane, Ipswich, Suffolk IP6 8LG), River Gipping. Meet at 9am to continue clearing storm damage to Pipps Ford or carry out maintenance at Baylham Mill Lock, finish at 3.30/4.00pm. You don't need any special skills, just a willingness to help. We will supply you with safety gear like gloves, goggles and a hard hat but you'll have to bring your own steel tipped wellies/boots! There are, of course, numerous tea breaks and you can even check the weather forecast before you turn up! For Pipps Ford, please park near the house and walk down to the work site. There is plenty of parking at Baylham Mill Lock. For more information, the location of the next work party or to let us know you’re coming along please email Martin Bird or on 01394 380765.
Saturday 4th & Tuesday 28th March - IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch supporting the Burslem Port Trust – twice monthly work party on the Burslem Arm, Stoke on Trent. 10am to 3pm. Meet at Luke St, Middleport, Stoke on Trent, ST6 3LY. Please wear old clothes, stout shoes and bring waterproofs and a packed lunch if staying all day. For more information email Steve Wood or on 07976 805858.
Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th March - IWA Peterborough Branch – Work party at Horseways Channel, clearing the North Bank near Chatteris. This is part of a larger effort to reinstate Welches Dam. Tea and coffee will be available on the day; you are advised to bring a packed lunch as there are no facilities for obtaining food. It is recommended you wear old clothes and sturdy footwear. Start time is 9:30am but for further details please email Branch Chairman David Venn or phone 01366 324102.
Sunday 5th & Tuesday 21st March – IWA Northampton Branch - Join IWA Northampton Branch at its fortnightly work party. The group holds a regular work party on the Northampton Arm to help maintain the waterway following the Branch's adoption of the navigation. Work usually includes a variety of tasks such as painting, vegetation clearance and litter picking. Location is dependant on work completed at the previous work party so is still to be confirmed. All volunteers are welcome and should wear sturdy shoes, old clothes, be prepared for the weather and bring a packed lunch. Email Geoff Wood for more information.
Thursday 9th March – IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch and the Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust – Monthly work party on the Uttoxeter Canal. 10am to 3pm. Bridge 70, Crumpwood. No parking available at site so please meet at 9.30am at Denstone Village Hall, College Rd, Denstone, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire ST14 5HR for a lift, or meet on site at Bridge 70 at 10am having made your own way on foot. Please wear old clothes, stout shoes and bring waterproofs and a packed lunch if staying all day. For more information email Steve Wood or on 07976 805858. 
Sunday 12th March – IWA Lincolnshire Branch supporting Sleaford Navigation Trust – Join IWA Lincolnshire Branch supporting Sleaford Navigation Trust work parties on the second Sunday of the month. Volunteers carry out a variety of tasks to maintain the navigable section of the Sleaford Navigation at these work parties. Dates are subject to change so check the Trust’s Facebook page , email or phone Chris or Steve Hayes (01522689460) to confirm date and location.
Thursday 16th March – IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch and Trent & Mersey Canal Society – 10am to 3pm. Monthly work party on the Cheshire Locks, Trent & Mersey Canal. Work TBA. Meet outside CRT Red Bull Offices. There is limited parking at Red Bull Wharf, Congleton Road South (A34), Church Lawton, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST7 3AP. This work party is held in partnership with the Trent & Mersey Canal Society. Email John Brighouse or on 0780 887317.
Saturday 18th March – IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch – 10am to 4pm. Meet at the Leasowes car park off Mucklow Hill. Work party to clear and maintain the length of Dudley No 2 canal beyond the current navigable limit of Hawne Basin, Halesowen. Leasowes Park is a garden-like park dating from the mid 18th century and contains the largest canal embankment in the Birmingham area. Work is being carried out by a consortium of people from Coombeswood Canal Trust, the Lapal Canal Trust, Friends of Halesowen Abbey and Park Rangers from Leasowes. IWA BBC&W Branch is supporting this. For more information email David Struckett or phone 07976 746225.
Saturday 18th March – IWA Manchester Branch – 10am to 4pm. Monthly work party – at a venue to be confirmed in Greater Manchester. Tasks will include vegetation clearance, litter picking, painting and pulling rubbish out of the canal. Email or phone 07710 554602.
Tuesday 21st & 28th March - IWA Oxfordshire supporting Banbury Canal Partnership – Meet at 9am, work until approx. 1pm. Tasks to be confirmed. All tools will be provided, please wear old clothes and stout shoes and take waterproofs in case of rain. For more details please email Colin Garnham-Edge.
Saturday 25th March – IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch – 10am to 4pm. Monthly work party in the Chester area working at various locations alongside the Shropshire Union Canal. Work will include painting and vegetation clearance. Please wear stout shoes and old clothes and bring waterproofs and a packed lunch if staying all day. Email Mike Carter or on 07795 617803 for further details.
Friday 31st March & Saturday 1st April – IWA Milton Keynes Branch. This six- monthly clean-up event is sponsored by Wyvern Shipping Co and supported by Canal & River Trust. Everyone is welcome whether on a boat or on foot. Hi-vis jackets, gloves and hard hats etc. are provided, but please bring your own safety footwear. Tea and coffee are provided, but please bring your own lunch. If you are under 18, you must be part of a supervised group. For further information and to volunteer, please email Philip Strangeway.
Sunday 19th March – IWA Warwickshire Branch – 9.30am to 1pm Clean – up. The next of the regular grappling events on the Grand Union Canal in Warwick and Leamington will focus on the section between Tachbroke Road and Europa Way bridges in Leamington. The meeting point is the gateway entrance on Old Warwick Road, (opposite Morrisons). CRT will provide grapples, gloves and a boat for the rubbish. All are welcome. For further information please email Brian Bayston or on 07917157492. 

8th April BCN Spring CruiseWalsall Canal

Location: Ocker Hill to Walsall Town Basin cruise

Details: The cruise will travel along the Walsall Canal to Walsall Town Basin and finish at The Black Country Arms on Walsall High Street. Starts at 10am.

More Information: 

29th April - 1st May St Richard's Boat and Car FestivalDroitwich

Location: Droitwich Spa town centre and Vines Park

Details:  St. Richard’s Festival (now renamed St Richard’s Boat and Car Festival) started in 2007 and has grown rapidly through the addition of street markets, new attractions and the Classic and Vintage Car Rally. The event fills the streets in Droitwich Spa town centre and Vines Park and provides visitors with a great day out in the heart of this historic salt town.

More Information: 

29th April - 1st May 2016 Skipton Waterway Festival

Location: Coach Street Car Park, Canal basin, Canal Promenade, BD23 1LH

Details:  There will be various types of entertainment and stalls on site over the weekend from craft stalls, traditional painted ware stall, various food and drink stalls, charity stall, lots of childrens' activities and rides and many many more. Other stalls coming back this year from; Birds of Prey, Show food and Bark-ing mad wood turners and also some newbies from; Twisted chilli and From out of the blue.

More Information: Contact Pennine Cruisers

29th April - 1st May IWA’s Canalway Cavalcade London

Location: Little Venice, London, Regent's Canal

Details: Canalway Cavalcade is a distinctive waterways boaters' gathering that has been taking place at Little Venice since 1983. Organised by IWA volunteers, this festival at the junction of the Grand Union and Regent’s canals boasts an array of boats, trade show stalls and activities for all to enjoy over the Bank Holiday Weekend; including boating activities, Morris dancing, food stalls, a real ale bar and plenty of activities for the kids.

More Information: 

29th April - 1st May - CANCELLED Norbury Junction Canal Festival

Location: Norbury Junction, Stafford | The Shrewsbury & Newport Canal Trust

Details: The Shrewsbury & Newport Canals Trust have had to cancel the 2017 Norbury Canal Festival because it has proved impossible to organise suitable visitor parking this year.  Everyone who had already booked, including all boaters and stallholders, has been advised of the situation. SNCT have identified a solution that we can put in place for 2018, but this will not be possible this year as the field in question is committed to agricultural use for the period when it would be needed.

More Information: 

29th April to 1st May 2017 Sleaford Navigation Boat Gathering

Location: South Kyme, Lincolnshire

Details: Sleaford Navigation Trust are holding a 30th Anniversary Boat Gathering at South Kyme on the Early May Bank Holiday Weekend, . This commemorates the re-opening to navigation of Bottom Lock by the then Sleaford Navigation Society which allowed boats to travel the eight miles from the River Witham to Cobblers Lock. Events will be taking place in the village throughout the weekend. Plans are afoot for a Pub Quiz and 80s Disco as well as the traditional Scarecrow Competition and Boaters’ Church Service. It is hoped there will also be representation from canal societies, the local canoe club and the EA, offering a variety of activities. There is no charge for attendance but booking is essential both for the gathering itself and for the different events over the weekend.

More Information: Sue Sowerby at 

19th - 21st May BCNS Summer RallyTitford

Location: Engine Street, Oldbury, B69 4NL, off the Tat Bank Road

Details: The Titford Pumphouse Rally is at the top of the Titford Locks at Tat Bank junction. There will be a real ale bar, (beer from “Ma Pardoe’s – aka the Old Swan at Netherton), with stalls, music and fun.

More Information: 

20th - 21st May Rickmansworth Festival

Location: Batchworth Lock

Details: The Rickmansworth Festival takes place on the third weekend of May every year and celebrates canals, the community and the environment. The top attraction for many is the wonderful array of canal boats from across the country - a terrific spectacle, with at least 100 craft of many types and histories moored along the towpath up to four deep. But there are things to do, see and enjoy whatever your interests, and whatever your age. Email

More Information:  Rickmansworth Waterways Trust website

27th - 29th May Crick Boat ShowCrick Marina

Location: Crick Marina, West Haddon Road, Northamptonshire, NN6 7SQ

Details: Crick Boat Show 2017 will have a range of activities, displays and special talks. It's the biggest boating equipment marketplace with over 250 exhibitors.

More Information: 

27th - 29th May IWA Trailboat Festival & Moira Canal Festival

Location: Moira, Leicestershire

Details: IWA's 2017 Trailboat Festival will be combined with the Ashby Canal Trust's annual Festival.
Highlights will include a living history display, childrens' entertainment, Battle of Britain flight flypast, morris dancing, and a duck race. Shreck the boat horse will demonstrate the old art of boat towing, as he leads the parade of boats. There will be a wide variety of stalls and exhibits, bar and refreshments.

More Information: 

2nd -4th June Beale Park Boat & Outdoor Show

Location: Lower Basildon, Berkshire

Details:  A lively three days of boating & fun! See the widest range of boats in one place, all set around a beautiful lake beside the River Thames. Enjoy family days out lazing by the lake in the sun. Family camping, glamping & Thames side mooring available.

More Information: 

3rd - 4th June Leicester Riverside Festival

Location: Bede Park, Mile Straight, Western Boulevard & Castle Gardens, Leicester

Details:  This popular festival offers boat trips, live music, a variety of food stalls from around the world, displays and an exciting choice of activities for all ages, making it a fun packed weekend!

More Information: 

3rd - 4th June Long Eaton Canal Festival

Location: Trent Lock, Long Eaton

Details:  Come along and support this free event organised by The Canal & River Trust, Erewash Canal Preservation & Development Association and Long Eaton Civic Society. There will be plenty for the whole family to do and it's a lovely place for a day out.

More Information: 

3rd - 4th June Etruria Canals Festival

Location: Kilndown Close, Etruria, Stoke-on-Trent | Etruria Industrial Museum

Details:  Celebrating the canals of Stoke on Trent. Historic boats and vehicles, demonstrations, local foods and crafts, an enjoyable day out for all the family. Boat parade along the Trent & Mersey canal.
Highlights include being able to see Britain’s last steam-powered potter’s mill and houses, a 190 year old beam engine in steam.

More Information: 

16th - 18th June Middlewich Folk & Boat Festival

Location: Middlewich Cheshire

Details: As in previous years, there will be a selection of live music in various venues around the town, backed up by the colourful array of Narrow Boats along the Trent & Mersey Canal. 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.

More Information: 

17th - 18th June Foxton Locks Festival

Location: Foxton near Market Harborough

Details: Entertainment over the two days will include arena displays, live music on two stages and a funfair.

More Information: 

24th - 25th June Braunston Historic Narrowboat Rally & Canal Festival

Location: Braunston Marina & Brokerage, The Wharf, Braunston, Northamptonshire, NN11 7JH

Details: Over 80 historic boats gather in Braunston and take part in parades with commentary.
There is a real ale beer tent, exhibitors, traders & waterways artists, live music from bands & groups, Morris dancing, fast food. Admittance is free but if you bring your car there is a parking fee of £10. All profits go to canal & local causes.

More Information:  

30th June - 2nd July Ware Boat Festival

Location: Ware, Hertfordshire

Details: Organised by IWA Lee & Stort Branch, Ware Boat Festival is a weekend of fun on, in, and around the River Lee and the town. Events include the annual Ware Carnival and Town Fair, boat handling competition, a quiz evening and plenty of stalls.

More Information: 

1st - 2nd July Stratford-upon-Avon River Festival

Location:  Stratford-upon-Avon

Details: Come and enjoy free family fun in Stratford-upon-Avon with music, narrow boats on the River Avon, craft and food stalls, family zone, charity stalls, illuminated boat parade and spectacular fireworks.

More Information: 

22nd - 23rd July Cosgrove Canal Festival & Craft Fair

Location: Cosgrove, Buckinghamshire

Details: The event is run each year by the Buckingham Canal Society to raise money for the restoration of the Buckingham Canal between Cosgrove and Buckingham and to spread the word about our work. Throughout the whole festival weekend you will find many historic and trade boats, craft and games stalls, plenty of entertainment and refreshments, and so much more. Set primarily alongside the picturesque towpath between the lock at Cosgrove and the recently refurbished Iron Trunk Aqueduct, the event is full of fun for the whole family. The Craft Fair is held in the nearby Cosgrove Village Hall, only a short walk from the canal.

More Information: 

23rd July Newbury Waterways Festival

Location: Victoria Park, Newbury

Details:  The 2017 Newbury Waterways Festival will take place at Victoria Park in Newbury organised by the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust. The theme this year is 'Beatlemania!'and there will be many decorated narrowboats and stalls, activities and entertainment.

More Information: 

30th July Audlem Festival of Transport

Location: Audlem, Cheshire

Details:  Vintage cars, vans, trucks and buses are expected to join the 2017 parade. A record number of vintage canal boats are expected at the Audlem Wharf next to Audlem Mill and the Shroppie Fly on the Shropshire Union Canal.

More Information: 

4th - 6th August Nottingham Riverside Festival

Location: Victoria Embankment, Nottingham

Details: People of all ages can enjoy the annual Riverside Festival along the banks of the River Trent with free art activities in the Children's Zone, Sports Zone, live music stages, Street theatre, a street fair, global craft stalls and a display of traditional steam engines and organs. River activities include Boat Trips and the annual Dragon Boat Challenge.

More Information: 

13th-14th August Blisworth Canal Festival

Location: Blisworth, Northamptonshire

Details: Blisworth’s waterfront will be full of trade boats and stalls selling everything from cheese to boat oil with 2 trip boats operating both days on the Grand Union Canal.

More Information: 

12th - 13th August Wednesfield Canal Festival

Location: Wednesfield, Wolverhampton

Details: The Wednesfield Canal Festival will be running for a 3rd year and will include an assortment of canal boats moored for the weekend, a pop up market with boaters selling handmade & homemade goods and live music. The festival is taking place on the Canalside at the Bentley Bridge Moorings next to The Nickeloden Pub.

More Information: 

26th - 28th August IWA Festival of WaterIlkeston

Location: Ilkeston, Derbyshire

Details: The Festival of Water will have an array of attractions on and off the water providing a fun day out for all the family. Over 100 boats will be moored along the Erewash Canal, including leisure, trade, heritage and working narrowboats, are expected and there will be a wide range of craft stalls and activities on site.

More Information: 

25th - 28th August East London Waterways Festival

Location: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Details: Join the celebrations and a boat cruise of East London Waterways and the regeneration of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Waterways.

More Information: 

27 & 28th August Botany Bay Canal Fest

Location: Botany Bay, Chorley, Lancashire

Details: The Botany Bay Canal Fest is BACK! Join us for two fantastic days of festivities on land and on water including boat rides, classic car display, canoeing experience and the heritage boat The Kennet. Plus, local musicians and artists will display their talents whilst our vendors sell food, drink, crafts and other wares.

More Information: For more information about this event please email  or visit our website at

3rd September Angel Canal Festival

Location: City Road Lock, Islington, London

Details:This free annual one day festival is based around the City Road Lock, Basin and towpath alongside Regents Canal in Islington, North London. Attractions include canal boat trips, face painting, stalls and music

More Information: 

8th - 10th September Black Country Boating FestivalDudley

Location: Bumble-Hole Nature Reserve, Windmill End, Netherton, DY2

Details: The event, which is now in its 31st year, is organised and run totally by volunteers. With more than 200 boat, trade and charity stalls to browse, canal side entertainment, boaters’ competitions, a funfair, real ale bar and regular boat trips along the Dudley No 2 canal, there is always something for everyone in the family.

More Information: 

15th-17th September Tipton Canal & Community Festival

Location: Neptune Health Park and Coronation Gardens, Sedgley Road West/Owen Street, Tipton, DY4 8PX

Details: Held on the Birmingham Old Main Line Canal in Tipton, this year's attractions include working and trip boats, arts, crafts and bling fair, live entertainment, various trade stalls, canal crafts, real ales and much more.

More Information: 

23rd - 24th September Huddlesford Heritage Gathering

Location: Huddlesford Junction

Details:  Real ale, fireworks, live music and a barbeque - a good weekend out.
Everyone welcome, - boaters, local residents and everyone else who would like to see a cracking good firework display.

More Information: 

3rd - 5th November BCNS Bonfire RallySmethwick

Location: Smethwick, West Midlands

Details:  Bonfire Rally at the Engine Arm Junction, at the top of Smethwick locks. There will be real ale, fireworks, live music and a barbeque. If you are not coming by boat, head to Smethwick Enterprise Centre, Rolfe Street, Smethwick B66 2AR. It is only a hundred yards or so from Smethwick Rolfe Street station.  Everyone is welcome - boaters, local residents and everyone else who would like to see the firework display.

More Information: 

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