Canal Events

Canal and Waterway Events 2018

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 £70, which includes food and accommodation. Contact Alex Melson on 01494 783 453 ext 604 or by email. Click here for a list of 2018 Canal Camp dates.

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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 November '18

Every Friday – IWA Lichfield Branch and CRT joint Work Party. A weekly work party on the Trent & Mersey Canal to help clear offside vegetation. CRT will provide a workboat, equipment and supervision. Prior training on use of a wood chipper and/or a pole saw may be needed. Starting at Fradley Junction and working north. 9.30 am – 3.30 pm. Location is dependent on work. Be prepared for the weather and bring a packed lunch. For more information or to volunteer email Neil Barnett 
Every Saturday in November – IWA West Country Branch (Taunton): Twice weekly work parties in the Taunton area. 10am – 1:30pm. Exact work and location to be confirmed. Volunteers are advised to wear clothing suitable for the weather conditions and sturdy boots or shoes and bring a bottle of water. Please let us know if you are intend to join us, by 6pm the day before. For further details email Steve or ring 07855 794256.
Every Tuesday & Saturday in November – IWA West Country Branch (Bridgwater): Twice weekly work parties in the Bridgwater area. 10am – 1:30pm. Exact work and location to be confirmed. Volunteers are advised to wear clothing suitable for the weather conditions and sturdy boots or shoes and bring a bottle of water. Please let us know if you are intend to join us, by 6pm the day before. For further details email Mike Slade or ring 07977 263840.
Sunday 4th & Tuesday 20th November – IWA Northampton Branch – Fortnightly work party on the Northampton Arm to help maintain the waterway following the Branch's adoption of the navigation. 10am-2pm. Work usually includes a variety of tasks such as painting, vegetation clearance and litter picking. Location is dependent 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. For more information email Geoff Wood.
Thursday 8th November – IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch and 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 ring  07976 805858.
Sunday 11th November – IWA Lincolnshire Branch supporting Sleaford Navigation Trust – Regular 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 email Chris or Steve Hayes to confirm date and location or ring 01522 689460.
Tuesday 13th November – IWA Birmingham, Black Country, Worcs – Regular monthly work parties on the 2nd Tuesday of each month in Kidderminster - meet 10am at Limekiln Bridge (upstream of town, Br 17) to work in both directions. Volunteers are going to concentrate on plastics - noting sources and examples for future campaigns, and tidying. To confirm email.
Thursday 15th November – IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch and Trent & Mersey Canal Society – Monthly work party on the Cheshire Locks, Trent & Mersey Canal. 10am to 3pm. Meet at Church Locks 47 & 48 adjacent to All Saints, Church Lawton, ST7 3DD. Please wear stout shoes and old clothing that you don't mind getting some dirt or paint on and bring a waterproof in case of rain. If you are staying all day you may also want to bring a packed lunch. Work TBA. This work party is held in partnership with the Trent & Mersey Canal Society. Email John Lawson oor ring 07940 878923.
Saturday 17th November – IWA Manchester Branch – Monthly work party at a venue to be confirmed in Greater Manchester. 10am to 4pm. Tasks will include vegetation clearance, litter picking, painting and pulling rubbish out of the canal. For more information email or ring 07710 554602.
Saturday 17th November – IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch – Monthly work party in the Chester area working at various locations alongside the Shropshire Union Canal. 10am to 4pm. 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. For further details email Jason Watts.
Tuesdays 20th & 27th November – IWA Oxfordshire Branch supporting Banbury Canal Partnership – Regular work parties on the Oxford Canal near Banbury. 9am to 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.
Tuesday 27th November – IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch supporting Burslem Port Trust – 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 ring 07976 805858.

5th to 6th May Skipton Waterway FestivalSkipton Canal Basin

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

Details: Skipton's Waterway Festival takes place around Skipton and on the Canal Basin (off Coach Street). The event runs over the whole weekend and will be opened by the Mayor of Skipton Town. Dozens of narrowboats and other craft will line the Basin and the surrounding towpaths - all themed to help celebrate the Canal's landmark anniversary - and there will be a full programme of entertainment throughout each of the three days. Entry to the Festival is free.

More Information: Website

5th to 7th May IWA Canalway CavalcadeLittle Venice

Location: Little Venice, Regents Canal, London

Details: IWA Canalway Cavalcade is London's biggest, brightest and best waterways festival. This unique waterway boat gathering is organised by IWA volunteers, and has been taking place at Little Venice since 1983. Join us over the early May Bank Holiday weekend. There will be activities for all the family with a boaters’ gathering, a pageant of boats, trade shows and stalls, live music, kids’ activities, competitions, Morris Dancers, a real ale bar, a wide variety of snacks and food. Admission is Free.

More Information: IWA website. Book your boat owners place for Canalway Cavalcade.

4th to 7th May St Richard's Canal FestivalDroitwich Spa

Location: Droitwich Spa town centre and Vines Park

Details: St. Richard’s Canal 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: Website

18th to 20th May Trek the Towpath: Kennet & Avon CanalKennet and Avon Canal

Location: Newbury-Bath

Details: Trek the Towpath from Newbury to Bath for fun or your chosen charity. Enjoy the majestic and historical Kennet & Avon Canal as we walk daily through delightful and spectacular scenery on one of England's most popular canals. One, two or three day options available including: overnight accommodation, breakfast & lunch, luggage transfers, walking guide and end of event celebration.

More Information: Haylie Wells; ; ;

19th May Montgomery Canal Triathlon

Location: Montgomery Canal

Details: : A fun Triathlon over 35 miles of the Montgomery Canal Sections option, non competitive. Cycling 17 miles, Run or walk 11 miles, canoe 7 miles. Organised by Friends of the Montgomery Canal

More Information:

19th to 20th May Rickmansworth FestivalRickmansworth

Location: Batchworth Lock and Rickmansworth Aquadrome

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.

More Information: Rickmansworth Waterways Trust website

27th to 28th May Moira Canal FestivalAshby Canal

Location: Ashby Canal at Moira Furnace

Details: The 2018 festival is at the historic Moira Furnace, North West Leicestershire on the restored length of the Ashby Canal. There is planned to be a Great War group, with their living history camp and drill demonstrations, Dangerous Steve – with his extreme juggling skills, and parrots and owls will be around. The old ways will be recreated with a demonstration of horse drawn boating – courtesy of Shreck – he can pull a heavy boat but is as gentle as they come. There is planned to be a Battle of Britain Flight flypast, music with an assortment of bands and singers over the weekend. Morris dancing will liven things up, there will be crafty fun and entertainment for the children, live steam, train rides, a variety of stalls and demonstrations, boats, bar and refreshments, which will all revolve around the banks of the Ashby Canal at Moira Furnace. Also meet Mother Duck and her ducklings and enter a duck in the Duck Race along the Ashby Canal!

More Information: Visit , or contact Geoff on 07989 550427,  Trade stand booking now open, contact Dave at

26th to 27th May BCN Summer RallyTitford

Location: Titford Pumphouse, Engine St, Oldbury B69 4NL

Details: 50 Years of the BCN Society - Titford Rally To celebrate 50 years of the BCN Society, we are combining our Marathon Challenge and our Spring Rally on the same weekend.

More Information: Website

26th to 28th May Crick Boat ShowCrick Marina

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

Details: 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. In 2017 the event attracted a record 27,167 visitors.

More Information: Visit or call 01283 742970

26th to 28th May ECP & DA 50th Anniversary RallyErewash Canal

Location: Langley Mill, Nottingham, NG16 4AA

Details: This rally is for the 50th Anniversary of the formation of the Association and 45th Anniversary of the re-opening of the Great Northern Basin. The rally will have an array of attractions providing a fun day out for all the family. Many boats including pleasure, trade and heritage narrowboats are expected and there will be a wide range of craft stalls and activities plus a real ale beer tent on site. The rally is free to the public between 10:00 and 16:00 over the three days. About 100 boats will be moored along the Erewash Canal and in the Great Northern Basin.

More Information: Boat, Trade Boat, Trade Stalls and Historic Boat booking forms and further information are available from the ECP & DA website .

1st to 3rd June Beale Park Boat & Outdoor ShowReading

Location: Beale Park, Lower Basildon, Reading, Berkshire RG8 9NW

Details: Classic boats, modern boats, wooden boats, fibreglass boats, river boats, sea boats, new boats, used boats, professional boats, amateur boats, try a boat! The only UK boat show with all of these varieties, set around a beautiful lake beside the River Thames. Enjoy family days out lazing by the lake in the sun, make a model boat, make a sail, understand the art of knots, learn about navigation & maritime history, foraging for food and pooh stick competitions. There will be a Marine Village for some retail therapy and much more besides!

More Information: , 01296 631 273,

2nd to 3rd June Leicester Riverside FestivalLeicester

Location: Bede Park, Western Boulevard, Castle Gardens and Mile Straight

Details: Leicester Riverside Festival, now in its 21st year, returns on the first weekend in June. Spread over four areas this free two-day festival features fun on and off the water. Bede Park has family activities including fun fair, food stalls, arts & crafts, beer tent, acoustic music stage and lots of join in activities. The Piazza area has large music stage featuring live bands. Western Boulevard has a street market with arts and crafts and street food and a Ride Leicester cycling area. River Soar has a narrow boats rally, boat trips, canoe and small boat rides and hire also demonstrations. Castle Gardens has children’s activities with and eco and environmental focus.

More Information:

2nd to 3rd June Etruria Canals FestivalEtruria Industrial Museum

Location: Etruria Junction, off Etruria Vale Road, Stoke on Trent Staffs, ST17RB

Details: The Etruria Canals Festival will be taking place on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd June 2018, 10am-5pm. The event is free to attend! It will be a celebration of engineering past, present and future with hands on activities, arts projects and exhibitors that will bring engineering to life

More Information: website

8th to 10th June Uttoxeter WRG Family CampUttoxeter Canal

Location: Uttoxeter Canal (Alton)

Details: We understand families would like to get involved with canal restoration and we aim to provide an opportunity to introduce children to the work of Waterway Recovery Group and The Inland Waterways Association. By offering family volunteering we hope to engage children from a young age and enable them to find out about canal restoration and heritage, working outdoors and learn new skills. Our volunteers will assist the Caldon and Uttoxeter Canals Trust with improving the canal environment, tackling invasive species and helping wildlife! Open to families with children aged between 8 and 14.

More Information: Cost: £15 per person (For food and accommodation)| Accommodation: Smallwood Manor, Denstone. To book spaces on one of these weekends please call 01494 783453 ext 610 or email

15th to 17th June Middlewich Folk & Boat FestivalMiddlewich, Cheshire

Location: Middlewich Town Centre, CW10 9AS

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: Find out more on the festival's website.

15th to 17th June Wander the Waterway: Oxford South CanalKennet and Avon Canal

Location: Napton to Oxford

Details: Wander the Waterway from Napton to Oxford for fun or your chosen charity. Walking this canal is a pure delight as we pass some of the prettiest, quaint and historical villages on the entire UK canal system. One, two or three day options available including: overnight accommodation, breakfast & lunch, luggage transfers, walking guide and end of event celebration.

More Information: Haylie Wells; ; ; 

15th to 23rd June BCNS June Explorer CruiseWolverhampton to Titford

Location: Broad Street bridge, Wolverhampton Broad St Moorings

Details: Friday evening 15th June, meet at Wolverhampton. Boats to meet and moor on visitor moorings either side of Broad Street bridge. An informal evening gathering on the embankment at side of moorings above the Wolverhampton top lock is planned. Evening get together at the Great Western pub in Sun Street.

More Information: Website

16th to 17th June Foxton Locks Festival

Location: Gumley Road, Foxton, near Market Harborough, LE16 7RA

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

More Information: more on the festival's website

30th June to 1st July Stratford-upon-Avon River Festival

Location: Recreation Ground, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 7LS

Details: For two whole days every summer the riverside comes alive and 2018’s event will feature more free events and activities than ever before, whilst also welcoming back a host of old favourites by popular demand.

More Information: Stratforward website

6th to 8th July Ware Boat Festival River Lee

Location: River Lee, in Ware

Details: Ware Boat Festival, on the River Lee in Ware, is a weekend of fun and frolics on, in and around the river and the town.

More Information: , 01992 584310

8th July Newbury Waterways FestivalNewbury

Location: Victoria Park, Newbury, RG14 5AS

Details: The Kennet and Avon Canal Trust presents the 2018 Newbury Waterways Festival to be held at Victoria Park in Newbury on Sunday 8th July. Enjoy a spectacular display of colourful and decorated narrowboats on the towpath whilst Victoria Park will be filled with stalls, activities, and entertainment for all the family. With live music, boat trips and a beer tent there is something for everyone. Entry to the Festival is free.

More Information:  07795 116221 Website

14th to 15th July Northwich River FestivalRiver Weaver

Location: River Weaver, central Northwich

Details: The Northwich River Festival will have a rowing regatta, the Mighty River Weaver Dragon boat race and also the famous Duck race. Other attractions will be charity and trade stalls, a bar and emergency service displays. There is also free parking at the festival.

More Information:  website

20th to 22nd July Amble the AqueductsLlangollen Canal

Location: Nantwich to Llangollen

Details: Amble the Aqueducts from Nantwich to Llangollen for fun or your chosen charity. Rated Britain's top canal, this spectacular and delightful walk crosses two giant engineering feats at phenomenal heights that will leave you breathless with wonder. One, two or three day options available including: overnight accommodation, breakfast & lunch, luggage transfers, walking guide and end of event celebration.

More Information: Haylie Wells; ; ;

21st to 22nd July Cosgrove Canal Festival & Craft FairGrand Union Canal

Location: Cosgrove Lock, Cosgorve, MK19 7JR

Details: All are welcome at Buckingham Canal Society's Cosgrove Canal Festival and Craft Fair, being held in conjunction with the Cosgrove Village Feast over the weekend of 21st - 22nd July. The event will be at Cosgrove Lock on the Grand Union Canal with Historic Narrowboats, Saturday Night Music, Stalls, Trade Boats and extra tables available in Cosgrove Village Hall. All welcome.

More Information: Website . To book a place email  and for further details please contact Athina Beckett on 01908 661217.

29th July Audlem Festival of TransportShropshire Union Canal

Location: The Wharf, Audlem, Cheshire CW3 0DX

Details: Vintage cars, vans, trucks and buses are expected to join the 2018 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. Find out more on the Audlem Special Events Team website.

More Information: Website

28th to 29th July Bicentenary Rally on the Pocklington Canal

Location: Melbourne, Yorkshire

Details: To celebrate the bicentenary of the opening of the Pocklington Canal, the Pocklington Canal Amenity Society will by hosting a Rally of Boats over the weekend of 28th and 29th July 2018. The event will also be designed to coincide with the reopening of Thornton and Walbut Locks and the extension of the navigable length of the Pocklington Canal by two miles from the current head of navigation at Melbourne to near the village of Bielby. The reopening of the extended length will be marked by a formal ceremony which will take place at Thornton Lock on Wednesday 25th July. Boats attending the rally are invited to arrive at the Pocklington Canal in time to take part in this ceremony, and be amongst the first boats to navigate the canal to Bielby for more than 80 years. A range of events, including BBQ, Music, Stalls, Bouncy Castle, Georgian re-enactment type walk, etc., are being planned on the Saturday for the entertainment of the visitors, and each boat attending will be given a brass plaque.

More Information: Website.

An entry form can be downloaded from the Society’s website. The entry fee is £20.

25th to 26th August IWA Festival of Water - St NeotsCambridgeshire

Location: Regatta Meadow, St Neots

Details: The annual Festival of Water comes to St Neots, Huntingdonshire 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. 

More Information: Website

25th to 26th August Burnley Canal FestivalLeeds and Liverpool Canal

Location: Festival Hub will be at Sandygate Square, Burnley. BB11 1RN

Details: There will be music, dance, performance and spectacle, fun fair, food, workshops, craft stalls and waterborne activities to take you on a trail of magic and discovery through Burnley’s unique canalside environment and heritage. Join the Festival Facebook page to make sure you’re the first to know what happens next!

More Information: Website 01282 421986

7th to 9th September Withymoor Island Boat GatheringBCN

Location: Withymoor Island, Halesowen Rd, Dudley, West Midlands DY2 9PU

Details: Boaters gathering on private moorings.

More Information:

8th to 9th September Village at War Weekend at Stoke BruerneNorthants

Location: Grand Union Canal, Stoke Bruerne, Northamptonshire, NN12 7SE

Details: The 11th Anniversary of the award winning Village at War Weekend based on the Grand Union Canal at Stoke Bruerne. An opportunity to experience life in wartime Britain during the 1940s with re-enactments, live music, Battle of Britain Flypast, black market stalls, fashion parade, tea dances, air raids, troop inspections, vintage boats and much much more...

More Information: More information and booking forms on the Friends of Canals Museum website  01604 862229

14th to 16th September Black Country Boating Festival

Location: Access to the Festival is via St. Georges Road, Netherton, DY2

Details: Boat gathering and community festival held in the Bumble-Hole Nature Reserve, Windmill End, Netherton.

More Information: For more information visit the Black Country Boating festival website.

21st to 23rd September Tipton Canal & Community FestivalBCN

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

Details: The Tipton Canal & Community Festival is now in its 10th year and has become very popular with the local community and visitors from far and wide. It is held on and by the Birmingham Old Main Line Canal in Tipton. Attractions include: working and trip boats, arts, crafts and bling fair, live entertaiment, various trade, charity and carboot stalls, childrens ride's, canal crafts, real ales, a wide range of food and drink and much more. Come along for a fabulous community weekend for you and your family.

More Information:

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