Canal Events

Canal and Waterway Events 2019

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 2019 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 October 2019

Every Saturday in October – IWA West Country Branch (Taunton): weekly work party 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 October – 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 6th & Tuesday 15th October – 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 10th October – 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 13th October – 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 Mel Sowerby or ring 01522 856810 to confirm date and location.
Thursday 17th October – 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 Lawton flight, to re-furbish the four sets of locks in the flight, starting at top Lock 49 - (Halls Lock) - a double lock in poor condition. Meet at Cherry Tree Avenue, Church Lawton ST7 3EL. Please wear stout shoes, old clothing and bring a waterproof. If you are staying all day you may also want to bring a packed lunch. This work party is held in partnership with the Trent & Mersey Canal Society. Email  John Lawson or ring 07940 878923.
Saturday 19th October – 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 0787 5999 825.
Tuesday 22nd October – 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.
Tuesday 22nd & 29th October – 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 .
Saturday 26th October – 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.

22nd April onwards The Great Canal AdventureVirtual Leed Liverpool Canal

Location: Anywhere

Details: Walk, run, swim or cycle the distance of the Leeds Liverpool Canal in 3 weeks either on your own or as part of a team. We'll send you regular updates about the attractions and places that you'll be passing as well as some funny tales from your fellow travellers.

More Information: email: 

3rd to 6th 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

4th 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

4th to 6th 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.

18th and 19th May Moira Canal FestivalAshby Canal

Location: Moira Furnace, Furnace Lane, Moira, DE12 6AT

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: Geoff Pursglove,  07989550427

18th & 19th 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

25th to 27th 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

31st May to 2nd 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,

1st & 2nd June IWA Trailboat FestivalLancaster Canal

Location: Lane Farm, Crooklands, Milnthorpe, Cumbria LA7 7NH

Details: 2019 is the bi-centenary of the opening of the northern reaches of the Lancaster Canal and to mark the occasion IWA Lancashire and Cumbria Branch plan to host the 2019 IWA Trailboat Festival as a highlight of the 200 year celebrations. The Festival will be held alongside Country Fest and trailboaters will be invited to cruise the newly restored “First Furlong” and admire the work of the Lancaster Canal Trust and the Lancaster Canal Regeneration Partnership. It’s anticipated the Festival will raise the profile of the current and future regeneration of the Northern Reaches and promote the benefits of the inland waterways corridor to the wider community including schools and user groups such as walkers and canoeists amongst others. The most recent Country Fest attracted 16,000 people and Trailboat Festival goers will benefit from all the activities organised for the show whilst Country Fest attendees will get to see their local canal filled with boats.

More Information:

1st & 2nd 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 1st and Sunday 2nd June 2019, 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

13th to 16th 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 & 16th 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

5th to 7th 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

6th & 7thJuly 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 2019’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

13th & 14th July Classic and Vintage Park UpFenny Compton

Location: Near Fenny Compton Marina

Details: A wide selection of vintage and classic vehicles of all ages. Market stalls craft food and drink. No gate fee. Charity event so donation for entry would be appreciated. Walking distance to the Oxford canal at Fenny Compton

More Information: Website

20th & 21st 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 20th - 21st 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.

28th 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

10th to 11th August Blisworth FestivalGrand Union Canal

Location: Along canal and in Blisworth village.

Details: Originally conceived in 2010 as a boat festival along the Grand Union Canal, the Blisworth Canal Festival has been embraced by visitors and villagers alike to become a major annual event in South Northamptonshire.
Retaining its focus along the waterfront, the Blisworth Festival now covers several official nearby sites in the village centre and aims to provide something for everyone, young and old, boater and non-boater alike. For visitors, Blisworth Festival remains free to enter, with ample free parking and free (unreserved) mooring. Attractions include: Historic & Trade Boats - Boat Trips - Food Outlets - Bars - Kid’s Activities - Rare Breeds - Artizan Foods - Traders - Live Music - and more…
Boaters are advised that all visitor moorings within the festival site will be suspended and reserved for traders. Visitor moorings will be available north of Bridge 50 (Candle Bridge).
This annual event, expected to attract 25,000+ visitors this year, is organised by the Blisworth Canal Partnership. All proceeds go towards maintaining the canal and its environs within the parish of Blisworth as well as supporting many local organisations and national charities.

More Information: For enquiries from traders, please email the organisers at
For further information, see website.

24th to 26th August IWA Festival of Water - Lee NavigationWaltham Abbey

Location: Waltham Abbey

Details: The annual IWA Festival of Water comes to the Lee Navigation at Waltham Abbey over the 2019 August Bank Holiday Weekend. A weekend of fun for boaters, campers and all who love spending time by the water.
See IWA Festival of Water pages for full details and booking information.

More Information: Website

24th to 25th 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

7th to 8th September Village at War Weekend at Stoke BruerneNorthants

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

Details: The 12th 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 

15th September Hayes Town FestivalGrand Union Canal

Location: Highpoint Village, Station Road, Hayes, UB3 4FN

Details: A local canal side event held on and around the Grand Union Canal in Hayes Town. Runs from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. 

More Information: For more information visit the Canal & River Trust website.

21st to 22nd September Huddlesford Town Canal FestivalBCN

Location: Lichfield Cruising Club, Huddlesford, Lichfield WS13 8PY

Details: The Gathering, held biennially and organised jointly by Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust and Lichfield Cruising Club, brings together historic boats, floating traders, private boats and classic vehicles, with exhibitors and displays on the field.
The event will be held on 21/22nd September 2019 and anyone wishing to make a booking can do so at
Queries should be sent to the dedicated email address,
With music, entertainment, food and an all-day bar, the Gathering is open to visitors from 10am to 5pm each day.
Entry to the Gathering, held at Lichfield Cruising Club, Huddlesford, Lichfield WS13 8PY, is £5 with free parking.

More Information:

2nd October The Exeter Ship CanalBudleigh Salterton

Location: Peter Hall, St Peter’s CofE Church, 7 The Lawn, Budleigh Salterton EX9 6LT

Details: The presentation will cover the 450-year journey of the Exeter Ship Canal from inception, through various additions, to the current day, with political and commercial disputes over the 6 miles of the canal. With access from the tidal river Exe, it was always a challenge to sailors, and remains an important asset to wildlife and leisure facilities. It was the first to use pound locks and remains under control of Exeter City Council. Entry Fee: £5.00 (£3.00 for Friends of Fairlynch)

More Information: The Fairlynch Museum, Budleigh Salterton invites you to attend its next Coffee Time Talk, when Earl Connolly will give a 45 minute presentation on the Exeter Ship Canal.

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