Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Canal festival season is now well underway, with Boatshed’s Phil and Angus having already been to London’s biggest canal festival, the IWA Cavalcade. If you have an interest in inland boating, real ale and live music then look no further than your local canal festival!

If you’ve never been to one before you can expect to see dozens of colourful narrowboats, some decorated with bunting, and some acting as floating shops, known as ‘roving traders’. There are often boat trips and other boat-related activities, such as a boat ‘tug of war’. There will always be refreshments, food stalls, market stalls, local English pubs and a real-ale bar or beer tent. Live music is often a part of it, plus family friendly activities, stalls selling crafts and chandlery and traditional British summer fete entertainment, like Morris dancing.

This year some festivals are celebrating the fact that it is 300 years since the birth of canal pioneer James Brindley. The only problem seems to be that there is so much choice around the country, you will never be able to go to all of these festivals!

22 Canal Festivals for Summer 2016

Rickmansworth Canal Festival 21st – 22nd May

Crick Boat Show 28th – 30th May

Tottenham Ploughmans RiverFest 29th May

IWA Trailboat Festival, Staveley 28th - 29th May

International Mersey River Festival 3rd – 5th June

Etruria Canals Festival 4th – 5th June

Leicester Riverside Festival 4th – 5th June

IWA National Campaign Festival, Eldonian Village 11th - 12th June

Middlewich Folk and Boat Festival 17th – 19th June

Foxton Locks Festival 18th - 19th June

Stoke Bruerne Canal Festival 18th-19th June

Historic Boat Festival in Burscough 18th – 19th June

Braunston Historic Narrowboat Rally & Canal Festival 25th - 26th June

Ware River Festival, 1st – 3rd July

Straford-upon-Avon River Festival 2nd – 3rd July

Welshpool Canal & Food Festival 2nd July

Cosgrove Canal festival and craft fair 16th – 17th July

Dewsbury Canal Festival 31st July

Blisworth Canal Festival 13th – 14th August

Fenny Stratford Canal Festival 16th August - a new event this year.

Festival of Water, Pelsall near Walsall, 27th - 29th August

Angel Canal Festival, Islington, London 4th September

If you are considering buying a boat or getting involved in boating, festivals are a great place to start. You can look at boats, talk to boaters and enjoy music, food and drink.

Although not in an official Boatshed capacity you can catch up with Phil, Broker for Boatshed Grand Union acting as Harbourmaster at the Rickmansworth Canal Festival on 21st and 22nd May. If you have any questions about buying or selling a boat, look out for Phil on the towpath, aboard NB Persephone - or in the real ale bar!

If you want to make boating your business, or think brokerage could make a good ‘add-on’ to your current business check out Boatshed Business and discover the benefits of our rapidly expanding global sales network.

Image credit: James Brindley by Francis Parsons from Wikimedia Commons

Peggy Melmoth

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