Monday, 21 March 2016

The Easter bank holiday weekend is often a busy time on the canals. As long as the weather is good it’s a great opportunity for the firstcruise of the season, and trip boats and boat owners alike all chug cheerfully past nodding daffodils and busy beer gardens. But if you’re not out boating on your own boat here are six great ways to enjoy Easter on the canals.

1) Easter cruises on Chesterfield Canal

The Chesterfield Canal Trust will be running special cruises for Easter at Retford, Worksop, Hollingwood and Chesterfield from 20th to 27th March. Children on board the Easter Egg hunt boat trips can expect to receive an Easter egg and meet the Easter bunny! Plus, all of the grown-ups get a drink and a hot-cross bun. Tickets cost £7 and booking is essential, ring 07925851569.

2) Puppet Theatre Barge: The town mouse and the country mouse

This doesn’t have much to do with Easter but I wanted to include it as it would be such a fun day out for kids; and I love the story about these two cousins who visit each other and experience new sights and sounds. The show will entertain children and grown-ups alike, with music, songs and rod puppets. The Puppet Barge is an established 55 seat theatre with all modern facilities and has been described as “one of London’s more elusive treasures”.

The show runs from 19th March to 15th May at The Puppet Theatre Barge, Little Venice, Blomfield Road, London W9 2PF

3) Easter egg hunts in Fens Pool

Not a chocolate in sight here: The Canal and River Trust’s senior ecologist Paul Wilkinson is hosting an amphibian 'Easter' egg hunt and great-crested newt training at Brierley Hill in the West Midlands from 25th March to 13th May.

On Good Friday morning (25th March), accompanied children are invited to survey the site for signs of amphibian eggs. A list of dates and further information is available on the CRT website. Easter egg hunts in Fens Pool.

4) Easter Open Day at Stourport Basin

On Easter Sunday in Worcestershire you are invited to celebrate the Launch of Brindley 300 Stourport and Brindley's Boat at this open day with spinning at The Old Ticket Office, Easter hens at Bramble, the heritage working boat Scorpio and Barney the Boat Horse at The Tontine Stables. Easter in Stourport Canal Basins.

5) Newbury Artisan Market

Newbury Artisan Market on Easter Sunday offers local independent art, food, crafts and more, near the Kennet and Avon Canal. It’s a great day out for all the family with Newbury's finest independent designer-makers and food producers - original arts and crafts, street food and fun activities for children. The market is open on 27th March from 10:00am -4:00pm Northbrook St, Newbury RG14

Newbury Artisan Market

6) Easter Boat Gathering & Sea Shanty Festival 2016

My personal favourite on this list is a good ole boat festival! This gathering of boats offers beer, canal craft and children’s activities, live music and more. You can download the full programme of activities at the Canal and River Trust website. Sea Shanty performers from around the country will be performing across the museum’s restored buildings throughout the festival as well as in concert on Friday and Saturday nights. The festival runs from 25th to 28th March at The National Waterways Museum, at Ellesmere Port in Cheshire.

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