Festive frolics on the Canals - Christmas jumpers are optional, having fun is a must!
If like everybody here at Anglo Welsh you can never get enough of the UK’s fantastic waterways, why not take a break from the Christmas shopping to attend one of the many festive events on the canals this December?
The Trent and Mersey Canal Open Weekend (December 2nd and 3rd) at Derwent Mouth Lock is a great place to start. There will be a heritage trail for adults and children alike, old photographs of the lock that show how it has changed over the years, plus Christmas carols and the chance to enjoy a tipple from the local micro pub. You also get to see the historic boats, ‘Trout’ and ‘Dove’, and watch Shrek the workhorse demonstrating how to pull a narrowboat.
Also on the Trent and Mersey Canal, Santa swaps his sleigh for a trip boat as the iconic Anderton Boat Lift plays host to a series of seasonal cruises along the River Weaver (every weekend in December, plus Thursday 21st and Friday 22nd). There will be festive stories and songs and a place to play in the new boat lift inspired play area. You will also get a chance to take 'elfies' with Father Christmas and best of all, Santa will make sure every child gets a seasonal gift.
Returning for a second year, the Bradford on Avon Market is getting festive (December 2nd and 3rd) on the Kennet and Avon Canal. Come along to the Christmas themed Floating Market for mulled wine and carols, with many of your favourite traders and some exciting new faces.
Further east in Wiltshire, the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust is organising Christmas Boat trips on the Swindon-based narrowboat ‘Dragonfly’ throughout December. Come and meet Santa every weekend from December 2nd and 3rd to December 16th and 17th, and then daily up to and including Saturday 23rd December – and yes, there will be Christmas presents for all the children!
This year the Roving Canal Traders Association are holding their first Christmas Floating Market in Berkhamsted on the Grand Union Canal near Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire. Pop along and find your favourite traders to buy some ‘not on the High Street’ unique Christmas gifts for friends & family. The market will run from 10am to 5pm on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th December, and weather permitting there will be illuminated boats trading in the early evening on Friday 8th.
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a concert from the Wirral Singers and Ringers at the National Waterways Museum in Ellesmere Port. This year’s annual celebration takes place on December 9th. Enjoy the singers who sing because they love it and have fun, and the ringers who also call themselves the humdingers - because most of their members are taken from the choir and therefore both hum and ding! Boom Boom! Performance starts at 7.30 pm and the £7 ticket includes tea/coffee and a mince pie.
The iconic Foxton Locks in Leicestershire once again plays host to a very special Christmas event - the Foxton Illuminated Festival (December 16th and 17th). This year a huge water fountain forms the centre piece of activities including bars, food stalls, music, theatre performances, fair ground and of course stunning illuminated canal boats. The best dressed boat will win the prestigious Foxton Illuminated Cup! Due to the overwhelming success of last year, this year’s event is being held over two days and entry is by ticket only.
For more information on festive events on and around the canals, plus confirmation of dates and times, visit canalrivertrust.org.uk. All together now, “Ding dong merrily on high…”