Try canal boating at one of our open days

On Sunday 23 April 2023, Drifters is offering people the chance to try canal boating for free at 16 locations across England and Wales.

The taster sessions, which will be on from 11am to 4pm, will include free short trips on skippered narrowboats, and the opportunity to look round holiday-hire boats at many of the locations.

Haley Hadley, of Drifters Waterway Holidays, explains:

“Travelling at just 4mph through peaceful countryside, past canalside pubs, sleepy villages and vibrant waterside towns and cities, canal boat holidays are often described as ‘the fastest way to slow down’.

“Around 450,000* people enjoy holidaying on Britain’s canal network and around a fifth of hirers are new to our holidays each year.

“Our free canal boat taster sessions are a great way for people to find out what makes canal boat holidays so special and to see if this sort of holiday would work for them.

“We look forward to welcoming people to our open day events.  We are hoping around 3,000 visitors will get afloat that day, including many families enjoying a day out by the water.”

For further details of Drifters’ Open Day events and to download a free voucher for a boat trip, go to

Please note, the trips are subject to availability on the day. Trip lengths vary depending on the location, but are usually around 30 minutes. It’s not possible to book a time. The trips are allocated on a first come, first served basis.

*Source: British Marine’s ‘Watersports Participation Survey 2018’