The Canal and River Trust brings you the top 10 reasons to visit Britain's biggest waterway festival this weekend.
The Canal and River Trust has compiled a list of the best reasons to visit the Crick Boat Show this year.
Held at Crick Marina near Daventry in Northamptonshire, the show offers a range of activities from learning how to steer a boat to trips along the waterways and designing your own boat interior.
It is taking place during the next bank holiday weekend, 28-30 May.
Enjoy a boat trip
Visitors to Crick can take a free trip along the Grand Union Canal. The half-hour trips run every 10 minutes from 10.10am each day of the show. Book your free trip at the Trip Boats Marquee on the Quayside soon after you arrive at the show to avoid disappointment.
Meet an 18th century canal engineer
As part of the show’s celebration of 300 years since the birth of James Brindley, the man himself (OK, in the form of an impersonator…) will be meeting show visitors across the weekend. One of history’s great engineers, Brindley was responsible for eight canals and presided over the birth of large-scale civil engineering in this country.
Have a go at Roses & Castles painting
Visit the Canal & River Trust Marquee to try your hand at roses and castles canal boat painting. This mysterious and colourful canal folk art was used to decorate working narrowboats in the 19th century, covering virtually everything in or on the narrowboat.
Soak up some live music
Live bands will perform throughout the show in the Wheatsheaf Bar Marquee. Blondie Tribute act ‘Blondied’ heads up Saturday evening’s entertainment and songwriter and BBC Radio 6 Music presenter Tom Robinson is on stage from 9.20pm on the Sunday.
Watch out for a waterway writer
On each day of the show, a waterway writer will be reading extracts from their books and signing copies. On Saturday, Christine Richardson, author of James Brindley, Canal Pioneer will be speaking. On Sunday you can meet Helen Babbs, author of Adrift: A Secret Life of London’s Waterways, and on Monday, Berlie Doherty will be signing copies of Snowy, winner of the Children’s Book Award for the best picture book of the year.
Design your dream boat interior
Whether you are a boat owner or just a dreamer, let your imagination roam free with boat builders to talk to, dozens of new boats to look around and all the latest products, gadgets and space saving solutions to admire.
Graze on gourmet food
The show’s Food & Craft Marquee will be home to a wide selection of gourmet food specialists, offering tasty samples and live demonstrations of culinary delights.
Take a ride on the funfair
Children aged 16 and under can visit the show for free where they will find a variety of hands-on, exciting children’s activities, including a funfair with dodgems and carousel.
Find out about living afloat
Crick hosts a seminar programme with topics for both novice and seasoned boaters, including advice about living on a boat. Find out how much it costs to live afloat, where to moor and what type of boat is best. Other seminar topics include advice on refurbishing boats, boat maintenance and buying and selling a boat.
Learn how to steer a boat
Visitors to the show can book a one-hour Boat Handling Taster Course. The boat trainers will talk you through the basics of casting off, mooring up, boat etiquette, rope handling and lock navigation. Places cost £12 each and can booked in advance.
The show will be open from 10am till 6pm every day except 30 May, when it closes at 5pm. Evening entertainment runs from 7.30pm to 11.30pm.
Ticket prices start at £12 per adult if booked in advance before 22 May, £15 on the day. All children aged 16 and under go free.