Here are three family-friendly ideas to get you down to the waterside this weekend
The high pressure that brought us such Mediterranean weather over the last few days has almost drained and the weakened system is being nudged northwest by incoming low pressure systems.
That means there’s a weekend of sunshine and showers ahead as warm and cold fronts barrel overhead bringing quite strong, blustery southwesterly winds. This means three days of great sailing condition for sailors, and three days of increasingly lumpy seas if you’re motorboating. Inland, it’s not going to be brolly weather so grab some waterproofs and maybe a change of clothes if you’re planning on larking about.
If you can’t make it to the coast, there’s plenty going on inland. Our first offering is the Crick Boat Show on the Grand Union Canal in Leicestershire. This year’s show is bigger than ever and organisers are hoping the lively conditions won’t stop them breaking last year’s record of 14,000 visitors over the three rain-soaked days. This year, the target is 20,000.
Among the attractions last year were free boat trips, hundreds of exhibits on land and on water, live music, street entertainment, historic boats, children’s workshops, a traditional fairground and all sorts of general merry-making about the bazaars. Check www.crickboatshow.com for more details.
If you’re after more traditional fare, along Rosie and Jim lines, the Tring Festival, also on the Grand Union Canal, is the one for you. Taking place on Sunday and Monday at Tring, between Hemel Hempstead and Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, the festival features canal boats and historical exhibits taking you through hundreds of years of canal history. There are arts and crafts exhibitions, refreshment stalls and the ever-present real ale.
You can also visit the historic Bulbourne workshops by free minibus, but you’ll have to fork out a few new pence to visit the Tringford Pumping Station and numbers are limited so get in early. There tons of kids’ stuff going on, prizes to be won and a personal appearance by the construction industry’s pop sensation and TV star Bob the Builder. Tickets are £3 and under-16s £1 and for more information, call 01442 827702.
If nature’s more your kick, there’s a twitcher-fest on the River Lee at Rye Mead Nature Reserve. The Mind Boggling Migrations event takes place between 10am and 1pm and as well as bird watching, there are plenty of family activities and craft exhibitions to keep the kids busy. You need to book so if you’re interested, call 01279 793720.
Have an aquatic weekend.