What's on at the London Canal Museum

Walks, talks, boat trips, and more

What's On

There is plenty going on at London Canal Museum. We have regular monthly illustrated talks in the evening, aimed at adults with an interest in industrial heritage and canals. We have a programme of towpath walks in spring summer and autumn, and summer boat trips through the long Islington Tunnel on certain dates. We have occasional special days of activities for families or adults. We also occasionally offer roses and castles painting courses, and other events.

Illustrated Talks

Illustrated talks are held at 7.30 pm, on the first Thursday of each month except August. Most speakers illustrate their presentations with photographs. The museum is open 1000 to 1930 on the first Thursday of each month. Admission to talks and museum is charged at the usual museum admission charges. The programme is given below. In the event of any last minute changes to lectures or other events the site will be updated if sufficient notice is available.

Go to full events list

Events coming soon

A short narrowboat entering the mouth of Islington Tunnel on one of our guided tours.

Temporary Exhibitions

Full List of Events

Date Event
October 2017 events
22nd October 2017 Tunnel boat trips through the long Islington canal tunnel and back, accompanied by a guide from the museum who will give a commentary during the journey. Departures at 1100, 1200, 1400, 1500 and 1600. Book online.
25th October 2017 Watery Wednesday A range of activities for children aged roughly 6-12 including a short boat trip.
28th October 2017 The Amazing Halloween Experience Our annual family event including a scary boat trip through the dark Islington Tunnel, and activities in the museum.
29th October 2017 The Amazing Halloween Experience Our annual family event including a scary boat trip through the dark Islington Tunnel, and activities in the museum.
November 2017 events
2nd November 2017 Illustrated talk: The Chesterfield Canal by John Lower. The history of the canal and an update on the progress of the restoration.
December 2017 events
7th December 2017 Illustrated talk: British Waterways Transformed into the Canal and River Trust by Tony Hales. Tony Hales was for many years the Chair of British Waterways. He will recall some of his memories of a ten year period of change, during which the nationalised transport industry became a major charity.
January 2018 events
4th January 2018 Illustrated talk: Restoring The Wendover Arm by Ray Orth of the Wendover Arm Trust. Ray will update us on the considerable progress that the Trust has made over the last couple of years. Additional visitors' moorings have been created on the restored arm and the towpath improved. The Wendover Arm had its origins as a water supply feeder for the Grand Junction Canal. In later years problems keeping it watertight led to its closure as a navigation. Modern techniques now offer a solution to that leakage problem. Much of the former "dry section" has now been lined †with a waterproofing sheet system, so enabling further sections of the canal to be re-watered.
February 2018 events
1st February 2018 Illustrated talk: Working the Boats by Kirk Martin. Kirk spent many years working canal boats. He was a skipper of an early camping boat. Later he moved to be the skipper of trip boats and worked with children in his local boat club.
March 2018 events
1st March 2018 Illustrated talk: The Thames Tidal Defences by Nathan Ellis of the Environment Agency. The Environment Agency has the responsibility of protecting London from flooding. The Thames Barrier is just one element in that overall protection plan. Nathan will look at the history of and future plans for that defence. He will offer an introduction to the past, present and future of the Thames Barrier and its associated gates, tidal walls, and embankments.
April 2018 events
5th April 2018 Illustrated talk: Canal People by Tony Condor. Tony will call on his experience of 25 years at the helm of the National Waterways Museum, then at Gloucester, to tell us about the lives of those who worked on the canals, the boatmen, and the canal managers.
May 2018 events
3rd May 2018 Illustrated talk: The New River, by Richard Thomas. London's first major man-made waterway, the New River was constructed by the New River Company in 1607 to bring fresh water from the natural springs near Ware and Amwell to London. This amazing water channel now feeds the London Water Ring Main.
June 2018 events
7th June 2018 Illustrated talk: The East End's Canals - Local Voices by Carolyn Clark. During 2015-16, a Heritage Lottery part funded project with Laburnum Boat Club gathered information from local people and resources about life on and by the Regent's and Hertford Union Canals. The work culminated with the East End Canal Festival (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KJkf9tvF3g†) †This presentation is based on the findings with new photos and information. †Carolyn Clark is the Community Historian who led the project. Whilst many historians have studied the social history of those who lived afloat, Carolyn's project explored a rarely-considered topic: the social history of those who lived and worked on and beside the canals in the inner city, and local peoples' relationship with the waterways. The results were an unusual insight into an aspect of canal history that has generally not been studied, and they were fascinating.
July 2018 events
5th July 2018 Illustrated talk: Speaker and topic to be announced
August 2018 events
2nd August 2018 Guided towpath walk to Camden Town departing at 1830
September 2018 events
6th September 2018 Illustrated talk: The Tideway Tunnel by Nick Tennant. The project has been under way for over a year. Nick will explain the background and update us on tunnelling progress for this major infrastructure project.
October 2018 events
4th October 2018 Illustrated talk: The Uttoxeter and Caldon Canals by Steve Wood. Steve will tell us about the Caldon Canal and the plans that are afoot to re-open part of the Uttoxeter Canal near the head of navigation.
November 2018 events
1st November 2018 Illustrated talk: The Shrewsbury and Newport Canals by Brian Nelson. Brian will tell us about the history of these canals and the features on them. He will outline the progress being made towards their restoration.
December 2018 events
6th December 2018 Illustrated talk: Islington Tunnel by Lester Hillman. Lester will tell us about the dramas of the building and subsequent operation of London's longest canal tunnel, the Islington Tunnel of The Regent's Canal.

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