Statement from Canal & River Trust

There is an increasing awareness of the importance of waterways in supporting our mental health and physical wellbeing. That’s why – whilst we are closing our museums and visitor attractions from Friday 20 March* – we are doing all we can to keep our 2,000-mile network of canals, towpaths, and river navigations available and safe for everyone to visit and enjoy – free of charge^.

It’s with a heavy heart that we must postpone our most popular weekend of the year, the Easter Boat Gathering, but the health of our boaters, visitors, volunteers and staff is our main priority. We’d really like to hold a gathering at some point later in the year and we would welcome thoughts and ideas on this. We will talk to HNBC about this too.

*The sites affected are: Anderton Boat Lift Visitor Centre, National Waterways Museum Ellesmere Port, National Waterways Museum, Gloucester, Pontcysyllte Visitor Centre, Standedge Visitor Centre and Stoke Bruerne Museum and cafe.
^ Our towpaths are free to everyone; use of the water requires the appropriate licence.

More information can be found at