Canal boats, something you don’t really see much of in Slough, you’d be forgiven for not realising we have our very own canal in our town. It’s not one of those canals where you would take your toddler to feed the ducks, as I discovered when we first moved to this town. It’s quite industrial and secluded, just a bit too quiet. That is except for one weekend of the year, when the Slough Canal Festival takes place. Every September the canal comes alive with pretty boats and PEOPLE! You wouldn’t believe it was the same canal, and it really goes to show what this place could be like with a bit of redevelopment, you know, nice.
We went last Sunday, as we did in 2015 and 2016, and it’s pretty much the same format each year. It’s held at Bloom Park in Langley and there is a lovely, local family fete feel to it, with bunting, loads of stalls stalls, animals, a show area and not forgetting the host narrating the whole thing on his megaphone. It really reminds me of school sports days.
There was a fun fair area with bouncy castle and rides, an arts and crafts marquee, ferret racing, a dog show, birds of prey display, steam engine, lots of food stalls – sweets, freshly made doughnuts, slushies – and a huge marquee that had a indoor market with more stalls selling all sorts of stuff from cheese to plants.
This was this first year we went with a walking Lily, as last year she was only 2 months old and stuck in the buggy. This year she was walking everywhere and she loved the petting farm, as did Tyler. They saw lambs, ponies, guinea pigs, rabbits and geese.
We had doughnuts and hot chocolate, and watched the dog show which involved the ducks having a race too! I even caught it on film – you can see it here:
The weather was quite windy and it rained for a bit so we went inside the official Canal Trust boat where they had a colouring in table set up, which kept us occupied for a while.
My husband booked us tickets for a canal boat ride, which we hadn’t done before. It cost £15 for 3 adults and 2 kids, and we got slots on the 3.45pm ride (it was quite popular, so the slots went quick!) In the end it was really good timing as the rain had stopped, and we sat inside the boat which kept us warm rather than sitting at the front in the open bit.
Inside the boat it was so cute, with a tiny little kitchen and even a working radiator. It was on so I stood by it to keep my legs warm – I was in heaven! The ride took us a little bit towards the Slough end of the canal before turning around and taking up down to the Langley side. We saw other boats and lots of new housing along one side – could be nice living there!
This ride was half-an-hour, and there was another tour that took 1 hour. Good thing we took the short one as Tyler really needed the loo! He did enjoy it though, and Lily did at first before getting quite restless. Shame it wasn’t a sunny day, but hey, it was a fun experience.
We headed home after that, with a little detour to look at the houses along the canal. We’re always looking at houses these days, dreaming of the day we own one – one day!
If you’re local to Slough, this festival is definitely worth a visit, and it’s free. Keep the second weekend of September marked on your calendar for next year.
Did you go to the Slough Canal Festival? Or if you’re not local, have you been on a canal boat ride in your area?