Bring your wellies for a free family open weekend on the Northampton arm of the Grand Union Canal

The canal lock of Old Towcester Road will be open for a family fun day this weekend.
The canal lock of Old Towcester Road will be open for a family fun day this weekend.

A family fun day with paddle boarding, fishing tasters and a supersized fish tank is on this weekend along a Northampton town centre canal.

Visitors are invited to see the work taking place to keep the Northampton arm of the 200-year-old Grand Union Canal open at the open day this Saturday and Sunday at Lock 17, off Old Towcester Road.

Over 38million of repairs are being carried out to the Grand Union Canal in Northampton.

Over 38million of repairs are being carried out to the Grand Union Canal in Northampton.

A specially-erected viewing gallery will be built for visitors to see what waterways charity The Canal and River Trust are doing to keep the historic canal open and alive.

Meanwhile, on Saturday (March 9) visitors can try their hand at paddle boarding and will have a chance at winning a free boating holiday.

On Sunday, free fishing taster sessions will be on offer and a supersized fish tank will be on display. A lucky few may even get to take home a free fishing starter kit.

Stuart Gadsby, regional construction manager for the Canal & River Trust, said: “We’re delighted that we’re able to hold an open weekend on this historic part of the canal in the centre of Northampton, it’s really exciting to be able to show everyone all the hard work that’s gone into the repairs all along the Northampton Arm.

The open day is sure to have more fun things than wading in a muddy lock.

The open day is sure to have more fun things than wading in a muddy lock.

"The canal offers an amazing, tranquil space, where everything slows down even in the town centre. We know from research that people are happier and more relaxed when they are by water, and the activities the canals support means they can help contribute to improving people’s mental and physical well-being.”

The ongoing work by the Canal and River Trust are part of a £38million, five-month programme of repairs all along the Northampton Arm.

Parking and on-site refreshments are being provided by Carlsberg Sports and Social Club, located off Towcester Road.

For more information on the Canal and River Trust, visit their website.