LNBP recently welcomed a group from the Cambian School in Northamptonshire for a day’s experience on the canals with Lancelot and Guinevere.

Here, teacher Sarah provides us with an account of their day with us and by the sounds of things it will be one they will treasure. 

A huge THANK YOU from everyone at Cambian Northampton school for the most awesome experience on the beautiful narrow boat, Guinevere at Braunston, Daventry.

The day started early with a group trying on of life jackets and a safety briefing, questions answered and trust established from the very start. Mike was the skipper and Nigel the Captain, and the only rule was to follow whatever they said.


The learning for all students was considerable, especially student 1 who went from complete beginner with zero experience to gaining confidence in lock keeping, water levels and safety. Student 1 was awarded special commendation as ‘lock keeper of the day’. It was the first time any of the young men had ever been on a boat.

Along the journey we encountered a variety of wildlife, including a very inquisitive swan who swam alongside the boat. The students were thrilled to meet other boaters who welcomed them and were happy to talk boating, and thankful that our team were doing the hard work opening and closing locks.



The real challenge was when the boat travelled for 1.17 miles through the Braunston tunnel, at a rate of 3 knots per hour (1.15078 mile per hour) It was completely dark except for 3 air vents at certain points along the way. We learned that pre-engines the boaters would have moved the boat by putting their feet on the brickwork and pushing it along through the water; once out of the tunnel a horse would pull the boat hence the term, tow path.



It was a proud moment for the staff to see each individual student steering the boat at the tiller, quietly confident learning this new skill. The students loved the bunk beds, eating at the galley table watching the world go by slowly on the Grand Union canal and thought it was a great adventure.

The whole experience was a great team building exercise; there was a sense of freedom and all staff have expressed a desire to return for the next opportunity as they were relaxed and happy.

Since returning to the classroom we have looked at upcycling vessels and Rose and Castle canal boat painting. The students were fascinated by the different lifestyle and the quietness of the canal, for some it was the first time they had been in such a peaceful environment. At the end of our day we stopped at the Braunston shop for ice creams – all-round, perfection.

All the best wishes and gratitude for a lifelong memory from everyone who attended.


  • Thank you to the teaching staff and pupils/students at Cambian for joining us on your trip experience with us. We are so glad you enjoyed your time with us. Our team thoroughly enjoyed their time with you too. it was a pleasure to have you and and see the youngsters in particular get so much enjoyment and benefit from the experience. We hope to see you again soon. 


  • If this experience by a local school has got you thinking you would like to do similar for your school or one you know. please do get in touch to find out how we can help and make a booking. Contact Nigel, our Bookings Officer via email at booking@lnbp.co.uk