Region: West Midlands

Disabled Facilities: Yes

Category: Day Trip Destinations

Address: Canal and River Tours Ltd. Waterside, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6AT

Contact: 07939 999920



A surprising trip for young minds with river wildlife, not too much Shakespeare and a 200 hundred year old working lock.

Imagine the excitement of travelling through an actual working lock and then sailing downstream with the swans just at eye height, not to mention keeping a lookout for the ghost of the old lock keeper.

Our 40-50 minute trip is a big hit with schools from all round the country who want to find out about Shakespeare, the river wildlife and to explore a bit of the Industrial Revolution.

Stratford upon Avon will always be associated with Shakespeare but how many people realise that this small market town was also the gateway to the British Empire through the canal transport network that pre-dated road and rail?

We have plenty to keep children occupied on board, including a quiz to accompany the light hearted but educational commentary. 

The Bancroft Gardens are an ideal area to have a picnic. They're right in front of the Theatre in the centre of town an you can get food and snacks at many of the local and unique catering boats like the baguette barge or Shakee's ice cream barge.

The boat is fully accessible with a wheelchair lift and disabled toilet. The risk assessments and the access statement can be found below. Jennifer May seats up to 60 and is heated, well lit and runs for 365 days a year, weather permitting if you want to plan a trip out of season. In the summer months all the windows come out and you can get even closer to the swans, coots and geese.

Most schools prefer the standard trip with the audio commentary but if it's an exclusive trip and you want to create your own theme (pirates for example) then it's equally possible, we just need a bit of notice.

Do you have a video on YouTube or anywhere else that you would like to link to?

Are you on Twitter, Facebook or any other social media?

Why you are you a great place for educational visits?
• Experience travelling through an actual working lock that dates back 200 years
• Learn about the canal network
• Meet the river wildlife at eye height. The swans follow us most of the time, not to mention coots, tufted ducks, herons and even the occasional Kingfisher
• See the famous theatre and the church Shakespeare was buried in from the river
• Music and commentary throughout the trip designed for young minds.
• Perfect for all weathers as the boat is enclosed. Windows can be removed in hot weather if requested.
• Boat mooring is in an ideal location for picnics or packed lunches can be eaten on board.

What does a typical educational visit include?
Safety brief
Information about the wildlife – crew feed the swans to bring them close to the boat
Information about Shakespeare
Information about the Industrial Revolution and the importance of the canal network
Travelling through a working lock with supporting commentary

What group sizes do you cater for?
Up to 60 people per trip

Are you happy for children to take photos, video or audio?
Completely happy

What is your process for booking pre arranged risk assessments?
Yes – available on the website along with access statements

What is the cost of the visit?
£4 per pupil under 16 (£5 over 16), £6 per adult

Do you have first aid on site or will the group need to bring a qualified first aider?
Yes - a mandatory requirement on a boat

Please list facilities available.
Sister boat selling ice cream, soft drinks and snacks.
On board disabled toilet
Sound system. Some schools prefer their own music for pirate themed trips etc.

What are your disabled facilities?
Disabled toilet, wheelchair lift, wheelchair ramp. Moveable seats on board to accommodate wheel chairs

What are your opening days and hours?
11:00- 17:00 7 days per week 12 months per year (note there may be a couple of weeks downtime for maintenance in the winter)

Do you have any testimonials from previous schools we can include?
Fantastic class boat ride !
We had a great Reception Class trip. It was the first time many of the children had been on a boat and the crew looked after us really well. We enjoyed going through the lock, racing the swans, waving at people on the banks of the river and we even had an ice cream at the end! Many thanks for a great day!
Wolverton School

A Swashbuckling Pirate Adventure
A class of 4, 5 and 6 year old pirates took over the 'ship' last week as the beginning of our Pirate Day!
They had a fantastic time on the Jennifer May (which we were able to decorate with bunting, flags and a rather large Polly parrot) and spent nearly an hour singing and dancing to pirate songs while intermittently ordering onlookers to walk the plank and firing cannonballs at passing vessels.
Thank you for what one child described as "the best trip ever!" Ilmington School

Age of Children / Pupils: Pre-school 5 – 7 years 8 – 10 years 11 – 13 years 14 – 16 years College University

Type of Visit: Boat Trips Historic Buildings Historical Heritage Maritime Outdoor Education Safety Awareness Wildlife and Nature

Curriculum Topics Covered: English Environmental Studies Geography History Leisure & Tourism

Months Open: All Year Round January February March April May June July August September October November December