Four Festivals to Visit by Narrowboat this Summer


We had such a good day at St George’s Fayre on 28th April. Thousands of people visited March for a festival of live music and dragons, dancing, market stalls, and a fun fair: We also took over 100 people out on boat trips with us during that day.

If you missed St George’s Fayre why not combine this year’s narrowboat holiday with one of these festivals this summer?

1) Strawberry Fair

This legendary, free music festival has been going for over 40 years, and will be held on Saturday 1st June 2019. This year the theme is love. It kicks off with a parade around Cambridge’s city centre, and then returns to Midsummer Common for the start of the fair at midday. There are usually over a dozen stages, marquees and areas of entertainment and it goes on until 11pm. Each year it attracts over 30,000 visitors. Check out the Strawberry Fair website to find out more.

To get to Cambridge from March by boat you’ll pass through the Middle Levels, and up the Ely section of the Great Ouse. When in Cambridge your cruise will actually take you through Midsummer Common and onwards to Jesus Green and the public moorings near the limit of the navigation. Come for Strawberry Fayre, but stay to visit the world famous universities, art galleries, shops and restaurants in this beautiful, ancient city.

2) March Fest

The 2019 March Summer Festival will be in West End Park, March from 7th to 9th June. This is a free festival with open air stages, food stalls and a fun fair. The live music varies from pop, dance and jazz, to brass and folk. Hundreds of people come to enjoy the music, parade, classic vehicles and stalls. Our hire boat base is in March and so the festival can be visited as a weekend break.  Alternatively, start or end your narrowboat hire holiday with this festival.

3) Ely’s Aquafest

Aquafest is a family-friendly event taking place in July at three sites along the River Ouse in Ely: Lavender Green, Jubilee Gardens and the Maltings Green. You can expect to find live music, dancing, a fun fair, beer tent, burger bar and stalls. Many decorated rafts will take part in the annual raft race on the Ouse. For a narrowboat, the journey from March to Ely is approximately an 18 hour return trip. To find out more about the festival visit Aquafest.

There are visitor moorings on the waterfront in Ely. While you’re there you can visit the antiques centre, the city centre shops, the famous Ely Cathedral and the museum at Oliver Cromwell’s House.

4) Ely Folk Festival

This intimate and friendly little folk and roots festival, in mid July, offers a real ale bar, kids’ activities, Morris dancing displays, ceilidhs, workshops and music sessions. Check out Ely Folk Festival. Early bird tickets are on sale until 31st May.

If you’d like to travel to one of these festivals by narrowboat checkout our bookings page now, and see if your boat of choice is available for the dates you want.

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