Our Top 4 Summer Festivals to Visit by Narrowboat

ely folk festival live band

Blackbeard’s Tea Party Ely Folk Festival

Last week we enjoyed our annual St George’s Fayre which takes place in the town of March, where our marina is located.  Visitors enjoyed a free programme of arts, music, demonstrations, displays, dance, comedy and food.

If you missed this event you could still combine this year’s narrowboat holiday with one of these festivals this summer.

1) Strawberry Fayre

This renowned, free music festival had been going for over 40 years, before it was rudely interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. This year it returns on Saturday 3rd June and the theme is Revolution. It always begins with a parade around Cambridge’s city centre, and then returns to Midsummer Common for the main event. There are usually over a dozen stages, and marquees offering entertainment until 11pm. Each year the fayre attracts over 30,000 visitors. Strawberry Fayre is run entirely by volunteers dedicated to giving Cambridge a free day out. Check out the Strawberry Fair website  to find out more.

Cambridge is worth visiting at any time of year because of the world famous colleges, art galleries, history, shops and restaurants. To get to Cambridge from March by narrowboat you’ll pass through the Middle Levels, and up the Ely section of the Great Ouse. When in Cambridge your cruise will take you through Midsummer Common to Jesus Green where there are public moorings. You won’t be stuck for things to see and do.

2) March Fest

The 2023 March Summer Festival is also free and will be in West End Park, March, on 9th, 10th and 11th June.

Friday night is ‘Rock in the Park’ and on Saturday there will be a craft fair with, kids zone, live music on an open air stage, a variety of food stalls, a classic car show, dance tent and fair ground rides.

Sunday will be a picnic in the park aimed at children of all ages. There will also be a dog show, circus skills workshop, face painting, live music on the main stage and a junior disco.

Our hire boat base is in March and you will quickly arrive at the town centre. You could start or end your narrowboat hire holiday with this festival giving you a summer to remember.

3) Ely’s Aquafest

A return trip by narrowboat from March to Ely takes approximately 18 hours. There are visitor moorings on the waterfront when you get there. Our boating customers like to visit the antiques centre, the city centre shops, the famous Ely Cathedral and the museum at Oliver Cromwell’s House.  Instead of returning to March you can also carry on towards Cambridge.

If you visit Ely on Sunday 2nd July you’ll be moored in the middle of Aquafest. This family-friendly event takes place at three riverside locations: Lavender Green, Jubilee Gardens and the Maltings Green. There is usually a fun fair, beer tent, burger bar and stalls. Everyone likes the raft race, featuring numerous decorated rafts. To find out more about this free festival visit Aquafest.

4) Ely Folk Festival

If you book a boating holiday around 7th July you could experience three days of great music at one of the UK’s top weekend folk events. Ely Folk Festival offers a real ale bar, lots of kids activities, morris dancing displays, ceilidhs, workshops and music sessions. Tickets are available in advance at Ely Folk Festival.

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.

Get more local events and holiday inspiration sent directly to your inbox: Look for ‘Follow Blog’ in the sidebar to the right. (We never send salesy stuff or spam, just a boaty article twice a month!)

Photo Credit: cc-sa-4.0 GiddyStu

Tags: , , , , ,