Oxford Canal Festival 2020


The next Oxford Canal Festival is 17/18th/19th September 2020


We're looking forward to seeing you at the 2020 Canal Festival, 17th/18th/19th of September for a fabulous FREE programme of activities for all the family.



Oxford Canal Festival 2016

Join us for a wonderful celebration of the Oxford Canal  its attractions and its colourful history On September 17th/18th/19th September 2020. All proceeds will go towards the purchase and restoration of a community narrowboat for everyone to enjoy. And if you would like to lend us a hand, do contact us.


Thursday September 17th 2020
Ceilidh in St Barnabas


More information to follow.

Friday September 18th 2020
Three Chords and the Truth

The White Hart, Wolvercote
From 7.30pm

Eclectic session/jam. Bring instruments or just come along, have a drink and enjoy the music.

Saturday September 19th 2020


Canal walk

A one-hour Heritage walk
with local historian, author and boat resident Mark Davies from Hythe Bridge to Aristotle Lane.

The route will encompass a railway
swingbridge, an important canal lock, and the literary-rich suburb of
Jericho, with reference to 'extraordinary people' of both boat and bank.'
No charge but contributions welcomed.

Dog Show

No previous experience required. Many classes - Waggiest tail, Prettiest Bitch,  Handsomest Dog, Best Trick,  Best Sausage catcher and Fancy Dress!

Canal Olympics

Canal-themed fun and games. Bring friends and family. Something for everyone from boaters' arm wrestling to sack-of-coal race and Canal Tug challenge.

Wildlife walk: the Trap Grounds

Join us by Aristotle Bridge for a guided walk around the Trap Grounds Local Wildlife Site and Town Green, led by Linda Losito and Bob Cowley, ending with an alfresco glass of wine.


Thank you to all our sponsors and partners. More info.

Please note the following safety Information about the Oxford Canal Festival

  • No professional recording equipment
  • No Glass bottles
  • No illegal substances
  • Anyone found in possession of illegal substances will be handed over to the police
  • Unsociable behaviour or intimidation will not be tolerated
  • Perpetrators may be removed from the event, police may be called if necessary






Live music

Fantastic folk, rock, soul and world  music.

Delicious Food & Drink

A range of delicous food and drink from Middle Eastern, Japanese and Indian to cakes & Crepes, plus beer and cafe.

Canal Cinema: St Margaret's Institute

Unique chance to view film shorts  about local history and the canal, plus prizewinning entries from our Video Competition. Stop off, drop in. Next to the Anchor pub.

Kids' activities & family fun

Swing boats, bouncy castle, Boo Boo the Clown, children's activities with soft play, face painting & much more.

Boat trips

Slow down and enjoy the canal afloat. We will be offering trips along the canal on Oxford’s new water taxi the Gerry Ferry www.oxfordferryboats.com , and on a narrow boat courtesy of the Inland Waterways Team.  Trips can be booked from the festival information stall on the day and will last approximately 30 minutes.

Canal traditions

Inspired by narrow boats and the nature of the canal including design your own boat, mobile making, roses & castles and some exciting street art. Canal memorabilia  - and a chance to have a go yourself.

Tooley's Boatyard

Information about Tooley’s Boatyard, the oldest working dry dock on the Inland Waterways, having been in continuous use since 1778. Find out more about ou open day our RYA boat school, which offers certificated RYA Helmsman Courses, boat experience days, rope workshops and hourly courses.
Watch forging displays by our blacksmith on the mobile forge!

Community Stalls & Traders

Community stalls and a selection of local traders, including some on canal boats that will join in the festival along the nearby towpath.

The Cut

Talks, stories, children's shows.

Makers & More

Makespace Oxford, Open House and Exhibition of residents' work. Visit the pottery studio from 12-4 pm. Watch pottery wheel demonstrations and try your hand at the wheel, £5 a go. Info about classes and membership. 

I2-4pm In-Spire Sounds will be running an open recording studio session for people to come see what they do and even join in if they would like.

Tea and coffee served in the gallery space.


Oxford Canal Festival 2016

There is NO PARKING available a the festival, please arrive on a bike, on foot or by public transport.