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Canal & River Trust – Explorers: Hanwell Flight

What will students see and do?

Take pupils on a trip to Canal & River Trust site Hanwell Flight in Ealing, west London, to see where the Grand Union canal finishes its 200 mile journey south from Birmingham and joins the River Thames.

The Canal & River Trust’s ‘Explorers’ education programme is aimed at children aged 5-11. Volunteers are available to lead your trip, or come to your school. At this venue you can take part in a one-hour classroom workshop and a one to two-hour guided walk, focusing on the importance of the canals as trade routes.

Pupils can look out for hidden tunnels, horse ramps and boundary markers, and compare the canal to the river Brent, exploring how they are connected. You can also enjoy a lock demonstration to inspire future engineers in your class.

Animal lovers will enjoy bird spotting and investigating different animal habitats during their visit.

Teaching resources provided

The Canal & River Trust provides learning resources on its website to support learning on your trip and once you’re back in the classroom.

These include a nine-page All About Rivers pack, a 12-page All About Canals pack and a 39-page Life on the English Waterways topic pack, among many others.

Minimum and maximum group size

There is no minimum group size for this visit. One class can visit at a time, with a limit of 35 students.

It’s best to plan your trip according to your school’s recommended adult to student ratio. That way, you can ensure that you’ll have enough teachers and assistants to keep your students safe and supervised.

Details of risk assessment

The Canal & River Trust offers the chance for teachers to carry out a pre-visit prior to your trip, and also offers a guide risk assessment for you to use.

The team can visit your school before your visit to lead a water safety assembly, and there are lots of water safety resources on the website for you to use with pupils.


Don't miss our downloadable A-Z guide on completing a risk assessment

icon for A-Z guide on completing a risk assessment

Facilities on-site

This is an outdoor visit so trips are weather dependent and can be postponed if necessary. There are no toilets available at this site.

The tour is step-free and there are grassy areas that are suitable for picnics along the route.

Opening times

The area surrounding the canal is always open, but it is advisable to fill out a booking form for your visit if you want a volunteer-led experience.



All visits to Canal & River Trust’s London sites are free.

Travel arrangements

There is only limited street parking available at this location.

Instead, you can take bus route B3 or walk 15 minutes from Hanwell train station.


Three Bridges, Windmill Lane, Southall, London

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Book your school trip to Canal & River Trust – Explorers: Hanwell Flight

For information on booking your school trip to this venue, click below.

Book your school trip to Canal & River Trust – Explorers: Hanwell Flight

For information on booking your school trip to this venue, click below.

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