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Canal & River Trust – Explorers: Lune Aqueduct, Lancaster

What will students see and do?

If your class is looking to learn more about Lancaster, Lancashire or the waterways of Britain, try a visit to the stunning Lune Aqueduct, where pupils can learn about geography, engineering, science, history and more.

The 202-metre-long aqueduct carries the Lancaster canal a towering 16 metres above the River Lune. With five 21-metre arches, the structure delivers picturesque views across the Lune Valley, one of Lancashire’s most beautiful spots.

Designed by John Rennie and constructed by Alexander Stevens in 1797, the aqueduct is a masterpiece of civil engineering, as well as being a fantastic place for wildlife. There are countless habitats around the area which provide homes for many different creatures.

There’s a combination of natural and man-made features to learn about at the site, and a trip there offers students the chance to unearth the secrets of the local area through active participation and enquiry.

Volunteer experts from the Canal & River Trust are on hand to take children on a guided history tour, showing them the heritage of the area. Alternatively, you can arrange for pupils to participate in activities like pond dipping, habitat sampling or river and map work.

If you prefer, the trust can also deliver workshops in your classroom about canals, bridges and water safety.

Teaching resources provided

The Canal & River Trust provides a range of resources on its website. For your trip, there is a map of the local area available, plus a variety of web pages, worksheets and topic packs about canals, bridges and the Lune Aqueduct itself. Visit the trust website or contact the team to find out more.

The trust also offers a ‘curiosity box’ that you can loan; this contains a selection of lesson plans and artefacts, which you can use in class before your trip.

The artefacts include the likes of horse brasses, hurricane lamps and cargo sacks, and are accompanied by items of clothing, photographs and a fact file. There’s even a cross-curricular grid to help you plan your students’ learning.

Minimum and maximum group size

You can take your whole class to see the aqueduct. However, workshops are optimised for around 15 children at a time, and so children may get split into smaller groups for these.

It’s important to make sure you enough adults to supervise your group. Here are the minimum requirements of the Canal & River Trust:

– 4–8 years: one adult to six children
– 9-12 years: one adult to eight children
– 13–18 years: one adult to ten children.

Details of risk assessment

If you wish, you can take a free pre-visit to scope out the aqueduct and surrounding area, and there is a template for risk assessing the trip online. Volunteers from the Canal & River Trust will happily provide water safety assemblies and workshops at your school to help you prepare for the trip.

The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom has given the Lune Aqueduct its Quality Badge – this accreditation is recognition that the trip will be both exciting and informative for your 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

The Lune Aqueduct has all the facilities a school group needs. On-site you’ll find the outdoor learning centre and a pond-dipping platform, plus public toilets and a car park. Be sure to contact the trust if you have any specific enquiries, including those about accessibility on-site.

Opening Times

The towpath is open every day. You can contact the Canal & River Trust through its website to organise a time for your tour and workshop. The contact page will also allow you to ask trust staff further questions, plan assemblies and loan a curiosity box.



A school trip to the Lune Aqueduct is free of charge. Workshops and tours are facilitated by the volunteers of the Canal & River Trust for no cost in the trust’s outdoor learning spaces. All staff ask is that you give as much notice as possible if you need to cancel your trip.

Travel arrangements

There are several ways to get to the aqueduct, which is located on the River Lune and Lancaster Canal waterways, but for school groups it’s easiest to arrive by road.

If you’re coming from Manchester or Liverpool, make your way to the M6. Come off at exit 34 towards Kirkby Lonsdale. From there, take Halton Rd to Coronation Way.


Lune Aqueduct, Caton Road, Lancaster, Lancashire

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Book your school trip to Canal & River Trust – Explorers: Lune Aqueduct, Lancaster

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

Book your school trip to Canal & River Trust – Explorers: Lune Aqueduct, Lancaster

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

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