Canal & River Trust Explorers: Trent Lock

What will students see and do?

Bring England’s waterways to life with a school trip to Trent Lock in Sawley, Long Eaton. An educational visit to this Canal and River Trust site offers pupils the opportunity to enrich their in-school lessons with immersive workshops and outdoor learning activities.

Trent Lock, the first lock on the Erewash Canal, became known as Waters Meet by boaters due to its location as the meeting point for several waterways, including the River Trent, River Soar, Trent & Mersey Canal and Erewash Canal. A large settlement emerged around the lock due to its prime location.

At Trent Lock, students will learn the important history of Britain’s locks, including the difference between canals and rivers. Children will be taken on guided walks to view the River Trent and the start of the Erewash Canal. From here, they’ll be able to take part in fun science experiments, wildlife viewing and pond dipping.

Free school visits to the lock are led by the Canal and River Trust’s team of Explorers Education Volunteers. The qualified volunteers will hold hands-on learning workshops focusing on local history, wildlife and a variety of STEM topics, including engineering for kids.

The Trust can also work with local boat companies to provide canal boat trips that are coordinated to students’ workshop sessions.

Teaching resources provided

Visit the website for a range of free teaching resources, including a Life on the English Waterways activity where students will discover how families lived and worked on the waterways, and a fact file about all of the different features of a river. Water safety posters and wildlife posters can also be downloaded from the website.

Group leaders can also have students visit the online Game Zone, where you’ll find a range of digital games and activities.

Minimum and maximum group size

Call to discuss how many pupils you’d like to bring on your trip.

Details of risk assessment

School trip risk assessments are available on the website, and group leaders can carry out a pre-visit to complete their risk assessment as required by their school or organisation.


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 Canal and River Trust offers free facilities for teachers, including pre-visits, risk assessments, and downloadable trails.

There are limited toilets on site. A café and an indoor workshop space, which can be booked for activities, are also available.

Opening times

Call the team during office hours to discuss your visit.



Visits to this venue are free.

Travel arrangements

Trent Lock is based on Lock Lane in Sawley, Long Eaton. Visitors can access a council-run, free car park.


Trent Lock, Lock Lane, Sawley, Long Eaton
NG10 2FY

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Book your school trip to Canal & River Trust Explorers: Trent Lock

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

Book your school trip to Canal & River Trust Explorers: Trent Lock

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

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