The Canal Museum, Stoke Bruerne
The Canal Museum, Stoke Bruerne
The Northamptonshire village of Stoke Bruerne lies along the Grand Union Canal. On the south bank of the canal is the Canal Museum, which tells the history of the Grand Union Canal and the life of those who lived and worked on local waterways over the centuries. There are displays of narrowboat equipment, traditional painting, and clothing worn by canal workers.

A special display highlights the role played by women on the canals, and another display explores the building challenges faced by the workers who constructed the Blisworth Tunnel. To the east, a signposted towpath leads to the Tunnel, which cuts straight through the hills to neighbouring Blisworth.

The museum is located almost directly beside a working canal lock, so if you're lucky you can see boats going through the lock.

An audio guide is available which will not only explain the displays in depth but also guide visitors along the towpath that runs by the door, taking in sights of canal life as far as the Blisworth Tunnel. There is also a special family activity sheet that will encourage children to learn about canal history and heritage.

The Canal Museum is also known as The National Waterways Museum Stoke Bruerne and is one of three museums operated by the National Waterways Museum organization (the others being located at Gloucester Docks and at Ellesmere Port).

The location is lovely, and the museum gives a fascinating glimpse into the path. The walk along the towpath to Blisworth is an easy stroll and makes for an enjoyable walk. You can also take regular boat trips along the canal, leaving from the Boat Inn, directly opposite the museum.

There is pay and display parking directly behind the Museum, off Chapel Lane.