In the past, rivers, canals and our maritime environments were used to move goods and people. Nowadays they are treasured for very different reasons and play a vital role in our leisure, recreation, health and well-being, cultural and heritage expression. At TWC, we believe that waterways offer wonderful opportunities to nurture greater community involvement. It has been shown that activities on and close to water can have a major positive impact on people’s quality of life.
Increasingly our communities and our tourism offer depends on green and blue spaces and of course how we manage and shape these to meet he needs of our residents and visitors. This is what drives us to develop purposeful, meaningful and rewarding family facilities and events for creative expression opportunities on and near water for everyone.
Our volunteering opportunities, in partnership with Volunteer Now, range from event management and office support to social media maintenance. For more details please click here.
Holiday, Summer Schools, traditional skills courses and crafting events
We open up the house and grounds at Navigation House in Lisburn to children and adults for these events which over the years have proved very popular. With age groups from pre-school upwards we engage specialist providers to make sure the events are purposeful and active. Navigation House is currently undergoing a complete restoration which will see The Stables restored with a new use as TWCs HQ and training/events facility with indoor areas so we can hold events whatever the weather. We will publish our Summer 2021 programme shortly.
The Waterways Storymaking Festival
Since 2016, we have invited local communities to engage in activities with us and tell us their stories in words, pictures and now 3d crafts through the Waterways Storymaking Festival. This event runs from June to October each year and culminates with an Awards Event the following February. For more details please click here.
The Purple Turnip Festival
This annual family event had been held since 2016. It brings together an exciting day of activities located near waterways. Many thousands of people have joined us to enjoy guided walks, wonderful food, well-being demonstrations, exquisite crafts and exhilarating activities such as the climbing wall. The Festival also features children’s play areas, games, many stalls and exhibitions, free parking and much more. And of course, as with all TWC events, it is free to enter.
Our activity on and off water programme is currently under development. From 2021 this will include;
Waterways activity hubs – these will provide facilities for recreation and sport. Canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, guided waterways tours in small and larger craft and be based in Belfast and Moira as pilot destinations with another 4 to come into service over the next three years.
Guided waterways cycling tours.
Guided walking tours along a number of towpaths and pathways throughout Ni and ROI.
Bushcraft and adventure weekends for groups.