All aboard! Trip on Tarporley Community Narrowboat

“This has been one of the best trips!” – Jenny

Thanks to the wonderful team of volunteers over at Tarporley, Camden’s Community Narrowboat (, two teams of CTCers were able to cruise the Camden canal yesterday – the warmest March day for five years! I went on the afternoon trip with 10 CTCers and we had a glorious time.

Tarporley sets off from Kings Place by St Pancras station. Setting off from Abbey, we took the train together from West Hampstead to St Pancras. Hassan kept us entertained by demonstrating his fitness regime as we waited for the train. T-C counted his press-ups, he managed 23!

We met the Camden Canals volunteers at Kings Place. Alan, David and Kirk, the skipper crew, welcomed us aboard and gave us a safety briefing before we all helped ourselves to coffee and tea – just what we needed after braving busy St Pancras. Soon everyone was relaxed and loving the sunshine.

We were all offered the chance to help operate the locks and have a go at steering the boat.

Hassan even managed to get some passer-bys involved…

To get to the steering end of the boat, we had to walk around the sides, which felt a bit precarious! Still, Jenny was straight in there to have a go at steering after Hassan, and even I decided to have a go after that.

The guys were wonderful at showing us how to steer the boat and generally had lots of knowledge to share about the waterways. We were able to relax and enjoy the beautiful views over Camden, knowing we were in safe hands. Jyoti opted for a window view around the side!

We also went through the Islington tunnel which was quite an experience – it’s 900m long, so took quite a few minutes. Here we are about to enter the darkness…


Things get a bit dark and murky after that… luckily there was light inside the cabin which was nice and cosy as we traversed the tunnel.

There was a literal light at the end of the tunnel and we all cheered when we were back in the warm sunshine.

We were then cruised gently back to our starting point at Kings Place, having enjoyed the canal for over 2 hours. The boat and volunteer crew really are fantastic. They offer boat trips for events like birthday and hen parties as well as trips at a discounted rate for community groups like ours. Add in a few cocktails and it would be a celebration to remember, so check out their booking details here:

“This was my first boat trip on Camden Canal. It was a beautiful and educational experience. I learned how to steer the boat and operate the locks. I got some idea about how the gates work. It’s amazing that they work so well after 200 years. And nice people to travel with – very relaxing.” – Hassan

“A lovely day, enjoyed it and the group gelled well together. Plus we had our professional photographer Hassan! An educational trip, a lovely cup of tea and the people running the boat were very nice.” – Connie

“I enjoyed it and overcame my seasickness! I’ll have to come to future trips. Loved meeting new people on the trip.” – T-C

Thanks for a fabulous day, Tarporley crew! We’d also like to thank the volunteers, Christine, Robert and Marcus.


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