The Canalway Cavalcade Floats Back Into Little Venice This May

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Last Updated 12 April 2024

The Canalway Cavalcade Floats Back Into Little Venice This May
Canalway Cavalcade 2024: a couple stand on their narrowboat in Little Venice, surrounded by other boats, all decked out with colourful flags and bunting.
The Canalway Cavalcade takes place in Little Venice. Photo: garryknight via creative commons

More than 100 boats moor up in Little Venice this early May bank holiday, for a celebration of London's waterways.

The IWA Canalway Cavalcade takes place the same weekend each year. Historic, residential and working narrowboats are among the vessels making an appearance, along with cruisers and widebeams. Many of the boats will be decked out in bunting and other colourful decorations, creating a festival vibe — particularly when combined with the other entertainment going on.

Canalway Cavalcade 2024: Colourful bunting strung between canal boats in Little Venice
Photo: steve_w via creative commons

No boat? No problem! There's plenty happening on dry land for those without sea (well, canal) legs. Live music is going on all weekend, along with food and drink stalls and an ale bar to keep everyone well refreshed, and stalls selling crafts, canal-ware and clothing. It's a family-friendly gathering, with children's entertainment.

Back on the water, there's a pageant of decorated boats, and, our favourite, an illuminated boats parade (9pm Sunday), allowing the owners to really show off their vessels. Think Christmas, on the canal, in May:

In short, if you're looking for something free and family-friendly to do over the first May bank holiday weekend, head to Little Venice for one of London's most vibrant annual events.

The IWA Canalway Cavalcade 2024 takes place 4-6 May 2024 (10am-6pm Saturday, 10am-6pm and 9pm-10.30pm Sunday, and 10am-5pm Monday). It's free to visit, and open to all (on foot — mooring bookings are at full capacity for that weekend). Find it in the Pool of Little Venice, the triangle of water behind Paddington station.