Education on the river,- from history to science and design technology

Stort Experience – Bringing Learning to Life

Stort Experience is a day of hands-on activities for primary school children which brings learning to life by offering powerful ways to engage your pupils.

The day consists of the following: –

  • half a day enjoying a boat trip along the River Stort, observing the wildlife and helping to steer the boat and operate the locks.
  • half a day understanding the different aspects of life on our rivers and canals, past and present, by taking part in various problem-solving activities.

Suitable for Years 1 – 6. Content adapted accordingly.


Our river experience provides exciting opportunities to deliver many aspects of the curriculum and offers powerful ways to engage your pupils and bring learning to life. The key aspects of our programme are: –

  • History – from the Industrial Revolution to Victorian times, why canals were built and the people who lived and worked on them.
  • Science – observe the wildlife on and around the River Stort and investigate forces and movement on our waterways.
  • Design Technology – explore structures and mechanisms, including locks and bridges.

There are links to many other aspects of the curriculum and opportunities to incorporate activities within classroom topics.

What Pupils Say

“I want to come back again. This place is so cool.”

“I liked all of it. I don’t have a favourite part. It was all fantastic and fascinating.”

“I loved learning how to do all of the knots and stuff in the boat and the classroom
was lovely and I would love to come again.”

“I think it was a great day. I really enjoyed the boat slide show. I also liked the
experiment with the cart and beer.”

What Teachers Say

Thank you again for all you did to ensure that our children had a brilliant time.”

“We would recommend Canalability to other schools and hope to book future trips with them.”

Booking Information – for Stort Experience Days

Numbers: 36 pupils and 6 adults
Time: 9.30 – 14.30 approximately
Venue: to be confirmed – usually In the vicinity of our mooring at
Lock View, Burnt Mill Lane, Harlow, Essex, CM20 2QS
(Opposite Harlow Railway Station)
Dates: November – March by arrangement.
Cost: Price on application

Alternatively, you can hire 1 (or 2) of our boats for the daily rates specified in the booking section of this website.

The boats are limited to a maximum of 12 passengers but the remainder of the class would be able to walk along the tow path, observing the flora and fauna (possibly completing Treasure Hunts) and swapping groups over at safe sites along the way. It would also be possible to make our models of locks and water transport available for investigations and demonstrations back at our base.

To make a booking or discuss options please contact: Doreen Goodall, Manager, at or call 01279 424444

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If you have mobility difficulties, or are a wheelchair user, you'll love our boats!

Each boat has a ramps & lifts to enable access via wheelchair and for people with impaired mobility, disabled toilet facilities and other adaptive technology to allow everyone to take an active part in its operation.

See the individual boats for details of their accessibility features.