Take a sneaky peak behind the scenes and discover the unique craftsmanship and engineering skills that keep the nation's beautiful waterways open for everyone to enjoy. Throughout the winter the Canal & River Trust will be holding free open days so that you can delve deeper into history. For budding builders, engineers and architects it's a chance to pull on your wellies and get muddy discovering how the canals were constructed, walk in the footsteps of the original Victorian engineers and try the traditional construction methods of puddling or mixing lime mortar. 

Just like our waterways, each open day is unique and you can enjoy taking a walk through a drained canal lock, journey by boat looking at local features or stroll along an empty channel talking to volunteer lock keepers, heritage experts and ecologists about how historic locks, bridges and aqueducts are cared for.

The open days are a great way for both adults and children to see the Canal & River Trust's 'hidden shallows', uncover the ingenious engineers of 200 years ago and admire the precise workmanship that went into making the historic canals.

Open days are free and will take place across England and Wales this winter until March 2017.