Try out a workshop aboard a narrowboat

One of the most novel ways of learning a new skill must be aboard Birdswood narrowboat on the Cromford Canal.

The ArtAfloat programme, launched last year, aims to provide hands-on practical art skills tuition by skilled professional artist-tutors while offering a unique duck’s-eye view of a scenic part of the Derwent Valley World Heritage Site.

Six workshops are planned for this year with artists Ruth Gray, Liz Wellby and Lucy Gell, covering landscape painting, drawing, iPad art, linocut, monoprints and drypoint etching. 

There will be plenty of one-to-one guidance as only eight people can take part in each workshop.

Birdswood is a converted historic working boat, a 1938-built butty boat retaining its traditional boatman’s cabin.

It is crewed by volunteers. and all profits from workshops and scheduled public cruises go to restoration charity Friends of the Cromford Canal to further the long-term objective of re-opening the 15-mile 1794-built canal to navigation and as a public amenity.

They are recruiting volunteers so if you want to help out get in touch.

Go to for more information. You can also follow them on Facebook or telephone them on 07552 055 455.