Coolcanals: Waterways Directory & Information Guide. Waterside Walks & Cycling, Boating & Holidays in the Waterways Outdoors


Art & culture

The spirit of art is rooted firmly in canal life. When you walk in the world of canals, you are really following an historic art trail, created by ordinary canal folk who would not have called themselves artists.
Roses & castles
The unexplained origins of traditional canal art, 'roses & castles', add mystery to the landscape. Over 200 years ago, in the industrial heyday of the canals, the traditional boat-family would have decorated their narrowboat with roses and castles - daubed gaudily in red, green yellow & blue paint. Pots and pans, galley utensils and even the boat horse's nosebag would have been decorated too. No one knows why the boat families chose the theme of roses and castles - but, perhaps living in cramped quarters and economic hardship left them with dreams - and an English Rose might have been their garden and, as the saying goes, 'an Englishman's home is his castle'.
Guilds & Associations
Waterways Craft Guild >>
Aims to maintain high standards of the traditional skills of waterways' arts and crafts. Membership for painters of narrowboats, giftware, roses & castles, also signwriters, and makers of fenders, ropework, crochet work and cabin lace. They run courses in most traditional crafts at locations throughout the UK - details of courses and members on their website.
Guild of Waterway Artists >>
Formed to accredit and promote commercial art. Their website lists members of the Guild, and exhibitions of their art around the country.
Go shopping
Canalside and floating shops line their shelves with canalia - souvenirs and waterways paraphernalia painted in traditional colours. Everything from trinkets to treasures... collectable brass plaques, fancy fenders, deck shoes, bandanas for boat-dogs, mugs decorated in roses and castles, or even ornamental duck doorstops!
Find a Canal Craft shop, Artist or Craftsperson in our Waterways Directory >>>
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Nothing ever stays the same - new places and businesses open, places or businesses close down, details are always subject to change.
We're always travelling the canals and doing our best to keep your Directory up to date, but if you see anything out of date, or a broken link, or you find something new that you think should be listed, please let us know >>

Find a Canal Craft shop, Artist, Craftsperson


Canal craft shops, artists & craftspeople (by location)

There are two easy ways to search our Directory
  • EITHER click on the MAP in the area you want to search
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REMEMBER - if you use the QUICK FINDER first, you will need to RESET it to 'All Waterways' before you can use the MAP
  We try to list all canal craft shops, artists & craftspeople in the UK.
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Draco Crafts   -  07805 602618   -  The Boatyard Robeys Lane, Alvecote, Warwickshire, B78 1AS   Google Maps Icon

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Coventry Canal 
Touring the canal network - Floating Art & Craft Studio   -  0771 8772203   -  Unit 101 Jubilee Trade Centre, Birmingham, West Midlands, B5 6ND   Google Maps Icon

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Birmingham & Fazeley Canal, Birmingham & Warwick Junction Canal, Birmingham Canal New Main Line, Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN), Birmingham Canal Old Main Line, Cannock Extension Canal, Coventry Canal, Daw End Branch Canal, Digbeth Branch Canal, Dudley No 1 Canal, Dudley No 2 Canal, Earlswood Lakes, Grand Union Canal (Midlands), Netherton Tunnel Branch, Oxford Canal, Rushall Canal, Shropshire Union Canal, Stourbridge Canal, Stratford-upon-Avon Canal, Tame Valley Canal, Trent & Mersey Canal, Walsall Branch Canal, Walsall Canal, Wednesbury Oak Loop, Wednesbury Old Canal, Worcester & Birmingham Canal, Wyrley & Essington Canal  Dog FriendlyEco-Friendly / Green Business
A Travelling Studio Gallery: selling Paintings, Photography, Recycled Crafts and Canal Art.Our Ethos is to keep alive traditional canal crafts and to display art works influenced by both the UK canal network and Environmental Sustainability.

Roving Canal Traders Association   -   

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The Graphics Boat   -   

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Victoria Hignell & Dave Tipping   -  07976 769903   -   

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Canalware & rope fenders

Traditional Canalware by Martin Toennigs   -  01922 685437   -  Walsall, West Midlands 

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Brian McGuigan   -  07976 811073   -  St Austell Sneyd Wharf 401 Sneyd Lane Bloxwich, Walsall, Staffordshire, WS3 2LT   Google Maps Icon

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Rope fender maker

SAB Signs   -  07747 805465   -  Sheila Smith 1 Coombswood Court Steelpark Road, Halesowen, West Midlands, B62 8BF   Google Maps Icon

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Julie Tonkin - Canal Art by Julie   -  01384 569198   -  42 Fieldfare Close, Cradley Heath, West Midlands, B64 5QH   Google Maps Icon

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The Book Barge   -  07946 605324   -  The Promenade Barton Marina, Barton under Needwood, Staffordshire, DE13 8DZ   Google Maps Icon

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Trent & Mersey Canal 

Dave Moore   -  01384 571204   -  Brierley Hill, West Midlands 

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Distances are calculated as a straight line from point to point and thus do not represent distance of travel.
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