Updated: Sep 21, 2021
Recently we have been learning about rivers and canals. You can find a great many free resources from https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/ .
The longest river in England is the River Severn, just beating the River Thames by five miles. I love hands-on learning, actually standing in front of a place instead of learning about it from a worksheet and homeschooling absolutely allows you that flexibility. So I decided to look up boat trips and came across Sabrina Boat Tours in Shropshire. They offer a 45-minute boat tour of the River Severn and what's more, you can even download educational worksheets for your trip from their website including a Shrewsbury map along the River Severn, facts about the River Severn, and Educational Boat Trip Worksheets. Visit their worksheet pages here: https://sabrinaboat.co.uk/educational-boat-trips/ .
It costs £22 for a family of four, but under 5's are free so check out their full list of prices before committing to a family ticket if you have under 5's in your party. The boat is a triple-decker and sitting at the top gives you lovely views over the river. Wrap up warm if the weather isn't quite warm yet, as it can get cold on the top deck, but the kids love it. You get your own table which is a bit of luxury and there's table service if you want to order drinks or food. They do have a bar as the company also offers party packages. If you're part of a home education group, it might be worth trying to make an educational group booking. Educational boat trips cost £200.00 for the exclusive use of the Sabrina for up to 50 Children. Adults are charged separately at £6.00 each and additional children will be charged at £4.00 per child. Tea and coffee are included for all adults on board. They can run trips from 10 am until 4 pm and recommend that you allow 60 minutes for the session.
Alternatively, simply download the worksheets and do it yourself. There's plenty to do including I Spy, finding various bridges and wildlife along the journey, spotting natural and man-made features, and describing the materials used in the construction of the various bridges. The Captain does give some historical commentary too on the journey back so it's almost like having the educational boat tour for half the price!
My personal recommendation would be to only concentrate on the wildlife spotting section of the worksheets during the trip or you might miss the lovely ride. Instead, stop off at one of the restaurants and cafes along the river next to where you board and finish your worksheets over a spot of lunch. There are toilets onboard which are much nicer than the toilets you usually get on boats and quite spacious too, and there's room to leave pushchairs. I would recommend booking in advance because boat trips can get booked up quickly. If you want to keep your day cheap, take a packed lunch on board with you.
If you really want to make a trip of it, you could even book a short break. Willow View is a charming Victorian townhouse right in the center of Shrewsbury giving you perfect access to stroll over to your boat tour and to learn more about the River Severn or even Charles Darwin, while you're here. Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury and there are lots and lots of amazing facts about him and locations nearby where you can learn more about him.
To take a look at Willow view here.
To take a look at Sabrina Boat Tours click here