See the Canalway Cavalcade at Little Venice this weekend

With the May bank holiday fast approaching, many Britons will be making last-minute bookings at hotels in London and elsewhere – hoping to make the most of the long weekend with a short getaway.

Most of us will also be hoping that the weekend brings with it some sunshine, allowing us to spend some serious time out of doors. With plenty of events and festivals to enjoy over the three-day period, there's no shortage of opportunities to enjoy the spring weather in pleasant surroundings.

One of these is the Canalway Cavalcade 2013, a celebration of Britain's man-made waterways and the wonderful vessels that travel them. A family-friendly and thoroughly English affair, the festival is totally free to attend and offers lots of fun activities to suit all ages.

Organised by the Inland Waterways Association every year since 1983, the Canalway Cavalcade sees dozens of beautiful boats moored in London's 'Little Venice' – the picturesque spot north of Paddington where the Regent's Canal and Grand Union Canal meet. Time Out expects around 130 boats in total to congregate along a stretch of waterway between Blomfield Road, Warwick Avenue and Warwick Crescent.

Decked out specially with bunting and illumination, this stunning assembly will embark upon a night-time pageant on Sunday (May 5th) – a genuinely magical way for London visitors to spend their evening.

This 20th annual Cavalcade will also host live traditional music, troupes of Morris dancers and no end of activities for children – including Punch and Judy shows, competitions and workshops. In 2012, youngsters had an opportunity to climb aboard the 'floating classroom' Elsdale II and to attend a Teddy Bear's Picnic. This year's event promises to be equally as exciting.

Stalls will sell a wide range of snacks and foodstuffs, representing the very best in homegrown produce, and festival-goers can also enjoy a real ale bar.

The Canalway Cavalcade 2013 runs from Saturday to Monday (May 4th to May 6th), with events taking place between 10am and 6pm. Sunday evening's festivities kick off at 8pm with live music; the illuminated nocturnal procession begins at 9pm.

Little Venice is easily accessible for those staying in the centre of London. A stone's throw from Paddington station, Underground travellers should head towards the Paddington or Warwick Avenue tube stops.

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