Fort Langley is a picturesque riverfront town in the Fraser Valley not far from Vancouver with a historic fort, museums, walking trails and quaint shops.
The village is home to the Fort Langley National Historic Site as well as a couple of museums and lots of cute colonial-style buildings. It’s also where the Odlum Brown Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival, Brigade Days, Fort Langley Cranberry Festival and other events take place.
This article contains information about the following topics:
Fort Langley Fort | Museums | Shops & Restaurants | Fort to Fort Trail | Brae Island & Camping | Fort Langley Markets | Festivals & Events | Brigade Days Video | Other Places
Community by the Fort
There is much more to see and do in the town of Fort Langley than just the historic fort, although the National Heritage Site is its biggest draw.
In Fort Langley along the river is one of the Lower Mainland’s best biking and walking trails. In town, not far from the historic fort, there is a small railway museum and the Langley Centennial Museum.
There is also a campground on Brae Island on the other side of the bridge, and a number of interesting shops and restaurants in the small centre of town.
Attractions in Fort Langley
There are a number of interesting attractions in the town of Fort Langley including its fort, museums, the village, trails along the river, camping opportunities and the Fort Langley Farmers Market.
All of these combined, along with the area’s beautiful rural setting, are what make Fort Langley one of the Lower Mainland’s most interesting and educational places to visit.
In addition to the attractions listed below, the Fort Langley area is home to a number of really good golf courses. A couple of our favourites are Pagoda Ridge and Redwoods Golf Course.
Fort Langley Fort
Originally established in 1827, the historic fort is the highlight of the area and attracts visitors from all over the region and the world. It’s a National Historic Site of Canada well worth visiting.
Most of the fort is reconstructed, but there are original elements. In the summer and on weekends throughout the year there are people dressed in period costume and demonstrations about things like blacksmithing and barrel making. If you like history, it’s well worth checking out!
For more on the fort itself, click Fort Langley Historic Site.
Fort Langley Museums
At 9135 King Street, across the road and not far from the fort parking lot, is the Langley Centennial Museum. If you like history and want even more of it after seeing the fort, then this is a good place to visit.
At just 3500 square feet, the museum isn’t huge, so won’t take long to go through. It’s also not expensive as admission is by donation (with a suggested amount of just $2).
A couple of short blocks further down from the fort is the centre of town and the Fort Langley CN Railway Museum. Originally built in 1915, it’s another tiny place and has a couple of real train cars on display outside, including a caboose which you can go inside.
This place too is reasonably priced and worth a quick visit. It’s run by a non-profit group, so donations are appreciated.
Village Shops & Restaurants
The three or so blocks of the downtown core of Fort Langley is made up of cute shops and small restaurants in an attractive heritage theme.
There is a neat antique and second-hand shop kind of mini-shopping mall between the fort and the main street that is particularly interesting, assuming that you like that sort of thing.
If you walk up the main street of Fort Langley you’ll also pass a couple of nice coffee shops, the community hall (which is a beautiful building) and the Fort Langley graveyard.
Fort to Fort Trail
Heading in the other direction, towards the red-coloured Fort Pub & Grill restaurant, you’ll come to the river. The Fort to Fort Trail from there goes for miles and is one of the Lower Mainland’s best places for a leisurely bike ride or walk.
The Fort to Fort Trail is mostly flat, so makes for great cycling for young children, but does have a couple of very minor ups and downs. It goes all the way from the fort to Derby Reach Regional Park.
Near the beginning of the trail there’s a great coffee shop called Lelem Arts & Cultural Cafe. It’s located at #100-23285 Billy Brown Road and is a good place for both pre and post-walk coffees and snacks.
To learn more about this area see our article about the Fort to Fort Trail.
Brae Island and Camping
Just across the bridge from the Fort Pub & Grill is Brae Island Regional Park which is home to a nice campground. If camping, just remember to bring your ear plugs – and very good ones. Trains go by across the river throughout the night and blast their horns.
If you’re looking for an interesting alternative to camping, between early May and mid-October the Fort Langley Heritage Site rents “Tentiks” which are tent/cabin-type accommodations that cost around $130 or so and include beds with linens. Click Fort Langley Tentiks for more information.
Fort Langley Markets
A great time to visit the area is on Saturdays from April until December from 9 am to 3 pm. That’s when the Fort Langley Village Farmers Market takes place at Saint Andrews Historic Church at 9025 Glover Road. This is a reasonably-sized farmers market worth checking out.
Also in Fort Langley are the Fort Langley Makers Markets which feature about three dozen vendors and take place once a month just outside the Fort. In 2019 these markets took place on May 20th, June 1st, July 1st, August 5th and October 12th. 2021 dates and future details are to be confirmed.
Admission to both markets is free.
Fort Langley Festivals & Events
A number of fairly significant events take place in Fort Langley each year including the following:
- Vive les Voyageurs – a weekend celebrating French Canadian foods, music and culture in January.
- Fort Langley May Days – a parade and community festival on the Victoria Day Long Weekend.
- Brewhalla Fort Langley Beer Festival – a one-day craft beer event in Fort Langley Park in May.
- Fort Langley on Canada Day – July 1st is celebrated each year with free events at both the fort and in the village.
- Fort Langley Historic Half Marathon – 1 km, 5 km and 10 km races plus a half marathon in Fort Langley in February.
- Odlum Brown Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival – a music and arts festival in late July.
- Brigade Days – special historical demonstrations and re-enactments on the BC Day Long Weekend in late July and/or the beginning of August.
- Fort Langley Cranberry Festival – a major community event on the Thanksgiving Long Weekend in October.
- Grave Tales – spooky Halloween-themed walking tours take place in late October and the first week of November.
- Remembrance Day – the community honours members of the Armed Forces and people who have lost their lives in war on November 11th at the Fort Langley Cemetery.
- Douglas Day – an event at the fort celebrating the day on November 19th in 1858 when Sir James Douglas became the first Governor of the colony of British Columbia.
Other dates with community events include Canada Day, BC Day, and Saturdays from May until October (when the Fort Langley Village Farmers Market takes place place).
For a list of best times to visit the town of Fort Langley see the Fort Langley Historic Fort page. There you’ll find a list of other events taking place over the course of the year.
Fort Langley Brigade Days
As mentioned above, lots of great events happen in the Village of Fort Langley. One of them is Brigade Days which is hosted by Fort Langley National Historic Site. The attraction offers lots of interesting things to see and do on the BC Day Long Weekend including a re-enactment of the arrival of the fur brigades where characters in period costume parade to the river and back.
To give you an idea of what the procession looks like on BC Day in August, and for a glimpse of parts of the town and the Fraser River, watch the following short video.
Other Recommended Places
Outside Fort Langley, but close by, are a number of farms which host seasonal events like pumpkin patches in the fall. These include Aldor Acres Farm and Eagle Acres Dairy Farm. They are fun places to take children when special activities are going on.
A nice place to go for a walk is Derby Reach Regional Park which is just a few kilometres away and connected to Fort Langley via the Fort to Fort Trail.
The Town of Fort Langley is one of several little villages we recommend as some of Vancouver’s best places to visit.
If you like Fort Langley, other similar (but less historic) places you might like include White Rock (a seaside resort), Horseshoe Bay (home to one of BC Ferries’ terminals to Vancouver Island), Steveston Village (a historic fishing village in Richmond) and Deep Cove (a picturesque village on the North Shore).
Also, a little further up the Fraser Valley is the popular resort town of Harrison Hot Springs. And yet another very interesting and rural place is Bowen Island just offshore from West Vancouver.