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Booking passage through tunnels and locks

You’ll need to book in advance to travel through certain tunnels, locks, other structures and stretches of water on our network. It’s quick and easy to make your booking online.

Bingley Five Rise Locks on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal

Before you set off on a journey by boat, check your route and see if any sections need to be booked in advance. You can do this using the list below, by looking at the region and waterway you're visiting.

If you discover that you do need to book passage for a part of your journey, you can make your booking online. You may already have an account with us if you've previously bought a boat licence or a Waterway Wanderers fishing permit. If not, you can register for a new account.

Booking passage applies to all boats, regardless of whether you're a liveaboard boater or you're hiring a boat for a trip or holiday. You'll be asked which category you're in when you book.

How to book

Once signed in to your online account, you will see the ‘Bookings' section and the option to ‘Make a tunnel/passage booking'. From here you can choose where you want to book passage for, using a drop-down menu. You can search by region too.

When you start to make a booking, you'll have access to more detailed information about the lock, tunnel, other structure or stretch of water. For example, any relevant dimensions and the dates and time slots available. Once your booking is complete you'll be given instructions on what time you need to arrive by, where you need to be and any safety considerations, as well as any specific terms and conditions of the booking.

You can read our general terms and conditions for booking passage online beforehand.

Structures or stretches of water that can be booked in advance online

To make it easier for you to book passage in advance, we'll be adding more structures and stretches to our online booking system.

If you have any problems making your online booking, you can contact us by phone or email.

London & South

East Midlands

  • Blisworth Tunnel, Grand Union Canal (booking only necessary for widebeam craft)
  • Braunston Tunnel, Grand Union Canal (booking only necessary for widebeam craft)
  • Saddington Tunnel, Grand Union Canal (booking only necessary for widebeam craft)

West Midlands

  • Frankton Locks, Montgomery Canal
  • Harecastle Tunnel, Trent & Mersey Canal

North East

  • Tinsley Lock Flight, Tinsley Canal
  • Bingley Three and Five Rise Locks, Leeds & Liverpool Canal
  • Newlay & Kirkstall Forge Locks, Leeds & Liverpool Canal
  • Standedge Tunnel, Huddersfield Narrow Canal (more information about boating through Standedge Tunnel)
  • Tuel Lock, Rochdale Canal - 48 hours notice needed to book for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in Summer season
  • Lock 1e on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal - please specify if you will be travelling from Huddersfield towards Marsden or from Marsden towards Huddersfield
  • Keadby Lock, Stainforth & Keadby Canal/River Trent (online booking coming soon, but for now please call the lock keeper on 07733 124611)
  • West Stockwith Lock, Chesterfield Canal/River Trent (online booking coming soon, but for now please call the lock keeper on 01427 890204)

North West

Last Edited: 04 March 2024

photo of a location on the canals
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