Read the story of how the Canal & River Trust came to be
Work for us
We have vacancies across all of our waterways and in the offices, museums and attractions that support them. We're one of the UK's biggest charities and we take pride in everything we do
If you're thinking of getting in touch then please take a moment to look through these pages as we probably have the answer on our website
Planning & design
All you need to know about planning and design on our canals and rivers
Find a winter mooring
Find a cosy section of canal to hunker down in this winter
10 reasons to take up canoeing
It's a great way to get fit and explore our waterways at the same time
Share the Space
Take a look at our common sense guide to sharing the towpath
Find a place to fish
From reservoirs to club-managed canals and river stretches - find your nearest place to fish
Get your free guide
Download your free guide today and start exploring the waterway nature near you
Download your free guides
You've nine free days out guides to choose from - where will you go first?
Find a walk near you
Are you ready to ramble? Find a waterside stroll or a satisfying hike along our beautiful canals and rivers
Take a look at our upcoming events here.
Find your favourite waterway
With over 95 canals, rivers, reservoirs, docks and navigations, find out more about your favourite waterway
Something for everyone
Help us make a difference and have fun along the way. Find your perfect volunteer role today
Join our team
Could you join your local Towpath Taskforce team and help us to keep our canals looking lovely?
Desmond Family Canoe Trail
If you're aged 16-25 and would like to get involved with this exciting project, please get in touch
Could you be a volunteer lock keeper?
Find out what's involved with this popular volunteering opportunity
Why we think canals are better with Friends
Become a Friend of the Canal & River Trust today and you’ll open yourself up to new experiences and endless opportunities.
We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.
These licences are for small, unpowered or trailed boats and larger vessels visiting Canal & River Trust waterways for short periods from other navigations or coastal waters. They are not available for boats floating in marinas or moorings connected to Canal & River Trust managed waters, with the exception of ’Rivers Only’ licence holders wishing to extend their licence to cover a short term cruise on canals.
Buy your licence online
It's the fastest and easiest way to get a short term visitor licence
Ideal for portable craft this licence gives you up to thirty days use of all our Waterways in England and Wales at any time within twelve months of issue date - the days do not need to be consecutive. We provide you with thirty, one-day tickets, which you date and display for each day that your boat is on the waterways. These licences are only available online.
Short Term Visitor Licences do not include free passage through the Anderton Lift, Standedge Tunnel or Ribble Link.
Your boat must have insurance that covers at least third party liabilities up to one million pounds.
Your boat should comply with our safety requirements at all times unless it is a very simple vessel.
Check to see whether it is exempt by tracing through the questions on this chart.
Please note; if the boat spends more than 56 days on our waterways in any one year, it must have a certificate to show compliance with the Boat Safety Scheme requirements or a declaration of conformity with the EU's Recreational Craft Directive.
We have the right to refuse access onto our waterways for any boat that we think may present a safety risk to other waterway users. In purchasing a short term visitor licence you agree to allow our employees or an appointed surveyor to carry out a safety check at any reasonable time. If we believe your boat is dangerous, you will have to remove it from the waterway.
To qualify for a licence your boat must have one of the following:
We will issue a short term visitor licence without either of the above if you are able to satisfy the conditions contained within the Boat Condition Declaration - please complete the separate Application Form. Licence fees can be found on the Useful Downloads page.
Please note that licences may begin on any date and prices include VAT at 20 per cent. Prices shown are for purchase in advance, before you bring the boat onto the waterway, otherwise the price is double the amount shown.
The price for all other unpowered craft is the same as for powered boats. Refunds are not available. 'Portable' means that the boat's normal crew can, without mechanical help, launch the boat and take it out of the water. Examples are rowing boats, dinghies, canoes or light inflatable craft.
If you have a current three, six or twelve month Canal & River Trust River Only Licence, you are entitled to a 50 per cent discount on a Short Term Canal Licence, which is valid for the same period. All boats used by clubs and societies must be licensed, visit the boating businesses pages.
We provide a range of basic services for boaters, including water points, refuse disposal, toilets and Elsan emptying points throughout the waterway network. These are generally free to licence holders. Access to sanitary facilities is by a special Yale key, available from the online shop. Where showers, laundry facilities or electric charging points are available, payment is by digital card. On some waterways you need an anti-vandal key to operate structures.
Please visit the Useful Downloads for full Terms & Conditions, application forms and fees. However, it's much faster and easier to buy your short term visitor licence online.
Last date edited: 9 January 2017