We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.

Mooring FAQs

Everything you ever wanted to know about mooring on our canals and rivers.

Mooring FAQs 

We've organised this page into sections to make it easier for you to find the answer to your question. Please click the links to find out more about mooring or scroll down the page.

Long term mooring FAQs

I’m looking for a mooring where I can live on my boat (residential mooring)

Moorings with formal planning consent for residential use are in relatively short supply as demand has vastly outstripped supply over recent years. Vacancies, when they become available, can attract a lot of interest and often sell for a lot of money. Residential moorings are offered around the country by a mix of private operators and navigation authorities. You’ll need to do your research carefully. Start by visiting our find a home mooring page

I’m looking for a mooring where I can leave my boat for more than two weeks when I’m not cruising (leisure mooring)

There’s a wide choice of moorings available around the country from marinas with all facilities and services to simple online moorings with no services or facilities at all. The choice is yours depending on where you want to be based for cruising, how long you want to stay, and the amount of money you wish to pay. Start by visiting our find a home mooring page

Can I moor at the end of my garden?

Our mooring policies provide for a single boat to be moored at the end of a canal or riverside garden associated with a single residential property. This does not apply on the Kennet & Avon Canal, and on other waterways, there may be constraints depending on the precise location. We do not allow moorings which would create a safety hazard for navigating boats for example. Download the application form for more information.

How much will I pay per year for an end of garden mooring?

The price payable for the permit is set by reference to the mooring fees for simple on-line moorings in the area supplied by us through Waterside Moorings. A benchmark site is identified and a price discount applied to account for the fact that we provide the water space but not the land access to it or any facilities at the site. The discount is normally of the order of 50%.

I’m looking for a commercial or trade mooring where I can run a business

If you are interested in running a business from a mooring, whether it’s floating café, art gallery, cycle repair shop or floating bed & breakfast hotel you’ll need to speak to our business boating team. Commercial or trade moorings may be for short periods or long term, depending on the nature of the agreement. Their purpose is to provide a service to waterway visitors, adding life and value to the local waterway environment. Please visit our business boating pages.

I’m looking for information about creating new long-term moorings

Anyone interested in creating new online moorings or developing a marina should visit our business boating page for more information.

Who are Waterside Moorings?

We run Waterside mooring as part of our discretionary commercial business activities. Income earned from this part of the business contributes to the significant cost of preserving and maintaining the waterways for the benefit of the nation.

The moorings are managed by our central team, but with staff spread around the country. Each mooring site on our website will have the name of the local mooring manager. Our team looks after the applications to create single berths alongside private property, for example 'End of Garden' moorings. To find out more visit www.watersidemoorings.com or read our Waterside mooring FAQs below.

Waterside mooring FAQs

I’d like to find a Canal & River Trust managed mooring for sale in my area but don’t know where to start?

Our Waterside Mooring website has an easy search facility to help you locate your nearest long-term mooring site managed by the Canal & River Trust. All mooring sites are shown on the site and if you see one highlighted in green it means that there are currently moorings available.

Some vacant berths are available to purchase online or you can ask for assistance from a member of our moorings team, either over the phone or in person at one of our main offices. 

Some of our moorings are offered at a fixed price where you can purchase them immediately via the website. Other vacancies, particularly where they are in a location with high demand, are offered via an online auction system. 

How many long-term moorings does the Trust have?

We provide around 3,600 long term moorings spread across 300 sites in England and Wales. This represents approximately 11% of moorings available across our network. Long term moorings that are directly managed by us operate under the name Waterside Mooring.

What type of long-term mooring do you offer?

We provide moorings for both leisure and residential use (i.e. those with formal planning consent, or long established residential use). We also provide different grades of mooring – premium, standard, basic, which are selected on the level of facilities, mooring type and location at www.watersidemooring.com.

Once you have a mooring you can let us know by logging onto your boat licensing account or use our form.

Where are your long-term mooring sites?

Our mooring sites comprise linear configurations on the lines of the canal/river. They can either be next to the towpath, on the opposite bank or they can be located ‘off-line’, which includes moorings located in small basins, lay-bys and marinas. The numbers of moored boats at sites varies greatly from 1 to over 50. 

Where do I find out more about Waterside Mooring?

You'll find more frequently asked questions about our long term moorings on the Waterside Mooring website.

What is my notice period if I want to give up my Waterside Mooring?

Please complete our online cancellation form or speak to our Waterside Moorings team.

Winter moorings

When are winter moorings available?

Winter moorings are normally available from the beginning of November until the end of February or March depending on the timing of the Easter Holidays and the traditional start of the main boating season. Find out more on our winter mooring page.

Where are winter moorings being offered?

You can find out about winter moorings offered by us on our winter mooring page. Many private mooring operators also offer winter moorings, please check adverts in the waterways press or pick up the phone and ask your preferred mooring operator if they have any short term vacancies.

Who can buy a winter mooring?

Both boaters with a home mooring and continuous cruisers will be able to take up a winter mooring with us. However, boaters who are not meeting their licence requirements may not be eligible.

I want to know what the terms and conditions are for winter moorings

You can find our winter mooring terms and conditions on our website.

I want to know how I buy a winter mooring

You need to be registered with us on our online boat licensing portal.

Short-stay mooring FAQS

What is a short-stay mooring?

It’s length of canal or river bank that has been designated for mooring periods of less than 14 days. They tend to be at popular locations and time limits are designed to enable as many different boaters as possible to enjoy the use of the mooring during a cruise. Short-stay moorings are sometimes referred to as visitor moorings. Please respect the time limits and any other rules displayed or communicated to you when boating. 

How long I can stay on a short-stay mooring?

Please check the signs, most short-stay moorings permit stays between 48 hours (2 days) and 7 days.

Can I book a short-stay mooring in advance?

If you’re planning a visit to central London and want certainty that you will have somewhere to moor when you arrive you can pre-book a mooring for a small charge. At the moment this service is only available in London.

Are there any site rules for short-stay?

Please be considerate to the needs of everyone. Moor up in a way that makes the best use of the available space, be prepared to shuffle up and share the space. Respect the maximum stay time, no triple mooring, no running of engines or generators before 8am or after 8pm and be mindful of smoke from stoves and exhaust fumes and noise from engines and generators, particularly in built up areas.

Some short-stay mooring sites are designated quiet zones so check the signs and some visitor mooring sites have a number of zones offering different maximum stay times. To find out more information please use the search facility on our website.

What happens if I need to stay on a short stay (visitor mooring) longer than permitted?

Extended stay charges may be payable of £25 per day for every extra day beyond the permitted stay time. Please check the signage. If you've got a good reason for overstaying such as a mechanical issue please contact our Boat Licence Customer Support Team or call 0303 040 4040.

Are there short-stay moorings reserved for people with disabilities?

In some places you may see a mooring bollard with a wheelchair sign indicating priority usage by people with mobility difficulties. Please be prepared to move to a different mooring if the mooring space is required by another boat whose crew have mobility difficulties.

What are 'stop and shop' moorings?

These are ultra-short stay moorings to allow boaters to top up their supplies at the nearby shops. Please do not stay any longer than required to do your shopping and never longer than the maximum stay time indicated on the signage.

Do short-stay visitor moorings have electricity supplied?

Generally no, there are only a few short-stay moorings where power is available. At these sites the power is supplied through smart electricity bollards.

Can I fish from my boat on a short stay mooring?

Fishing is permitted provided you have permission from the local angling club, or a Waterways Wanderer permit, as well as a current rod licence from the Environment Agency, and you do it within season if you are fishing on a river. In England and Wales you can fish generally at any time on most canals and on a river any time except close season, which is mid-March to mid-June.

What are Service moorings?

These are mooring locations adjacent to water, sewage and refuse disposal points. These are for use only while you are using the facilities. In London you may find that the bollards for service moorings are painted blue and those for lock landings are painted yellow. You may also see temporary or permanent signs restricting use of a location for a specific purpose, such as a trip boat stop.

What is a Casual Towpath Mooring?

This means mooring up along the towpath during the course of a journey. It may be at a visitor mooring (subject to time limits displayed at the site) or anywhere else along the towpath where, if unsigned, the maximum stay time is 14 days. 

It’s usually best to moor against the towpath or on signed visitor moorings. Many riverbanks and the non-towpath side of canals are private property. If you want to find out who owns land adjacent to a canal or river you can search on the Land Registry’s website.

How long can I can stay on a casual towpath mooring?

Unless signed the maximum stay time is 14 days for all boats, those with a home mooring and those without a home mooring.

Are there any site rules?

Please be mindful of smoke from stoves and exhaust fumes and noise from engines and generators, particularly in built up areas. You are not permitted to run your engine or generator whilst moored up before 8am or after 8pm, see our licence terms and conditions for more details. Please also do not moor too close to bridge holes, locks and winding holes (turning points).

What happens if I need to stay longer then permitted?

If you’ve broken down, have become ill or any other similar emergency please call get in touch with our Boat Licence Customer Support Team or our customer service team.

Other mooring FAQs

Are you running any consultations about mooring?

Any live consultations currently being undertaken by us can be found on our national consultations page and the results of any completed consulations can be found here or in our document library.

Who do I contact if I want to complain about boats that have stayed too long in one place?

You can use our form. Please don’t forget to tell us the index numbers and names of the overstaying boats as well as the waterway name and either a place name or nearest lock or bridge number. Boat index numbers are a bit like car registration numbers but usually start with a “1” or a “5” if 6 digits long or any number between 3 to 9 if 5 digits long.

Who do I contact if I want to complain about boats causing me a problem due to noise and or smoke?

Noise and air pollution are dealt with by the Environment Team belonging to the local council. It also helps to let us know which boats are causing a problem so that we can speak to the boat licence holders.

How do I report a boat that has come adrift from its mooring?

If the craft is in no immediate danger please either use our form or call us on 03030 404040. We will need the boat index number and the location. We will then try and contact the boat’s licence holder. If the boat is trapped on a weir or in a lock please call 0800 47 999 47.

Where can I find information about mooring policies?

You'll find this information on our website, but if there is something you can't find please contact us. Here are some useful links;

If you still can't find the answer to your question, or you have but you would like some more information, you can get in touch with us using our form or by telephone to 0303 040 4040.

Last date edited: 8 September 2017