Booking your passage online

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 If you're planning to travel through Bingley Five Rise Locks, you'll need to book ahead

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.

Booking for summer 2021

Soon we will be adding the entire 2021 summer season onto the booking system so that boaters can plan ahead. Please note that there may be some regional variations to the dates available.

If local or national government guidance changes over the course of the summer, such as restricting boats to essential movement only in a particular area, we will not remove availability from the online booking system. Instead we are asking all boaters to take responsibility for ensuring their own bookings comply with the law at the time of the journey.

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 during winter 2020/21.

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

London & South         

East Midlands

West Midlands            

  • Frankton Locks, Montgomery Canal  (more information about using Frankton Locks)
  • 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 
  • 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     

  • Anderton Boat Lift, River Weaver (more information about using Anderton Boat Lift)
  • Liverpool Canal Link and Salthouse Docks, Leeds & Liverpool Canal (more information about boating on the Liverpool Canal Link)
  • Ribble Canal Link, Lancaster Canal/River Ribble (more information about boating on the Ribble Link)
  • Marsh Lock, River Weaver (online booking coming soon, but for now please call 03030 404040 and ask for the North West team)

Last date edited: 3 February 2021