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.
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
- Thames Lock, River Brent (more information about using Thames Lock)
- Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Three Mills, Carpenters Road & City Mill Locks, Bow Back Rivers (more information about using Three Mills, Carpenters Road & City Mill Locks)
- 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)
- Boston Lock, River Witham
- Cromwell Lock, River Trent (online booking coming soon, but for now please call 0303 040 4040 and ask for the Newark Admin Team)
- Torksey Lock, River Trent (online booking coming soon, but for now please call 0303 040 4040 and ask for the Newark Admin Team)
- Frankton Locks, Montgomery Canal
- Harecastle Tunnel, Trent & Mersey Canal
- 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)
- 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)
- Bridgewater Passage (more information about Bridgewater Passage)
Last date edited: 4 May 2021