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.
Originally built to cater for rapidly expanding shipping, London's Docklands now comprise skyscraping offices, and stylish restaurants and bars, all based around a vibrant cosmopolitan waterside setting.
19th Feb 2018 3:00pm onwards
Urgent navigation closure due to an earlier pollution incident. The navigation from Stonebridge Lock to Tottenham Lock is closed.
16th Feb 2018 4:00pm onwards
Due to an earlier pollution incident we are advising boaters to only navigate through Old Ford Lock if absolutely necessary. This is to avoid further spread of the oil into the pound above.
13th Feb 2018 12:00am onwards
Due to an ongoing fire the towpath has been closed for public safety from bridge 16a Rodwell Road (GP-007-002) for 120 yards, going north towards Greenford. Please see onsite diversions.
12th Feb 2018 9:00am onwards
Urgent navigation restriction between Old Ford Lock River Lee and bottom Lock Hertford Union due to a pollution incident. Absorbent booms are in place to collect as much oil as possible.
19th Feb 2018 12:00am to 19th Feb 2018 11:59pm
A highway authority contractor is to undertake a survey of road bridge (SR-022-002), bridge 52 (SR-022-004) & SR-023-P0050 bridge, from a floating pontoon. Advanced warning signage will be present either...
21st Feb 2018 12:00am to 21st Feb 2018 11:59pm
A highway authority contractor is to undertake a survey of road bridge(SR-015-002),from a floating pontoon. Advanced warning signage will be present either side of the works to inform boaters.
22nd Feb 2018 12:00am to 22nd Feb 2018 11:59pm
A highway authority contractor is to undertake a survey of road bridge 59A (LN-035-004), from a floating pontoon. Advanced warning signage will be present either side of the works to inform boaters.
19th Feb 2018 12:00am to 6th Apr 2018 11:59pm
The lift bridge will be closed during working hours 8am-4pm daily and re-openned outside of these hours. Footpath to and from bridge will also be closed during working hours and a diversion route will...
12th Jan 2018 12:00am to 23rd Feb 2018 11:59pm
Following the winter stoppage 5-12 January. Network Rail Contractor, Volker Fitzpatrick have identified safety concerns requiring additional repair works to off-side abutment.
10th Jan 2018 12:00am to 16th Mar 2018 11:59pm
The Hazelmere Marina development being undertaken by Bellway Homes needs to close a section of towpath to undertake the construction of the replacement facilities building for boaters. To prevent a long...
15th Dec 2017 12:00am to 28th Feb 2018 11:45pm
The towpath remains closed from St Pancras Lock to Granary Square to allow for the completion of towpath improvement works including installation of mooring rings. Additionally, mooring in this area remains...
13th Dec 2017 12:00am onwards
Due to emergency works being carried out, the towpath from Mare Street Bridge to the access point at Vicar's Close will be closed until further notice. Please follow onsite diversion notices.
29th Aug 2017 9:00am to 28th Feb 2018 6:00pm
The developers Argent will be removing the towpath diversion pontoon from the canal between Granary Square and St Pancras lock. The towpath will remain closed, the new diversion route will be along the...
5th Feb 2018 8:00am to 23rd Feb 2018 4:00pm
Undertake repairs and refit the bottom gates to reduce leakage. .
26th Feb 2018 8:00am to 16th Mar 2018 4:00pm
To carry out leak repairs to the bottom gates. .
15th Jan 2018 8:00am to 23rd Feb 2018 4:00pm
To undertake replacement of the top and bottom gates. .
8th Sep 2017 9:00am to 14th May 2018 5:00pm
Third Party Works Contractor will be completely closing the towpath around their works to facilitate the brickwork phase of buildings which straddle the canal towpath and the landscaping works. Due to...
Choose to take your canal boat holiday from a choice of nine holiday centres, from the Peak District to the Midlands, Cheshire, Cambridge, Oxford, Wiltshire, Scotland, Wales and London, each with their...
At their busiest, London's docks employed over 100,000 people, landing goods from all over the world. After the area’s commercial decline, the Docklands were regenerated as a modern business and leisure district, transforming them almost beyond recognition and giving them a new lease of life.
However, the boating tradition is still alive and well, with the West India and Millwall Docks system filled with an array of moored boats and visiting vessels, from yachts and cruise ships to historic Thames barges. The waterside Museum of Docklands is located at West India Quay and charts the development of the docks and London’s port history.
Find stoppages, restrictions and other navigational advice for this waterway.
You can also follow the London Boating Bulletin Blog for the latest near you.
West India Docks were built in 1802. Here, for nearly 200 years, ships unloaded rum, sugar and coffee from the Caribbean. Cargo was loaded into warehouses, transferred on to barges and delivered all over the country via the canal system.
Download a free family activity guide to West India Docks
As London became a hub for world trade in the late 18th century, there was a need for large-scale official docking facilities. In 1799 Parliament passed an act allowing work to commence in the Isle Of Dogs, and the West India Docks were built by the early 19th century. The success of this led to a dock-building boom, and before the century was out, the Millwall Docks, St Katherine's, Surrey Commercial, Royals and Tilbury Docks were all completed.
In 1908 the Port Of London Authority was established to secure the financial and operational future of the tideway and its docks. Trading continued to boom. Despite damage in the Second World War, the docks continued to boom, handling a record of 61 million tonnes in 1964. But with the arrival of containerisation, roll on/roll off loading meant a decline in shipping to central London, and gradually the docks fell silent. The West India and Millwall Docks finally stopped general cargo operations in 1980, followed by the Royal Docks in 1984.
A waterspace of this size, so close to the City of London, would never stay undeveloped for long. In 1981, the London Docklands Development Corporation took over, and the reclamation of Docklands for business, housing and entertainment has given the area a new lease of life - creating a scene that the 18th Century dockers, merchants and sailors would have found impossible to comprehend. The waterspace is now managed by the Trust.
Billy Smith worked in London's Docklands for over 50 years. Listen to him talking about his experience of the area and how it's changed over the decades.
Discover how you can get involved with London's waterways