Canoeing through tunnels

For your own safety, you’re not allowed to paddle (canoes, kayaks or paddleboards) through some of our tunnels, especially on parts of some larger rivers. Below is a list of all the tunnels you can paddle through.

First, here are some top tips to keep you safe.

Important information for paddling through a tunnel

  1. Always check before paddling through a tunnel. There may be an oncoming narrowboat.
  2. You must use a forward facing bright light (such as a head torch not less than 80 Lumen) and whistle to warn other craft that you're there.
  3. Where possible, travel through in groups.
  4. Please check for local guidance and restrictions, in case of potential smoke and fumes, or if grab chains are in use.

You can find more information and a video about travelling through tunnels in our boating pages.

For more tips on staying safe while paddling, please read our safety leaflet or visit the British Canoeing website and Gopaddling website.

Paddling over aqueducts

Check the aqueduct's page on our website as well as local guidance to find out whether you can paddle over it.

There are different rules depending on how you are paddling. For example, stand-up paddleboards are not allowed on aqueducts without any safety railings at the side, such as Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Others, such as Chirk Aqueduct, do have railings, so paddleboarding is allowed.

Tunnels open for canoes and other unpowered craft

Tunnel name Canal Length in metres Method of working
Ashford Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal 343 One-way working
Ashted Digbeth Branch, BCN 102 One-way working
Barnton Trent & Mersey Canal 525 One-way working
Bath no 1 Kennet & Avon Canal 50 One-way working
Bath no 2 Kennet & Avon Canal 54 One-way working
Brandwood Stratford Upon Avon Canal 322 Two-way working
Bruce (Savernake) Kennet & Avon Canal 458 One-way working
Chirk Llangollen Canal 421 One-way working
Cookley Staffordshire & Worcester Canal 59 One-way working
Cosley Wolverhampton Level, BCN 329 Two-way working
Cowley Shropshire Union Canal 74 Two-way working
Curdworth Birmingham & Fazeley Canal 52 One-way working
Curzon Birmingham & Fazeley Canal (Digbeth Branch) 147 One-way working
Drakeholes Chesterfield Canal 135 One-way working
Dunhampstead Worcester & Birmingham Canal 210 Two-way working
Dunsley Staffordshire & Worcester Canal 21 One-way working
Edgebaston Worcester & Birmingham Canal 97 One-way working
Ellesmere Llangollen Canal 80 One-way working
Foulridge Leeds & Liverpool Canal 1,490

One-way working

Froghall Caldon Canal 68 One-way working
Galton Birmingham Main Line 122 One-way working
Gannow Leeds & Liverpool Canal 511 One-way working
Gostly Hill Dudley Canal 509 One-way working
Hyde Bank Peak Forest Canal 285 One-way working
Leek Caldon Canal 119 One-way working
Maida Hill (Authorised unpowered craft only) Regents Canal 249 One-way working
Newbold Oxford Canal 189 Two-way working
Saltersford Trent & Mersey Canal 368 See note below*
Scout Huddersfield Narrow Canal 188 One-way working
Shrewley Grand Union Canal 396 Two-way working
Snarestone Ashby Canal 228 One-way working
Summit Birmingham Main Line 102 Two-way working
Whitehouses Llangollen Canal 174 One-way working
Woodley (Butterhouse Green) Peak Forest Canal 153 One-way working

*Saltersford method of working - North Bound - enter on the hour and have 20 minutes to travel through. South Bound - enter on the half hour and have 20 minutes to travel

Last date edited: 14 April 2022