Canoeing through tunnels

While there are plenty of tunnels you can paddle through, there are many more you can't for safety reasons. Here are our top tips for staying safe while paddling through the list of tunnels below.

For your own safety, you’re not allowed to paddle (canoes, kayaks or paddle boards) through some of our canal tunnels. Especially on parts of some larger river navigations. But there are several on the list below you can paddle through.

Tips for paddling through a tunnel

But first, here are our top tips for staying safe while paddling through a tunnel:

  1. Always check before paddling through a tunnel. There may be an oncoming narrowboat.
  2. Always carry a light and whistle to warn other craft of your presence. 
  3. Where possible, travel through in groups
  4. You can travel through a tunnel if it is less than 400m long and there are clear site lines
  5. You can travel through tunnels up to 650m long if there are good site lines and there is a single way traffic system in place
  6. Please check for local restrictions because of potential smoke and fumes or because towpath or grab chains are in use

You can find more information on travelling through tunnels in our boating pages.

For more tips on staying safe visit the British Canoeing website.

Tunnels open for canoes and other unpowered craft

Tunnel name Canal Length in metres
Ashford Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal 343
Ashted Digbeth Branch, BCN 102
Barnton Trent & Mersey Canal 525
Bath no 1 Kennet & Avon Canal 50
Bath no 2 Kennet & Avon Canal 54
Brandwood Stratford Upon Avon Canal 322
Bruce (Savernake) Kennet & Avon Canal 458
Chirk Llangollen Canal 421
Cookley Staffordshire & Worcester Canal 59
Cosley Wolverhampton Level, BCN 329
Cowley Shropshire Union Canal 74
Curdworth Birmingham & Fazeley Canal 52
Drakeholes Chesterfield Canal 135
Dunhampstead Worcester & Birmingham Canal 210
Dunsley Staffordshire & Worcester Canal 21
Edgebaston Worcester & Birmingham Canal 97
Ellesmere Llangollen Canal 80
Froghall Caldon Canal 68
Galton Birmingham Main Line 122
Gannow Leeds & Liverpool Canal 511
Gostly Hill Dudley Canal 509
Hyde Bank Peak Forest Canal 285
Leek Caldon Canal 119
Newbold Oxford Canal 189
Saltersford Trent & Mersey Canal 368
Scout Huddersfield Narrow Canal 188
Shrewley Grand Union Canal 396
Snarestone Ashby Canal 228
Summit Birmingham Main Line 102
Whitehouses Llangollen Canal 174
Woodley (Butterhouse Green) Peak Forest Canal 153

Last date edited: 5 December 2019