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.
Once you delve into the world of canoeing, there can be an overwhelming amount of equipment to get your head around. However, you only need a few basics when you’re starting out so we’ve put together a handy guide to the essentials.
If you start out with a canoe club then you’ll probably be able to borrow all of the equipment that you need to get started. However, when you’re ready to buy your own equipment you’ll want to start with the basics listed here.
When it comes to boats you’re spoilt for choice. However, the first thing to think about is whether you want to opt for a canoe or a kayak.
A canoe is paddled with a single ended paddle and a kayak a double paddle. There are many different types of canoes and kayaks available, some made from natural materials and others from polyethylene.
Canoes can be referred to as open boats or even a Canadian Canoes. Canoes are normally open top boats. They can be covered and are capable of carrying one or more paddlers at a time. Canoes are paddled using a single bladed paddle.
Kayaks come in a variety of types and sizes and are paddled by a double-bladed paddle by a seated paddler. Kayaks tend to be enclosed and have cockpits for the paddler to sit in.
In addition to the more traditional shaped kayaks, sit-on-top kayaks have become very popular.
For more information about choosing and buying a boat take a look at the Go Canoeing website.
Paddles are very personal items and whether you opt for a canoe or a kayak you’ll be spoilt for choice.
A canoe paddle is made up of a single blade attached to a shorter shaft that has a grip at the end. They are usually made of aluminium or fibreglass and have a T-grip at the end. If you want something a bit more special there’s a huge variety of wooden paddles available, many of them extremely lightweight.
You can buy a canoe paddle in a variety of different lengths and with different paddle shapes. Have a chat with your local club as they will be able to give you advice about what will suit your type of canoeing.
A kayak paddle consists of a long shaft with an angled blade on either end. Lengths, and weights do vary depending on what you want to do in your kayak. However, when you’re starting out a £30 paddle made from aluminium and plastic should do nicely.
If you’re venturing out on the water you’ll need a buoyancy aid. Buoyancy aids are different to life jackets. They are designed for you to swim while you’re wearing them. They will also offer a degree of insulation.
While they come in numerous designs and shapes, the most important factor is the fit. Ask around at your local canoe club to find a reputable shop who will help you get the right size.
Last date edited: 3 August 2015