Summer canal walks

Our canals and rivers are wonderful places to walk in the summer. With 2,000 miles of traffic-free towpaths for you to explore, it’s easy to swap the busy city streets for the calm, tranquil world of your local canal.

Walking along the canal Walking along the canal

We know that walking by water makes you feel happier, healthier and ready for anything. Whether it’s the air-conditioning in your office or your over-crowded commute that’s taking the shine off your summer, stepping off the pavement and onto the towpath will instantly make everything seem better. With the sunlight reflecting on the water and the flowers in full bloom, there’s no question that summer is a glorious time for a waterside walk.

At this time of year we benefit from lighter mornings and evenings, so it’s the perfect season to leave the car at home and commute to work along the towpath instead. Our canals often offer an alternative to busy roads and using them as part of your daily commute gives you a sense of wellbeing that no car or bus journey could. Look at our map to see if your office is close to a canal.

Heron

Wildlife watching

Our canals provide a home for nature, even in the centre of towns. As well as mallards and moorhens, you could be lucky enough to spot a kingfisher or a heron. Look out for dragonflies flitting over the surface of the water.

Read our spotters’ guide to waterway wildlife

Take a break

You won’t have to wander far along a towpath before coming across an inviting pub beer garden or a welcoming café. Our canals also have perfect places for picnics.

Where to go

The best thing about walking along our canals is that the ground is (nearly) always flat. The second best thing is that it’s almost impossible to get lost. So once you’ve found your favourite canal, you can just follow your nose and go wherever takes your fancy.

Alternatively you could check out our recommended places to visit, enjoy a fun-packed family day out and take a canalside stroll while you’re there.

Stay safe in the sun

We want everyone to enjoy our waterways safely. Always remember suncream, a sunhat and a bottle of water when you’re out and about in the summer sun.

Read more on summer water safety

Last date edited: 25 June 2018