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.
Roger Distill lives onboard his narrowboat with his wife. As he journeys around our waterways he's discovered plenty of things about living aboard.
When Grace and I finally had the retirement-opportunity to realise our long-held dream and buy a narrowboat to live in, we'd had quite a few canal holidays. Lots of experience, we thought, albeit only in week-long stints. But actually making a 60' by 6'10” steel tube into our home proved to be a rather different matter.
Living in a house, space isn't much of an issue. Then you start trying to transfer the essentials from that house into your new boat, and suddenly you have to redefine 'essential'.
Which gadgets and gizmos will you really use in your tiny galley? Do you need a microwave, blender, breadmaker? Or will they take up valuable space for very little use? Are there other ways to achieve the same end? How much spare bedding, crockery, towels...
But life on a boat, just like life on the land, is more than just essentials. There are those things you'd 'really like to take'. And that list keeps growing the more you think about it. Books, CDs, photo album, DVDs... Oh, the DVD player, laptop, footspa... And the clothes! Are 'boaty' clothes enough, or do you want to be able to smarten up for the odd outing?
How many clothes do you need to cope with all weathers? And what about that feature vase your mother-in-law gave you just last week? If there are two of you making the move together, the discussions here are going to be... interesting!
And don't forget the stuff of 'ordinary' life. When the day's cruising's over, or when you're moored for a couple of days in some remote spot in torrential rain, what do you do? Sadly, I've met some very bored boaters, whose only enjoyment is in the travelling.
In a house, you'd have hobbies, games and other pastimes, and these bits and bobs are needed on the boat, too. The guitar, the easel and paints, the sewing machine, Scrabble, playing cards. Shame about the piano, though!
The bottom line is that this boat of ours isn't simply a lovely, relaxing way to travel, to see the canals, to have fun. Unlike the holiday boats, this one is home. And making a home means having not only a sufficiency of the tools and utensils to deal with the practicalities of everyday life, but also those things that help us to be complete human beings, and not just boaters. And achieving that's a balancing act.
But it's worth it!
Roger keeps a blog about life onboard his boat Kantara. Take a look and find out what he's been up to lately.
Our guest bloggers all have a passion for our waterways, whether they are volunteers, staff or the experts we work with.