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
We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.
Discover fascinating facts about the UK canal and river network, from the longest canal tunnel to the shortest lock.
The longest river in the UK is the River Severn, stretching 220 miles from Plynlimon in Wales to the Bristol Channel.
The longest canal in the UK is the Grand Union Canal, stretching 137 miles from London to Birmingham. Cruising the whole length, non-stop, would take you 74 hours. The longest canal in Britain built as a single waterway is the Leeds & Liverpool Canal at 127 miles long.
The shortest canal in the UK is the Wardle Lock Branch of the Trent & Mersey Canal. It consists of just one 72ft-long lock and a few yards of canal on either side.
The oldest canal in the UK is the Fossdyke Navigation which was built by the Romans.
The newest canal in the UK is the Ribble Link which opened in 2002.
The longest canal tunnel in the UK is Standedge Tunnel on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal. It is more than three miles long.
The deepest canal tunnel in the UK is also Standedge Tunnel on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal.
The longest lock flight in the UK is the Tardebigge Flight on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal. The flight boasts 30 locks and raises the canal 220 feet.
The deepest lock in the UK is Tuel Lane Lock on Rochdale Canal at just under 19 feet.
The longest aqueduct in the UK is the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct on the Llangollen Canal. The aqueduct stretches over the River Dee Valley and is 1000 feet long.
The first boat aqueduct in the UK was built at Barton in 1761 to carry the Duke of Bridgewater’s canal from Worsley to Manchester. It was replaced in 1893 by the Barton Swing Aqueduct.
Britain’s longest river is the River Severn at 220 miles. In comparison, the world's longest river is the Nile, at 4,160 miles, closely followed by the 4,000-mile Amazon.
Most people know that Birmingham has more canals than Venice - but few know the exact figure. In fact, the Birmingham Canal Navigations extend to just over 100 miles, including two long tunnels, several aqueducts and even a waterway version of Spaghetti Junction.
In 1912, a cow named Buttercup fell into the Leeds & Liverpool Canal by the southern portal of the Foulridge Tunnel. Rather than wade out as usual, she chose to swim the whole 1640 yards to the northern end, where she was revived with brandy by drinkers in the nearby Hole in the Wall pub. Pictures in the pub commemorate the occasion.
Over 650km of fibre-optic cables are buried beneath our towpaths
In England and Wales there are 1,569 locks, 53 tunnels, 3112 bridges, 370 aqueducts and 74 reservoirs.
Explore your hidden world
Step onto our towpaths and discover a hidden world rich in history and heritage. The past is closer than you think on our canals and rivers
Last date edited: 30 October 2017