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Canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding through tunnels

For your own safety, you’re not allowed to paddle (canoes, kayaks or paddleboards) through some of our tunnels, especially on parts of some larger rivers.

First, here are some top tips to keep you safe.

Important information for paddling through a tunnel

  1. Always check before paddling through a tunnel. There may be an oncoming narrowboat.
  2. You must use a forward facing bright light (such as a head torch not less than 80 Lumen) and whistle to warn other craft that you're there.
  3. Where possible, travel through in groups.
  4. Please check for local guidance and restrictions, in case of potential smoke and fumes, or if grab chains are in use.

You can find more information and a video about travelling through tunnels in our boating pages.

For more tips on staying safe while paddling, please read our paddlers' code, safety leaflet or visit the Paddle UK website and Gopaddling website.

Paddling over aqueducts

Check the aqueduct's page on our website as well as local guidance to find out whether you can paddle over it.

There are different rules depending on how you are paddling. For example, stand-up paddleboards are not allowed on aqueducts without any safety railings at the side, such as Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Others, such as Chirk Aqueduct, do have railings, so paddleboarding is allowed.

Tunnels open for canoes and other unpowered craft

Last Edited: 10 April 2024

photo of a location on the canals
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