Waterway wanderers

You can now buy your Waterway Wanderers permit over the phone using a credit or debit card. It gives individual anglers, or angling clubs as a group, access to miles of canal fishing in England and Wales.

Angling on the canals Angling on the canals

How to buy your Waterways Wanderers permit

By phone with a credit or debit card

Email fisheries@canalrivertrust.org.uk and include:

  • Waterway Wanderers' permit in the subject line
  • your full name
  • a contact phone number
  • full rod licence number (the one that's a series of letters and numbers) or copy of your Angling Trust membership card

You'll then receive a reference number by email. Call our customer service team during office hours on 0303 040 4040 and give them the reference number along with your card details when asked. You'll receive your permit back in an email.

By post paying with a cheque

If you still prefer to pay by cheque or have your permit sent by post, please send a cheque made payable to Canal & River Trust to us at:

Waterway Wanderers
Canal & River Trust
First Floor North, Station House
500 Elder Gate
Milton Keynes MK9 1BB

Please include your full name and address and if applying for a concessionary permit, include a photocopy of proof of age or Angling Trust membership. Please allow 14 days for delivery by post.

Why do you need a Waterways Wanderers permit?

As the charity that looks after 2,000 miles of canals and rivers across England and Wales, we own the fishing rights for these waterways. It's with your support that we can make sure they're open and accessible for everyone to use and enjoy, every day.

We work with local angling clubs to manage the fishing rights on some of our canals, so you'll need to get your fishing permit from those clubs. See our fisheries list for the nearest club to you.

Many stretches are not rented to local clubs. For the stretches on this list you must have one of our Waterway Wanderers permits before you fish. 

How much does a Waterway Wanderers permit cost?

The Waterway Wanderers permit runs for 12 months from the date it's issued.

  • adult: £20
  • concessions (over 65s or Angling Trust member): £10 
  • juniors (16 or under on the purchase date): £5 

To become an Angling Trust member and get a discounted permit call: 0343 5077 006 (Option 1). To get a rod licence call: 08448 005386.

Where to fish with your Waterway Wanderers permit

You can still use our Fisheries List to find the Waterway Wanderers stretches near to where you are or want to fish. They'll be listed as 'Waterway Wanderers'. Then, click that link to see a map of the stretch details. (Please note: we are currently reviewing all our Waterways Wanderers locations as some of them are no longer under the scheme. We'll be introducing a new, updated map as soon as possible.)

Waterway Wanderers fishing rules

As with all things in life, there are a few rules we ask you to follow, please:

  • Only use a maximum of two rods per permit
  • Never remove native fish species from the fishery under any circumstances
  • Never return Zander and other non native species to our waterways (under the terms and conditions of our KIFR permits
  • No fishing in the close season on waters where the close season currently applies
  • You must follow the Angling Trust keepnet code
  • Carry your permit at all times and make it available to authorised bailiffs and Canal & River Trust staff when asked
  • You're strongly advised to hold insurance covering third party risk arising out of your angling activities (included within individual Angling Trust membership)
  • You must hold an Environment Agency rod licence
  • No fishing near or under overhead powerlines
  • Never fish within 25 metres of a lock, swing bridge or water point
  • No fishing between boats on permanent moorings or at visitor moorings where signed
  • Where visitor moorings are not signed as to whether fishing is permitted, it's is assumed, during the boating season, that mooring boats have priority, at other times access is on a first come first served basis
  • Please follow the towpath code as part of our Share the Space campaign and act responsibly at all times

Permits for angling clubs

  • Any bona fida angling club registering in advance with our Waterway Wanderers administrator can join our Waterway Wanderers scheme
  • Registration is free but clubs must hold third party public liability insurance
  • Registered clubs with 10 or more joining members can get season permits at the concessionary rate of £10
  • All club permits are bought in blocks of five, with a minimum purchase of 10. This also entitles the registered club to a certain number of free matches (a £10 booking fee is needed but no peg fees) on any fishery within the Waterway Wanderers scheme as set out below:
Number of participating members Number of free matches  Maximum size 
 10  2  10 pegs 
 15  3 15 pegs
 20  4 20 pegs
 25  5 25 pegs
 30  6 30 pegs
 35 and upwards  10 100 pegs

* Columns relate to number of participating members, number of matches with no peg fees (only the booking fee is needed) and maximum size of free match.

£3 per peg plus the booking fee for extra matches on top of your free allocation.

Note: not all club members need to purchase a Waterway wanderers permit.

Match fishing arrangements for registered clubs are outlined above. For non registered clubs wanting to book a match the match peg fee will be £5 per peg plus a £10 booking fee with a minimum match size of 10 pegs.

Last date edited: 24 January 2019