Coolcanals: Waterways Directory & Information Guide. Waterside Walks & Cycling, Boating & Holidays in the Waterways Outdoors

[main pic - Gloucester & Sharpness Canal]
 

 
Subscribe to coolcanals on YouTube
 
Our Blog   About us
 
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Canal walks

 
Whether you're an ambler, rambler, long-distance hiker, dog walker, wheelchair trekker, or just a towpath tourist - walking by water is special. Towpaths ramble Britain's hidden green landscapes, yet you can't get lost and there are no cows in the way! You'll walk amongst forgotten flora and woodlands, meet wildlife, see narrowboats and breathe the balm of water in rustling green solitude; but brace yourself for the thrills of heritage and engineering wonders too.
 
Canalside walking

Explore with coolcanals

We've walked the canals of Britain coast to coast and end to end from Cornwall to Scotland, following the water road through the Welsh mountains, over the Pennines, treading AONB, National Parks and brushing almost every National Trail. We've hiked across the Peak District, the Cotswolds, along the Great Glen Way, into the Lake District and even secretly sidled through London by the backdoor.
Find out more...
 
Walk, walk, walk...
 

Pub strolls

On our canal walks, we've typically reached a canalside pub every few miles. The canalside pub is a sociable place for water travellers: it's where boaters gather at the end of a day's cruising, it's a watering hole for cyclists, a meeting place for locals, a hub for the canal community - and a chance for walkers like us to pull off our boots and take time over a pint (all in the name of research!)
 
Canalside pubs
Canalside teashops & cafés
 
Canals are never far away, whether you live in the city or countryside, so step into the secret world of these waterways. Towpath trails are never just about walking: you're travelling back in time, treading historic trade routes that ramble defiantly through mountains, over rivers, connecting cities to the remotest countryside and passing through lock flights that climb every contour of Britain.
 
Horseboating Towpaths were originally designed for horses towing boats, but these days you're more likely to see footprints than hoof prints. Most canals have easy towpath trails. The shortest canal is under a mile, the longest 137 miles, and collectively, they make up over 2,000 magnificent slow waterside miles, meandering from the highlands of Scotland to the sands of Cornwall.
 
 

Download some of our favourite walks FREE >>

 
Britain's Great Waterways Outdoors Bude walk Bude Canal Walk
Britain's Great Waterways Outdoors Bude walk
Weekend Walks Caledonian walk Caledonian Canal Walk
Weekend Walks Caledonian walk
Britain's Great Waterways Outdoors Droitwich walk Droitwich Canal Walk
Britain's Great Waterways Outdoors Droitwich walk
Weekend Walks Gloucester & Sharpness walk Glos & Sharpness Canal Walk
Weekend Walks Gloucester & Sharpness walk
Weekend Walks Huddersfield Narrow walk Huddersfield Narrow Canal Walk
Weekend Walks Huddersfield Narrow walk
Weekend Walks Kennet & Avon walk Kennet & Avon Canal Walk 01
Weekend Walks Kennet & Avon walk
Britain's Great Waterways Outdoors Kennet & Avon walk Kennet & Avon Canal Walk 02
Britain's Great Waterways Outdoors Kennet & Avon walk
Britain's Great Waterways Outdoors Leeds & Liverpool walk Leeds & Liverpool Canal Walk
Britain's Great Waterways Outdoors Leeds & Liverpool walk
Weekend Walks Llangollen walk Llangollen Canal Walk
Weekend Walks Llangollen walk
Britain's Great Waterways Outdoors Macclesfield walk Macclesfield Canal Walk
Britain's Great Waterways Outdoors Macclesfield walk
Weekend Walks Monmouthshire & Brecon walk Mon & Brec Canal Walk 01
Weekend Walks Monmouthshire & Brecon walk
Weekend Walks Monmouthshire & Brecon 2 walk Mon & Brec Canal Walk 02
Weekend Walks Monmouthshire & Brecon 2 walk
Britain's Great Waterways Outdoors Oxford walk Oxford Canal Walk
Britain's Great Waterways Outdoors Oxford walk
Britain's Great Waterways Outdoors Peak Forest walk Peak Forest Canal Walk
Britain's Great Waterways Outdoors Peak Forest walk
Weekend Walks London walk Regent's Canal Walk
Weekend Walks London walk
Weekend Walks Staffordshire & Worcestershire 01 walk Staffs & Worcs Canal Walk 01
Weekend Walks Staffordshire & Worcestershire 01 walk
Weekend Walks Staffordshire & Worcestershire 02 walk Staffs & Worcs Canal Walk 02
Weekend Walks Staffordshire & Worcestershire 02 walk
Weekend Walks Stourbridge walk Stourbridge Canal Walk
Weekend Walks Stourbridge walk
Weekend Walks Stratford-upon-Avon walk Stratford-upon-Avon Canal Walk
Weekend Walks Stratford-upon-Avon walk
Britain's Great Waterways Outdoors Worcester & Birmingham walk Worcs & Birmingham Canal Walk
Britain's Great Waterways Outdoors Worcester & Birmingham walk
In summer, start early and walk till dusk, and after a walk on a winter's day, nothing beats toasting your toes over a roaring fire in the quiet hubbub of a canalside inn. Wherever you live, canals are never far away. Just pull on your boots and enjoy the great waterways outdoors!
 

Why not join in the canalbagging craze?

Whenever we think we've walked them all and ticked every canal in Britain off our list, we stumble on another hidden waterway to explore. The journey is addictive! We call it canalbagging - canalbagging can be fun whether you travel by boot, boat, bike, wheelchair, canoe or any other way...
 

Or plan a walking holiday

There's accommodation along the canals to suit every taste - from cosy waterside inns to luxurious hotels, and from floating B&Bs to 5-star cruises... And of course campsites for backpackers too.
 
We list canalside accommodation in our user-friendly Directory to help you plan your own travels...
 
offers_350X200_English
Quick Finder
(search by waterway and/or category)


 
 
coolcanals bookshop
 
...for the coolcanals newsletter,
our latest offers & everything to do with
Britain's canals...
 

Other canalside walks

  • SOUTHWEST

  • Bridgwater & Taunton Canal
    RIVER PARRETT TRAIL
    3½ miles (total trail 50 miles)
    Follows the canal towpath from Fordgate Swing Bridge to Bridgwater Docks, before re-joining the river trail.
    SOMERSET SPACE WALK
    6 miles
    Not just a canal walk, it's a tour of galactic dimension. There are models of the sun, its planets and our nearest other star in their proportionally correct sizes and distances apart.
  • Bude Canal
    PLANEKEEPERS' PATH
    10 miles circular
    Follows the canal from the sea inland to Helebridge, then continues along the line of the former tub-boat canal up two inclined planes before turning back across country to Bude.
  • Exeter Ship Canal
    EXE VALLEY WAY
    6 miles (total trail 50 miles)
    Follows the canal the whole way from Turf to Exeter before carrying on inland towards the source of the river.
    EXETER WOOLLEN TRAIL
    2 miles
    A trail around Exeter discovering the importance of the woollen trade, which includes the quayside and canal.
    TWO COUNTIES WAY
    6 miles (total trail 56 miles)
    Follows the canal towpath all the way from Exeter to the Turf.
  • Grand Western Canal
    TWO COUNTIES WAY
    11 miles (total trail 56 miles)
    Follows the canal all the way from Lowdwells to Tiverton.
  • SOUTH

  • Grand Union Canal (South)
    GRAND UNION CANAL WALK
    137 miles
    Follows the canal towpath all the way from London to Birmingham.
  • Oxford Canal
    OXFORD CANAL WALK
    77 miles
    Follows the canal towpath all the way from its start in Oxford to Hawkesbury Junction, where you can continue along the Coventry Canal into Coventry.
  • Regent's Canal
    GRAND UNION CANAL WALK
    8½ miles
    Follows the canal all the way from Little Venice to Limehouse Basin. The full walk follows the Grand Union to Birmingham.
  • HEART OF THE COUNTRY

  • Grand Union Canal (Midlands)
    GRAND UNION CANAL WALK
    137 miles
    Follows the canal towpath all the way from London to Birmingham.
  • Trent & Mersey Canal (Midlands)
    CHESHIRE RING CANAL WALK
    29 miles (total trail 97 miles)
    Follows the canal towpath all the way from Kidsgrove to Preston Brook.
  • NORTH

  • Leeds & Liverpool Canal
    PENNINE WAY
    Total trail 268 miles
    Crosses the canal at Gargrave.
  • Macclesfield Canal
    CHESHIRE RING CANAL WALK
    27¾ miles (total trail 97 miles)
    Follows the canal towpath all the way from Kidsgrove to Marple Junction.
  • Peak Forest Canal
    CHESHIRE RING CANAL WALK
    8 miles (total trail 97 miles)
    Follows the canal towpath all the way from Marple Junction to Dukinfield Junction (Ashton Canal).
  • WALES

  • Llangollen Canal
    OFFA'S DYKE PATH
    Total trail 177 miles
    Follows towpath all the way from outside Chirk to just beyond Trevor Basin.
  • Mon & Brec Canal
    TAFF TRAIL
    Brecon to Cardiff (total trail 55 miles)
    Follows the canal towpath all the way from Brecon to Brynich Lock (trail walkers can continue along the towpath as far as Talybont-on-Usk to rejoin the Route there).
  • Montgomery Canal
    OFFA'S DYKE PATH
    Total trail 177 miles
    Follows the towpath much of the way from just outside Welshpool to Llanymynech.
    SEVERN WAY
    From its source to the sea (total trail 210 miles)
    Follows the towpath all the way from Newtown to Welshpool.
  • SCOTLAND

  • Caledonian Canal
    GREAT GLEN WAY
    Fort William to Inverness
    79 miles
    Follows the canal towpath and lochside paths all the way from Corpach to Inverness, with a short route from the start at Fort William to Corpach. www.greatglenway.com
  • Crinan Canal
    BELLANOCH to DUNARDRY LOCKS
    Approx ¾ mile
    Great views of the Moine Mhor National Nature Reserve alongside the canal.
  • Forth & Clyde Canal
    FORTH TO FIRTH CANAL PATHWAY
    Firth of Clyde to Firth of Forth
    31 miles (total trail 66 miles)
    Follows the canal towpath all the way from Bowling Basin to Falkirk Wheel.
  • Union Canal
    FORTH TO FIRTH CANAL PATHWAY
    Firth of Clyde to Firth of Forth
    34 miles (total trail 66 miles)
    Follows the canal towpath all the way from Falkirk Wheel to Edinburgh Quay.
    LINLITHGOW TO AVON AQUEDUCT
    4 miles return
    Follow the towpath from Linlithgow to see 2nd longest aqueduct in Britain (after Pontcysyllte in Wales).
 
attractions_728X90_English
 
v1.2.0

NEWSLETTER
 
Get all the latest Coolcanals news & highlights, special offers & lots more...
 
Subscribe to our newsletter, it's free and of course you can unsubscribe at any time

Name: 
Email: