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Licensing

If you want to canoe on many of our rivers and canals you will need a licence to do so. British Canoeing has teamed up with navigation authorities who manage the waterways to offer British Canoeing members a great rate for a waterway licence in England. Included with your British Canoeing membership is a licence to paddle over 4,500km of rivers and canals.

Expand British Canoeing members & affiliated clubs

British Canoeing members

As a British Canoeing member, you are given a membership card which also serves as your waterways licence. A lanyard is also provided for ease of display. Carry your British Canoeing membership card with you at all times, as you may be asked to show this to authorised navigation officials. You can see the list of included waterways in the list below.

Affiliated clubs

Clubs using the waterways listed below require a licence for each club boat. British Canoeing affiliated clubs can be provided with additional licences by British Canoeing at a considerable cost saving to buying licences direct from the navigation authorities Current details are included on the Club Affiliation form.

Expand Waterways Licences included for Members

Waterways Licences included for Members

The following waterways in the following list are included under British Canoeing’s licencing arrangements with navigation authorities. You can click on each to be taken to the navigation authority’s website for more information, along with details of rules and regulations for navigating their waterways.

Canal and River Trust

  • Aire & Calder Navigation
  • Leeds & Liverpool Canal to junction with Selby Canal
  • Knottingley & Goole Canal
  • Wakefield Section
  • Ashby Canal
  • Marston Jn to Snarestone)
  • Ashton Canal
  • Birmingham Canal
  • Old Main Line - Engine Branch, Gower Branch & Spon Lane Locks Branch (Spon Lane Junction to Broadfield Junction)
  • Birmingham & Fazeley Canal
  • Old Turn Junction to Fazeley Junction
  • Digbeth Branch Canal
  • Brecon & Abergavenny Canal 
  • Bridgwater & Taunton Canal 
  • Calder & Hebble Navigation 
  • Caldon Canal
  • Cannock Extension Canal
  • Pelsall Junction to Watling Street Bridge
  • Chesterfield Canal
  •  Trent to Worksop
  • Staveley to Chesterfield
  • Worksop to Norwood Tunnel
  • Coventry Canal (excluding Birmingham & Fazeley section)
  • Fazeley Junction to Whittington Brook)
  • Cromford Canal
  • River Don - Stainforth to Tinsley
  • Droitwich Barge Canal
  • Droitwich Junction Canal 
  • Dudley Canal
  • Black Delph to Tipton Junction (incl Dudley Tunnel)
  • Parkhead Junction to Coombeswood Basin
  • Bumblehole Branch
  • Erewash Canal
  • Fossdyke Navigation
  • Gloucester & Sharpness Canal 
  • Grand Union Canal including;
  • Brentford to Braunston
  • Napton to Birmingham 
  • Birmingham & Warwick Junction Canal
  • Regent's Canal 
  • Hertford Union Canal
  • Norton Junction to Foxton 
  • Leicester to Market Harborough 
  • Leicester Navigation 
  • Loughborough Navigation (River Soar) 
  • Grantham Canal (Under Restoration)
  • Huddersfield Broad Canal 
  • Huddersfield Narrow Canal 
  • Kennet and Avon Canal 
  • Lancaster Canal 
  • Preston to Tewitfield (Tewitfield to Kendal Proposed Restoration)
  • Glasson Dock Branch
  • River Lee 
  • Limehouse Basin to Hertford
  • Bow Back Rivers
  • Leeds and Liverpool Canal 
  • Llangollen Canal 
  • Macclesfield Canal
  • New Junction Canal
  • Nottingham Canal - Lenton to Meadow Lane 
  • River Ouse (Yorkshire) - Goole to Swale Nab
  • Oxford Canal including old loops (used) 
  • Peak Forest Canal
  • Dukinfield to Marple Junction
  •  Marple Junction to Bugsworth Basin
  • Whaley Bridge Branch 
  • Pocklington Canal
  • Cottingwith to Melbourne 
  • Melbourne to Canal Head (Under Restoration)
  • Ripon Canal 
  • Rochdale Canal 
  • Rushall Canal 
  • Selby Canal 
  • River Severn  - Gloucester to Stourport 
  • Sheffield and Tinsley Canal 
  • Shropshire Union Canal 
  • Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal 
  • Stainforth and Keadby Canal
  • River Stort 
  • Stourbridge Canal 
  • Stratford-upon-Avon Canal - Kings Norton to Stratford Restored
  • Tame Valley Canal
  • River Tees – Tees Barrage
  • Titford Canal
  • Trent & Mersey Canal 
  • River Trent - Gainsborough to Wilden Ferry 
  • Ure Navigation
  • Walsall Canal - including Lower Ocker Hill Branch
  • Walsall Junction Canal - Birchills Junction to Walsall Junction
  • Weaver Navigation - including Weston Canal
  • Wednesbury Oak Loop Line - Deepfields Junction to Bradley Workshop
  • Wednesbury Old Canal
  • Pudding Green Junction to Ryders Green Junction to Spine Road
  • River Witham - Boston to Lincoln
  • Worcester and Birmingham Canal 
  • Wyrley & Essington Canal
  • Horseley Fields Junction to Ogley Junction
  • Anglesey Branch
  • Daw End Branch

Broads Authority Waterways

  • Norfolk and Suffolk Broads
  • River Ant
  • River Bure
  • River Chet
  • Haddiscoe Cut
  • Horsey Mere / Hickling Broad
  • Oulton Dyke and Broad
  • Stalham Dyke
  • River Thurne
  • River Waveney - River Yare to Geldeston Lock
  • River Wensum
  • River Yare - Breydon Water to the River Wensum

Environment Agency

  • River Ancholme - Humber to Bishopbridge including the Brigg Loop
  • Burwell Lode
  • River Cam
  • below Bottisham Lock
  • Cambridge to Bottisham Lock (Cam Conservators)
  • Forty Foot River - Sixteen Foot River to Counter Wash Drain
  • River Glen
  • River Great Ouse (below Kempston and the flood relief channel between the head sluice lock at Denver and the Tail sluice at Saddlebrow)
  • River Kennet (Reading Section)
  • River Lark - River Ouse to Judes Ferry
  • River Little Ouse (below Brandon Staunch)
  • River Medway – below Tonbridge
  • River Nene – below Northampton
  • New Bedford River
  • Old Bedford River
  • Reach Lode
  • Wicken Lode
  • River Stour (Suffolk) – below Brundon Mill, Sudbury;
  • River Thames – Cricklade Bridge to Teddington (including the Jubilee River and Maidenhead Waterway);
  • River Welland - Fossdyke Bridge to Folly River
  • River Wissey
  • River Wye

National Trust

Wey & Godalming Navigation 

River Wey 

Wiltshire and Berkshire Canal Trust

Wiltshire & Berkshire Canal

Wey & Arun Canal Trust

Wey & Arun Canal 

Basingstoke Canal Authority

Basingstoke Canal - River Wey to Greywell Tunnel

Manchester Ship Canal Company

Bridgewater Canal 

Castlefield to Runcorn

Leigh Branch

Avon Navigation Trust

River Avon (Warwickshire) Alveston to Tewkesbury

Cotswold Canal Trust

Stroudwater Navigation

Expand Rivers and Canal navigations where a licence is not required

Rivers and Canal navigations where a licence is not required

There are a number of non-tidal rivers where navigation rights are recognised and where boats are not a required to be licensed. Known examples are the River Wye below Hay-on-Wye, River Lugg from Leominster, River Severn between Pool Quay near Welshpool and Stourport, and River Rother (East Sussex) downstream from Bodiam.

For further information, you can contact:

  • British Canoeing - access@britishcanoeing.org.uk

  • British Canoeing voluntary Local Waterway Advisors can also assist with information for many of these waters.

  • AINA – Association of Inland Navigation Authorities - www.aina.org.uk

  • Our licence briefing note (see the downloads below)