List of canals of the United Kingdom

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Canals of the United Kingdom; see also Canals of the United Kingdom.

The following list includes some systems that are navigable rivers with sections of canal (e.g. Aire and Calder Navigation) as well as "completely" artificial canals (e.g. Rochdale Canal).

Canals in England[edit]

This includes only canals that are currently open or being restored and are at least partly in England. See also Abandoned Canals. Click on the diamond to sort by any column.

Canal Length Locks Max length (ft) Width (ft) Where[1] Year opened Year abandoned Year restored
Aire and Calder Navigation 700134000000000000034 mi (55 km) 12 200 20 NE 1704
Andover Canal 700122000000000000022 mi (35 km) 24 65 8.5 S 1794 1859
Ashby-de-la-Zouch Canal 700122000000000000022 mi (35 km) 0 72 7 M 1804 1918, 1966
Ashton Canal 70006000000000000006 mi (10 km) 18 70 7 NW 1796 1961 1974
Barnsley Canal 700114500000000000014.5 mi (23 km) 15 84 14 NW 1799 1893, 1946 in process
Basingstoke Canal 700132000000000000032 mi (51 km) 29 68 13 S 1794 1910 1991
Beverley Beck 69995000000000000000.5 mi (1 km) 1 65 17.5 NE 1744
Birmingham and Warwick Junction Canal[2] 70002500000000000002.5 mi (4 km) 6 70 7 M 1844
Birmingham Canal Navigations[3] 700129800000000000029.8 mi (48 km) 34 70 7 M 1772-1794
Birmingham and Fazeley Canal[4] 700120500000000000020.5 mi (33 km) 44 70 7 M 1789
Blyth Navigation 70007000000000000007 mi (11 km) 6 50 14 EA 1761 1911
Bridgewater Canal 700140000000000000040 mi (64 km) 0 72 14.75 NW 1761
Bridgwater and Taunton Canal, Somerset 700114500000000000014.5 mi (23 km) 6 50 9.83 SW 1827 1907 1994
Bude Canal 700135000000000000035 mi (56 km) 2[5] 20 5.5 SW 1823 1891
Calder and Hebble Navigation 700121500000000000021.5 mi (35 km) 38 55 14 NE 1794
Caldon Canal 700118000000000000018 mi (29 km) 17 72 7 NM 1779
Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation 700113800000000000013.8 mi (22 km) 13 60 16 EA 1797
Chesterfield Canal 700145500000000000045.5 mi (73 km), now 700131500000000000031.5 mi (51 km) 62 72 7 NE 1777 1907 part
Chichester Canal 70004500000000000004.5 mi (7 km) 3 85 18 S 1822 1906
Coventry Canal 700132500000000000032.5 mi (52 km) 13 72 7 M 1769, 1788
Dearne and Dove Canal[6] 70009800000000000009.8 mi (16 km) 19 58 14.83 NE 1804 1961
Derby Canal 700114000000000000014 mi (23 km) 17 72 14 NE 1796
Derby and Sandiacre Canal 700114500000000000014.5 mi (23 km) 9 72 14 NE 1793 1964
Digbeth Branch Canal[4] 70001250000000000001.25 mi (2.0 km) 6 72 7 M 1799
Driffield Navigation, East Yorkshire 700111000000000000011 mi (18 km) 6 61 14.5 NE 1767 1955 (part)
Droitwich Canal 70007300000000000007.3 mi (12 km) 15 71.5 7.08 M 1771,1854 1939 2011
Dudley Canal[4] 700110300000000000010.3 mi (17 km) M 1770,1792 1948 1973 (part)
Erewash Canal[2] 700111800000000000011.8 mi (19 km) 14 78 12.5 NE 1779 1962 (part)
Exeter Canal 70005200000000000005.2 mi (8 km) 2 122 26.25 SW 1563
Fairbottom Branch Canal 70001000000000000001 mi (2 km) 0 NW 1792 1932
Foss Dyke 700111300000000000011.3 mi (18 km) 1 74.5 15.17 E 1121
Gloucester and Sharpness Canal 700116500000000000016.5 mi (27 km) 2 240 30 SW 1826
Grand Junction Canal[2] 7002129400000000000129.4 mi (208 km) 90 72 14.7 M 1800,1805
Grand Union Canal[7] 7002286300000000000286.3 mi (461 km) 236 72 14 M 1927
Grand Union Canal (old)[2] 700124300000000000024.3 mi (39 km) 17 72 7 EM 1814
Grand Western Canal 700110500000000000010.5 mi (17 km) 0 SW 1838
Grantham Canal 700133000000000000033 mi (53 km) 18 75 14 EM 1797 1936
Hatherton Canal[4] 70004000000000000004 mi (6 km) 8 70 7 NM 1860 1955
Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal 700134000000000000034 mi (55 km) 22 70 7 W 1798,1845 1881
Hertford Union Canal[2] 70001300000000000001.3 mi (2 km) 3 78 14.5 SE 1830
Hollinwood Branch Canal 70004500000000000004.5 mi (7 km) 4 70 7 NW 1792 1932
Huddersfield Broad Canal 70003800000000000003.8 mi (6 km) 9 57.5 14.17 NE 1780
Huddersfield Narrow Canal 700119900000000000019.9 mi (32 km) 74 70 7 NE 1811
Ipswich and Stowmarket Navigation 700115900000000000015.9 mi (26 km) 15 55 14 EA 1793 1934
Islington Branch Canal 69996000000000000000.6 mi (1 km) 0 NW 1801 1952
Kennet and Avon Canal 700186500000000000086.5 mi (139 km) 106 70 12.5 SW 1727,1810 (1950)[8] 1990
Lancaster Canal 700160900000000000060.9 mi (98 km) 14 72 14.5 NW 1797, 1825 1955 2002 (part)
Leeds and Liverpool Canal 7002142600000000000142.6 mi (229 km) 105 62[9] 14 NE,NW 1816
Leicestershire and Northamptonshire Union Canal[2] 700148000000000000048 mi (77 km) 22 72 13 EM 1807
Lichfield Canal[4] 70007000000000000007 mi (11 km) 30 70 7 M 1797 1955
Limehouse Cut 70002000000000000002 mi (3 km) 0 88 19 SE 1766[10]
Llangollen Canal 700146300000000000046.3 mi (75 km) 21 70’ 6.83 W 1808
Louth Navigation 700111800000000000011.8 mi (19 km) 8 72 15 NE 1770 1924
Lydney Canal 70001000000000000001 mi (2 km) 1 100 24 SW 1821 1977 2005 (part)
Macclesfield Canal 700126300000000000026.3 mi (42 km) 13 70 7 NW 1831
Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal 700112900000000000012.9 mi (21 km) 17 68 14.17 NW 1797,1808 1941,1961
Manchester Ship Canal 700137400000000000037.4 mi (60 km) 5 600 65 NW 1894
Market Weighton Canal 70009500000000000009.5 mi (15 km) 1 70 14.83 NE 1782 1971[11]
Melton Mowbray Navigation 700111000000000000011 mi (18 km) 12 EM 1797 1877
Middle Level Navigations 700190000000000000090 mi (145 km) 7 80 11 E 1608-1832
Montgomery Canal 700133000000000000033 mi (53 km) 24 70 6.83 W 1821 1944 1996 (part)
New Junction Canal 70005500000000000005.5 mi (9 km) 1 215 22.5 NE 1905
North Walsham & Dilham Canal 70007300000000000007.3 mi (12 km) 4 50 12.33 EA 1826 1927 (part)
Nottingham Canal 700114700000000000014.7 mi (24 km)[12] 18 81 14.5 NE 1796 1937 (part)
Oxford Canal 700178000000000000078 mi (126 km) 43 70 6.83 M 1774, 1790
Peak Forest Canal 700114800000000000014.8 mi (24 km) 16 70 7 NW 1805 1960 1974
Pocklington Canal 70009500000000000009.5 mi (15 km) 9 57 14.25 NE 1818 1932
Regent's Canal[2] 70008600000000000008.6 mi (14 km) 13 72 14.5 SE 1820
Ribble Link 70003000000000000003 mi (5 km) 9 62 10.5 NW 2002
Ripon Canal 70002500000000000002.5 mi (4 km) 3 57 14.25 NE 1773 1906 1996
River Soar Navigation[2] 700121900000000000021.9 mi (35 km) 18 72 13 EM 1794
River Lee Navigation[13] 700129100000000000029.1 mi (47 km) 22 85 16 SE 1577, 1769
Rochdale Canal 700132000000000000032 mi (51 km) 91 74 14.17 NW 1800
Royal Military Canal 700119000000000000019 mi (31 km) 0 SE 1804
Sankey Canal 700115200000000000015.2 mi (24 km) 11 72 13.83 NW 1757 1963
Selby Canal 70006000000000000006 mi (10 km) 2 78.5 16.5 NE 1776
Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation[14] 700128000000000000028 mi (45 km) 24 61.5 15.25 NE 1802
Shrewsbury Canal 700125000000000000025 mi (40 km) 34 81 7 W 1797 1944
Shropshire Union Canal 700176500000000000076.5 mi (123 km) 51 72[15] 7[16] NM 1835
Sleaford Navigation 700112500000000000012.5 mi (20 km) 7 70 15 NE 1794 1940
Somerset Coal Canal 700118000000000000018 mi (29 km) SW 1802 1898[17] 1986 (part)[18]
Southwick Ship Canal 70001750000000000001.75 mi (2.8 km) 1 240 40 SE 1855
Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal 700146100000000000046.1 mi (74 km) 43 70 7 NM 1772
Stainforth and Keadby Canal 700114900000000000014.9 mi (24 km) 3 61.67 17 NE 1802
Stockport Branch Canal 70004900000000000004.9 mi (8 km) 0 NW 1797 1962
Stort Navigation 700113800000000000013.8 mi (22 km) 15 86 13.25 SE 1769
Stourbridge Canal 70007800000000000007.8 mi (13 km) 21 70 7 M 1779
Stratford-upon-Avon Canal 700125500000000000025.5 mi (41 km) 56 70 7 M 1802, 1816
Stroudwater Canal 70008000000000000008 mi (13 km) 13 70 15.5 SW 1779
Tame Valley Canal[4] 70008500000000000008.5 mi (14 km) 13 72 7 M 1844
Thames and Medway Canal[19] 70006500000000000006.5 mi (10 km) 1 24.5 6.5 SE 1824 1935
Thames and Severn Canal 700128800000000000028.8 mi (46 km) 44 74 12.75 SW 1789 1933
Trent and Mersey Canal 700193400000000000093.4 mi (150 km) 76 72 7[20] NE 1777
Uttoxeter Canal 700113000000000000013 mi (21 km) 19 NM 1811 1849 2005 (part)
Walsall Canal[4] 70009600000000000009.6 mi (15 km) 16 72 7 M 1785-1841
Wardle Canal 69991000000000000000.1 mi (0.2 km) 1 NM 1829
Warwick and Napton Canal[2] 700114200000000000014.2 mi (23 km) 25 72 7[21] M 1794
Warwick and Birmingham Canal[2] 700124300000000000024.3 mi (39 km) 28 70 7[21] M 1794
Wednesbury Old Canal[4] 70004400000000000004.4 mi (7 km) 3 70 7 M 1769 1955 (part)
Wey and Arun Junction Canal[22] 700123000000000000023 mi (37 km) 26 68 11.5 S 1816 1871
Wey and Godalming Navigations 700119500000000000019.5 mi (31 km) 16 72 13.83 S 1651, 1760
Wilts and Berks Canal 700152500000000000052.5 mi (84 km) 42 72 7 SW 1810 1914 1995 (part)
Worcester and Birmingham Canal 700130000000000000030 mi (48 km) 58 71.5 7 M 1815
Wyrley and Essington Canal[4] 700123500000000000023.5 mi (38 km) 39 70 7 M 1797 1900 (part)

Canals in Northern Ireland[edit]

Lagan Navigational Canal (disused) at Broadwater, near Aghalee)
Canal Length (miles) Locks Year opened Year abandoned Year restored
Broharris Canal 2 1820
Coalisland Canal[23] 7.2 7 1787 1954
Dukart's Canal 3[5] 1777 1787
Lagan Canal 27 27 1802 1958
Newry Canal 21 12 1742 1938
Shannon–Erne Waterway[24] 39 16 1780 1948 1994
Strabane Canal 4 2 1792 1962
Ulster Canal 46 26 1842 1931

Canals in Scotland[edit]

Canal Length (miles) Locks Max length (ft) Width (ft) Year opened Year abandoned Year restored
Aberdeenshire Canal 18 18 1805 1854
Buchan Canal
Caledonian Canal 62 29 150 35 1822
Crinan Canal 9 15 86.75 19.65 1817
Dingwall Canal 1.1 0 1816 1840
Forth and Clyde Canal 35 38 68.58 19.75 1790 1963 2002
Glasgow, Paisley and Johnstone Canal 11 0 1811 1881
Monkland Canal 12.25 18[25] 71 14 1794 1942
Stevenston Canal 2.25 0 13 1772 1830
Union Canal[26] 31.5 3[27] 63 12.5 1822 1930 2000

Canals in Wales[edit]

Canal Length (miles) Locks Max length (ft) Width (ft) Year opened Year abandoned Year restored
Aberdare Canal 6.75 2 1812 1900
Glamorganshire Canal 25 52 1798 1898, 1942
Kidwelly and Llanelly Canal 18 8[28] 1768, 1837 1865
Llangollen Canal 46.3 21 70 6.83 1808
Monmouthshire, Brecon and Abergavenny Canal 35 48 63 9.17 1796 1962 1970
Montgomery Canal 33 24 70 6.83 1821 1944 1996 (part)
Neath and Tennant Canal 21.5 21 60 9 1795, 1824 1934 1990 (part)
Swansea Canal 16.5 36 65 7.5 1798 1931

Abandoned or unnavigable canals in England[edit]

Canal County Length (miles) Locks Opened Closed
Andover Canal Hampshire 22 24 1794 1859
Arbury Canals Warwickshire 6 13 1786 1819, 1973
Baybridge Canal Sussex 3.5 2 1826 1875
Beaumont Cut Essex 0.6 0 1832 1932
Bentley Canal Warwickshire 3.4 10 1845 1953
Bradford Canal West Yorkshire 3.5 10 1774 1922
Black Bear Canal Cheshire 8 1804 1965
Caistor Canal Lincolnshire 4 5 1800 1936
Cann Quarry Canal Devon 2 1825 1839
Car Dyke Lincolnshire 85 0 120 (appr) 1200 (appr)
Chard Canal Somerset 13.5 4[5] 1842 1868
Cinderford Canal Gloucestershire 1.25 0 1797 1810 ?
City Canal London 1 2 1805 1829
Coombe Hill Canal Gloucestershire 2.75 1 1796 1876
Charnwood Forest Canal Leicestershire 6 1794 1808
Cromford Canal Derbyshire 14.5 14 1794 1900
Croydon Canal London 9.25 28 1809 1836
Donnington Wood Canal Shropshire 5.5 1767 1904
Eardington Forge Canal Shropshire 0.5 1 1782 1889
Fletcher's Canal Gtr Manchester 1.5 2 1800 1952
Galton's Canal Somerset 1.4 1 1822 1897
Glastonbury Canal Somerset 14 2 1834 1854
Grand Surrey Canal London 4 1 1810 1940
Grosvenor Canal London 0.8 1 1825 1858, 1925
Hackney Canal Devon 0.6 1 1843 1928
Hollingwood Common Canal Derbyshire 2 0  ?  ?
Horncastle Canal Lincolnshire 11 12 1802 1889
Itchen Navigation Hampshire 10 17 1710 1869
Kensington Canal London 1.75 1 1828 1859, 1967
Ketley Canal East Shropshire 1.5 1[5] 1788 1880
Leominster Canal Herefordshire 18 16 1794 1858
Leven Canal Yorkshire 3.25 1 1805 1935
Liskeard and Looe Union Canal Cornwall 6 25 1828 1910
Newcastle-under-Lyme Canal Staffordshire 3.75 0 1800 1935
Newport Pagnell Canal Buckinghamshire 1.25 7 1817 1864
Nutbrook Canal Derbyshire 4.5 13 1796 1895
Oakham Canal Leicestershire 15.5 18 1802 1847
Ouse Navigation Sussex 22 19 1812 1950
Par Canal Cornwall 2.25 3 1847 1873
Parnall's Canal Cornwall 0.5 0 1720 1732
Petworth Canal Sussex 1.25 2 1795 1826
Pidcock's Canal Gloucestershire 1.5 3 1789 1845
Portsmouth and Arundel Canal Hampshire, Sussex 28 6 1823 1926
Rolle Canal[29] Devon 6 2[30] 1827 1871
Salisbury and Southampton Canal Hampshire 13[31] 16 1802 1808
Shropshire Canal Shropshire 10.5 3[5] 1791 1912
Sir John Glynne's Canal Flintshire 1 1768 1779
Sir Nigel Gresley's Canal Staffordshire 3 0 1776 1857
Stamford Canal Lincolnshire 6.5 10 1670 1863
Stover Canal Devon 1.7 5 1792 1943
Tavistock Canal Devon 4 2[5] 1803 1873
Titchfield Canal Hampshire
Tremadoc Canal Merionethshire 1.5 0 1815 1840
Ulverston Canal Cumbria 1.5 1 1796 1944
Westport Canal Somerset 3.3 1 1840 1875
Wombridge Canal East Shropshire 1.75 1[5] 1788 1921

Proposed canal routes[edit]

Active proposals[edit]

Former proposals[edit]

  • Grand Contour Canal: First proposed in 1943, was intended to connect the major industrial centres of London, Bristol, Southampton, Coventry, Birmingham, Nottingham, Derby, Chester, Manchester, Blackburn, Bradford, Hartlepool and Newcastle.
  • London to Portsmouth canal: Proposed on several occasions, this route would utilise existing canals and rivers, with new links constructed, to provide an overland route between the cities of London and Portsmouth, removing the need to enter the English Channel.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ M=midlands, EA=East Anglia, NE=North-East etc.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j now part of the Grand Union Canal
  3. ^ Main line, incl old main line and branches
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i part of Birmingham Canal Navigations
  5. ^ a b c d e f g inclined planes
  6. ^ South Yorkshire
  7. ^ Total holdings 1929
  8. ^ never officially closed but unusable till reopened
  9. ^ 72 from Liverpool to Wigan incl Leigh branch
  10. ^ connection to Limehouse Basin 1968
  11. ^ but passage still possible
  12. ^ only 1.1m remains open making 3.7m total including the Beeston cut
  13. ^ includes Bow Back rivers
  14. ^ the river section from Bramwith to Rotherham takes boats 229’8” long and 20’ wide
  15. ^ The Middlewich branch is 70’
  16. ^ The old Chester canal from Nantwich to Ellesmere Port is 9’
  17. ^ The Radstock arm closed in 1898
  18. ^ About 0.5m only, for moorings on the Kennet and Avon canal
  19. ^ also known as the Gravesend and Rochester Canal
  20. ^ Preston brook to Croxton Aqueduct is 9’ wide
  21. ^ a b Increased to 13' in 1933
  22. ^ includes Arun Navigation
  23. ^ also known as Tyrone Navigation
  24. ^ Originally the Ballyconnell andl Ballinamore Canals
  25. ^ an inclined plane was later used
  26. ^ originally known as “Edinburgh and Glasgow Union Canal”
  27. ^ includes the Falkirk Wheel
  28. ^ includes 3 inclined planes
  29. '^ Also known as the Torrington Canal
  30. ^ included an inclined plane
  31. ^ only part of this was built
  32. ^ "Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway". Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust. Retrieved 2007-09-23. 
  33. ^ "The Fens Waterways Link". Environment Agency Waterways Team. Retrieved 2007-09-23. 
  34. ^ "IWAAC Inland Waterway review 2006" (pdf). Inland Waterways Amenity Advisory Council. Retrieved 2007-09-23. [dead link]
  35. ^ "The Maidenhead River Project". Maidenhead Waterways Restoration Group. Retrieved 2007-09-23. 
  36. ^ "Upper Avon Extension (Proposed)". Inland Waterways Association. Retrieved 2007-09-23. [dead link]