Bridgewater Canal

Bridgewater Canal

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WATERWAYS LICENCES

Many waterways in England and Wales require a licence to paddle. Check the licence section below to see if this is one. Save money on your licence and secure paddling insurance by joining British Canoeing. Use our easy step RapidJoin process. Open the slider to join.

COVID SAFETY

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Welcome to PaddlePoints Waterways. These pages focus on individual bodies of water across the UK. On this page you'll find a map, launches, routes, licensing information, paddle trail downloads, services, and more about one particular river or canal. For the full PaddlePoints with search bar follow this link.

PaddlePoints can be accessed without creating a free account, but registering will allow you to map your own public and private routes on this waterway. You will also be able to comment on others' points, upload images, and create Personal Information Markers to receive updates about new routes and points.

You can use the buttons above to access map information on other waterways. Simply toggle the waterway to display it. If you do, note that the content surrounding the map area will remain the same. Use the green file icon next to the toggle if you want to open another dedicated river or canal page with relevant licensing information.

Use the icon above to access the legend. All map points, rivers, and canals information will appear in this section here. Click or tap a point on the map to display the information. Actual routes will appear on the map.

Canal Licensing Information

Further Information

The The Bridgewater Canal Company Limited manage this waterway and British Canoeing members are covered to paddle here though their membership. Stand up paddleboards are not currently permitted on this waterway.

People often call the Bridgewater Canal the first true canal in Britain. And, just to be clear, it is nowhere near the town of Bridgewater in Somerset.

This North-East canal links Runcorn to Leigh along a 39-mile stretch. It provides a brilliant day out for walkers to cyclists, anglers, paddlers and pleasure boaters alike.

It was built over 250 years ago by the Duke of Bridgewater, famed as the ‘father of British inland navigation’. Its construction was for the transportation of goods during the industrial revolution.

At its peak, over 3 million tonnes of traffic used it, but you can breathe a sigh of relief. Those kinds of commercial traffic jams are a thing of the past! Ducks and geese are the most common users now of the canal.

Things to see on the Bridgewater Canal

Along this scenic route you will notice the Barton Swing Aqueduct which passes over the Manchester Ship Canal.

As you paddle along you will also spot the Barton Aquaduct, considered a significant feat of Victorian civil engineering.

It’s an area rich with country estates, both privately and publicly owned. These include Walton Hall & Gardens and the National Trust owned Dunham Massey. A great place to explore the area from a different viewpoint.

This canal is included in the waterproof Manchester trails maps. Click here to purchase.