Grand Western Canal

Grand Western Canal

LaunchesPublic RoutesKnown HazardsParking


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Canal Licensing Information

Licence Required?

Yes - but not included in British Canoeing Membership

License Authority

Devon County Council

Further Information

The Grand Western Canal requires a licence which is not included in British Canoeing membership but can be purchased from

An opportunity to paddle through beautiful Devonshire countryside with no locks or portages. The Grand Western Canal was born of an idea to link the Bristol and English Channels. Never entirely completed it was instead used to supply limestone and coal to lime kilns.

Although spring fed there is no noticeable current but it is exposed in places and can catch the wind. The water is shallow in places, especially towards the tunnel area. There is also heavy annual growth of weed, which can make paddling difficult in the hot summer months. When planning a paddle you can contact the Canal Ranger Service on 01884 254072 to check on potential weed conditions.

The Grand Western Canal was built for good sized barges. Broad and once deep, the Grand Western swings through the red earth of the Devon countryside as if it belongs there.

The canal is now designated as a Country Park and is owned by Devon County Council and its horse drawn barges are a popular attraction.

Tiverton is a lovely market town, with many pubs, restaurants and a local museum. It is the tourism centre for Mid Devon and the Exe Valley.