Royal Military Canal

Royal Military Canal

LaunchesPublic RoutesKnown HazardsParking


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Canal Licensing Information

Licence Required?

Yes - but not included in British Canoeing Membership

Further Information

Managed by: Folkstone and Hyth District Council.
The Royal Military Canal, between Seabrook Outfall and West Hythe Dam is controlled by Folkestone and Hythe District Council. You require both a permit and public liability insurance to use this section. As a British Canoeing member your membership covers you for Public Liability BUT you still must apply for a separate permit from the council.
The rest of the Canal from West Hythe Dam to the East Rother is controlled by the EA and no license is required.

The Royal Military Canal in Kent runs for 28 miles. It flows from near Folkestone, following the old cliff line bordering Romney Marsh. The canal meets the River Rother at the Lock Keepers Cottage just outside Playden.

Interestingly, the canal was first built as a defence against the possibly invasion of England during the Napoleonic Wars. Of course it was never used, but wildlife soon made the canal home instead. The canal is now a special site of scientific interest and home to kingfishers, marsh frogs and dragon fly species.

As you paddle along, you’ll notice small little brick buildings. These are pillboxes, erected in WW2 to prepare against possible German invasion.