Canoeing Through Plants

Where to Canoe

Where to Canoe

The UK has thousands of miles of rivers, canals and coastline to explore - canoeing is the ideal way to get close up and discover the British countryside and coast.

If you have some experience and own a canoe, you can explore the waterways without any instruction. It is best to start on easy rivers or canals and work up gradually to rougher waters.

Canoeing on Canals

There are over 3,000 miles of canal to explore in the UK. These 'water highways' are an ideal environment to learn on and most people will have a canal near them. but you will need a licence.

Canoeing on Rivers and Lakes 

The UK's rivers and lakes provide great canoe opportunites for both recreational and competitive paddlers. Rivers are graded according to an International Grading System 1-6, with grade 1 representing calmer rivers, but not all inland water is open to canoers as some is privately owned and the law on access/navigation rights is unclear. Before you set off on your trip please contact The British Canoe Union who has an Access Officer in each region who can advise you about local canoeing waters

Get a Licence

You will need a licence to paddle on the inland waterways. These can be purchased as part of British Canoe Union (BCU) membership, or from one of the three organisations which runs Britain's waterways. 


Map Your Route

If you want a pre-planned route see the BCU's canoe trails, or if would prefer to plan your own route, view a map of the UK's waterways

Canoeing on the Sea

The coastline of Britain provides superb kayaking water, some of which is remote with spectacular scenery - off shore islands, sea cliffs, wildlife. There are no restrictions, but coastal kayaking demands knowledge and skill. New paddlers are strongly advised not to embark upon any coastal cruise without adequate personal ability, training and knowledge.

Get some training

Explore the UK's waterways and coast in confidence with expert canoe tutition from British Marine approved training providers.

Video - See the ways of the Great Glen