Enjoy Britain's waterways with the Canoe England Licence
If you enjoy canoeing on river and canal navigations you will need a licence to do so.
Canoe England has teamed up with navigation authorities who manage the
waterways as listed below to offer members a great rate for a waterway
licence in England. Included in your Canoe England membership is a
licence to paddle over 4500km of river navigations and canals. Please
carry your Canoe England membership card with you at all times, as you
may be asked to show this to authorised navigation officials.
British Waterways has transferred to the Canal & River Trust
AINA – Association of Inland Navigation Authorities.
What the Waterways Can Offer
Many of England's inland waterways are ideal for canoeing - a sport that
can be enjoyed by families and individuals of all ages. The waterways
offer a variety of canoeing waters - some passing through wooded
cuttings like those on the Shropshire Union Canal, while others are
broad rivers navigations like the Trent, Thames and Severn. There are
excellent long distance routes for experienced canoeists, equally there
are plenty of quiet stretches for beginners.
Canoe England members are provided with a membership card which also
serves as the waterways licence. A lanyard is also provided for ease of
Clubs using the waterways listed below require a licence for each club
boat. Canoe England affiliated clubs can be provided with additional
licences by Canoe England at a considerable cost saving to buying
licences direct from the navigation authorities Current details are
included on the Club Affiliation form.
Where does my licence allow me to paddle 4500km of waterways?
All the Canal & River Trust canals and river navigations and the
following Association of Inland Navigation Authorities waterways
River Ancholme (Environment Agency)
- Basingstoke Canal (Basingstoke Canal Authority)
- Bridgewater Canal (Manchester Ship Canal Company)
- River Cam, Cambridge to Bottisham Lock (Cam Conservators)
- River Cam, below Bottisham Lock (Environment Agency)
- River Glen (Environment Agency)
- River Great Ouse below Kempston (Environment Agency)
- River Great Ouse Flood Relief Channel, between the Head sluice
lock at Denver and the Tail sluice at Saddlebow (Environment Agency)
- River Lark (Environment Agency)
- River Little Ouse below Brandon Staunch (Environment Agency)
- River Medway below Tonbridge (Environment Agency)
- River Nene below Northampton (Environment Agency)
- Norfolk & Suffolk Broads and Rivers Ant, Bure, Chet, Thurne,
Waveney, Wensum, Yare and associated Broads and Dykes (Broads
- River Avon (Stratford) from Alveston to Tewkesbury (Avon Navigation Trust)
- River Stour (Suffolk) below Brundon Milll, Sudbury (Environment Agency)
- River Thames - Cricklade Bridge to Teddington to include the
Jubilee River and Maidenhead Waterway (Environment Agency)River Welland
- Wey & Godalming Navigations (National Trust)
- River Wissey (Environment Agency)
And waterways under restoration:
Wilts and Berks Canal – restored sections only (Wilts and Berks Canal Trust)
Stroudwater Navigation – restored sections only (Cotswold Canal Trust)
River navigations where a licence is not required
There are a number of non-tidal rivers where navigation rights are
recognised and where boats are not a required to be licensed. Known
examples are the River Wye below Hay-on-Wye, River Lugg from Leominster,
River Severn between Pool Quay near Welshpool and Stourport, and River
Rother (East Sussex) from Robertsbridge.