Sailing along our canals

By | Category: Travel news
Bliswort Canal Festival

At the Blisworth Canal Festival which shows just how popular the canals are © Canal & River Trust

For those of us living on the west side of our countries there has been a considerable change in the weather today. It is much cooler – even cloudy in some places – and rain is forecast later this week.

But the “damage” has been done.

For those of us who have headed for some slow, peaceful enjoyment by just saling along our canals there have been some surprises. Despite a very wet winter and spring, there are some restrictions imposed by a lack of water in some of the canals due to the lack of rain in last few months.

When the Canal and River Trust announced that it might have to close the Leeds and Liverpool Canal as from the end of last month the media concentrated on that statement. It didn’t follow through and say that there are restrictions on other canals as well.

Currently the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Rochdale Canal, Huddersfield Narrow Canal, the Peak Forest Canal and the Macclesfield Canal has some restrictions and on sections of the Grand Union and Oxford Canals, the trust is locking up gates at the end of the day to protect reservoir levels and enable back pumps to recirculate water so that it is available for those on the canals the following day.

A full list of restrictions and closures throughout the 2,000 mile plus network that the Trust operates plus a map of where they are can be found by clicking here or going to

At present the advice is to help conserve water by sharing locks, inviting oncoming boats through locks which are already set for them andmaking sure all gates and paddles are closed after use.

But of course, many day trippers don’t go through locks so they face no restrictions as do all those who don’t go on the water but enjoy the walks along towpaths and the environment.


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