What are Canoe Trails?

What are Canoe Trails?

Canoe Trails are a free resource that provide you with all the information necessary to set out on an adventure by yourself, with family or friends. They are a great way for people with some canoeing experience to find new and exciting places to paddle!

Our trails offer a huge amount of variety, from urban trails in city centres to rural routes through beautiful scenery.

As well as helping you find new places to paddle, we also include all the practical information you need; including maps and information such as where to park and the location of the nearest toilet. There’s even information about the history of the waterway you’re travelling on and the local sites of interest.

There are trail types for all abilities and experience, from short two-mile paddles to 30-mile treks, meaning there is something for everyone. Many of our trails are in canoeing hotspots meaning there is likely to be somewhere to hire kit if you haven’t yet invested in your own boat.


Trail Types

To help you work out which Canoe Trails are best suited to your ability and experience, we have graded all trails with a level indicator, shown below. 


If you can’t find a Trail to suit you, don’t worry, we frequently update the website with new trails so watch this space!

Canoe Trail grading



Flat water, distance up to two miles.


Flat water, distance up to 12 miles, close to urban areas.


Flat water, distance up to 20 miles, a fair balance of urban/rural.


Flat water distance up to 25 miles, more urban than rural can include tidal/flowing/open waters.


Flat water, distance up to 30 miles, more rural than urban can include tidal/flowing/open waters.


Cheshire - Peak Forest Canal - Marple to Whaley Bridge
                  - Peak Forest Canal Dukinfield Junction to Marple Bridge
                  - Bridgewater Canal Little Bollington to Keckwick Hill Bridge

Greater Manchester - River Mersey Heaton Mersey to Northenden
                                       - Bridgewater Canal - Barton upon Irwell to Leigh

North Yorkshire - River Tees - Tees Barrage to Surtees Bridge

Tyne and Wear - River Wear - Fatfield to North Hylton



Cheshire - River Dee - Farndon Bridge to Chester

Greater Manchester - River Mersey - Stockport to Sale

North Yorkshire - River Tees - Tees Barrage to Yarm

Northumberland - River Tweed


Cheshire - Macclesfield Canal

Cumbria - Windermere Lake
                 - Lake Coniston West Side
                 - Lake Coniston East Side
                 - Lake Coniston Circular
                 - Ullswater

Lancashire - River Douglas and Rufford Branch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal

Northumberland - River Coquet



Derbyshire - River Derwent - Darley Abbey to Derby

Leicestershire - Ashby Canal - Hinckley to Sutton Cheney Wharf

Lincolnshire - River Witham Brayford Pool Lincoln

Shropshire - River Severn Bridgenorth to Upper Arley
                      - Llangollen Canal - Ellesmere to Chirk

Staffordshire - Trent and Mersey Canal Alrewas to Fradley
                          - River Trent - Yoxall to Alrewas
                          - Wyrley and Essington Canal - Brownhills to Norton Canes
                          - Wyrley and Essington Canal - Brownhills to Chasewater

Warwickshire - Stratford Upon Avon Canal Trail


Nottinghamshire - River Trent - Holme Pierrepont to Clifton Weir

Staffordshire -Trent and Mersey Canal and River Trent Alrewas Circuit
                          -Trent and Mersey Canal Armitage to Fradley

West Yorkshire - River Aire Bingley

Warwickshire - Stratford Upon Avon to Bidford




Gloucestershire - Gloucester & Sharpness Canal- Purton to Slimbridge
                            - Gloucester & Sharpness Canal- Purton to Sharpness Return


Berkshire - Thames Valley Park to Henley Via St Patricks Stream
                  - Thames Valley Park Easy Circular

Cambridgeshire - River Cam and River Great Ouse – Cambridge to Ely
                            - River Cam – Cambridge to Grantchester Return

Devon - Grand Western Canal
            - River Exe and Exeter Ship Canal Loop 1 Exeter Quay to Salmonpool
            - River Exe and Exeter Ship Canal Loop 2 - Salmonpool to Countess Wear

Gloucestershire - River Severn Tewkesbury Round Trip
                             - Gloucester & Sharpness Canal- Purton to Splatt Bridge Return
                             - Gloucester & Sharpness Canal- Purton to Parkend Bridge

Hampshire - Basingstoke Canal Barley Mow, Winchfield to Odiham (Greywell Tunnel) Return
                     - Basingstoke Canal Crookham to Barley Mow, Winchfield and return
                     - Basingstoke Canal Ash Lock to Reading Road Wharf, Fleet
                     - River Wey & Godalming Navigations Guildford to Shalford

Norfolk - Broads Wroxham and Salhouse Broads
              - Broads Horning and Hoveton Little Broad (Black Horse Broad)
              - Ranworth Village, Malthouse and South Wroxham Broads

Oxfordshire - Wallingford to Pangbourne - River Thames

Surrey  - Guildford to St Catherines Lock

Wiltshire - Kennet & Avon Canal Wootton Rivers to Crofton
                 - Kennet & Avon Canal Honey Street to Wootton Rivers
                 - Kennet & Avon Canal Devizes to Honey Street

Bedfordshire - River Great Ouse - Kempston to Great Barford

Berkshire - River Thames - Hurley Lock to Maidenhead
                  - River Thames Pangbourne to Reading (Thames Valley Park)
                  - River Thames Reading to Henley
                  - Kennet and Avon Canal Aldermaston to Reading
                  - Kennet & Avon Canal - Newbury to Aldermaston
                  - Kennet and Avon Canal Hungerford to Newbury
                  - Kennet & Avon Canal - Crofton to Hungerford
                  - River Thames Wokingham Watersport Centre Via St. Patrick’s Stream Return

Essex - Chelmer & Blackwater Canoe Trail

Gloucestershire - River Severn - Haw Bridge to Tewkesbury

Isle of Wight - River Medina Isle of Wight

Norfolk - River Bure Horstead Mill – downstream towards Wroxham
               - Barton Broad and the Dilham Canal

Oxfordshire - River Thames Henley to Marlow

Somerset - Bridgewater and Taunton Canal

Surrey - River Wey Navigation Pyrford Lock to Weybridge Town Lock
              - River Wey Navigation Guildford to Pyrford
              - Wey & Godalming Navigations

Hampshire - Beaulieu River Hampshire

Kent - Tonbridge to Allington Trail

Surrey - River Thames - Hampton Court to Richmond Bridge
             - River Bure Horstead Mill – Upstream towards Buxton
             - River Thames - Hampton Court to Richmond Bridge

West Sussex  - River Arun - Pulborough to Arundel


Dorset - River Stour Christchurch, Dorset
We're always working on producing new trails and improving those we already have. If you have any feedback, additional information, photographs of our trails or suggestions of other places to feature, we'd love to hear your thoughts. Please contact tamsin.phipps@bcu.org.uk

Go Canoeing is a Canoe England initiative with funding and support from Sport England
If you would like more information about canoeing in other areas of the UK click here for Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland.

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