Share the joys of spring on Britain’s canal towpaths

Share the joys of spring on Britain’s canal towpaths

It’s been a chilly winter; many of us in the UK have become used to the bite of cold air on our faces and are now longing for some warm sun, fresh smells of spring and the sound of birdsong. Where better to find this than the wonderful waterways of England and Wales?

The Canal & River Trust are custodians of over 2,000 miles of waterways across the country and work hard to maintain and make accessible, these thriving, open and active spaces for everyone.

Perfect places to explore

Whether you enjoy boating, fishing, walking, jogging or cycling, canal towpaths can be the perfect places to explore nature and the great outdoors, commute to work, exercise or simply relax.

With such a diverse range of users and activities on the waterways and towpaths, The Canal & River Trust have put together, with the help of their supporters, a common sense guide to sharing towpaths and making sure everyone gets the best out of them.

The Canal & River Trust Towpath Code:

  1. Share the space: be mindful of others, keep dogs under control, and clean up after them.
  2. Drop your pace: pedestrians have priority on the towpaths, so cyclists need to be prepared to slow down; if you’re in a hurry, consider using an alternative route for your journey.
  3. It’s a special place: the waterways are living history, with boats, working locks and low bridges, so please give way to waterway users and be extra careful where visibility is limited.

Cyclists on side of canal - Free for commercial use - No attribution required - Credit Pixabay

Walking the towpaths

If walking, in particular, is your thing, then canal towpath walks have a lot to offer. They are often accessible and the paths are well maintained and easy underfoot.

You can do walks of varying lengths and if you have limited fitness or mobility they may well suit your needs; some routes are also suitable for wheelchair users. What’s more, there is a wealth of beautiful scenery, history and nature to take in along the way.

The Canal & River Trust have a map of suggested walking routes on their website, which can be viewed at: