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Lancaster Canal

Type:Canal / Waterway / Marina

Canal and River Trust, NW Area office, Waterside Drive, Wigan,, Lancashire, WN3 5AZ

Tel: 0303 040 4040

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Lancaster Canal

One of the most scenic canals now joined to the network via the Ribble Link, this gentle waterway offers wonderful views of the Silverdale coast, Forest of Bowland and rolling countryside of Wyre. Built to carry trade between Kendal and Preston, Lancaster Canal is now a haven for wildlife. The towpath stretches over 27 miles and is ideal for peaceful countryside walks.

The Lancaster Canal is unique. Being a contour canal (built along the natural lie of the land), it has 41 miles without locks. This is the longest stretch in the country, and in fact the only locks on the main length are derelict! These are at Tewitfield, the southernmost point of the Northern Reaches, and as such are part of the £50 million restoration scheme to reopen the 14 miles of canal to Kendal.

Though the canal was once busy with cargoes from Kendal, Preston and Lancaster, it was only connected to the national waterway network by the Millennium Ribble Link in 2000.

A waterbus now runs on the canal in the summer months, resurrecting a 200-year old tradition. Enjoy a trip between Carnforth and Lancaster by canal, with connecting bus and train services or a short trip from Lancaster to the Aqueduct and back. http://www.budgietransport.co.uk/page/60/Lancaster-Canal-Packet-Boats.htm

Visit https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/canals-and-rivers/lancaster-canal for whole host of great information, including events, walks to download and attractions on route.

Lancaster and Penny Street Basin
The Lancaster Canal runs through the heart of Lancaster. So, shop till you drop then relax in a pub or café by the water's edge!
Lancaster City Council car park, Auction Mart, Thurnham Street, Lancaster, LA1 1XT
Distance: 0.2 miles

Lune Aqueduct
The Lune Aqueduct is one of the 'Seven Wonders of the Waterways', a masterpiece of civil engineering. 202 metres (664 feet) long, it carries Lancaster Canal 16 metres (53 feet) above the River Lune. It was designed by John Rennie and constructed by Alexander Stevens in 1797. The aqueduct consists of five 21 metre (70 foot) semi-circular arches.
Car park - Caton Road, Lancaster, LA1 3PE
Distance: 1.3 miles

Glasson Basin
An evocative site boasting boats of all shapes and sizes, Glasson Basin is a charming place to wander around with plenty of local facilities.
West Quay, Glasson Dock, Lancaster, LA2 0DB
Distance: 3.8 miles


Book Tickets

Opening Times

Lancaster Canal (1 Jan 2024 - 31 Dec 2024)

* Towpath is tarmac surfaced from Lancaster to Carnforth, and is also a cyclepath.




  • Outdoor


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