Canoe Days Out

What Licence Do I Need?

The situation varies depending on where you are in the United Kingdom.

In Scotland, since 2005, there is a general right of access to all land and water provided that rights are exercised responsibly. The Scottish Canoe Association produce an excellent publication, "Key Points of the Access Code for Paddlers", which gives a quick reference guide to situation since 2005. You can download a copy here.

In England and Wales the situation is much more restrictive. In almost all cases you can paddle legally on tidal waters, though you may need to pay harbour dues; you can paddle on common law navigations such as the Wye below Hay-on-Wye and the Severn below Pool Quay near Welshpool, though a licence is needed below Stourport.

On most other waterways you will need a licence obtainable from the individual waterway authority (such as The Canal & Rivers Trust, The Environment Agency for the River Thames and the Basingstoke Canal Authority). Alternatively you can join Caoe England or canoe Wales.  Among the many other benefits, membership includes a Canal and Rivers Trust and Environment Agency licence that enables you to paddle on many of Britain's canals, statutory navigations, and on some private waterways.   The cost of an Adult Basic membership of Canoe England for 2013 is 37.00.

A more detailed list of the waterways covered by Canoe England membership is as follows:-