Monday, 16 January 2012

UK Canal Maps

I love messing around with maps. when it comes down to the canals, there is a great deal of map information on both the Web and in print. This posting only scratches the surface.

Maps of the Inland Waterways for both rivers and canals are covered by several publications such as the Nicholson's Guides. There are a set of seven guides in the full series Nicholson's. Very detailed with extensive additional information. The map scale is two inches to the mile.

Guide No 1 - Grand Union, Oxford & the South East.
Covering: Birmingham, Gas St Basin to Salford Junction. Digbeth Branch, Oozells St, Icknield Port and Soho Loops. Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation. Regents Canal, Limehouse to Little Venice. Grand Union Canal, Brentford to Salford Junction. Aylesbury Arm, Marsworth to Aylesbury. Northampton Arm, Gayton Junction to Northampton. Paddington Arm, Bulls Bridge Junction to Paddington. Slough Arm, Cowley Peachey Junction to Slough.  Wendover Arm, Bulbourne Junction to Wendover. Hertford Union Canal. Limehouse Cut. Lee Navigation, Thames to Hertford. Stort Navigation, Fields Weir to Bishop's Stortford. Stratford Canal, Hockley Heath to Lowsonford. River Medway, Tonbridge to Rochester. Oxford Canal, Oxford to Hawkesbury Junction. Coventry Canal. River Thames, Brentford to Thames Flood Barrier.

The full set of guides are:
Guide No 2 - Severn, Avon & Birmingham.
Guide No 3 - Birmingham & the Heart of England.
Guide No 4 - Four Counties & the Welsh Canals.
Guide No 5 - North West & the Pennines.
Guide No 6 - Nottingham, York & the North East.
Guide No 7 - River Thames & the Southern Waterways.

There are also Pearsons "Canal Companions" set of guides. With detailed information. The map scale is two inches to the mile.

Pearson - Cheshire Ring.

Covering: Macclesfield Canal, Hall Green to Marple Junction. Peak Forest Canal, Whaley Bridge to  Bugsworth Basin and Portland Basin. Ashton Canal, Portland Basin to Manchester. Rochdale Canal, Manchester Castlefield to Sowerby Bridge. River Irwell, Cathedral to Salford Quays. Bridgewater Canal, Manchester to Runcorn and Leigh. Trent and Mersey Canal, Preston Brook to Hardings Wood. Leeds Liverpool Canal, Burscough to Wigan. Ribble Link. Weaver Navigation, Winsford to Weston Point Docks.

Other guides include:
Four Counties Ring.
South Midlands and Warwickshire Ring.
Stourport Ring.
Kennet and Avon, River Thames.
Oxford, Grand Union.
Pennine Waters.
Welsh Waters.
Severn and Avon.

Richlow also do guides to certain northern canals and I own one myself.

Coverage Guides include:
Ashton Canal.
Chesterfield Canal.
Huddersfield canals.
Lincs Waterways.
Rochdale Canal.
Tidal Trent.

There are other Internet based planing guides such as CanalPlan which you can use to plan a trip and print off a full itinerary. Nick's Canal Route Planner, CanalPlanAC is an interactive guide to the inland waterways of Europe, it plans journeys, calculates the length (distance, number of locks, time taken etc) of your trip and shows gazetteer information on places along the way (pubs, shops and museums). It has an extensive collection of waterway photographs.

If you have never used CanalPlan software before, I recommend that you read the introduction before making your first stab at a trip itinerary.

Canal Route Planer

Then there are the London Underground Style maps that have been produced as labours of love by various people. Which give a good overall feeling for the canals, but unlike detailed maps do not give a real representation of distance. The Underground style map is geographically very inaccurate it does however make very easy reading for trip planning.

For download.
Canal Rings (3450 x 4453 png file)
Canal System (3450 x 4453 png file)

Aston colourpress


Tuesday Night Club

Waterways From the Air.


Coverage includes:
Aire and Calder Navigation, Andover Canal and Salisbury and Southampton Canal, Ashby Canal, Ashton Canal, Birmingham Canal Navigations, Bridgewater Canal, Bridgwater and Taunton Canal, Caistor Canal, Calder and Hebble Navigation, Chard Canal, Charnwood Forest Canal, Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation, Chesterfield Canal, Coombe Hill Canal, Coventry Canal, Derby Canal, Driffield Navigation, Droitwich Canal, Exeter Canal, Foss Dyke, Gloucester and Sharpness Canal, Grand Surrey and Croydon Canals, Grand Union Canal, Grand Western Canal, Grantham Canal, Hereford and Gloucester Canal, Horncastle Canal, Huddersfield Canals, Kennet and Avon Canal, Lancaster Canal, Lee and Stort Navigation, Leeds and Liverpool Canal, Leven Canal, Lydney and Pidcocks Canals, Macclesfield Canal, Manchester Bolton and Bury Canal, Manchester Ship Canal, Market Weighton Canal, Melton Mowbray Navigation and Oakham Canal, Middle Level Navigations, Monmouthshire Brecon and Abergavenny Canal, Newcastle-Under-Lyme Canal, Norfolk Broads, North Walsham and Dilham Canal, Nottingham Canal, Oxford Canal, Peak Forest Canal, Pocklington Canal, Ripon Canal, River Great Ouse, Rochdale Canal, Sankey Canal, Scotland Canals, Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation, Shrewsbury Canal, Shropshire Union Canal, Somerset Coal Canal, Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal, Stourbridge Canal, Stratford-upon-Avon Canal, Tavistock Canal, Thames and Severn Canal, Trent and Mersey Canal, Uttoxeter Canal, Weaver Navigation, Wey and Godalming Navigations, Wiltshire and Berkshire Canal, Witham Navigation and Navigable Drains, Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


For purchase from IWA.
Chris Clegg
Canal Time Map The map is a single laminated A4 sheet.

London Tube Map



  1. Great post! I've been clicking on the links for the last hour... thanks for doing all the research to bring the information together - fascinating stuff.

  2. Hi Nick,

    I enjoyed spending some time perusing your blog. I know that I would enjoy talking with you about the "old days" on the canal.

    Enjoy the refurb of the latest boat, I shall be reading with interest your exploits.



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