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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updated on 4/11/20

The Country Park remains open subject to ongoing social distancing and self isolation guidance. However, following the government announcement of a second lockdown from Thursday 5th November, there will be temporary restrictions placed on some recreational activities. In the absence of any specific government guidance relating to angling and boating, we will be adhering to guidance provided by the major industry bodies and representative groups. We will update this page if and when further guidance is provided.

The table below summarises the current situation with regard to facilities and activities within the Country Park during the second lockdown commencing on 5th November:

Facilities and businesses
Public Toilets (Canal Basin, Tiverton)Open
Play Park (Canal Basin, Tiverton)Open
Canal Visitor Centre (Canal Basin, Tiverton)Closed
Tiverton Canal Co (Canal Basin, Tiverton)Closed for the winter
Canal Tea Rooms and Gardens
(Canal Basin, Tiverton)
Closed for the winter
Trim Trail (Sampford Peverell Picnic Site)Open
Canal car parksAll open
Recreation activities

Walking, dog-walking and cycling 

Walking, dog-walking and cycling are allowed as usual, subject to current rules on taking outdoor recreation which means you should only leave home to use the towpath with members of your own household, your support bubble or with one other individual (maintaining social distancing). Travel to undertake outdoor recreation should be minimised.

Angling

Angling is allowed subject to current lockdown rules on taking outdoor recreation, which means you can only leave home to fish with members of your own household, your support bubble or with one other individual (maintaining social distancing).  Fishing matches are prohibited.  Travel to undertake outdoor recreation should be minimised.  More information is provided on The Angling Trust’s website.  Angling permits are required as usual – see Fishing page for more details.

Boating

Unpowered boating (kayaks, canoes, SUPs etc) is allowed as a form of exercise, but current rules mean that you can only leave home to paddle with members of your own household, your support bubble or with one other individual (maintaining social distancing). Travel to undertake outdoor recreation should be minimised. Boat permits are required as usual – see Boating page for more details.

Powered boating is not allowed during the lockdown unless it can be shown to be essential.  This guidance is based on the position that has been adopted by the Canal and Rivers Trust (which manages most of canals in England and Wales).  Given that no boats are lived aboard on the Grand Western Canal, there are almost no reasons why cruising could be considered essential.  The one exception envisaged is for some narrowboats which are booked to be craned back on to the canal during November following maintenance work, to return directly to their moorings at East Manley Bridge.  Periodic checks to ensure moored boats remain afloat and weathertight would be regarded as essential by Canal management.

 

We are asking that social distancing guidelines are followed at all times, staying at least 1m apart from others and 2m when possible, and keeping dogs under control. Please do not congregate on the towpath and allow space for others to pass.

The Canal Ranger Service has continued to work full-time throughout the year, mainly focusing on mowing the edges of the towpath, to maximise the available width; and operating the weed boat, to ensure the canal channel is as clear as possible. Please continue to be kind and considerate to other Country Park users and to the canal’s wildlife.


  • gnet-hatched-from-a-nest-in-my-garden-Anthony-Nixon
  • Pond dipping by Jo Roberts
  • Mid Devon Moorings
  • Crownhill picnic site
  • Canal Basin by (Phil Brind)
  • Play park kids by Mark Baker

The Grand Western Canal Country Park and Local Nature Reserve meanders for 11 and a quarter miles through beautiful countryside and quiet villages between the market town of Tiverton and the hamlet of Lowdwells (near the Somerset border).

The park features:
  • Horse drawn barge trips
  • Cafés
  • Canal themed play park
  • Visitor centre
  • Boat hire
  • Marina moorings (non residential)
  • Gift shop
  • Public toilets
  • Picnic sites
  • Car parks

Horse-drawn barge on canal (Christian Schoter)

The canal’s story covers over 200 years of fascinating heritage, with many of its original features and buildings still surviving. Many people know the park locally as the ‘Tiverton Canal’. However, the Canal is probably best known for the horse drawn barge, Tivertonian, run by the Tiverton Canal Co. that has been taking visitors for a leisurely cruise for more than 40 years.

Swans and cygnets on the Canal by Ebear Bridge

Owned by Devon County Council and managed as both a Country Park and a Local Nature Reserve, the park is a haven for wildlife as it offers a range of habitats including woodland, hedgerows, open water and ponds.

A well surfaced towpath adjacent to the Canal, provides ample opportunities for walking, running and cycling. Rangers have installed lots of benches throughout the park, to provide ideal places for visitors to sit and enjoy the peace and quiet.

Families visiting the park can learn about the Canal’s history in our interactive Visitor Centre or enjoy playing on the Canal themed Play Park at the Canal Basin. Alternatively, if you’re venturing further along the Canal, then why not enjoy a picnic at one of our many picnic sites or have fun at the Sampford Peverell Trim Trail.

Activities such as boating, canoeing, kayaking and stand-up paddle-boarding are all popular on the canal. The park also offers a quiet and relaxing venue for angling, and is especially noted for its summer tench fishing. Please note: You will need to purchase a permit in advanced to do these activities within the Country Park.

To help you plan your visit to the Country Park, please download our Visitor Information Guide.

 


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