Canoeing, kayaking and Stand-Up Paddle-boarding are all popular activities on the canal and require an Unpowered Boat Permit (see permit section below). Please note: British Canoeing membership and Canal and River Trust permits do not apply on the Grand Western Canal, so you will also need to buy a permit. Please take care around the swans that live on the canal – they can sometimes be quite aggressive during the spring and early summer, when on eggs or with young cygnets.

Motorised boating is recognised as an important leisure activity in the Country Park, and since early 2003, has been positively promoted as an attraction. Until then, very little motorised boating has occurred on the canal but in recent years improved facilities such as moorings, slipway, landing stages, pump out and water supply points, plus an extensive dredging programme, has meant that it is an increasingly attractive proposition for many boaters seeking a peaceful, lock-free waterway.

However, Devon County Council is committed to maintaining the superb natural environment and wildlife habitats found along the Canal. We seek to ensure that increased boating activity does not harm the natural value of the Canal. Therefore in addition to speed limits and engine size restrictions set out in the terms and conditions when boaters purchase their boat permit, we actively encourage environmentally-friendly boating and is keen to promote initiatives such as The Green Blue, backed by the British Marine Federation and the Royal Yachting Association. The Green Blue is an exciting environmental awareness initiative that is testing out practical projects, conducting research and providing advice, to help recreational boating go green.

Kayaking on the Grand Western Canal - by Clive WiltonFor more information on good boating practice please refer to The Boaters Handbook which has been developed by Canal and Rivers Trust and the Environment Agency. This provides clear information on how to handle a boat safely and effectively. Please also refer to the Navigational Notes below and the Rules and Regulations given on the back of the boat permit, which are specific to the Grand Western Canal.

This landlocked canal is a Category A waterway and is a wide canal. It has one Lift Bridge, a height restriction of just under 2 metres, and is totally lock free.

A permit must be bought in advance if you wish to explore the canal using your own boat. For prices and outlets that sell the permits please see below.

  • Boat permits

    Portable unpowered (any boat without an engine)

     Day Week Year
     £5  £12  £50

    Short-term powered boats
    (any powered boat without a paid mooring along the canal)

     Short-term powered boats Day 3 Days Week 6 Months Year
    Under 12ft £10 £20 £30 £80 £100
    12ft and over £15 £25 £35 £100 £130

    Moored boats
    (any boat with a paid mooring – currently only available from ‘Mid Devon Moorings’. Tel: 01884 252178 or from the Ranger Service with a mooring agreement).

    Moored boats 0 – 3
    3 – 6
    1 Year
    Under 30ft £100 £160 £250
    30ft – 45ft £120 £220 £320
    Over 45ft £140 £250 £350

    There is a 25% discount available for under-18-year-olds purchasing permits for portable un-powered boats. There is also a 25% discount for groups of 4 or more purchasing permits for portable un-powered boats, but this cannot be combined with the under 18 discount, above.

    Engine size must not exceed 2.5hp per metre length of boat so, for example, for a 4 metre long boat, the maximum engine size allowed is 10hp. The maximum speed limit is 4mph. All powered boats must have third party insurance to a value of £1m and all boats subject to the Boat Safety Scheme (those with internal fuel systems, gas or electricity systems) must have a valid boat safety certificate.

    Permits are available from the following outlets:

    Canal Ranger Service
    The Moorings, Canal Hill, Tiverton, Devon EX16 4HX
    Tel: 01884 254072
    Open: Mon – Fri 9am – 4.30pm (Often out of office, working within Country Park so please ring ahead.  Payment by cash or cheque only)

    Tiverton Canal Co.
    Gift Shop, The Wharf, Tiverton, Devon EX16 4HX
    Tel: 01884 253345
    Open: Easter to October

    Premier Wilcombe Stores  (unpowered boat permits only)
    42 Halsbury Road
    Tiverton, Devon, EX16 4AE
    Tel: 01884 253174
    Open Mon – Fri 6am – 9pm, Sat & Sun 7am – 9pm

    Minnows Touring Park
    Sampford Peverell, Devon EX16 7EN
    Tel: 01884 821770
    Open: March – October 

    Sampford Peverell Spar shop
    Lowertown, Sampford Peverell, EX16 7FB.
    Tel: 01884 829535

    Open: Mon- Fri 7am – 8pm, Sat 7.30am – 8pm, Sun 8am – 8pm


    By post

    Permits for unpowered boats, such as canoes, kayaks and rowing boats can be purchased by post by printing off, completing and sending in the unpowered boat permit application form along with a cheque. We will send back a permit and permit sticker within 3 days of receiving the form and cheque.

    Permits for powered boats can only be bought in person from the outlets above (excluding Premier Wilcombe Stores and Online). Please note that you will need your third party insurance details and Boat Safety Scheme details (if applicable) with you in order to purchase a permit.

  • Boat hire, moorings and services

    boats-in-basin2[1] Tiverton Canal Co.
    The Wharf
    EX16 4HX

    Tel: 01884 253345

    • Horse-drawn barge trips.
    • Boat Hire: rowing boats and Canadian canoes.
    • Services: Water fill up point, non-chemical toilet pump out and boat maintenance.

    Moorings at East Manley Mid Devon Moorings
    Orchard Farm
    East Manley
    Devon, EX16 4NJ
    Tel: 01884 252178
    Mob: 0774 900 1631

    • Small, private tranquil linear moorings – terms are for 1, 6 or 12 month periods.
    • We are unable to offer residential moorings.
    • Services: Maintenance, landing with electrical point, toilet pump-out and rubbish disposal, on-site car park, lawn area, water, fuel and gas, permits for moorings customers.
  • Slipway

    The Canal can be accessed via Boehill Slipway, close to M5 Junction 27. Post code: EX16 7EG

    Boehill Slipway The slipway is based on the Inland Waterways Association and the Canal and Rivers Trust guidelines for trail-boats and can accommodate boats no larger than 7.5 metres in overall length and 2.2 metres in width.

    There is no space for cars and trailers to park beside the slipway, but an arrangement has been made with the owner of the field halfway along the slipway access track for boaters cars and trailers to park in the field between the allotments and the track.  Please purchase your permit first from the Sampford Peverell Spar Shop and they will provide the combination for the padlock on the gate.

  • Navigational notes
    • BBC%20Countryfile%20Winning%20Picture%202012[1]It is imperative that boats pass the horse-drawn barge on the offside and must never come between the barge and the horse.
    • Boats must not moor on the towpath side between the Tiverton canal basin and East Manley Bridge between March and November as they will impede the horse-drawn barge.
    • Only outboard motors that are no larger than two and a half horsepower per metre length of boat are permitted.
    • The maximum speed limit for boats is 4mph and a breaking wash must not be created.
    • Motorised craft must have third party insurance to the value of £1m.
    • Compliance with the Boat Safety Scheme requirements is essential. Please refer to the Boat Safety Scheme for full details.
    • More information on boating is provided when purchasing a permit.