Canals of The United Kingdom

The canals of the United Kingdom are a major part of the network of inland waterways in the United Kingdom. They have a colourful history, from use for irrigation and transport, through becoming the focus of the Industrial Revolution, to today's role for recreational boating. Despite a period of abandonment, today the canal system in the United Kingdom is again in increasing use, with abandoned and derelict canals being reopened, and the construction of some new routes. Most canals in the United Kingdom are maintained by the Canal & River Trust, previously British Waterways, but a minority of canals are privately owned.

The majority of canals in the United Kingdom can accommodate boats with a length of between 55 and 80 feet and are now used primarily for leisure. There are a number of canals which are far larger than this including New Junction Canal and the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal which can allow use for boats with a length of up to 230 feet. One purpose built ship canal exists in the United Kingdom, the Manchester Ship Canal, which is incomparable in size to any other canal in the United Kingdom. Upon opening in 1894 it was largest ship canal in the world, and permitted ships with a length of up to 600 feet to navigate its 36 mile route.

Read more about Canals Of The United Kingdom:  History of Commercial Carrying, Growth of Leisure Use, Present Status, Canal Boats, Canal Museums, Canal Engineers

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