Boating is recognised as an important leisure activity in the Country Park, and since early 2003, has been positively promoted as an attraction. Until recently very little motorised boating has occurred on the canal but in recent years improved facilities such as a boat hire, moorings, slipway, 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 encourages 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 new 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 British Waterways 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.

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. (Please note: British Canoe Union membership does not apply on this waterway, so you will also need to buy a permit)

  • 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)

    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 Hire Boats and Moorings’. Tel: 01884 252178 or from the Ranger Service with a mooring agreement).

    0 – 3
    3 – 6
    1 Year
    Under 30ft £80 £130 £200
    30ft and over £100 £180 £280

    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:

    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)

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

    Best-One Convenience Store
    4 New Parade, Anstey Crescent, Canal Hill, Tiverton, Devon EX16 4JP
    Tel: 01884 252536
    Open: Monday-Saturday 7am – 9pm Sunday 8am – 8pm

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

    Holcombe Rogus Village Shop
    Pound Hill, Holcombe Rogus
    Tel: 01823 672693

    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.

    Currently permits for powered boats can only be bought in person from the outlets above. 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: day boats, rowing boats and canadian canoes.
    • Services: Water fill up point, non-chemical toilet pump out and boat maintenance.


    moorings-eastmanley[1]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: Maintenace landing with electrical point, toilet pump-out and rubbish disposal, on-site car park, lawn area, water, fuel and gas.

  • Slipway

    boatfromslipway[1]The canal can be accessed via Boehill Slipway, close to M5 Junction 27. The slipway is based on the Inland Waterways Association and British Waterways guidelines for trail-boats and can accommodate boats no larger than 7.5 metres in overall length and 2.2 metres in width. Car and trailer storage is available for a moderate charge at Minnows Caravan Park close to the slipway. A boater’s water supply and chemical toilet emptying facilities are available at Minnows Caravan Park, Mid Devon Boat Hire and Moorings and also at the Grand Western Horseboat Company at its operating base in Tiverton basin. Small charges are also made for these facilities.

    This landlocked Canal is full width, has one Lift Bridge, a height restriction of just under 2 metres, and is totally lock free.

  • Navigational notes

    • BBC%20Countryfile%20Winning%20Picture%202012[1]It is imperative that boats pass the Horsedrawn barge on the offside and must never come between the barge and the horse.
    • It is imperative that boats do not moor on the towpath side between the Tiverton canal basin and East Manley Bridge between March and November as they will impede the horsedrawn 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.
    • The current limit to navigation for motorised craft is Waytown Tunnel, however the remaining section to Lowdwells is worth a walk to enjoy the striking canal scenery.
    • More information on boating is provided when purchasing a permit.