31 March 2021

With stay local and boating restrictions due to ease from the 12th April, you may be planning places to visit this summer, and we’re here to help.

We’ve expanded our list of Silver Propeller Challenge locations to get more people out on the water and see more of the far flung reaches of our wonderful waterways.

Whether you prefer a boat, canoe, paddleboard, or a mix of craft your challenge is to experience 20 different places on our list from the water. In some locations you can hire or hop on a trip boat.

Five new locations have been added to Silver Propeller Challenge list for 2021, two in Scotland, two in the North West and one in the Midlands. As with the rest of the Silver Propeller locations, these are stunning, yet quieter parts of the network. The places to visit fall into three categories:

  • Cruise it or lose it – waterways which see very few visiting boats
  • Knocking on the door – where navigable waterways meet restoration works, proposed link projects and currently unnavigable sections
  • Moor please – restored sections of canals

The Kelpies

Moor please

The Kelpies, Grangemouth, where the Forth & Clyde Canal meets the Firth of Forth is one of two new Silver Propeller locations in Scotland. The Kelpies and the Forth and Clyde Extension – the Queen Elizabeth II Canal – linking the canal to the Firth of Forth were officially opened by the Queen on 5th July 2017. Towering 100ft above the Canal, the Kelpies are a pair of horses’ heads, representing the heavy horses which pulled boats and cargo along the towpaths of the Forth & Clyde and Union Canals in their heyday.

Bowling Basin

Cruise it or lose it

Visit Bowling Basin, where the Forth & Clyde Canal meets the Firth of Clyde, and enjoy staggering views ‘doon the watter’. Bowling Basin, at the west end of the canal, has become a popular tourist destination following regeneration work, with the iconic swing railway bridge and abandoned tracks now transformed into a linear park, but we would like to encourage more waterbourne visitors.


Knocking on the door

The Runcorn Branch of the Bridgewater Canal used to link to the Mersey and later, the Manchester Ship Canal via two sets of locks. This location has been chosen to highlight the Runcorn Locks Restoration Society’s plans to reopen the link to the Manchester Ship Canal, creating two new cruising rings.

Ashton Basin

Cruise it or lose it

Ashton Basin is now the Southern terminus of the Lancaster Canal. The Ribble Link to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal joins the waterway near Bridge 16 but few boats venture all the way to Ashton Basin. This location has been chosen to encourage more boats to use this section of waterway.

Coventry Basin

Cruise it or lose it

Visit the terminus of the Coventry Canal at Bishop Street Basin. This location has been chosen to celebrate Coventry being the 2021 City of Culture and to encourage more boats to take the detour down this under used dead end. The Canal Art Trail, 15 pieces by local artists, extends along the last 5.5 miles of the Coventry canal.

Find out more about our Silver Propeller Challenge.

New Silver Propeller Challenge Locations

Boats in Bowling Basin, Forth & Clyde Canal

See the latest guidance on Covis-19 and using the inland waterways.