account arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right closecontact-us emailFacebookheart instagramjoin linkedin phonepinterestplaysearch twitteryoutube

Bridgwater & Taunton Canal

The Bridgwater & Taunton Canal runs from Bridgwater Docks to the River Tone at Taunton, though Oakley Lock connecting with the River Parrett is non-operational.

Bridgwater & Taunton Canal Map

Moored boats at the Bridgwater docks on the Bridgwater and Taunton canal.

Facts & Stats

13.5 miles


The length of the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal

7 locks



Following restoration work undertaken by British Waterways and Somersetshire County Council following a long campaign by IWA.

From Bridgwater Docks to the River Tone at Taunton

The Bridgwater & Taunton Canal was originally intended to be part of a scheme to link the Bristol and English channels but most of the route never came to fruition. The canal was used to transport coal and iron from South Wales and to transport agricultural produce out of the area.

After the canal was sold to the Bristol and Exeter Railway, traffic was discouraged and after 1907, the canal was mainly used for water supply. 

The canal was reopened in 1994, following restoration work undertaken by British Waterways (now Canal & River Trust) and Somersetshire County Council following a long campaign by IWA.

Waterway notes

Maximum boat sizes

  • Length: 55′ 2″ (16.8 metres) – Firepool Lock
  • Beam: 12′ 6″ (3.8 metres) – Higher Maunsell Lock
  • Height: 7′ 3″ (2.2 metres) – Huntworth Bridge (No 12) and Obridge Bridge (No 36)
  • Draught: 4′ 6″ (1.36 metres) – cill of Higher Maunsell Lock

Navigation authority

Canal & River Trust

Waterway underfunding

Hundreds of miles of waterways – along with their unique heritage and habitats – are currently starved of funding and rely on constant lobbying by us to safeguard their future.

Sustainable Boating

We want boating on canals and rivers to be more sustainable and – even though the current overall contribution to UK carbon emissions is very small – we want to help reduce emissions on the waterways.

Waterways Heritage at Risk

Britain’s canals and rivers are a unique, living heritage. But that heritage is at risk – from urban development, lack of protection, loss of skills and knowledge and climate change.

You can help Save Waterways Heritage.

Waterway restoration

Restoring the UK’s blue infrastructure – our inherited network of navigable canals and rivers – is good for people and places.

Local activities