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Bude Canal

There are two parts of the Bude Canal: the Barge Canal (which was largely restored in 2007 to 2009) and Tub Boat Canal, for which there are no plans for restoration.

Restoration and Conservation

The first 2 miles from Bude inland was a broad canal, with a Sea Lock and two barge locks.  This section of canal is open, but is obstructed by the lowered Rodds Bridge, just above the Sea Lock.   There is a local campaign to have this bridge restored, and a slipway built.

The remainder was a tub boat canal including 6 inclined planes. Amongst these, Hobbacott inclined plane was the largest with a plane length of 935 feet and a vertical rise of 225 feet.

At Helebridge Basin, the bottom 50 yards of the Marhamchurch inclined plane has been cleared to show how the broad canal changed to the tub boat system.  There are no plans to restore the tub boat canal, but Bude Canal & Harbour Society, supported by IWA West Country Branch, campaigns to preserve the remaining structures and public access to them.

Things to do nearby

Facts & Stats

35.5 miles

(57.1 km)

The length of the Bude Canal when it was in water.



Having been completed in 1823, the canal was then closed with the end of the tub boat operation.

433 feet

(132 m)

The height the Bude Canal rose from sea level.

Waterway restoration

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

New waterways add value

The advantages of the proposed waterways far exceed leisure boating alone. They incorporate a nature reserve, footpaths and cycle ways, the potential to improve flora and fauna and will contribute to the health and wellbeing of locals and visitors.

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.