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Caledonian Canal

The Caledonian Canal runs from Corpach (just north of Fort William) on the west coast of Scotland, through the Great Glen, to Inverness on the east coast.

Map of the Caledonian Canal

Facts & Stats

60 miles

(96.6 km)

The length of the Caledonian Canal that is navigable.

29 locks

From Corpach to Inverness

It comprises a series of canals built to link lochs Ness, Oich, Lochy and Linhe. 

A survey was made in 1793 but the war with France eight years later led to the building of the canal as a means of avoiding privateers. By the time the canal was built, the war was over, but with the spectacular scenery, the canal was popular for pleasure cruising and it provided the safe passage it had originally been intended to during the First World War.

Waterway notes

Maximum boat sizes

  • Length: 150′ (45.7 metres)
  • Beam: 35′ (10.6 metres)
  • Height: 89′ 8″ (27.3 metres)
  • Draught: 13′ 6″ (4.1 metres)

Navigation authority

Scottish Canals

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.