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Royal Military Canal

The Royal Military Canal was constructed as a defence against invasion during the Napoleonic War. The Canal links Hythe near Folkestone to Cliff End near Hastings.

Map showing the Royal Military Canal

Facts & Stats

28 miles


Original length of the canal, which is still walkable from end to end.

1 lock

(Iden Lock)

The lock connects the eastern section of the canal to the River Rother.


Year opened

Built as a defence against invasion during the Napoleonic War

Waterway notes

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