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Ashton Basin, Lancaster Canal

Accessible to all craft kept on the connected inland waterways

Silver Propeller Challenge



Visit Ashton Basin in Preston at the current southern terminus of the Lancaster Canal by boat or canoe.

The Ribble Link to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal joins near Bridge 16, but few boats venture south from here all the way to Ashton Basin.  The location has been chosen to encourage more boats to use this section of waterway.

A photo of your boat by the bridge over the entrance to the basin (or by the bund at the far end if you are able to get there) would be good proof of your visit.

Notes on the Lancaster Canal

The  Lancaster Canal was built to link Manchester, Preston, Lancaster and Kendal, but the short stretch across the Ribble valley was never finished, and the two sections of constructed canal were connected by a tramway until the latter was abandoned.  The Lancaster Canal remained separated from the main network until Britain’s newest waterway, the Millennium Ribble Link, was opened in 2002.

At present, the northern reaches of the canal from Tewitfield to Kendal are derelict with restoration proposed.  About a miles of canal in Preston is also derelict and not proposed for restoration.  There is a branch to Glasson plus a tidal sea lock.  The Ribble Link joins the main line 1.5 miles (2.4km) out of Preston, and connects to the Ribble Estuary, and then to the connected national network via the river Douglas and Rufford Branch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.

[The photo shows Ashton Basin in Preston  –  by Tony Worrall]

Notes for visitors


Postcode: PR2 2DB

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Boat Dimensions

The maximum size of boat that can navigate the Lancaster Canal is:

Length: 77′ 11″ (23.75 metres) – Lock 2 Glasson Branch (no structural length restrictions on the navigable main line).
Beam: 16′ 0″ (4.88 metres) – Bridge 79 (Cockerham Road Bridge)
Height: 8′ 2″ (2.50 metres) – bridge at Lock 2 Glasson Branch
Draught: 4′ 6″ (1.37 metres) – cill at Lock 2 Glasson Branch

Access to the Lancaster Canal via the Ribble Link is tidal, subject to a planned timetable for passage in each direction and must be booked in advance.
The Sea Lock at Glasson is operated by Lancaster Ports Commission.

Canoeing, Boat Hire and Trip Boats

Canoeing is encouraged on the Lancaster Canal with a Canal & River Trust licence or British Canoeing membership.

There are no trip boats or boats for hire in the vicinity.

Challenge Location

Ashton Basin

Lancaster Canal

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