The 10 “Marvels of the Modern Waterways”

The 10 “Marvels of the Modern Waterways”

Marvels of the Modern Waterways

Robert Aickman, one of the co-founders of the Inland Waterways Association, proposed the list in his book Know Your Waterways as a method of highlighting significant feats of engineering on the canal network, as well as bringing attention to those at risk of becoming derelict


Current (2022) List Original (1946) List
  • Anderton Boat Lift: the ‘Cathedral of the Canals’ in Cheshire is a scheduled monument that lifts boats 50ft from the River Weaver to the Trent & Mersey Canal.
  • Bingley Five Rise Locks: the Grade I listed staircase locks on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in Yorkshire are one of the steepest in the UK.
  • Caen Hill Locks: the flight of 16 locks on the Kennet & Avon Canal in Wiltshire are a scheduled monument.
  • Pontcysyllte Aqueduct: the Grade I listed structure and World Heritage Site taking the Llangollen Canal over the River Dee valley in Wales is 1,000 feet long and 125 feet high.
  • Standedge Tunnel: the longest, deepest, and highest canal tunnel in the country carries the Huddersfield Narrow Canal under the Pennines in Yorkshire.

Additions for 2022

  • Foxton Locks: the Grade II* listed site on the Grand Union Canal Leicester Line is home to the longest, steepest staircase flight of locks in Britain.
  • Hatton Locks: famous ‘stairway to heaven’ flight of 21 locks on the Grand Union Canal in Warwickshire.
  • Little Venice: an oasis of tranquillity where the Grand Union Canal meets the Regent’s Canal in the heart of London.
  • Blisworth Tunnel and Stoke Bruerne: at almost two miles long, Blisworth is the longest wide, freely navigable tunnel in Europe, and just a short walk from the Northamptonshire picture postcard village of Stoke Bruerne, steeped in canal history.
  • Brecon Basin: a great place to start your journey along the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal, often regarded as Britain’s prettiest.

Removed from the original list in 2022

  • Barton Swing Aqueduct
  • Burnley Embankment
  • Anderton Boat Lift
  • Bingley Five Rise Locks
  • Caen Hill Locks
  • Pontcysyllte Aqueduct:
  • Standedge Tunnel
  • Barton Swing Aqueduct
  • Burnley Embankment