Canal books, guides, magazines, DVDs & other resources
There is a wealth of printed and digital information about UK Waterways, from books about their 200 year history to 21st century digital cruising guides.
Books include canal maps and guides, waterway histories and instructional guides on topics such as roses and castles decoration, canal cruising skills and buying, owning and maintaining your own narrowboat.
A number of firms produce and market DVDs (and still some videos) with canal related topics. Cruising guides for individual canals or routes are increasingly available, including some about cruises most boaters might not want to attempt! DVDs cover historical topics, often including film footage shot on the canals during commercial operations, and there are instructional videos like Tony Lewery’s and Phil Speight’s on traditional canal boat painting and decoration.
There are a number of waterway magazines available from booksellers and newsagents and also many specialist magazines produced by canal societies and groups, see our listing of Canal Societies.
|Canal Books and Waterway Guides|
|Britain’s Waterways – A unique insight
Brian Roberts – GEOProjects
|Introduction to waterways covering all the usual and many less
usual canals. Excellent maps with walks etc. and packed with
|The Illustrated History of Canal and River Navigations
Edward Paget-Tomlinson – Sheffield Academic Press
|A comprehensive “inland waterways encyclopaedia” covering almost
every possible canal and river navigation related topic.
|The Canals of the British Isles
Charles Hadfield – David and Charles
|A series of carefully researched books covering waterway history
by geographical region.
Tony Lewery – David and Charles
|Lavishly illustrated celebration of the traditional narrow boat
paintwork. See Tony’s Folk Art Links page for more books.
L.T.C. Rolt – Eyre Methuen
|Rolt was one of the first to convert a narrow boat for cruising
and he and this book were largely responsible for the
re-awakening of interest in canals.
|The Narrow Boat Book
Tom Chaplin – Oxford University Press
|A paperback with lots of historic photographs of narrowboats and
|Waterways in the Making
Edward Paget-Tomlinson – the Landscape Press
|Paperback with extensive illustrations to show how the waterways
were planned, built and maintained.
|A Canal People – The Photographs of Robert Longden
Sonia Rolt – Sutton Publishing Ltd. 1997.
|“The best atmospheric photographs of the narrowboat world when
it was working.”
|The Number Ones … Roses and Castles
Robert Wilson and others – Robert Wilson
|A series of small well illustrated paperbacks covering many
historic canal subjects.
|Tales From The Old Inland Waterways
Euan Corrie – David and Charles
|Another of the many specialist canal books published by David
|Nicholson’s Ordnance Survey Guides
|Cruising guides covering English and Welsh canals by regions.|
|Cruising guides mostly covering popular circular routes.|
|Canal and Waterway DVDs|
|Video Active produce a set of cruising guides
describing features and places of interest with historical and
|Most cover a single canal or river navigation or circular route
and there are currently sixteen in the series. They include, the
Grand Union, Llangollen, Shropshire Union, South Oxford, Staffs.
and Worcs. Canals and the River Thames.
|Laurence Hogg Productions has a number of DVDs/
videos for inland waterways enthusiasts including;
|Floating Castles featuring Tony Lewery giving a detailed
practical demonstration of painting roses and castles.
Traditional Transformation is a complete step-by-step
introduction to the art of canal boat wood graining.
The Narrowboat Story, Working for the Company, The Manchester
Ship Canal are historical records
Operation Wash and Go and A Canal Too Far are records of two
narrowboat cruises through unfamiliar territory.
|Waterways, DVD/Video from Trent Television|| Features ex Blue Peter presenter and long time canals enthusiast John
Noakes celebrating the history and heritage of the canal
|Canal and Waterway Magazines|
|Canal Boat||Archant Specialist, 2 Jubilee Place, Kings Road, London SW3 3TQ
For subscriptions: 0870 830 4960 Overseas: 01858 438840
|Canal and Riverboat||Published monthly by A.E. Morgan Publications Ltd., PO Box 618,
Norwich, NR7 0QT, England email for subscription information to
|Canalcuttings||Penkridge, Staffordshire Tel: 07788458988 email:
|Towpath Talk||Media Centre, Morton Way, Horncastle, Lincs, LN9 6JR Tel 01507
529300 Fax 01507 529495
|Waterways World.|| Published monthly by Waterways World Ltd, 151 Station
Street, Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire DE14 1BG,England For
subscription information telephone +44 (0)1283 742970 or email
|Canal and Waterway Publishers|
|CruisePlan||Timing guides for canal cruising||01209 313424||
|First Mate Guides||Guidebooks||07850 email@example.com|
|Loose Chippings Books||Canal Books||01386 840435||
|The Eureka Partnership||Transcripts of Boat Inspections and Registrations||01296 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Canal and Waterway Media Producers|
|Contender Entertainment Group||Quality waterways and train travel videos||020 7907 3773||
|VideoActive Ltd||Canal Videos/DVD||01948 780564||
|Waterway Routes||DVDs and VHS of Canals and Waterways||07961 701702||