Lancashire & Cumbria Branch

Blackburn Office Lock gates

Welcome to the pages of the Lancashire and Cumbria branch of the IWA.

We cover a wide area of North-West England and the whole of Scotland.

Included in our area is that part of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal from Lydiate ( Bridge 17 ) to Greenberfield Locks, including the Rufford branch.

Other canals in our area are the Lancaster Canal ( including the Ribble Link, Glasson branch and the Northern Reaches ), Ulverston Canal ( disused ), Forth & Clyde Canal, Union Canal, Crinan Canal and Caldonian Canal.

There is currently restoration work occurring on the Northern Reaches of the Lancaster where local volunteers and IWA's Waterway Recovery Group is extending the length that is in water towards Kendal.

We have a programme of talks running from September to April, to which everyone is welcome. These take place at Whittle-le-Woods, Chorley directions to the location can be found on the meeting venues page. During the summer months we hold occasional workparties.

The branch also produces a regular magazine Towing Path Topics.


Social Meetings 

We have a programme of talks running from September to April to which everyone is welcome. These take place at St Chad’s Parish Centre, 235 Town Lane, Whittle-le-Woods, Chorley, PR6 8AJ. See directions to the meeting venues.

See full events calendar

Please contact to book.

IWA North West Region Annual Social Event 2019

This will be held at St Chad’s Parish Centre on Saturday April 6th 2019

The programme of events is as follows;

11.00 Doors open
11.30 Welcome and short update on the Lancaster Canal Regeneration Partnership and the Lancaster Canal bicentenary celebrations by Audrey Smith OBE.
12.00 Buffet lunch
1.00 Region Chairman Sir Robert Atkins and awarding of the Region Prizes.
Presentation on the history of the Lancaster Canal by Bill Froggatt
2.00 – 3.00 A chance to walk along the disused length of the Lancaster Canal where it separates from the Leeds & Liverpool near Johnsons Hillock. This walk will be led by Bill Froggatt, C&RT Heritage Advisor and includes a tunnel so boots and a torch are suggested.
3.30 Finish, (the hall will be available for a comfort break up to 3.30)

Cost £10.00 per person to include lunch and a hot drink with lunch, money will be collected on the door.

Email Alan Platt Region Secretary by 23rd March.


St Chads is at 235 Town Lane, Whittle le Woods, near Chorley, PR6 8AJ. It is behind the former Red Cat Pub, easily accessible from junction 8 of the M61; (take the first left turn for Wheelton off the A674, then first left); or from junction 3 of the M65 take the A674 for Wheelton then the second right turn for Wheelton and the first left, there is ample parking at St Chads.

Contact the Branch

Wendy Humphreys

Local Waterways

A Lancaster canal bridge

Carlisle Navigation Canal (disused)
Lake District (lakes on which navigation rights exist)
Lancaster Canal

Leeds & Liverpool Canal

River Lune
River Ribble
Ribble Link
Ulverston Canal (disused)

Scottish Waterways:

Caledonian Canal
Crinian Canal
Forth & Clyde Canal
Union Canal