Discover the serene beauty of the Grand Western Canal Country Park and Local Nature Reserve as it winds its way through picturesque countryside and tranquil villages, stretching for an impressive eleven and a quarter miles between the vibrant market town of Tiverton and the charming hamlet of Lowdwells, near the Somerset border.
Immerse yourself in the park’s offerings, which include a delightful array of activities and amenities to enhance your experience:
- Embark on a leisurely horse-drawn barge trip along the canal’s serene waters.
- Indulge in a delightful culinary experience at one of the cozy cafés nestled within the park.
- Delight the little ones with a visit to the canal-themed play park, where their imagination can roam freely.
- Begin your journey of exploration at the Visitor Centre, where interactive exhibits bring the canal’s rich heritage, spanning over two centuries, to life.
- Rent a boat and navigate the calm waters at your own pace, reveling in the tranquility of the surroundings.
- Stroll or cycle along the flat, well-maintained 11 1/4-mile towpath, offering a smooth pathway for outdoor enthusiasts.
- Non-residential marina moorings are available, allowing you to enjoy the canal’s beauty from the comfort of your own vessel.
- Browse the charming gift shop for unique mementos and souvenirs.
- Convenient public toilets are available for visitors’ comfort.
- Unwind and savor a picnic at one of the picturesque picnic sites scattered throughout the park.
- Ample car parks are provided for easy access to the park’s attractions.
The canal’s remarkable history unfolds across more than two centuries, with numerous original features and buildings still standing proudly today. Locally known as the ‘Tiverton Canal,’ it has become synonymous with the iconic horse-drawn barge, Tivertonian, operated by the esteemed Tiverton Canal Co. for over 45 years, offering visitors a leisurely cruise to cherish.
Managed by the Ranger Service under the ownership of Devon County Council, the canal serves as both a captivating Country Park and a cherished Local Nature Reserve. It provides a sanctuary for a diverse range of wildlife, thriving within its various habitats, including woodlands, hedgerows, open water, and ponds.
For families seeking an enriching experience, the interactive Visitor Centre offers an opportunity to delve into the canal’s captivating history. Children can also immerse themselves in the Canal-themed Play Park, nestled at the enchanting Canal Basin. Alongside the canal, a well-maintained towpath presents ample opportunities for invigorating walks, scenic runs, and leisurely bike rides. Should you venture further along the canal, take advantage of the conveniently located car parks or pause for a delightful picnic at one of the idyllic sites carefully selected for your enjoyment. Throughout the park, over 150 benches thoughtfully placed by the Rangers invite visitors to sit back, relax, and relish the serene atmosphere.
The canal’s tranquil waters beckon a variety of water activities, including boating, canoeing, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding, all of which are immensely popular. Angling enthusiasts can find solace in the park’s peaceful ambiance, particularly during the summer Tench fishing season. Please note that a permit must be obtained in advance for these activities within the Country Park, ensuring compliance with regulations and the preservation of the park’s natural beauty.