Transiting the Caledonian Canal

The Caledonian Canal is approximately 60 miles (50 nautical miles) in length, of which 22 miles are man made, the remainder being formed by natural fresh water lochs. 

There are 29 locks and 11 bridges along the waterway, all of which are operated for you by Scottish Canals’ staff.


Caledonian Canal Information

Length of natural lochs: 38 miles (61.16Km)

Length of canal cuttings: 22 miles (35.4 Km)

Total length of canal: 60 miles (96.56Km)

Summit level at Loch Oich: 106 feet (32.31m)

Number of Locks: 29

Number of Bridges: 11


Boat dimensions

Maximum permitted vessel dimensions are: 

  • Length 45.72 m (150ft) 
  • Beam 10.67m (35ft) 
  • Draft 4.1m freshwater (13.5ft) 
  • Clearance under the Kessock Bridge, which is outwith the canal area is 27.4m (89.8ft)
  • Maximum mast height in the canal is 35m (115ft) 
  • Vessels with a freshwater draft over 3.8m (12.5ft) must contact the Canal Office on 01463 725 500 before arrival

Locks and bridges

Passage through Locks and bridges on the Caledonian Canal are managed and manned by Scottish Canals and are open in line with the canal opening times. 

Lock and Bridge operations take some time to complete, so please arrive at each location in time for the operation to be completed before closing time.

Using locks

Road bridges

The main road bridges at Muirtown, Tomnahurich, Fort Augustus and Banavie are used daily by people driving to and from work. 

Scottish Canals assists traffic flow by allowing road vehicles priority at peak times.

Rail bridges

To assist the flow of rail traffic the bridges at Clachnaharry and Banavie are periodically closed to canal traffic. 

Opening hours
Spring 2024 - 25th Mar - 9th Jun 2024
7 days
08:30 - 17:30
Summer 10th Jun - 18th Aug 2024
7 days
08:00 – 18:00
Download Skipper's Guide

Download our Skipper's Guide with maps and all important contact details and keep it with you on your trip.

2024 Scottish Canals Caledonian Skippers Guide REV [7012 kb]

See all the moorings options for the Caledonian Canal

Long-term moorings

Get a Transit Licence

For prices and information on licences and purchasing them please refer to our moorings and licences section.

Licences & moorings

Learn more about ongoing disruptions

Ongoing work

Important contact numbers

Caledonian Canal

Seaport Marina, Muirtown Wharf
Inverness IV3 5LE

T: 01463 725500

Clachnaharry Sea Lock

Inverness IV3 8RE

T: 01463 725512
T: 07920 237331

Corpach Sea Lock

Corpach PH33 7JH

T: 01397 772249
T: 07917 348025


Slipway for small, non-motorised craft only. Check slipways for access details. Please check slipways for suitability before use.

Seaport Marina

T: 01463 725500

Caley Marina

T: 01463 236328

Great Glen Water Park

T: 01809 501381

Corpach Boat Builders

T: 01397 772861

Emergency contact

If it is an immediate threat to the environment, wildlife or person please call:

0800 072 9900

To report an issue that is not an emergency, please use this guide