In 1964, Exeter City Council seriously considered closing and draining the entire canal. Fortunately, they changed their minds and in 2020 the Port of Exeter, its basin and canal were designated a Heritage Harbour, one of only four in the UK.

Today the canal is used by tourist boats, private yachts, canoes, kayaks and paddle boards. Fishermen, walkers and cyclists use the towpaths all year round and the pubs at Double Locks and Turf are busy, particularly on sunny days in summer. There are plans to bring even more business back to the canal and new arrivals in the expanding city are discovering the value of such an amenity on their doorsteps

A Stuart Line Cruise on the canal © Stuart Line Cruises

Further information can be found on these links:

Topsham Museum book An Inland Haven, The Story of the Exeter Ship Canal is available from the Museum Shop

Friends of Exeter Ship Canal

Exeter Quay and Canal Trust

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