Boat hire in Hythe
Canoeing the canal at Seabrook
Artist: John Cann
The Royal Military Canal was never intended for navigation, being primarily a defensive structure. However, in a bid to raise much needed money from the enterprise the canal was opened for public use and tolls were charged. The canal was mainly used by barges carrying shingle and other cargoes, although there was a regular passenger service which ran from Hythe to Rye. The canal remained steadily busy until the Ashford to Hastings railway was opened in 1851 - this took away most of the traffic. Barges continued to use the canal sporadically until the last toll-paying barge travelled through Iden Lock in December 1909.
Today, you can hire boats to row along the canal as far as West Hythe Dam from near Ladies’ Walk Bridge in Hythe.
To obtain a license for the Royal Military Canal between Seabrook and West Hythe Dam or for more information on rowing this section click here
To obtain a license for the Royal Military Canal between West Hythe Dam and Iden Lock or for more information on rowing this section click here
For more information on taking a boat on the River Rother and mooring fees click here