Old Bedford River 2018 Campaign Cruise to Welches Dam Lock

19th - 22nd August 2018


Boats at Welches Dam Lock on a previous campaign cruise. Photo by Eddy Edwards

Of all the destinations included in IWA's Silver Propeller Challenge, Welches Dam is probably one of the most challenging locations on the connected system. The good news is that boaters and paddlers are being offered a chance to get there by taking part in an organised flotilla of boats on a campaign cruise.

In the lead up to the IWA Festival of Water at St Neots, IWA Peterborough Branch is organising the Campaign Cruise on the Old Bedford River through Welney and up to Welches Dam lock.

There are a number of different ways to get involved.  You can:

  • Take part in the Campaign Cruise with a powered boat
  • Take part in the Campaign Cruise with a canoe, kayak, rowing boat or other unpowered craft
  • Support the Campaign Cruise by joining the gathering by boat at Horseway Lock
  • Support the Campaign Cruise by joining the gathering by boat or car at Salter’s Lode to watch the flotilla depart


Opened in 1637, the Old Bedford River is one of the earliest navigations in Britain.  It formed part of an attractive cruising ring until Welches Dam Lock was blocked off in 2006, making the rest of the navigation difficult and sometimes impossible to access. The Old Bedford River is a statutory navigation controlled and managed by the Environment Agency, and IWA has been campaigning to reopen this historic waterway route.

Book Your Place

To express your interest please email IWA Campaigns Officer, Alison Smedley alison.smedley@waterways.org.uk