River Great Ouse

The river Great Ouse is navigable from Bedford to the Wash at King’s Lynn with connections to the river Nene via the Middle Level; the rivers Cam, Lark (25 miles), Wissey (10.5 miles) and Little Ouse (16.5 miles).  There are a total of 18 locks along the 74.8 miles (120.3km) of the main line of the river.  There are also connections to the navigable drains of the New Bedford River (20.8 miles), Old Bedford River (12.3 miles) and Flood Relief Channel from Denver Sluice to near King's Lynn.

The maximum size of boat that can navigate throughout the Great Ouse is:
length: 85' 4" (26 metres)
beam: 10' 4" (3.1 metres)
height: 7' 7" (2.3 metres) - Denver Sluice
draught: 3' 3" (1.0 metres) - tidal section will fluctuate with the tide.

The tidal river below Denver Sluice is suitable only for sea-going vessels.  The river is also tidal between Brownhill Staunch and Hermitage Sluice, along with the New Bedford River.  Denver Sluice is operated by a lockkeeper - tel: 01366 382340.



IWA Branch

Great Ouse

Navigation Authority

Environment Agency
(Excluding the Middle Level)
Aqua House, Goldhay Way, Orton Goldhay,
T: 0370 850 6506
E: enquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk
Environment Agency website

There are also connections to the partially
navigable Cottenham Lode (3 miles) and Soham Lode
(3.5 miles), and river Kym (1.5 miles), none of which
are maintained for navigation.