The river Idle is navigable from Bawtry Bridge, in Bawtry, to Stockwith, where it connects with the tidal river Trent. There are no locks along the 10.9 mile (17.5km) stretch. Although there is no navigation authority for the river Idle, access to the river at West Stockwith is controlled by a tidal sluice gate operated by the Environment Agency, which requires 48 hours advance notice of intended passage, and a substantial fee is payable. The Agency also controls drainage and other aspects of the river.
There are no locks to control length and beam of vessels visiting the river Idle, but boats in excess of 72' (21 metres) will have difficulty in turning round for the reverse journey. Other limiting dimensions are
height: 9' (2.7 metres)
draught: 3' (0.9 metres)