St Neots to Huntingdon on the Great Ouse

This is nice little trip of about 10 miles with an easy return for the car. Start by parking on the west bank of the river in St. Neots next to the large concrete bridge. Parking is free here and there are some amenities such as a small cafe.

Start by paddling under the bridge and cross to the right hand side. here you go past St. Neots Rowing Club, so watch out for rowers, especially at weekends. You then go past a large marina and at Little Paxton after one mile you come to the first lock. The island here used to have a large paper mill, but is now succumbing to urban blight. If you do not have a key, portage on the left with a fiddly get in on the far side of the road.

The river now bends away to the east before straightening out again and heading due north. Great Paxton can be seen on the right and the main east coast railway line runs parallel to the river. Eventually you will see the spire of the the church at Offord D'Arcy and the railway comes right down to the river. After this you arrive at Offord Cluny, with a short portage of about 50 mtrs round the lock. this is a good place to have a break as it is about half way. There is a pub in the village about 100 mtrs away, but we did not have time to try it.

After the lock, there is a marina on the left, offering drinks and food and a gym etc.

Leaving Offord behind, continue down the river. After 3km you pass an old railway line for the gravel pits. Here on the right there is a small weir. If you get out and portage on the right through the field, you can now pick up a small side channel with a bit of a current. This saves you going through a lock at Brampton and brings you out near the last lock of the day in Godmanchester.

If you go to the right of this lock, the BWB has actually made a portage point, with sign posts, for canoeists. After this, you go underneath the busy A14 and immediately stop on the left at the Bridge Hotel, which has a good selection of food and drinks. We hauled our canoe out here and found it perfectly safe to leave whilst we went for a short walk round the town.

From here it is a ten minute walk to the train station back to St. Neots for you car. St. Neots railway station is a good 20 minute walk from your car.

Sights to See
The start in St. Neots
Great Ouse Marina
Little Paxton Lock/Urban blight
Approaching the refurbished lock
Beware crossing the road!
The fiddly get in.
Back on the open river
Old boat house near the Offords.
Offord D'Arcy
Offord Cluny
The only traffic we saw
Weir, to portage on the right
Down this little side stream
Under the main railway line
The side channel
How often do you see this?
Easy to get down to the river.
The old bridge in Huntingdon
It took about 3hrs.