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Canoe 2 Routes & Hire

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Bundle 14 - Thrapston to Wansford, B&B at Barnwell, Fotheringhay & Wansford


4 Days


All-Adult Group

Adults with Children all aged 10 or over


24+ miles (8,8,8, optional)

Route Description

Beautiful well balanced 4-day paddle from Thrapston to Wansford. 8 miles per day for the first 3 days, and then day 4 is under your control, paddling out & back from Wansford, perhaps exploring a little further downstream and visiting the Nene Valley Railway. Wonderful, memorable four day short break offering plenty of pubs, tea rooms, and great accommodation, always including breakfasts and the all important baggage transfer service, as well as pick up from the end of your trip, taking you back to your start point. Lovely villages to discover all the way, and a beautiful stretch of river, full of wildlife and surrounded by history.


Minimum 2 people. Price shown is PER PERSON £388.00
Family Discount (family of 4 or more, including at least two children aged 5 to 16) per person rate £353.00

Route Details

  • Best Accommodation, Lower Farm B&B, Castle Farm Guest House, The Haycock Hotel

  • Discover the very best of The Nene Valley during your 4-day adventure

  • Baggage Transfer all the way


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More Information

Like plenty of detail? Do read on…

Come and discover a section of the river that is quintessentially England at its finest as you meander down the river through the Northamptonshire countryside. It is truly the county of squires and spires. Steeped in its splendid medieval history, Fotheringhay is sure to leave you with a sense of discovering the past.

Day 1

Is one of our favourites. Offering an outstanding day on the river, and at less than 8.5 miles, this one shouldn′t be too testing. You′ll be getting onto the water at the Nine Arches Bridge in Thrapston/Islip around 10.30am to begin your paddle. The King′s Head at Wadenhoe is well situated for lunch and reckoned by The Sunday Times to be the best riverside pub in Britain, where you can step out of your canoe straight into their garden.

Also on this trip you’ll be passing by Wadenhoe’s Norman Church, The Lyveden Way, the beautiful Arched Bridge at Lilford that can only really be appreciated from the river. After this you will discover the splendid Lilford Hall which was once the home of Sir Thomas Powys, Attorney General to King James II.

Your overnight stop is located in the village of Barnwell near Oundle. Tie up your canoe on a small-holding before being collected for a short journey by road to Lower Farm B&B.

Lower Farm will provide you with a comfortable and relaxed country retreat tucked away from busy roads in a picturesque and traditional farm setting. In the evening you can enjoy a stroll along one of several footpaths around the farm or village. Barnwell is a village full of character with its many thatched houses and 300 year old pub, The Montagu Arms Pub is an ideal place to end the day.

Day 2

Once you reach Oundle you can take the small pretty backwater that passes around Barnwell Country Park and around the side of the small East Northamptonshire town of Oundle.

Later you will heading past the village of Cotterstock and then arriving at your overnight destination, Fotheringhay.

At Fotheringhay you will find your second night’s accommodation at the Castle Farm Guest House located on the river bank next to the famous castle mound. The Norman castle of Fotheringhay that once stood there is remembered for the imprisonment and execution of Mary Queen of Scots in 1587 and also for the birth place of King Richard III in 1452.

Fotheringhay can also boast about its very fine country inn, The Falcon, previously rated by The Times as the 10th best place to eat in the countryside in the UK. Enjoy their wonderful food, along with fine wines and real ales, in charming surroundings. Log fires, fresh flowers, a beautiful garden and conservatory overlooking the splendid church. A truly lovely experience and a wonderful way to round off your day.

Day 3

Following your hearty breakfast, you will continue on your journey down river passing the lovely village of Elton before reaching The Queens Head at Nassington, ideal for a well earned drink. The next leg of the journey will take you past Yarwell Mill and on to the quaint village of Wansford and your last overnight stopping point at The Haycock Hotel which sits on the side of the river. It’s thought that Mary Queen of Scots stayed here on her way to being imprisoned at nearby Fotheringhay Castle. Also, Queen Victoria stayed here. Steeped in history and beautifully restored, The Haycock Hotel has created a successful blend between old and new, luxury and tradition, but its 21st Century cornerstone is very much in its relaxed, warm and friendly environment. The Haycock has a welcoming and chic country style and this has been enhanced by the careful use of rich fabrics, hand painted murals, antiques and comfortable furnishings.

Day 4

Your last day is flexible and allows you to do as much or as little paddling as you wish. A short paddle will get you to Wansford Station, the home of Nene Valley Railway, where you may wish to stop and enjoy the railway or you can paddle on a little further before turning round and returning to The Haycock Hotel ready for your collection. From here we will transfer you back to the start point in Thrapston where you will be reunited with your car.

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