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Canoe 2 Routes & Hire

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Bundle 15 - Rushden Lakes to Wansford, with B&B stopovers


5 Days


All-Adult Group

Adults with Children all aged 10 or over


34 miles plus

Route Description

​The full, and fabulous 5 day adventure, with luxury of B&B accommodation all the way, and including our all-important baggage transfer. Starting out from our new Boathouse HQ at Rushden Lakes, you’ll be embarking upon a real 5 day voyage of discovery, with a great mix of accommodation from The Woolpack Inn, to the lovely Haycock Hotel, and two fabulous B&B’s, you’ll have earned your great night’s sleep and a cracking breakfast each morning. Wonderful paddling, fabulous backwaters to discover, and surrounded by rural East Northamptonshire’s incredible history & natural habitat, this is certainly one to remember.


Minimum 2 people. Price shown is PER PERSON £468.00
Family Discount (family of 4 or more, including at least two children aged 5 to 16) per person rate £423.00

Route Details

  • Full river adventure with a little comfort in the evenings

  • ​See the best of The Nene Valley, from your canoe

  • Immerse yourself in the history, and natural habitat on offer


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More Information

Day 1

Setting off from our base at Rushden Lakes you head down river. Take in the moving water in the backwater around Stanwick Lakes Nature Reserve before rejoining the main river. The Water Mill Tea Room at Willy Watts Marina, Ringstead provides a great place for lunch on the river.

In the afternoon continue your journey on the winding river passing Woodford and Denford Locks before reaching your overnight point at either The Woolpack Inn or The Bridge Hotel.

The Woolpack Inn located in the quiet village of Islip just steps away from the river and extensively refurbished in 2014, The Woolpack makes for the most convenient overnight stop with its excellent Bar and Grill. All 9 fully refurbished chalets have en-suite bathrooms.

The Bridge Hotel offers a warm and friendly welcome, and features old oak beams, and period furniture. Each room boasts complimentary Wi-Fi and tea and coffee making facilities. The cosy dining room is one of the oldest parts of the hotel, and guests can enjoy a wide range of food made from local ingredients.

Day 2

You′ll be getting onto the water at the Nine Arches Bridge in Thrapston/Islip no later than 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 3

Will take you on down the river past Oundle Marina or you can paddle the backwater around Barnwell Country Park, taking you around the outskirts of the town of Oundle, and past the little villages of Cotterstock and Tansor. Your trip ends at Fotheringhay, a really lovely and historically important village, being the birthplace of Richard III, as well as the location of the execution of Mary Queen of Scots in 1587, after being held captive in Fotheringhay Castle (no longer standing).

At Fotheringhay you will find your third 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 4

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. Or you might decide to be adventurous and paddle the beautiful backwater that bypasses Nassington and Yarwell Mill. This is a real treat for paddlers! 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 5

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 our base at Rushden Lakes where you will be reunited with your car.

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Trip Advisor

Wildlife Trust

Rushden Lakes