Canoeing from Houghton Mill to St Ives
Enjoy a couple of hours delightful canoeing with the National Trust, through picturesque meadows from Houghton Mill to the historic town of St Ives (and back again). Don't forget you'll need a licence - you can contact the Canal & River Trust or British Canoeing for more information.
Houghton Mill TL281720
Launch your canoe from the bank into the Mill Pond at Houghton Mill. The Mill Pond is near the Car Park behind the café. If you do not have a boat of your own you can hire one from a local boat hire company. For more details contact: Neil Chapman, Houghton Boats, tel: 07759 316260. Set off downstream.
Follow the river Great Ouse downstream. You will pass two weirs on your left, Battcock's lsland in the middle of the river (pass to the left of this island), another weir on your left and St James' church on your right before arriving at Hemingford Lock.
You can use a slipway to bypass Hemingford Lock. Continue downstream.
The river divides at St Ives, creating a large island in the river. This island, called Holt Island, is a nature reserve. To find out more about this reserve click on the "+" symbol next to the picture on the left. Row around this island and proceed back upstream to Houghton Mill. Before you do that however, why not stop off to visit the very picturesque and historic town of St Ives. There are plenty of Pubs, Cafés and Tea Rooms to choose from should you need refreshment before your return journey up stream.
Holt Island Nature Reserve
This 7 acre (2.8 hectare) reserve includes the remnants of the once-worked Osier beds, native tree species and beds of phragmites reed mixed with sedge. Opening times The island is open from 10am – 4pm on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays between April and September. If you wish to visit the island at any other time between April and September, the key is available from One Leisure St Ives or the Norris Museum – you will need to pay a returnable deposit
Return to Houghton Mill. Relax and enjoy a well deserved lunch or afternoon tea at our riverside café. You can also visit our historic mill where you can see paintings of the Mill, St Ives and the surrounding area dating from the late 19th and early 20th century.
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