Canoeing from Houghton Mill to St Ives

Canoeing trail

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.

Family in canoes sailing down river


Canoeing trail from Houghton Mill to St Ives


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.

Launch your boat here


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.

Canoeing on the Great Ouse near Houghton Mill


You can use a slipway to bypass Hemingford Lock. Continue downstream.

Houghton Mill Lock


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.

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Picture of the St Ives waterfront in Cambridgeshire


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.

 An old painting of Houghton Mill c1906


Houghton Mill TL281720

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Canoeing from Houghton Mill to St Ives

Contact us

Houghton Mill, Mill St, Houghton, Huntingdon, Cambs PE28 2AZ

Tel. 01480 301494



Canoeing from Houghton Mill to St Ives

How to get here

Houghton Mill, Houghton, near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, PE28 2AZ
By train

Nearest station is in Huntingdon. Contact Cambridgeshire County Council's Public Transport Section for details: (01223) 717740

By road

National Trust pay and display car park (free for members) at Houghton Mill. Follow brown signs from A1123

By foot

On the Ouse Valley Way

By bus

Bus station in St Ives and the Huntingdon - St. Ives bus service regularly stops at Houghton

By bicycle

National Cycle Network Route 51 between Huntingdon and St Ives

Canoeing from Houghton Mill to St Ives

Facilities and access

  • Food and drink : Riverside National Trust tea room serving a variety of cakes, light lunches and beverages.
  • WC's: At tea shop.
  • Shopping: Small shop selling Houghton wholemeal flour, souvenirs and second-hand books.
  • Parking: 20 yards pay and display 2016 £2. NT members free.
  • Baby-changing facilities
  • Dogs on leads in grounds only