Suffolk - Little Ouse - Brandon to Cut-Off Channel and return
This page was submitted by Alan
How to get there - Put in at Brandon Staunch Lock (slipway downstream of the lock). Follow the track beyond Brandon Leisure Centre car park. There is good parking near the lock. For those with SatNav a nearby postcode is IP27 0JB.
Get a map with driving directions to start (enter the postcode of your starting point at A)
Suggested Launch Site - Easy launch from the slipway (marked Canoe Portage).
Description - This is a straightforward paddle down a beautiful stretch of river with no locks. Occasional narrowboats may be encountered. Heading downstream you go under the railway bridge - the railway mirrors your course for much of this trip. Next you pass the remains of Sheepwash Staunch (local name for a weir/lock)- look out for masonry on the left bank. There is a small arm off to the left that leads for 50m to nothing! Nice place for a break; look into the crystal clear water to see young fish, frogs etc.. After this you travel through meadows with "beaches" made by drinking cattle. In spring/summer look out for hobbies (small falcons) hunting over the water). You can even see grass snakes swimming in the river. You reach a huge guillotine-like structure at the Cut-Off Channel. That's where I turned round. If you arrange transport, you could continue to the Lakenheath Fen area (a lovely RSPB reserve by the river) and get out by the B1112 Station Road, Brandon to Methwold. The round trip from Brandon Lock to the Cut-off Channel and return I estimate to be 6 miles.
Comments on this trip
Simon 02 Sep 2013
Made the journey yesterday from Brandon to Hockwold, lovely stretch of river but you're fighting against the wind if it's blowing! Couldn't see the sandy beach Alan mentioned, it was a clamber out under the bridge!
Alan 24 Aug 2011
If you can arrange transport, a good point to get out is at GPS 52.456047,0.553404, just south of Hockwold cum Wilton. This is a common next to the river accessed via a bridleway continuing form Church Lane. There is a small, clean natural "beach" which is gravelly and easy to land at/launch from. Also a good spot to start a journey downstream passing next to Lakenheath Fen RSPB reserve towards Little Ouse. Just after the huge guillotine sluice which marks the junction with the cutoff channel, you cross something very unusual for a British river - an aquaduct! All you see are the huge concrete walls but, believe me, an aquaduct is what it is!