How to get there - Thrapston is about 20 miles north-east of Northampton on the A45. After crossing the A14 at the major intersection south of Thrupston, at the next roundabout turn left into Huntingdon Road. Continue straight ahead into High Street and then Bridge Street and immediately after crossing the river turn left into the picnic area to unload. There is plenty of on-street parking next to the Woolpack pub opposite.
For those with SatNav the postcode is NN14 3JU.
As this is a one way trip you will need to leave a car or arrange a pickup from Upper Barnwell Lock. From the start retrace your steps through Thrapston and turn left onto the A605. At Barnwell take the slip road on the left (Barnwell Road) and continue for 1 mile to the lock on your left. There is parking at the lock. For those with SatNav a nearby postcode is PE8 5PB.
Get a map with driving directions to start or end (enter the postcode of your starting point at A)
Suggested Launch Site - Launch from the picnic area. As the access gate is usually locked, this will require a short portage. There is ample on-street parking next to the Woolpack pub opposite.
Description - The trip is 8 mile and 4 locks/portages through the Northamptonshire countryside.
The start is at Nine Arches Bridge in the historic market town of Thrapston. Very soon you come across Islip Lock which you can portage using the lock landing stages or just drop it in the weir-stream (off pic to the right). The next lock is Titchmarsh Lock, used as the headquarters of the Middle Nene Cruising Club, but I chose to portage just upstream of the cruising club into Harpers Brook on the left. The area around Wadenhoe and Liford is one of my favourite stretches of the Nene. The Kings Head at Wadenhoe (on the left just before the lock) is a convenient place for refreshment.
The end of the trip is at Upper Barnwell Lock - to the left is the recently renovated mill which serves fancy food at fancy prices.
Comments on this trip
EveyBevey 21 Sep 2018
My son, husband and I completed this paddle, and must say the countryside is outstanding around this part of the Nene. Portage points are easily accessible. We chose to cycle back to pick up the car which we left near the Woolpack Inn.
phil matt 20 May 2010
Very enjoyable paddle,finished in Oundle behind girls boarding house. Short walk to pub to phone for cab to take us back to car in Thrapston(£13).