Canoe Days Out

Suffolk - River Little Ouse - Brandon to St Helens Picnic Site & return

This page was submitted by Alan (E-mail this submitter)
How to get there - Put in at Brandon Lock. Follow the track beyond Brandon Leisure Centre car park. There is 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 - Put in upstream of the lock (short portage and lift over gate needed) at your choice of designated points. Take care to keep away from the lock staunch.

General Description - Straightforward paddle. Could end at St Helen's Picnic site TL827873 just beyond Santon Downham or this is a pleasant spot for a mid-point picnic. Toilets here, too. Otherwise route is back downstream to Brandon. Brandon to St Helen's is about 4 miles; return around 8 miles. No locks or portages except to launch at Brandon Lock (Staunch).

Comments on this trip

26 Jun 2017
Did this today great trip but 5 fallen trees that require some care to pass or in some cases canoelimbo! One set now has a portage past them of about 50 yards.

02 Jun 2017
We used this part of the river today and the fallen trees make it vertically impassable. We had to all lay down in the canoe to get under one of the trees. The weed is very thick also. However a very enjoyable day and beautiful scenery enjoyed it tremendously even when trying to navigate the trees #128512;

30 Oct 2016
We did the section St Helens to Brandon 3Oct2016. Lots of fallen trees some you can get round, one we went under (with a bit of limboing) but the final one we had to drag the canoe over. Reported to the EA so we'll see if it get cleared.

Martin G
19 Jul 2016
Tried this from Thetford to St Helens today. Sadly the river is now impassable due to fallen trees about 800 yrds after the second weir out of Thetford. Had to turn back and finish at our start point, The environment agency has a lot of work to do here.

Adam S
30 Jun 2015
A group of us paddled this route on Sunday after the rain eased off. Very enjoyable paddle apart from the mass of weed and numerous fallen trees. Just about passable, but hard work skimming over the weed in places.

20 Jul 2014
Done this trip yesterday and was all good apart from the fallen tree virtually blocking the river half way through the trip, had to pull kayak over the log and then get back in it. oh and watch out for the swans!!

Simon Kim
29 Sep 2013
An email to the environment agency paid dividends they've chopped up the tree that had fallen across the river near Brandon, makes the whole journey so much easier, saw a pair of Egrets and plenty of Kingfishers today

Simon Kim
17 Aug 2013
Did this journey today, river very low and a very low willow tree to negotiate just after Brandon Road bridge. Hard work going, but far easier coming back! Lots of kingfishers about unit lit rained!

nick g
04 Aug 2012
we did this route today ( 04/08/12 ) and had great afternoon even with 2 thunderstorms. This was the maiden voyage for our 2 seater Voyager Canoe , built from marine ply using the Lapstrake method. We saw plenty of birds , including 5 Kingfishers !


St Helens Picnic Site
Brandon Leisure Centre
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The last trip loaded was Great Haywood to Great Haywood (Circular Route) on the River Trent / Trent & Mersey Canal by Peter Robinson