Canoe Days Out

Sussex - River Rother - Bodiam Castle to Scots Float Lock near Rye

This page was submitted by Pete (E-mail this submitter)
How to get there - Take the A21 south from Tonbridge through Lamberhurst and Hurst Green. At Silver Hill turn east onto Beech House Lane and first left. follow this road across Junction Road to Bodiam castle and park in the riverside car park.

For those with SatNav the postcode is TN32 5UA.

Get a map with driving directions to start or end (enter the postcode of your starting point at A)

Suggested Launch Site - Launch over the bank.

General Description - This is a 12.5 mile lock and portage free trip to Scots Float Lock one mile north of Rye.

The trip is very rural with some high banks and hardly any riverside trees but with fine views of the Weald to the north. You can either do this as a one way trip by leaving a car at Scots Float Lock (a nearby postcode is TN31 7PJ) or simply turn round at any point and return to the start.

If you want a shorter trip you could turn round at Newenden (three &a half miles from the start). The Bodiam Ferry Company provide boat trips, rowing boat hire, a tea shop and camping. If you are looking for a pub the white Hart at Newenham is just a two minute walk north of the bridge.

Comments on this trip

23 Sep 2020
Did Iden to Bodiam and return on Sunday 20th September 2020 on SUP, a good 31km run, it was a bit windy so both a help and a hinder.

05 Aug 2019
Paddleboarded a section of this with my granddaughter, got in where Military road crosses Rother parking on right just before bridge. Went about 5k with no issues, lots of friendly fishermen then returned. Very slow flow, slightly scumby in places. There was motorbike racing nearby so quite noisy but live and let live.

08 Jul 2019

08 Jul 2019
do you need a licence for this stretch of river

Bluebell River
07 Jan 2017
Quite a nice River to paddle. Still water. I always start at Bodiam and have been in both directions. Upstream does get shallower and becomes too weedy.Downstream is great for wild life. It can be difficult to get out for a break as the banks are high and often any climb out points are overgrown. But still worth a paddle. As an idea please see the video below..https//

07 Jan 2017

23 Oct 2016
To answer the question about it being ok to use an inflatable Kayak I've done it several times on a Gumotex Safari without issue I wouldn't want to do it without a skeg though!

John Miller
28 Aug 2016
Parked and launched 30m upstream from Scots Float Lock and paddled a 2 man canoe with my good lady and our trusted dog. 3 hours to Newenden with a stop. Great cafe at the boating station there and a good pub. Further hour to Bodiam Castle. Again good cafe and pub. We pulled up on the return leg from Bodiam and camped over night in a farmers field.

Simon Pickard
21 Mar 2015
I wonder if its okay to do this on an inflatable kayakThis is bizarre... Ive just noticed there are other Simon Pickards making comments. I fear this is some form of Alien cloning invasion.

21 Mar 2015

Simon Pickard
21 Feb 2015
Fabulous! I'm going to try out this route soon!!Not sure who the other Simons are though.Think they are copying me

Peter Lawrence
13 Aug 2014
New to kayaking .. My daughter and I had fun in the River Rother today .. Put in at Blackwall Bridge off the backside and paddled between there and the first upper fork .. Not far but first time on a river (have always used lakes or the sea before) we definitely be back soon ..

Simon Pickard
22 Jul 2014
Looks like a great route, going to try it tomorrow.

16 May 2012
We are thinking of doing this route on SUP boards. How long does it take at a sedate pace, do you think

Simon Pickard
22 Apr 2012
This is really weird, neither of the two below comments are mine im freaking out!

Paul Matthews
04 Aug 2011
This sounds like a great trip I'm fairly new to canoeing, I usually just go in the sea but would like to try a few rivers but am getting a bit confused about permissions and licenses. Do you need a license to use this part of the River Rother

Simon Pickard
24 Sep 2009
how wierd is this, just looking at this route as a possible for me to do, and see that it has been reviewed by "another" Simon Pickard. Simon, where are you based and where do you canoe

Simon Pickard
02 Sep 2009
Great route - quiet enough on August Bank Holiday Monday to allow for a skinny dip! Thanks Pete


Bodiam Castle
The River Rother
The Bodiam Ferry Companny
The White Hart

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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