Canoe Days Out

Suffolk - River Lark - Icklingham to West Stow Country Park & return

This page was submitted by Alan Leigh (E-mail this submitter)
How to get there - In Icklingham village (A1101 north of Bury St Edmunds) take the minor road (turn left if coming from Bury; turn right if coming from Mildenhall/A11) opposite "The Farthings". Care needed as it is a very minor road.

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

Suggested Launch Site - By the Bridge over the Lark. There is a pull-off point opposite the launch site. If occupied, continue a little further and park on verge after bridge. The launch site gives easy access.

General Description - This is a very short but pleasant paddle, ideal for an evening. Turning right (north) along the river takes you to a weir with access right problems. However, turning left under the bridge takes you for a couple of miles of lovely river with no weirs. After less than 2 miles you reach a "staunch" (old lock) with no obvious portage. It is (just) possible to drag the canoe over this if the river is flowing gently BUT TAKE CARE! Turn round here if it is at all risky! If you can negotiate the staunch, this gives you access on up to West Stow Country Park. Cafe, ice creams, walks, Anglo-Saxon village etc. Turn round here because the river is very shallow and weedy south of here.

Comments on this trip

Colin Roney
18 Feb 2020
Is there still the same enthusiasm to launch canoe`s at Icklingham as 2018.

26 Jun 2018
25/06/18After 20 mins slow progress due to fallen trees, then one completely blocked the river, so had to return.

Nathan seeley
14 Sep 2017
I've been to icklingham a couple of times now and took a saw last time and cleared some of the fallen trees. We got about a mile upstream before meeting a pair of angry swans so turned back. But we will be out clearing as much as we can over the winter so in spring this section of the lark will be easily navigable

nick gilford
26 Aug 2012
we attempted this route today ,260812, the route however after the "staunch" was completely overgrown and became impassable after about 500 m. Pity as it is such a pleasant section of river up to this point with plenty of birds , including kingfishers, about.The comment regarding taking care at the staunch is very valid, I slipped and ended up in the river. It is very deep and I could not touch the bottom! You never know when your bouyancy aid will come in handy this was one of those times.


West Stow Country Park
The River Lark

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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