Half Day: Bedford to Cardington Lock to Bedford

This one is the ideal route for any beginner to paddling.  The journey is suitable for young children since adults will be the only ones in the canoe for an hour on each course. Therefore, the children will enjoy a more manageable river journey at a leisurely pace.

The Route

The journey starts at the Bedford’s Victorian Embankment near a local café before exploring Bedfordshire in the rural countryside. The river bank is overflowing with wildlife.

Along the route, there is one portage point. The location enables you to enjoy a picnic before continuing upstream. After you start paddling, you will see the Victorian Boat Slide.

Further downstream, you will pass an island which is just 500 meters away from the starting point. Under the railway bridge, you’ll see the pyramids of Bedford which are home to the Oasis swimming pool.

Four hundred meters further on, the new cut will be visible. There is limited access to water at this point. There will be a bend around the river where Priory Marina will be visible. The Marina is sheltered to beautiful narrow and wide boats.

After 500 meters, the river opens to a vast stretch which is a hotspot for geese and swans. As you paddle along the bend, there are moorings to your right as well as waterfront gardens.

Further down, a small weir will be visible on your left and the Barns Hotel to your right later on. As you continue down, there are sluices and river locks. Large green buoys will be visible to indicate the Cardington Lock.

After lifting your boats out, you will have an opportunity to stretch and take a little picnic along the riverbank. Take a snack, enjoy the scenery, and after refueling, return the boat to the water and start making your way upstream.

Once you’re out of the boat, carry it and return it to the café. Follow the path at the back boathouse instead of walking back through the restaurant.

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