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Driffield Navigation

The Driffield Navigation extends from the River Hull at Aike to the navigation head at Driffield.  There are two branches, Frodingham Beck and a branch to Corpslanding.  The Navigation is accessible as far north as Wansford Bridge, a former swing bridge that was fixed shut in 1967.

Map of the Driffield Navigation

Facts & Stats

14.5 miles


The length of the Driffield Navigation, including its two branches

7 locks

comprising three single locks (Driffield, Winhill and Wansford) and two staircases (Snakeholme and Struncheon Hill)

Driffield Navigation Trust has restored much of the Navigation to Great Driffield.  In 2003, a further 1.6 miles of canal was re-opened for navigation with a new Brigham Swing Bridge and a re-opened Snakeholme Lock.  Winhill Lock was restored in 2005 (albeit limited use owing to a fixed bridge over the lock chamber) and Wansford Lock in 2009.

The major tasks remaining are a new electrical swing or lift Wansford Road Bridge and much dredging.  A stage 1 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund enabled the Trust to complete over £60,000 of reports setting out completion of the remaining work to restore the Navigation, but funds have yet to be raised for these works to be undertaken.  The main line is navigable to Wansford Bridge, and above the bridge, the isolated section is navigable by portable and trailable craft.  Frodingham Beck and the branch to Corpslanding are navigable by small craft.


[The photo shows the Head of Navigation at Driffield  –  by Alison Smedley]

Waterway notes

Boat Dimensions

The maximum size of boat that can navigate the Driffield Navigation is:

  • Length 61′ (18.6 metres)
  • Width 14′ 6″ (4.4 metres)
  • Draught 5′ 9″ (1.75 metres) – main line – the branches are shallower
  • Headroom 11′ (3.35 metres) – original specification – some incompletely restored structures are lower

There is a towpath along most of the main line of the Navigation, and alternative routes where there is not.



Driffield Navigation Trust.  The Trust is effectively the navigation authority, the original Commissioners of the Navigation having died out.

Waterway underfunding

Hundreds of miles of waterways – along with their unique heritage and habitats – are currently starved of funding and rely on constant lobbying by us to safeguard their future.

Sustainable Boating

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Waterways Heritage at Risk

Britain’s canals and rivers are a unique, living heritage. But that heritage is at risk – from urban development, lack of protection, loss of skills and knowledge and climate change.

You can help Save Waterways Heritage.

Waterway restoration

Restoring the UK’s blue infrastructure – our inherited network of navigable canals and rivers – is good for people and places.