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River Adur

The River Adur is tidal inland to a point beyond Henfield and has a right of navigation from the estuary to Shermanbury.

Things to do nearby

Facts & Stats

14.4 miles


The length of the River Adur that is navigable.

0 locks


There had been two locks connecting the Baybridge Canal to the Adur however these are now derelict.

From Henfield to Shermanbury

The Baybridge Canal connected the western branch of the River Adur at Bines Bridge through two locks to West Grinstead but is now derelict. There were also locks on the eastern branch that enabled navigation beyond Henfield. The river cannot be navigated at low tide and care must be taken at other times because of the strong tidal flow. 

The former Southwick Canal now forms part of Shoreham Harbour.


Shoreham Slipway

The ‘Shoreham Slipways Group’ is campaigning for a new public slipway in Shoreham by Sea.

A comprehensive report, written by CH2M Hill (formerly Halcrow), was released in December 2014. Three possible slipway locations in Shoreham by Sea were investigated in the Shoreham Slipway report (1.5MB PDF) and it was found that a slipway and the necessary parking could be constructed at all locations.

However, the report recommends that the best option would be to construct a slipway at the Adur Recreation Ground which is situated between the Norfolk Road bridge, on the A259, and the railway bridge. An initial design of the slipway (193KB PDF) has been created. The location can be viewed on the iTouch Map website using Latitude 50.833121 and Longitude -0.283673.

The Shoreham Slipways Group is currently arranging for a detailed plan to be drawn for a slipway at the Recreation Ground. This will be used as part of a planning application. The Environment Agency are developing plans for improvements to the tidal walls which will allow for the effects of global warming. As the EA has a responsibility to encourage the use of water for recreational purposes, it is hoped that they include the slipway as an option at the time they invite tenders for the construction. If that is achieved then there will be a major saving cost saving on the slipway because of shared use of machinery, common storage, etc. The SSG are hoping that the building of the slipway will be funded by local councils supplemented with contribution from charities. This therefore makes it an ideal scheme for all parties to work together to achieve a common goal at the lowest overall cost.

Waterway notes

Maximum boat sizes

(At high water spring tides to the confluence of the eastern and western branches)

  • Height: 5′ 6″ (1.7 metres)
  • Draught: 3′ (0.9 metres)

Navigation authority

Shoreham Port Authority & Environment Agency