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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.

Map showing the navigable River Adur

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.


[The photo shows a rural section of the River Adur  –  by Roy Sutton]


Shoreham Slipway

IWA Kent & East Sussex Branch has long supported plans of Shoreham Slipway Group to build a slipway for trailable boats into the River Adur at Shoreham, but these efforts have been repeatedly frustrated by the Environment Agency and private developers in the area.


[The photo shows the River Adur in Shoreham  –  by Alan Markham]

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 (lower river).

The Environment Agency effectively controls the upper river.

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

We want boating on canals and rivers to be more sustainable and – even though the current overall contribution to UK carbon emissions is very small – we want to help reduce emissions on the waterways.

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.