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River Ouse – Yorkshire

The River Ouse in Yorkshire runs from Swale Nab at its junction with the River Ure to Trent Falls, where it joins the River Trent and the Humber Estuary.

Things to do nearby

Nofolk crab boat going through Castle Mills Lock on the River Foss

Facts & Stats

60.8 miles


The length of the River Ouse – Yorkshire that is navigable.

2 locks

From the River Ure to the River Trent

The river has been used for commercial navigation since Roman times and the city of York expanded on its strength as a port. Agricultural goods were exported from the area around York and raw materials were imported to the city. In the mid-seventeenth century, the first Acts of Parliament were passed to improve the navigation.

The Yorkshire Ouse is joined by the river Foss at York, the river Wharfe about one mile north of Cawood, the Selby Canal at Selby, the Yorkshire Derwent at Barmby-on-the-Marsh, the River Aire at Asselby Island, the Aire & Calder Navigation at Goole Docks and the river Don (Dutch River) at Goole.


Waterway notes

Maximum boat sizes

  • Length: 57′ 6″ (17.5 metres) – Linton Lock
  • Beam: 15′ 8″ (4.77 metres) – Linton Lock
  • Height: 19′ 6″ (5.94 metres) – Naburn Bridge
  • 6′ 10″ (2.1 metres) – cill of Linton Lock

Navigation authority

  • Trent Falls to Hook – ABP Humber
  • Hook to Swale Nab – Canal & River Trust


Useful Info

  • CRT now gives a notional length for Linton Lock of 65.62 feet, but this is a structural measurement. The traditional navigable length previously advised was 57’6″, with some narrowboats of 60 feet able to squeeze through diagonally. The same length (57’6″) also applies to the locks above Linton, up to the Ripon Canal basin. It may be possible to moor just below Linton Lock by arrangement with the marina, phone: 01347 848844.
  • The River Ouse – Yorkshire is tidal below Naburn Locks, so boaters can only pass through the lock on ‘flood tide’. If possible, please give 24 hours notice to the lock-keeper (tel: 01904 728500)

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.