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Bodiam Castle, River Rother

Accessible for local, portable and trailable craft

Silver Propeller Challenge


Robertsbridge, East Sussex

Visit Bodiam Castle on the River Rother by boat or canoe.

Bodiam Castle has been chosen as a Silver Propeller Location to encourage boating on the River Rother.  A photo of your boat or canoe in the vicinity of the Castle will be a good proof of your visit.

Complete our challenge by visiting 20 locations from our list, you will receive our exclusive plaque and goody bag.

About the River Rother

The Eastern branch of the River Rother in East Sussex is navigable upstream from the sea for 16.5 miles (26.5km) to the iconic setting of Bodiam Castle. It rises near Rotherfield in East Sussex and has been navigated since Roman times. To prevent flooding and the ingress of silt, a tidal lock was built near the village of Playden. Scotts Float Sluice (also known as Star Lock) was probably built in the 1600s as there are records of it being repaired in 1723. The Rother Levels Acts of 1826 and 1830 ensure that navigation of the river between Scotts Float and Bodiam Bridge is freely available with at least 5ft (1.52m) headroom. Thus the river was used by the local Rye sailing barges that traded around Rye Harbour without any tolls.  Today, the river and its structures are managed by the Environment Agency, but you do not need to buy a licence to use them.

About a mile from Scotts Float the remains of Iden Lock link the river to the Royal Military Canal. This 28-mile canal was constructed in the early 1800s as a defendable barrier to protect against invasion by the French during the Napoleonic Wars.

[The photo shows Bodiam Castle – © Michael Dibb (cc-by-sa/2.0)]

Notes for visitors


Postcode: TN32 5UA

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Boat Dimensions

The maximum size of boat that can navigate the River Rother is:-

Length: 49′ 2″ (15m)  Scotts Float sluice
Beam: 13′ 1″ (4m)  Scotts Float sluice
Height: 3′ 9″ (1.14m) Iden Bridge when river water level is high
Draught: 3′ 0″ (0.91m) the river is used for drainage so the level is variable

Although the river is managed by the Environment Agency, no licence is required to navigate. There is a slipway above Scotts Float sluice

Canoeing and Boat Hire and Trips

Canoeing is encouraged on the River Rother and no licence is required.

Bodiam Boating Station hires out a variety of boats, including a small charter boat with skipper and runs occasional ticket trips.


Also see…

Visit Bodiam Castle (National Trust).

The volunteer-run heritage steam Kent & East Sussex Railway has a station at Bodiam.

Challenge Location

Bodiam Castle

River Rother

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