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Sleaford Navigation

Accessible to all craft kept on the connected inland waterways

Silver Propeller Challenge


Sleaford, Lincolnshire

Visit Cobblers Lock, the current head of Navigation, on the Sleaford Navigation by boat or canoe.

It has been chosen as a Silver Propeller Location because the waterways sees very few visiting boats. A photo of your boat, ideally at Cobblers lock, or the winding hole just before Halfpenny Hatch Bridge, 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.

History of the Sleaford Navigation

The Sleaford Navigation or Kyme Eau leaves the River Witham near Chapel Hill and climbed south west through seven locks and 12 ½ miles to the market town of Sleaford.  A commercial waterway was planned as early as 1343, and the present Navigation opened in 1794.  It officially closed in 1881, due to competition from the railways, despite its initial success.  Sleaford Navigation Trust was formed in 1976 to promote restoration of the waterway.  The Trust has made considerable progress and owns the portion of Navigation bed in Sleaford. 

A pair of flood doors after the road bridge at the junction protect against high water in the River Witham.  These may need opening to gain access, which can be tricky but is possible with careful use of a boat hook from the bows.  A white mark on the right hand guillotine gate support pillar at  Taylors Lock, near South Kyme, gives a height indication for the low bridge at Half Penny Hatch 1.8 miles beyond the village.  There is a winding hole about half a mile before this bridge.  The current limit of navigation is the winding hole just before Cobbler’s Lock, which is 7.5 miles from the junction. 

Photo: Narrowboats at South Kyme on the Sleaford Navigation by Mervyn Head.

Sleaford Navigation Notes

Sleaford Navigation Dimensions

The maximum boat size that can navigate the waterway is:-

  • Length – 78′ 0″ (23.8 m)
  • Beam – 15′ 2″ (4.62 m)
  • Height – 6′ 1″ (1.85 m) – Halfpenny Hatch Bridge
  • Draught – 3′ 6″ (1.07 m)


No licence is required for this waterway.

Canoeing & Boat Hire

Canoeing on the full length of the Sleaford Navigation is possible.

Nearby Silver Propeller Locations

South Kyme Winding Hole Location

Sleaford Navigation

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