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Brandon (or Stanton Downham Bridge), River Little Ouse

Accessible to all craft kept on the connected inland waterways

Silver Propeller Challenge



Visit Stanton Downham Bridge on the River Little Ouse by canoe or Brandon by boat.

It has been chosen as a Silver Propeller Location to support the campaign and encourage visiting boats to the far flung parts of the waterways. The single lock just below Brandon restricts the length of boats able to navigate the last half mile but there is plenty of room to turn below the lock. A photo of your boat at Brandon or at Brandon lock will be a good proof of your visit.  If you can get up to Stanton Downham a photo of your visit would be especially welcome.

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


About the Little Ouse

The Little Ouse (sometimes known as Brandon Creek) joins the Ely Ouse at Brandon Creek Junction and was once navigable up to Thetford.  The 1770s saw a grand plan to build a canal from the Little Ouse at Thetford to the River Stort creating a link into London.  Although this would have boosted trade, it was never built and the idea was abandoned in the Railway Age.

The river is currently navigable for 13½ miles to Brandon and makes a pleasant change from the wide Ouse.  Ten miles from the junction there is a concrete aqueduct over the Cut-off Channel with a run-off channel and two guillotine gates.  This was built to enable the water flowing down the River Lark, the River Wissey and the Little Ouse to be “cut off” from the Great Ouse and diverted into the Relief Channel to avoid swamping Denver Sluice in times of flood.

There is a campaign to restore navigation to Thetford and a 2 ½ mile stretch above Brandon to Stanton Downham Bridge was reopened in 2008 but it is shallow and only really suitable for small craft.

[The photo shows a boat moored below Brandon Lock  –  by Alison Smedley]

Notes for Visitors


Postcode: IP27 0JB (or IP27 0TQ – Stanton Downham Bridge)

What3words /// scavenger.shells.fruity (or conjured.warnings.cliff)

Boat Dimensions

The maximum boat size that can navigate the canal is:

Length – 75′ 0″ (22.9 m) (except Brandon lock)
Beam – 12′ 1″ (3.8 m) (Brandon Lock)
Height – 6′ 6″ (2.0 m) (Brandon Lock)
Draught – 3′ 9″ (1.14 m)

The maximum length through Brandon Lock is 40′ (12.4m) but slightly longer narrow beam craft will be able to fit in diagonally.

Canoeing, Boat Hire and Trip Boats

Canoeing is encouraged on the Little Ouse with an Environment Agency licence or British Canoeing membership.

Day boat hire is available from Brandon Creek Boat Hire.

There are no trip boats in the vicinity.

Challenge Location

Brandon (or Stanton Downham Bridge)

Little Ouse or Brandon Creek. Maximum length through Brandon Lock according to EA is 12.4m (40ft) but slightly longer narrow beam craft will be able to fit in diagonally. Below Brandon Lock acceptable for longer craft.

Discover more nearby

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