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The River Stour in Suffolk

Accessible for portable and trailable craft

Silver Propeller Challenge


The Suffolk River Stour

The River Stour was selected as a new Silver Propellor location for 2023 to encourage visitors to the River and to support the restoration work promoted by The River Stour Trust.

A photo of your boat, canoe or paddleboard anywhere on the river in site of an identifiable structure or building would be good evidence of your visit.


About the River Stour in Suffolk

There is a right of navigation on the Suffolk River Stour from Cattawade near the Orwell Estuary to Brundon Mill, just upstream of Sudbury.  Except for the first three quarters of a mile below Sudbury, the river forms the county boundary between Suffolk and Essex, and was immortalised in the paintings of John Constable.  Fifteen locks were built by the River Stour Navigation Company, but the waterway had largely fallen out of commercial use by the early twentieth century.  Restoration of the Navigation was one of IWA’s earliest campaigns, leading to the formation of the River Stour Trust in 1968.

The Trust runs a high profile campaign for restoration today.  Four locks have been restored and the whole Navigation can be used by canoes and other light craft.  The Trust has also restored The Granary at the upstream end of the Navigation, and has built a visitor and education centre at Great Cornard Lock.  Both the lock and education centre at Great Cornard were built with Lottery funds, the grant for the lock being one of the earliest Millennium Lottery Fund grants.  The Granary was renovated and the basin excavated using schemes to provide work for unemployed people and volunteers in the 1980s, and has been used since then for revenue generating events for the Trust.

[The Photo shows canoes in the restored Roger Brown Lock at Stratford St Mary]

Notes for visitors


Postcode: CO10 2AN (for The Granary at Sudbury)

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Boat Dimensions

Access to the River Stour is generally limited to small vessels that be trailed, since there is no access from the Orwell Estuary owing to a barrage.  Four of the thirteen locks on the river have been restored.  These are of differing dimensions, but passage through the locks is restricted owing to restrictions imposed by the Environment Agency under a water abstraction licence.  Further details are available on the River Stour Trust’s website.  There is a useful slipway at The Granary.

Canoeing, Trip Boats and Hire Boats

Canoeing is encouraged on the River Stour with an Environment Agency licence or British Canoeing membership.  Further information for canoeists on the River Stour is available here.

The River Stour Trust operates a range of trip boats from The Granary at Sudbury and from Dedham Vale.  There are no boats to hire in the vicinity.

Challenge Location

The Suffolk Stour

Sudbury to Cattawade

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