River Cam

River Cam

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WATERWAYS LICENCES

Many waterways in England and Wales require a licence to paddle. Check the licence section below to see if this is one. Save money on your licence and secure paddling insurance by joining British Canoeing. Use our easy step RapidJoin process. Open the slider to join.

COVID SAFETY

Please follow your paddling national association's guidelines while paddling during lockdown. These can be found through these links: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Welcome to PaddlePoints Waterways. These pages focus on individual bodies of water across the UK. On this page you'll find a map, launches, routes, licensing information, paddle trail downloads, services, and more about one particular river or canal. For the full PaddlePoints with search bar follow this link.

PaddlePoints can be accessed without creating a free account, but registering will allow you to map your own public and private routes on this waterway. You will also be able to comment on others' points, upload images, and create Personal Information Markers to receive updates about new routes and points.

You can use the buttons above to access map information on other waterways. Simply toggle the waterway to display it. If you do, note that the content surrounding the map area will remain the same. Use the green file icon next to the toggle if you want to open another dedicated river or canal page with relevant licensing information.

Use the icon above to access the legend. All map points, rivers, and canals information will appear in this section here. Click or tap a point on the map to display the information. Actual routes will appear on the map.

River Licensing Information

License Authorities

Environment Agency
Cam Conservators

Further Information

Environment Agency: Includes below Bottisham Lock/nr Clayhithe.
Cam Conservators: Includes Jesus Lock to Baits Bite Lock and upstream.

The licence extends to individual ‘on the water’ members of British Canoeing only. (Members of clubs or paddlesport providers must make arrangements with the Cam Conservators directly to cover their vessels)

Paddlers must adhere to the Conservators’ by-laws and conditions of registration (see camconservancy.org) which include clearly displaying an identification number (British Canoeing membership number) on both sides of the craft at all times.

Paddlers must carry their British Canoeing membership card with them at all times and present if requested by a member of the Cam Conservancy.

Measuring 43 miles in length, the River Cam is a beautiful paddle on a sunny day. The River Cam is one of Cambridge’s most popular features with tourists and residents alike.

On a hot sunny day you will often see swathes of ‘punt’ boats occupying the river. As you paddle along you’ll also notice plenty of picnickers enjoying the sunshine on the river banks.

Unlike most towns, the river was actually named after the town. It is still known by its original name, the River Granta, further upstream. Further downstream it connects to the River Great Ouse where the river flows into the North Sea at King’s Lynn.

The biggest reason you’d probably want to paddle on the River Cam is to soak in the ornate beauty of the University town of Cambridge. The navigation downstream of Bottisham Lock is managed by the Environment Agency.

The section above, and including Jesus Lock, is looked after by the Conservators of the River Cam. This section is the part that runs through the pretty town and is only open to manually propelled crafts (rowing boats, canoes, kayaks and such).

For the history buffs, the river features in many of the arts, including ‘The Reeve’s Tale’ from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. The section along the river nicknamed Byron’s pool is where Lord Byron himself was said to take the occasional dip!

The Cam is one of the many waterways covered by a British Canoeing licensing arrangement. This means that British Canoeing ‘On the Water’ members are covered to paddle on the Cam. However they must display their membership number on both sides of their craft at all times and carry their membership card. For more details, visit www.camconservancy.org