River Cam

River Cam

LaunchesPublic RoutesKnown HazardsParking


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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

Measuring 43 miles in length, the River Cam is a beautiful paddle on a sunny day. Known for its weeping willow scenes, 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!