Bill Fen Scenes



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Middle Level cruising

The Fens

The vast Fens have an almost other-worldly atmosphere.
Flat Fenland is a unique and incredibly fertile landscape. Criss-crossed by drainage channels and slow-flowing rivers, the Fens’ huge horizons and water meadows make it a delightful and relaxing retreat.

Within the Fens, the Middle Level Navigations offer around 100 miles of navigable waterways with only 3 locks. It provides the only navigable inland waterway link between the rivers Nene and Great Ouse. The water levels are strictly controlled and navigation is normally possible all the year round.

Via the Middle Level, boaters can gain access to the Rivers Great Ouse, Little Ouse, Lark and Cam. Major places of interest to visit include Ely, St Ives, Huntingdon, Cambridge, St Neots and Bedford.

Clickhere for a .jpg map or click here for a pdf map of the Middle level (map courtesy of IWA Peterborough branch)

Old Nene - Forty foot - Sixteen Foot Ring

After much fund raising effort the IWA Peterborough branch were able to pay for the bridge at Ramsey Hollow to be jacked up, which has opened a cruising ring route.

Ramsey Hollow Bridge

From March proceed down the Old Nene River,  up Pophams Eau, along the Sixteen Foot drain, onto the Forty Foot and then back onto the Old Nene just after Ramsey Forty Foot village.



Bill Fen Marina is situated just outside the rural market town of Ramsey. This town grew up around its abbey, which was one of the important monastic buildings of the 12th century.

Modern Ramsey offers supermarkets and all the other shopping facilities you would expect of a market town, including a small Saturday market.

The Railway Inn public house is situated directly opposite the track leading to the marina, The Jolly Sailor public house is just a few hundred yards further into town and the George at Ramsey Forty Foot is a pleasant 30 minute cruise by boat from the marina.

There are several restaurants and other pubs in the town

Woodwalton Fen

Woodwalton Fen is one of Britain's oldest nature reserves and occupies a substantial site of 208ha near Ramsey. Its international importance has been repeatedly recognised in its designations as a RAMSAR site, a Special Area of Conservation (cSAC), a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a National Nature Reserve (NNR).

The fen is a leisurely two hour cruise from Bill Fen marina.

Lodes end lock

Holme Fen

As you approach the end of the New Dyke on the way to Holme you could be forgiven for wondering what you're getting yourself into. The cut narrows and narrows until it appears that you'd struggle to squeeze by an oncoming boat. It also appears impossible that there is a winding hole for 72' boats at the end, but there is (hidden behind a willow on the left).

The trip is well worth it, for the solitude and quiet.

Holme is also home to the Admiral Wells pub, a mere half mile walk down the track, adding to the attraction of this secluded mooring (be prepared for nettles on the bank). 



March once boasted the largest railway marshalling yard in Europe. Those days are long gone, but this large town offers town centre moorings on the town quay (pub at the top of the steps to the road!) and a sanitary station just a hundred yards from the quay. It has all the shopping and eating facilities you'd expect of a substantial town.

St Wenreda's, March

Now, March's main claim to fame is the church of St.Wendreda which is on the towns outskirts. The ceiling of the church is of wood, with over 120 angels carved into it.

Upwell and Outwell

These two attractive villages were once one, larger, settlement (Well). The houses have a Dutch style to them and the cruise through the centre of the villages is a peaceful and attractive one.

There are numerous public moorings and staithes. The villages offer some provisioning shopping facilities and St Peters church at Upwell is worth visiting.