Canoeing on the Cam
The River Cam is a great place to canoe or kayak. You can canoe along any section that we look after including the upper River in Grantchester, the Backs and the Lower River out through to Waterbeach.
You will need a license to do this (unless you are canoeing on the upper river only - i.e. upstream of the Mill Pit where no license is required).
You can purchase a license directly from us if you already have 3rd party insurance in place - via our online licensing page. For members of British Canoeing and Cambridge Canoe Club please see further information below.
Stand-Up Paddleboards (SUPs)
Stand-Up Paddleboards are also welcome on the Cam. You can purchase a license directly from us if you already have 3rd party insurance in place - via our online licensing page. For members of British Canoeing and Cambridge Canoe Club please see further information below.
The same licensing requirements and recommendations apply as canoes. Despite being a small vessel, unique vessel identification, insurance, application form and fees remains a requirement to use the river downstream of the Mill Pit (central Cambridge).
British Canoeing Members
An annual agreement exists between British Canoeing and the Conservators of the River Cam, as a consequience, if you hold a 2020/21 personal membership with British Canoeing you will be able to use the River Cam navigation downstreem of the Mill Pit where a river licence is required. This is conditional on the vessel being uniquely identified as required by Conservancy Byelaws. If your vessel is not identified by a unique registration number, your vessel will be considered to be unregistered and action can be taken against you. Members of British Canoeing may be required to evidence British Canoeing Membership and are advised to carry their membership card at all times when using the river.
Associated, Affiliated and Club Memberships are not included in this agreement and must register separately with the Conservators of the River Cam or individual members should apply for a personal membership with British Canoeing.
Unique Registration Numbers:
An application can be made to the Conservators of the River Cam for a unique identification number. British Canoeing will offer advice to those making enquiries at the time of a membership application.
Cambridge Canoe Club
An annual agreement exists between Cambridge Canoe Club which covers the Clubs own vessels (not members personal vessels) for their use on the river downstream of the Mill Pit. If you are a member of Cambridge Canoe Club, please contact the club to ensure that the vessel you are using holds a valid registration. If the vessel is unidentified, please do not use it downstrean of the Mill Pit as this will be considered a breach of the Byelaws.