“When the weather is fine you know it’s the time
For messin’ about on the river
If you take my advice there’s nothing so nice
As messing about on the river”
There are so many beautiful rivers in Suffolk to enjoy, some big and some small, and they are a fantastic way to explore the countryside as an alternative to cycling or walking. Also, splashing along on a river is a different way to spot wildlife and see a side of Suffolk that not everyone gets to enjoy. We thought we would make a list of all the fun you can have messing about on the water.
Setting sail from Waldringfield Deben Cruises offers a 2 hour boat journey on their 38ft boat the MV Jahan. There is a small galley on board for snacks, and disabled access for 2 people in standard wheelchairs. The cruise departs next to The Maybush - a fantastic pub where you can enjoy lunch after your cruise.
Treat yourself to River Trips from Snape Maltings where you cruise for 45 minutes along the River Alde. There is a variety of wildlife to be spotted along the river, with sightings of seals, shelducks and marsh harriers flying overhead.
For a more relaxing way to explore the river, why not paddle along with Iken Canoe Hire? Hiring out canoes, kayaks and stand up paddleboards, you can hire equipment for up to 4 hours and the crafts are ideal for couples, groups or family outings.
Further along the river you can climb aboard The Regardless with Orford River Trips. This cruise combines the educational with the entertaining as the boat passes Orford Castle, the pagodas on Orford Ness and Havergate Island.
Of course, you can always row at your leisure on Thorpeness Meare. With a wide range of boats, canoes and punts to choose from, there’s definitely something for everyone.
Venture forth with Orwell River Cruises to explore this stunning river. You might have a chance sighting of the peregrine falcons which nest under the Orwell bridge as you pass by. With open top viewing as well as panoramic windows in the enclosed lower saloon, you are bound to be enchanted by this river tour.
For something a little more fast paced hop aboard the Golden-Eye Coastal Cruises at Levington. Choose from a leisurely cruise to rough white water rides.
For a more hands on approach why not give the Shearwater Sailing School a whirl? With courses for beginners there’s nothing stopping you from trying your hand at learning to sail.
Tour the Waveney with this relaxing way to soak in the views of the broads. Waveney River Tours are suitable for the whole family and also have wheelchair access so that everyone can enjoy the beautiful marshlands and wildlife that surround the river.
Get up close and personal with the birds, animals and insects which make the Waveney their home with Outney Meadow Canoe Hire. Paddle up the river and stop off at one of the riverside pubs for a refreshing drink or a bite to eat.
With Big Dog Ferry at Beccles you can drink in unspoilt stretches of the Waveney on your way to The Locks Inn pub at Geldeston. See if you can spot a kingfisher or maybe even an otter which make this river their home.
Discover Constable’s river with the River Stour Boat Trips. Running trips from spring to October, each of the boats which make up the River Stour Boat Trips fleet can accommodate up to 8 adult passengers aside from the restored lighter named John Constable which can take 12. See the gorgeous sights along the river with this trip as a way to glimpse parts of Suffolk which go unseen by most.
Make a splash in Suffolk! Stay at 19 New Street, Woodbridge (sleeps 5) near the River Deben, Seahorse Cottage, Aldeburgh (sleeps 2) close to the River Alde, Old Rectory Cottage, Orford (sleeps 4) by the River Alde or Willow Cottage, Monks Eleigh (sleeps 2) a short drive to the River Stour.