Catch a lift on the East Midlands waterways

Hop aboard the Brayford Belle to visit the many pubs and eateries alongside the River Witham

Brayford Belle


Many cities have reinvigorated their centres in recent years through the renewal of their waterways, but not many have done this as successfully as Lincoln. The regeneration of Lincoln has also seen the River Witham itself becoming used as a transport route, with the Brayford Belle offering a bookable water taxi service to a number of nearby pubs and restaurants from its base at Brayford Pool.

Lincoln city centre is the meeting point of the River Witham and the Fossdyke, which is sometimes described as the oldest existing canal in the UK. Brayford Pool is a natural lake in the centre of Lincoln that has been used as a port since Roman times. This pool became the centre of Lincoln’s regeneration, a project that really started with the arrival of the University of Lincoln in the 1990s. Around the university has sprung a lively mix of hotels, restaurants, bars and a cinema. The water itself is also in constant use, acting a marina for houseboats as well as pleasure boats, anglers and canoeists. Close to Brayford Pool is the medieval bridge known as the High Bridge, or the Glory Hole as it is called by boaters. This is the oldest bridge in the United Kingdom to still have buildings on it. It was built in the 12th century, although the building date to around 1550.

The Brayford Belle operates from Brayford Pool, offering a variety of services. There are daily trips, which travel 30 minutes to the Pywipe Inn and a further 15 minutes to Burton Waters, where there are two further restaurants, and these can be either a round trip or one way depending on your needs. You can also cruise into the town centre to see the Glory Hole or you can book a private trip to the Pywipe Inn or Burton Waters, which will pick you up at an agreed time after your meal. This water taxi service should be booked at least 24-hours in advance.

Plan your trip aboard the Brayford Belle or find out more about the River Witham.

Canal & River Trust