Discover Boston’s great waterway activities

From being the most important port in England, outside of London, to holding old industrial warehouses along the banks of the River Witham, Boston's waterways offer plenty to be explored today.

Waterways Activities Blog Main

Boston’s waterways are brimming in history

The River Witham has a transport history dating from Roman times and becomes tidal at Boston, which has been a seaport for over 800 years and enters The Wash, where a diverse range of nature and wildlife can be found. Whether you’re looking for family-friendly activities on the water, walking trails along the path or somewhere to sit and watch boaters pass by – Boston has all this and more to discover.

Water Rail Way Body 001

Walk the Water Rail Way

The Water Rail Way route follows the River Witham from Lincoln to Boston. The mostly traffic-free off-road route is ideal for cycling and walking. Covering a total of 33 miles (54km), the Water Rail Way is fairly flat throughout, passing through Bardney, where you’ll find a heritage centre and bike hire, open fenland landscapes with long views and expansive skies; and also passing by commissioned artwork depicting Lincolnshire’s assets and inspired by the words of Lincolnshire’s own Alfred Lord Tennyson. From Boston, you could follow the route to Anton’s Gowt Lock, Langrick Bridge or Chapel Hill, where you can find cafés and pubs for refreshments.

Walking & Trails

Yellowbelly Body

Jump aboard a paddleboard at Anton’s Gowt

Enter and explore Boston's unique network of in-land rivers & drains by jumping aboard a paddleboard with Yellowbelly Stand Up Paddleboarding. Committed to offering inclusive paddleboarding sessions for visitors of all ages and abilities, Yellowbelly SUP is the perfect way to explore the town's waterways, from a different perspective, and develop a new outdoor skill.

Yellowbelly Stand Up Paddleboarding

Boston Lock Cafe Blog

Grab a coffee at Boston Lock Café

Set in a beautiful 17th-Century warehouse with picturesque views over the River Witham and rustic Sluice Bridge, in the heart of Boston’s historic market town, Boston Lock Café offers a range of teas, coffees, cakes, light meals and snacks.

The café is the perfect place to stop, relax and refresh, with its location perfect for a mid-walk pit stop, and it’s a great stop if you have a four-legged friend with you, since they provide plenty of treats.

Boston Lock Café

Boston Belle

Board the Boston Belle for a river cruise or trip out to sea

The Boston Belle is a well-established, versatile passenger boat operating from her home port Boston, Lincolnshire. You’ll get to see Boston’s famous ‘Stump’ from an alternative viewpoint and enjoy views across the fenlands. The Boston Belle offers inland cruises along the tranquil river Witham or bracing trips out to sea for up to 60 passengers, a chance to see migrating wetland birds and local seal colonies.

Boston Belle

The Wash Main

Follow a trail and explore local wildlife

In and around Boston there is an abundance of local wildlife and nature to explore, particularly along its waterways, Eastwards to the coastline, or North-westwards to Fenside Woods. Whether you’re looking for opportunities to bird-watch, chances to see local seal colonies or head to woodland trails with prospects of seeing resident deer, wildflower meadows and pond inhabitants, you’ll find it all just a short trip from the town centre of Boston. You could explore the lagoon at RSPB Frampton Marsh; the nearby coastline with saltmarsh and mudflats supporting thousands of wildfowl and waders on their migration, at The Wash; or head to Fenside Woods, along the River Witham, for a sheltered trail through scenic woodland and wildflower beds.

Nature Reserves & Green Spaces

Church Keys Main

Head for Sunday lunch at Church Keys Wine Bar & Restaurant

With an estimated construction date of 1520, Church Key has had a multitude of uses. The ancient, weathered sign on the outside wall, that reads ‘Church Keys Studio’, is believed to date back to a time when the Stump keys were kept there for safekeeping. It’s location on the banks of the river has given it its characteristic ‘lean; - but rest assured the building remains structurally sound. Now, Church Keys is a restaurant and wine bar, perfect for sipping the day away, enjoying an afternoon tea or filling up on dinner made with local produce.

Church Keys Wine Bar & Restaurant

Check out Boston's Guest Accommodation

Article Tags:

Share this article:

Search Articles


Stay up to date

The Boston Newsletter

Sign up to the Discover Boston newsletter and you will receive unmissable information on where to go and what to do. Keep up-to-date with the latest events in Boston and get the most out of your visit now.