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Thread: Sussex Ouse - Barcombe Mills to Isfield Weir

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Uckfield, United Kingdom

    Smile Sussex Ouse - Barcombe Mills to Isfield Weir

    Although it's my local river I've been reluctant to do the non-tidal Ouse because I've read some reports of conflict with the landlord of the Anchor. However I bumped into a canoeist while out walking and was told the problem has been resolved.
    My daughter is home from Uni and volunteered to come with me. We parked in the Parish Council car park near the Barcombe Weir and put in just above the fish ladder. Being a hot day there were quite a few families having a splash about in the "beach area"...

    After about half a mile you come to a split in the channel....

    The left fork is more direct but leads you through the old mill race which, although there is no wheel any more, was very shallow and I needed to get out and pull the boat for a few yards. A bit like The African Queen but without the leeches .
    The right fork (under the bridge) is more meandering but has a good depth of water throughout and that's the route we took on the return leg.
    Just before the Anchor Pub there is a sluice with a short, slightly muddy, portage along the right bank. There is a very low bridge by the pub but is do-able with a bit of serious limbo.

    You then have to fight your way up the least enjoyable part of the trip, through muddy-banked pasture land, old railway bridges...

    ... and hordes of noisy hire-boaters incompetently enjoying themselves. Gah!
    Luckily most of them only make it about half a mile and you then get the river to yourself again. There is a signpost showing the main channel...

    ...and the river gradually gets narrower and more overgrown...

    ...and the weir is more impressive than I was expecting...

    There appears to be a put in just above the weir and my understanding is that the Ouse was a navigation all the way to Balcombe Viaduct north of Haywards Heath. Anyone tried it???
    There are three types of people in the world:
    Those who can count and those who can't.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    staffordshire uk


    looks a really nice place for a paddle, i love pic no 6, true serenety


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Keynsham near Bristol


    Quote Originally Posted by hemlock View Post
    ... my understanding is that the Ouse was a navigation all the way to Balcombe Viaduct north of Haywards Heath.
    Navigation opened in 1812 following an Act of Parliament of 1790. Although the navigation has fallen out of use the Act has never been repealed.

    Great blogg. Thanks

  4. #4


    I've canoed from above Slaugham Lake down to Newhaven including under the A23 at the bottom of Handcross Hill. Many obstacles alongside the natural beauty. 3 days worth of river. Be prepared for many getouts and paddles. Great fun but best in the spring before its too overgrown.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    On the bank of the Basingstoke canal


    That looks like a great paddle and not to far away.

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