The beautiful River Great Ouse runs through the centre of St Ives making it one of the most pleasant towns in the country.

The river has been an important part of the town's history for over 2000 years. Up until 1930 the river was used commercially.
It's heyday, in the 19th century, saw St Ives become one of the busiest inland ports in England.

Although commercial trade no longer exists, there has been a continual increase in pleasure cruisers using the river since navigation
to Bedford re-opened in the 1970's.

Recently river trips have been established from March to October by the St Ives Electric Riverboat Company

The Boathaven Boatyard is currently increasing the numbers of moorings and river activities regularly take place

For information about river trips and moorings go to Businesses/Services/Transport.


St Ives Rowing Club is 150 years old this year and their members can often be seen training.


The Second St Ives Sea Scouts, whose base is on Holt Island, around the town's original swimming pool, use the river most weeks
in the summer. Above you can see them escorting Santa and Frosty the Snowman who arrive by boat during The Snowman Festival.

Also on Holt Island, easily accessed by a bridge behind the Parish Church and less than 500 metres from the town centre, is a
wonderful nature reserve. To the south of the town centre can be seen Hemingford Meadow, one of Britain's finest, ancient, water
meadows, shown here flooded at sunset.

It is because the river was and remains so important to St Ives that St Ives Town Council decided, in 2014, to call the town centre
(the area designated a conservation area) The Old Riverport.