Newly launched boat trips are now running through the city centre for the public to enjoy.

The river boat adventures are thanks to a partnership project between Chelmsford For You and Essex Waterways. The River Chelmer and River Can which run through the centre of Chelmsford are accessible to the public for the first time, helping people see Chelmsford from a new perspective.

The 45-minute boat trips are for all ages and aim to highlight the nature we’re lucky to have in the city. Chelmsford’s waterways have become an experience everyone can now enjoy. Bring the family along and come and see a new angle of Chelmsford from on board a peaceful boat trip to get a new appreciation for the city!

Booking your trip

Where: The 45-minute open-top boat trips run from a new pontoon in front of the Wildwood restaurant in Backnang Square. (It’s honest.faces.saving if using What Three Words) From there you’ll take a leisurely trip along the river and under a number of bridges, up to the train viaduct in Central Park, and back again. Tickets are purchased from an ice cream bike at the pontoon by Friendship Bridge.

Cost: Tickets are £4 for adults and £2 for children.

When: Saturday 1pm-4pm; Sunday 11am-4pm. Departing on the hour.

In the school holidays, boat trips will aim to run seven days a week. There may also be ad-hoc trips in the week outside of school holidays depending on the availability of the Essex Waterways volunteers.

All trips are weather and water level dependent so there’s no booking available ahead of each day. All ages are welcome onboard the open-top boat and life jackets are available.

You’ll be in safe hands as the trips are run by very experienced people from Essex Waterways, who also have plenty of knowledge to share about Chelmsford’s waterways as you ride. You may also be lucky enough to spot some of the river’s residents along the way, including the local swans and their cygnets, moorhens and even mink!

“Here at Chelmsford For You, we are delighted that our vision to make the rivers accessible for all to enjoy has now become reality. The boat trips will give visitors the opportunity to see Chelmsford from a different perspective and enjoy the beautiful and unique city centre while relaxing on the river.”

Sue Patel, Vice Chair of the BID (Business Improvement District)

Find out more

Pop along to the ice cream bike outside Wildwood in Backnang Square to book your boat ride! (It’s honest.faces.saving if using What Three Words). If you want to check in advance if the trips are due to run that day, either visit the IWA Essex Waterways Facebook page for ad hoc updates; email essex@waterways.org.uk or call the Essex Waterways team on 01245 226245.

5 thought on “River boat ride adventures set sail from Chelmsford city centre”
    1. Hi Gill, it starts off on the River Chelmer and then as the boat works its way into Central Park, it becomes the River Can. We’ll update the article to reflect this. Thanks for your comment!

  1. Give pictorial information of the boarding area and the route .This will help those from outside to locate the area.Also more information on capacity of boat and party hire

  2. What would be useful would be online confirmation of whether the tours are running each day. Rather than going to town and finding that it is not open and no sign on the kiosk either.

  3. Hi I was in Chelmsford today and did not see any boats or directions to them. What I did see was an environmental disaster with all the plastic and waste in the rivers.
    Also may I ask having declared an environmental emergency what do these boats run on? And is this actually environmentally friendly? Thank you

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