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image for Boat Trips item typeBlackwater Boats

  • Self-assessed Accessibility Information

Boat Trips

Blackwater Dawn

Blackwater Dawn


Brook End Road (South),


Once a busy navigation with horse drawn barges the rivers Chelmer and Blackwater now offers a tranquil waterway of 14 miles for private boats, fishing and casual walkers.

The navigation begins in Chelmsford, the county town and there are typical Essex villages to explore along the river valley to the attractive Heybridge Basin, near historic Maldon, which is host to many types of water craft, and has a large sea lock for them to enter the Blackwater Estuary.

'Blackwater Dawn', a widebeam boat with a covered foredeck that seats up to 12 persons. Trips and Charters throughout the summer including Sundays and Bank Holidays. Our specialty is private charters and ideal for that special day out or perhaps a celebration. Children welcome and participation with operation of the traditional Locks is encouraged.

'Blackwater Dawn' also has disability friendly access lift and toilet facilities".

Visit Our website for further information.

Disabled toiletsFacilities for groupsAccepts groups

Children welcomeDisabled accessDogs acceptedSmoking not allowed

Opening details

For private charters a minimum of 24 hrs advance booking is required.
For 1 hour trips pre booking is recommended.
All trips and charters are subject to availability and weather conditions permitting.


Charter prices start at £125 for two hours up to £185 for 6 hours. Trip prices are £5.50 for adults and £3.50 for children.

Also at this Venue



Plan route to Blackwater Boats using Google mapsPlan route using Google maps

Map reference: TL 739062  Lat: 51.72836 Long: 0.51758

Ignore all exits from the A12 towards Chelmsford until you reach the exit for A130/1114 (J17) or A414/1060 (J18), which you follow towards Chelmsford. These roads merge as you approach Chelmsford, when you will reach a large roundabout with a flyover (Army & Navy PH). Do not use flyover, but turn right at roundabout (4th exit) onto the Al 38 (old Al 2). Cross the river and take 2nd exit at the next roundabout towards Chelmer Village, passing the Retail Park on your left. Take 2nd exit at next roundabout (Barnes Farm PH), and after a few hundred metres, turn right into a narrow lane called Sandford Mill Road. (If you reach the Asda supermarket you have missed the turning, but can U-turn at the roundabout.) Follow Sandford Mill Road, then Storms Way, until the gates of the treatment works are ahead. Turn right into Brook End Road (following the Sandford Mill brown signs). Ahead is a canal bridge, until there is a canal bridge, beside which is Blackwater Boats Hire Base

Parking: free


  • Disabled toiletsDisabled toilets
  • Facilities for groupsFacilities for groups
  • Accepts groupsAccepts groups
  • Children welcomeChildren welcome
  • Disabled accessDisabled access
  • Dogs acceptedDogs accepted
  • Smoking not allowedSmoking not allowed

Self-Assessed Accessibility Details


  • The surface of the car park and pathway leading to entrance:
    • Yesis gravel
  • YesDrop-off point for guests outside entrance
  • The route from the parking area to the entrance:
    • YesIs flat (i.e. without steps)