4. Needham Market
It was then a fair paddle down to Needham Market with the river getting higher and the surroundings much more pleasant and scenic.
Just before Hawks Mill lock at Needham, on the left appears the side sluiceway, then a second fork to leave off to the right hand side.
Continuing straight down to the main sluice gate on the left side there is fairly easy access via the towpath.
To get in we went a little way along the path before cutting off to the left down an embankment leading to a stream where we launched, walked through some small shallows before getting underway again under the towpath bridge.
The river skirts round Needham in another nice stretch of water and takes you into the middle of Needham Lakes Nature reserve.
Here we landed by the footbridge and stopped for an early lunch at about 12.30 .
There are good facilities including toilets, car parking (at cost), playground, ice cream and teas the day we were there.
Bosmere lock was renovated in 1996 and is situated within the grounds of the Nature reserve with full access. The river course runs off to the right towards an automated sluice and we decided having got the canoes out to walk across the children's play area and launch at the bottom of the lock where there was a landing platform (though a bit high off the water) the first we had seen on the river.
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