3 Waterside Pubs to Visit Now Restrictions Have Lifted

swan on the river pub ely

As the Covid-19 restrictions were lifted in England on July 19th 2021, there are now no limits on social contact, meaning people can meet inside or outside with as many people as they want. This will give holiday makers far more choices of places to visit on the Fenland waterways.

However, at Fox Narrowboats we are keeping our safety measures in place. We will be asking that customers continue to wear a mask in reception and for boat handovers. Hand sanitiser will be available for all staff and customers, and our triple clean boat procedures will remain in place, as we want to do everything that we can to keep our staff and customers safe.

Once you are safely underway on your narrowboat holiday you may be looking at your guidebook and deciding where to stop for lunch. One of the great joys of travelling by boat is being able to moor up at a waterside pub or restaurant for a meal. So here are three of our favourite waterside dining establishments to visit now that restrictions have lifted.

The Swan on the River 

You may recognise The Swan on the River, Littleport from the 2021 University Boat race presentations at the finish line.  You will find this pub on the River Great Ouse and you can visit their own mooring, or the Environment Agency moorings opposite, and enjoy some good pub food, including ham hock terrine, rack of ribs or gammon steak. There’s a lovely atmosphere, great service from friendly staff and dogs are welcome. The outdoor seating area is lovely in the summer months. Cruising from our hire boat base to The Swan on the River will take you about 18 hours as a return trip.

The Swan on the River
1 Sandhill,



Crown Lodge Hotel

The Moorings Restaurant at the Crown Lodge Hotel in Outwell is just a short walk from Outwell Boat Basin.  From Crown burgers to waffles, and for breakfast or Sunday roasts we recommend advanced booking, (01945 773391).

At The Moorings meals are created from locally sourced ingredients, and they are proud of their AA Rosette, which is awarded to restaurants that stand out within their local area. Their afternoon tea has been awarded ‘Best in Norfolk’ by the EAT Norfolk food and drink awards. You’ll find this picturesque countryside hotel on a stretch of the historic Well Creek waterway, so if it’s an early afternoon tide at Salter’s Lode you could stop for a breakfast at Crown Lodge on the way.

Crown Lodge Hotel
40 Downham Road,
PE14 8SE


The Crown Lodge Outwell | Facebook

The Cutter

On the River Ouse in Ely you can also visit The Cutter. There are great river views here, with an outside seating area where you can eat, whilst watching canal boats meandering along the river. They sometimes offer live music in the beer garden. The Cutter serves pub classics like fish and chips, fillet steak, burgers, sausage and mash and Sunday roasts, with locally sourced ingredients. They also offer sandwiches and bar snacks.

The Cutter
42 Annesdale,



If you can picture yourself cruising down the river looking for a country pub to stop at then have a look at our holiday narrowboats for hire. Our 2022 season is now open for booking and specific boats for some months are already busy.  If you book and pay for your 2022 holiday now you can also avoid the hikes in the VAT rate scheduled for 30th September and 30th March.

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