The Denver Crossing

Note: the timings below only cover the summer months in 2024. For crossing times during the winter months please consult the lock keepers, or a Kings Lynn tide table.

My approximate algorithm, based on tidal heights at Kings Lynn:
* less than 6m: Neap tide. Window opens at Denver at approx 1 hour before HWKL (flood tide)
* between 6 and 7m: Spring tide. Window opens at approx HWKL + 2 hours (ebb tide)
* over 6m: strong Spring tide. Window opens at approx HWKL + 3 hours (ebb tide).

Please contact the lock keepers for definitive advice!

December 2023.

Note by the Denver lock keepers

We have translated the 2024 tide tables into the chart below that shows the predicted time (converted to BST) when tidal crossings will start from Denver to Salters lode, or vice versa. In reality the start times will vary slightly depending on the weather, fresh water flows, tidal surges etc: they are just predictions. The times highlighted in red are the smaller neap tides and the times listed in black are the bigger spring tides.

  • On spring tides you’ll be crossing on the ebb, after high water.
  • Neap tides can allow a longer crossing window as we are able to lock either side of high water. The window will open on the flood tide, as soon as there’s enough water, and continue into the ebb.
  • On very small neaps the operating window (where the water is above the minimum level required) can be very short, constraining the number of boats we can lock through. On some days transits will not be possible at all.

We monitor the water level from the office constantly during locking so we can see exactly what’s going on, and when there won’t be sufficient water to make the crossing safely. The tidal window is also affected by the amount of silt outside Denver Sluice.

Please do ring well in advance of your journey (01366 382013 – this will divert to our mobiles when we are out of the office). We can then answer your questions. We will then also know the expected boat numbers on a given day and can arrange the best order for boats to lock through. This will depend on your destination and size of vessel:

  • The Denver to Salters Lode transit
  • The New Bedford river or 100ft to Earith (see guidance note)
  • The tidal Ouse to Kings Lynn and the Wash. 

Dan Pollard
December 2023

Denver Complex: 01366 382013
Denver lock: 01366 382340 (only during lock operations)
Salters Lode: 01366 382292

EA Mooring Enquiries: 0208 474 8261
Boat registration: 03708 506 506 or [email protected] 

Looking downstream from Denver sluice. The lock is off the bottom right corner. The silt bar can move around quite a bit. September 2023.