River Nene flows in a north-easterly direction through Northamptonshire in the Midlands, Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and bordering Norfolk.
In Northamptonshire the river meanders through farmland and the industry of Northampton, Wellingborough and Irthlingborough.The Nene also links the Grand Union Canal to the River Great Ouse, via the Middle Level System and rises at sources near Badby, Naseby and Yelvertoft, and then becomes navigable at Northampton where these tributaries combine.
The Environment Agency navigation starts at the junction with the Northampton arm of the Grand Union Canal near Cotton End Lock and extends for 147 km (91 miles), ending at Bevis Hall just upstream of Wisbech.
The river becomes tidal below the Dog-in-a-Doublet Lock, when it flows through Lincolnshire to the once busy port of Wisbech. It then flows on to the port at Sutton Bridge before entering the North Sea at the Wash between two towers known as 'the lighthouses'.
Although boat traffic is gradually increasing on this waterway, it is still quiet compared with the major regional navigation, the River Great Ouse, and the country’s canals.