(Greystone Quarry to Horsebridge)


WHERE IS IT?: It forms the border between Devon and Cornwall, flowing south.

PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Greystone Quarry to Horsebridge, see below for details. It's possible to continue downstream from this section.

You need to access the river 300 metres upstream of Greystone bridge on river right (Cornwall!) where there is an unmarked track down to a water extraction building (SX 367805) beside the river. There is no worthwhile parking here and your vehicle will not be welcome parked near the entrance of the Quarry a little way up the hill. At Horsebridge (SX 400749), there are several options for parking, of which the best is on the river right side of the river.  





GRADING: Flat water with weirs.


GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The Tamar is a pleasant touring river being wide and fairly predictable for most of its length, with quiet pools and small rapids interspersed with weirs ranging from 2 - 4 feet in height. These 'V' shaped weirs are usually best shot in the middle but demand extreme caution in high water when serious stoppers are common. They can be portaged on the left bank but care must be taken to avoid the fishing stands which are built out into the river and which can be serious obstacles when the river is high. It should also be noted that the speed and quantity of flow during floods can make it impossible or at least very difficult to 'swim' a capsized canoe to the bank; paddlers should therefore be of at least two star standard.

GREYSTONE QUARRY Water Extraction Point (368805) marks the upstream limit of the access agreement. It lies 300 metres north of Greystone Bridge on the west side of the river. There is a small gap in a hedge beyond which is a ramp to the pump house: park on the flat land just beyond but be careful not to block the access which is used 7 days a week. Launching is possible 50 metres upstream of this point. At GREYSTONE BRIDGE (368804) park in the entrance to a track on the east (Devon) bank above the Bridge, but launch below the bridge on the same side. Please shut the gate and do not obstruct the track.

From here to Horsebridge is generally flat water with several weirs which are fairly evenly distributed along its length. At normal flows this section should be well within the capabilities of most paddlers, but note the above comments about high flows.

HORSEBRIDGE (400748) marks the start of a slightly more active river which can also be reached from LATCHLEY/LAMERHOO FORD (399733). At Horsebridge you can park on the roadside about 50m from the river on the Cornish bank and launch from the same bank just above the bridge. The steps at this access point were kindly provided by the Environment Agency. At Latchley Ford, which is approached from a very narrow lane through Latchley Village, you can park on the grass verge just before the river, but do not obstruct the lane.

Pictures of the Tamar

OTHER NOTES: There is more whitewater interest on the lower section. Other relatively local paddles include the River Tavy and River Lynher.

CONTRIBUTED BY: Adam Box, Regional River Advisor, Devon and Cornwall.



Community Forum Comments on this Article
Tamar - Gunnislake EA gauge -- Dawlish Paddler
2011 Nov 17 07:29:40 PM
Can anyone tell me at what range on the gauge that Horsebridge to Gunnislake would be a suitable club paddle? Current level is 0.91m, well within the green section. I am looking to organise a club paddle this Sunday and not paddled it for years.

Re: Tamar - Gunnislake EA gauge -- aarondaeche
2011 Nov 19 10:53:49 AM
not sure on the ea level but if the water is closes to the steep at the get out it will be fine just one more coffin wire has been rebuilt over this year i dont kown what is like to paddle but i will defo need a look at have fun
Re: River Tamar - Greystone Quarry to Horsebridge -- SimonLatham
2013 Jul 23 10:41:26 AM
Is this section paddleable in the summer? Any clues on the access agreement situation?
Re: River Tamar - Greystone Quarry to Horsebridge -- Mark R
2013 Jul 25 11:42:39 AM
Generally too dry in summer - it certainly will be right now.

There is no legal necessity for an access 'agreement'. Paddle sensibly and enjoy.
Re: River Tamar - Greystone Quarry to Horsebridge -- Phizz4
2013 Aug 18 10:17:07 AM
I paddled this stretch last summer with my son and daughter in law. We were challenged about the legality of our paddling the river by a bailiff or gamekeeper who was on the Devon bank. Also, while my wife was waiting in the car at the designated egress point at Horsebridge she was challenged by a local who said that she shouldn't be there and there was no access along that side of the river.
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