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The River Leam

Posted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:16 pm
by neilos
During late summer I paddled from the Leam Boat Centre in the opposite direction to Warwick for about an hour. I eventually hit a very shallow gravel section near a farm with horse jumping equipment. Can anyone advise of good site in this direction to park and launch. I drive a hightop van so can only park in places without barriers.

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:05 pm
by Chris_Eastabrook
One really good spot for launching and paddling, around that is not currently in this section of this website,

is travelling North out of Stratford on the Warwick Road (A439) about a mile or two from the town is a parking area on the right, that is 10 metres away from the river.

Otherwise the Wye Valley is about an hrs drive and well worth it.

Drop me a line if you have any questions or suck for more ideas as to where to paddle in the area.


Posted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 12:24 pm
by Graham R
I've got on at Offchurch before at around grid reference SP358662. I parked my car in a bit of a lay-by near the bridge. It involved some fighting through rafts of reeds and a portage of a the weir on the river left branch round an island just upstream of the gravelly section (SP348656), it goes under very low bridge arches.

There was a weir at the top of the right branch that looked unusual, kind of a curved ramp. I was in an old knacker of a fibre-glass boat and didn't want to break it at the time.

It's quite a nice cross country run back from Leam Boat Centre to the car.

Re: The River Leam/ Offchurch

Posted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 11:54 pm
by neilos
Thanks for the information Chris, I'll check out the Avon launch at some point - I paddled from Leamington to Stratford in the 'doggy paddle' earlier this year and really enjoyed the scenery. I did a training trip in the Wye Valley with the leam boat centre, despite rotten conditions it was a top day. At the moment I'm kayaking by myself so I'm doing short, low risk returnable trips as close to home as possible. At some point i'd like to do a camp and kayak trip down the Wye.

Thanks for the Offchurch grid reference Graham, I think I'll lauch there and travel in the opposite direcion towards Wappenbury. Have you kayaked in this direction? I'm impressed with your crossc ountry running to collect your kayak but I think I'd get totally lost, anyhow thanks for the information.

Re: The River Leam

Posted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 9:51 pm
by ol
If you fancy launching upstream of the Leam boat centre, there is a a small carpark just off the Radford road which has direct access to the river. Drive away from leam boat centre, to the end of Willes road(Post Office Gallery on the left), turn left towards Southam/Radford semele, through the traffic lights with the allotments on your left, about 150 yards further on your left just after the allotments is a small carpark. Pull in here, noting the height barrier and launch....

Downstream is good too. You can walk down the fish ramp to the side of the iron bridge, paddle on through Victoria Park, portage or run(its easy) the Princes drive weir and paddle on down to the confluence of the Avon.

If you fancy a long flat water-loop, paddle from the Radford road as I have described above, turn left, downstream on the Avon for 300 yards, haul your boat up to the canal aquaduct above, go left and paddle until you pass the Fusilier pub by a concrete roadbridge on your right, 400 yards after that is some steps from the towpath to the road on the left, walk down there, over the road and back to your car in the carpark.

A long way in a creekboat.....

Re: The River Leam

Posted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 11:34 pm
by neilos
Following the advice of Graham, I launched near the bridge in Offchurch and paddled towards Leamington on the river Leam. I came across two trees which had fallen across the river , the first I was able to paddle over at speed, the second scramble through the branches. I reached the floodgate spinney just before Offchurch Bury Park.

At this point I was told by a rather grumpy, pompus gentleman that I was on a private section of the river Leam. He said he was the landowner and I could not continue towards Leamington. He also said that the section from Newbold Comyn to the weir was also private. I paddled back towards Offchurch (as I had intended to do).
i was polite to the man even though I resented his contemptous questions - where did I launch etc, i did no damage to the local area and found his approach not lacking any festive spirit.
Can anyone tell me if I was trespassing on his part of the river? Being fairly new to Kayaking on rivers I am a bit green about river access etc.
The paddle from Offchurch was well worth doing despite Lord Toffy.

Re: The River Leam

Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:57 pm
by Graham R
Sorry to hear you had some trouble.

I don't think there is an answer as to whether you were trespassing or not, there are plenty of discussions on this site about river access. I carry on regardless and just try to keep my impact on the land to a minimum. I've never met the guy before.

I haven't kayaked towards Wappenbury.

Sorry to be rather unhelpful!


Re: The River Leam

Posted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 3:57 pm
by RichA
No one appears to be legally sure if we commit tresspass when we paddle on the river. However, my thinking is that if we could be proved to tresspass when we paddle then someone would've been taken to court for it by now. Instead, some water users such as fishermen and land owners resort to scare tactics and big words to scare us off. If they had ANY legal power surely they would have used it by now...

The current feeling amongst (some/all?) paddlers seems to be to carry on politey and courteously, avoiding confrontation, but not being scared off. If you feel intimidated then call the police. If the person 'confronting' you has a problem with your calm response and enjoyment of the outdoors, ask him/her to call the police and meet you at the get off. The police probably won't turn up, or will turn up and not be overly concerned.

As far as I know, there are no inland waterways that we can't paddle by law except those that require a license (Thames for example) and water supplies such as reservouirs and spillways etc. Any more?

Don't rely on what I've said here, it's only my opinion and what I try to do myself. However, do try to enjoy yourself within reasons and don't let others ruin it. And if you feel threatened or worried about your property (car etc) then call the police!

Hope that helps. As said, there's a lot of long topics on this website about access in England and Wales. Search the 'Inland' forum for them.

Re: The River Leam

Posted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:59 pm
by ol
This sounds like the same gentleman who also has much issue with cyclists passing through this part of land. There is some backing for that particular argument as it is only footpath, not bridleway which passes through the land between Offchurch and Newbold Comyn, still, never seen the harm in the odd bike.

Well done for keeping your politeness intact. As Rich A says, its difficult to say one way or the other who is in the right but I certainly would not discuss such things as where I got on and where I was heading with him unless you want to test him on the calling of the police part.
Ask elsewhere on this site for the clarification of others regarding legal stance here, but as far as I see it you are doing no harm, paddle away.