Upper Thames

Inland paddling
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Downstreamonly
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Upper Thames

Post by Downstreamonly »

Good morning all,

I'd like to plan a trip paddling down the Upper Thames from it's highest canoe-able point downstream as far as we can go in 7 days.

Can anyone point me in the direction of a good resource to research this? I'm particularly interested in a realistic daily mileage (we're not work shy but this is a holiday!), and good camping and/accommodation spots.

For reference, two of us have canoed and camped the Wye twice and the third is a regular sea kayaker.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Sam.

silverbirch
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Re: Upper Thames

Post by silverbirch »

Hi, I think most trips start at Cricklade due to river levels. Thats where I have gone from a few times. There are usually quite a few trees down across the river on this section, limbo-ing, , climbing, sawing all takes a while. There is a good campsite at the Trout Inn , Lechlade. Camping is possible at a lot of the locks downstream from there.
Look at the igreens web site for info on the river. Also for the Wye and Severn.
Also lots of info on Song of the Paddle.
Dont forget to factor in time taken for portaging of going through the locks.
It can take up to half an hour to go through one.

ian000
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Re: Upper Thames

Post by ian000 »

Very un useful but Canoe and Kayak did a whole article on this- I want to say Bill Mathos (sp?) wrote it but I think actually it was written by someone (who possibly posts on here) that did himself a mischief in California and took to finding a safer way of enjoying paddle sport- or thats how I remember it!

i remember him talking about lots of reed bashing in the upper bits!

twicezero
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Re: Upper Thames

Post by twicezero »

Paddle points is a great resource for planning. There are also a lot of blogs on Song of the Paddle. Mal Grey has some great blogs there that may help.

Getting in at the top: there's not always paddle-able water from Cricklade, we found getting in at the Red Lion (http://www.red-lion.co.uk) a good option for access - contact the pub first. However there is a tree down that can be challenging a little below this: http://www.paddlepoints.net/paddlepoint ... red%20lion

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Adrian Cooper
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Re: Upper Thames

Post by Adrian Cooper »

In the summer, whilst it gets shallow at Cricklade this doesn't last long and you will quickly be in paddlable depth. Yes, watch out for trees on this top section but it generally clear from just above Lechlade. I suggest you target not more that 15 miles per day; more is possible but it can become a slog.

I would recommend the Nicholson Guide which has detailed maps of the river and mile markers which you can take with you and use in conjunction with the other excellent online resources already suggested.

garya
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Re: Upper Thames

Post by garya »

have a look at the Nicholson's waterways guide for the Thames. and invaluable reference. I think it picks up from Cricklade. It gives details and distances of the whole river as well as all the pubs , campsites and local shops plus marinas with loos. It includes contact numbers websites too.

http://www.az.co.uk/?nid=500

for central London stop have a chat to Shadwell basin as they may be able to help with secure place to land and stay overnight with your boats in town. its right by the river. The camping and caravan site in Chertsey is also nice as it has a good club house and laundry with dryers. Its right on the river so its easy to pull the boats out and safe to leave them. the local pubs have nice food too.

Good luck with the trip

Gary A

Downstreamonly
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Re: Upper Thames

Post by Downstreamonly »

Thank you all, I'll read these and the various links properly this weekend.

silverbirch
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Re: Upper Thames

Post by silverbirch »

Another good book is the Imray navigation guide The River Thames by Chris Cove-Smith, loads of info about the river and ashore. Ring bound so easy to use in a water proof case.

Downstreamonly
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Re: Upper Thames

Post by Downstreamonly »

Hi everyone,

Thank you for your replies.

Canoe is booked and roof rack purchased!

To reach Richmond (which is our ideal plan) from Lechlade we need to average 18 miles a day, do you feel that is unreasonable based on Adrian's advice not to target more than 15?

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Chalky723
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Re: Upper Thames

Post by Chalky723 »

18 miles a day is do-able, might be a bit of a slog though.

We did Oxford-Reading last year & the first day was 22 miles - way too much! Second day was 14 miles & that's as much as I personally would want to do in a day. If I did it again, I'd do it in 3...

It depends what the aim is really, do you want a pleasurable bimble down the river stopping at the odd pub on the way (our day 2) or do you want to be paddling constantly, ticking off each mile to the end point (our day 1)?

C
Jackson Nirvana, LL Remix 69, BMW F650GS...

DaveWortley
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Re: Upper Thames

Post by DaveWortley »

There is a fair bit of flow in the Thames at the moment so you'd probably do 18 miles a day easily.

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