Thames questions, St Patrick's Stream, and Abingdon.

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chriscw
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Thames questions, St Patrick's Stream, and Abingdon.

Post by chriscw » Tue Oct 07, 2008 8:44 pm

I know the get in at Shiplake lock for the St Patrick's Stream and Hennerton backwater paddles quite well but I understand there is also \ good lane to park in near Wargrave. I would be interested to know where it is as the Shiplake get in does rather involve going through the lovely but congested villagae of Sonning.

I have also noticed that bypassing Abingdon weir there is a backwater called 'Swift Ditch' does this get paddled and is it fun and reasonably hassle free?

Thanks for any advice.
Chris Clarke-Williams
Location Basingstoke

Paddling Interests:
Touring, Coaching Beginners (I am an L2K), Surf White water trips, Weir Play (I'm not good enough to put freestyle!)

superman
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Post by superman » Tue Oct 07, 2008 8:51 pm

Yeah. Swift Ditch is a goer. Shootable ramp type weir at beginning. Can be a fallendown treefest.Duckin` n divin` Changes on this front.
D

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Tony Aiuto
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Post by Tony Aiuto » Tue Oct 07, 2008 11:24 pm

superman wrote:Yeah. Swift Ditch is a goer. Shootable ramp type weir at beginning. Can be a fallendown treefest.Duckin` n divin` Changes on this front.
D
I agree, we did swift ditch not too long ago. It was decent tour. Started at Abingdon marina, had a play at Abingdon weir then off down swift ditch. A good days paddle. One word of warning, the stopper at the bottom of the weir to the entrance of swift ditch is surprisingly grabby.
Tony Aiuto

chriscw
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Post by chriscw » Wed Oct 08, 2008 10:43 am

Thank you for for the information about swift ditch we may well go have a look at that sometime, probably when the river is not too high first time round...

Does anyone know the put ins near Wargrave, I presume it is somewhere near the George and Dragon or the Wargrave boating club.
Chris Clarke-Williams
Location Basingstoke

Paddling Interests:
Touring, Coaching Beginners (I am an L2K), Surf White water trips, Weir Play (I'm not good enough to put freestyle!)

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James F
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Post by James F » Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:48 am

About 50 yards downstream of the George and Dragon there is good roadside parking next to a patch of grass with direct access to a back channel of the Thames. It's the best place to start/finish SPS or the SPS/HB figure of eight.

chriscw
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Post by chriscw » Wed Oct 08, 2008 12:56 pm

Thanks James i will check it out.
Chris Clarke-Williams
Location Basingstoke

Paddling Interests:
Touring, Coaching Beginners (I am an L2K), Surf White water trips, Weir Play (I'm not good enough to put freestyle!)

Digimeister
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Post by Digimeister » Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:52 pm

I'm feeling old. I did Swift Ditch about 12 years ago. Had completely forgotten about it til now.
"If only I knew who in fact I am, I should cease to behave as what I think I am; and if I stopped behaving as what I think I am, I should know who I am."
Me - ICCC

chriscw
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Checked it out.

Post by chriscw » Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:02 pm

After finally rousing No1 son from his post morning shift at the hospital nap we went to check out the Wargrave side get ins for Hennerton backwater anbd St Patrick's. I think I found the get in James suggested about 50 Yards downstream from the George and Dragon there is a patch of grass with some benches between the A361 and a backwater which has a small hard standing in one corner. We did not fancy it especially as it was getting a bit dark and we were having a look with a view to future multi car trips. I'm pretty sure its the same place another paddling mate suggested a week or so back.

We went a bit upstream and took a right turn which wiggled down to a small jetty between two gardens, again very limited parking and a nasty reverse in/out. Paddled from there down the Thames in the gathering gloom and back up Hennerton in the dark. It was a nice paddle enjoyed by us both and we managed without having to deploy our lights.

I suspect I'm a bit cowardly/fussy about parking... The search for an alternative to Shiplake may well continue another day.

Access to the Thames on the south side does seem to be pretty restricted around there although the George and Dragon do have a very nice car park and launching step. Having seen how busy they can be on a Sunday afternoon I doubt that we would be very welcome there even if stopping for a drink or meal after paddling.
Chris Clarke-Williams
Location Basingstoke

Paddling Interests:
Touring, Coaching Beginners (I am an L2K), Surf White water trips, Weir Play (I'm not good enough to put freestyle!)

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Tony Aiuto
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Post by Tony Aiuto » Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:04 pm

Chris,
If you are after a multi vehicle park with easy access, I would suggest you use Abingdon Marina. Lots of space there. My club did this on Saturday, most of them got munched by the weir though. It's only about 10mins to Abingdon weir and just a little jump to the start of swift ditch.
Tony Aiuto

chriscw
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Post by chriscw » Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:21 pm

Yes I hope to take a look at the Abingdon circuit sometime soon, possibly next year though unless it really is a dry winter. That's quite a thought though there are a couple of marinas in Wargrave I wonder if they do parking...
Chris Clarke-Williams
Location Basingstoke

Paddling Interests:
Touring, Coaching Beginners (I am an L2K), Surf White water trips, Weir Play (I'm not good enough to put freestyle!)

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Adrian Cooper
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Post by Adrian Cooper » Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:32 am

My favourite launch for SPS/HBW is to park in Mill Lane which is the road which goes down to Shiplake Lock from the Henley road on the north bank. A short carry across the field or footpath will get you straight onto the river. Paddle up the Thames, into SPS coming out on the Loddon below the lock. carry back to the cars. You can also do the figure of eight to Hennerton on this trip as an extension. I don't know exactly where James is thinking but there must be somewhere to park by the George and Dragon.

As to Swift Ditch, there is a car park on the Abingdon side of the Thames near the old mill stream, follow the signs to the supermarket. Yes, grippy stopper but usually quite shootable. In the past there have been loads of trees down and canoes are an easier option than kayaks because you will need to get out and haul the boats over/under the trees. The last set of pictures I saw was about a year ago and it looked worse than when I did it about four years ago. Consider it an 'expedition'.

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Post by chriscw » Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:57 am

Thanks Adrian,

Yes I favour Mill Lane for St Patricks Stream and Hennerton Backwater but as I live south of the Thames I was interested in ways to avoid having to go through Sonning...

Thanks also for the Advice about Swift Ditch, I'd like to go and have a look sometime preferably when Abingdon Weir is working so we can do an expedition and a park and play, not sure when we will get round to it though.
Chris Clarke-Williams
Location Basingstoke

Paddling Interests:
Touring, Coaching Beginners (I am an L2K), Surf White water trips, Weir Play (I'm not good enough to put freestyle!)

Ken
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Post by Ken » Tue Oct 21, 2008 4:12 pm

Did the Abingdon weir/Swift ditch trip on Sunday. Good fun, not too onerous paddling the flat upstream sections even in a playboat. Swift ditch pretty clear at the moment, the worst we had to do was limbo a few trees. Parked by the Army cadets place as per the EWW guide. Abingdon weir itself quite "interesting" at its current level and was a bit too much for all of our party. The stopper at the top of the Swift ditch is a lot more intermediate friendly at the moment, possible to blast it for ages! Novices might need someone on the weir to assist their exiting though.
Ken.

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Post by Adrian Cooper » Tue Oct 21, 2008 6:24 pm

That's good, it sounds as if someone has been clearing it.

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krazykayak
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Post by krazykayak » Wed Oct 22, 2008 10:18 am

I used to put in for a St Pats/ Loddon/ Thames circuit at the end of a small road by the wee waif pub on the A4. (Thames Drive)

http://www.multimap.com/maps/?qs=RG10+9 ... RG10%209RJ

(Look North West of the red circle on the map)

Ken
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Post by Ken » Wed Oct 22, 2008 4:48 pm

krazykayak wrote:I used to put in for a St Pats/ Loddon/ Thames circuit at the end of a small road by the wee waif pub on the A4. (Thames Drive)
Be careful, I'm pretty sure that's a private road.

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