GUIDE TO THE RIVER THAMES

(Marlow Weir)

Name
Marlow Weir, River Thames.

Location
Marlow is located 25 miles west of Central London, in the heart of the Thames Valley (SU 8526 8612).

Characteristics
Small gates above shallow sloping concrete ramps, situated either side of double radial gates, that can produce shallow green waves when the river is at the right level.

Introduction
Marlow is an option when the Thames is high and the main Thames weirs are not at their best.

Water levels required
High levels, in other words, when Hurley is on a high 4 gates. Shepperton may be working or too high.

Gauge and levels information
Check out www.thamesweirproject.co.uk for the latest news of water levels, which may occasionally contain news on Marlow on the message board. The weir can be seen, from a distance, from the suspension bridge in the town centre.

Directions and parking
From the M4, turn off at junction 8/9 and head north on the A404(M) and then the A404. From the M40, turn off at junction 4 and head south on the A404. Follow the signs for Marlow and the town centre. The High Street, north of the Thames, heads down to a suspension bridge over the Thames. The weir is 100 yds downstream of the bridge. There is a slipway just downstream of the bridge and upstream of the weir, north of the river. To get to the bridge, head north from the bridge, and take the first right and first right again. Unload and then park up as near as you can. Alternatively, head southwards across the bridge, head left at the next junction and head for the Longridge Centre (a Scout outdoor pursuits centre). From here it is a mile paddle upstream to the weir, which is on river left.

Description
Looking upstream from the weir pool, you will see the Compleat Angler Hotel on the left. Immediately next to the Hotel is an open concrete ramp that creates a stopper at lower levels and small green wave at higher levels. Looking further to the right, there is a row of small gates above a long shallow ramp that creates the first of the waves, followed by two dangerous radials gates followed by a further wave.

At the right level, waves form either side of the central two radials, with a shallower wave on the right hand side and deeper wave on the left hand side. Depending on the level, you will find shallow green ramps of water leading into stoppers. Flat spins and shallow blunts are possible. Paddlers may find that in higher water the easiest way of getting to the waves may be to work their way across from the eddy next to the hotel, although it should be noted that the stopper next to the hotel can be dangerous, and should be skirted with care.

Further points
Marlow has its hazards and is not easily inspected from the bank and paddlers should exercise caution.

CONTRIBUTED BY: Chris Wheeler.

 

 

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