GUIDE TO THE BRISTOL AVON
NAME OF RIVER: Avon (Wiltshire/ Somerset).
WHERE IS IT?: Next to the Jolly Sailor pub in Saltford, just off the A4 between Bath and Bristol. Coming from Bath turn off the A4 to the right down a narrow lane signed "Riverside Inn" go under the railway bridge, keep going through to a T junction, turn right, and the road gets narrow, follow it along and you'll soon see the river on your right, keep on the narrow lane past the ship yard, and then immediately right and park in the jolly sailor car park, and do them a favour by buying a pint.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: From the Jolly Sailor carpark, simply walk to the lock and seal launch off, or walk down to a rather skanky looking rocky beach bit. you cant miss it, even if you tried, the car park is by the river!!!
APPROX LENGTH: Park n play......
TIME NEEDED: As long as you want, then go to the pub.
ACCESS HASSLES: Never encountered any problems, and the fishermen are (relatively) friendly.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Looking straight out at the weir you will see a channel between two concrete walls, sloping weir to the left (river right), and a stepped but just about vertical weir to the right (river left), the concrete ledge on river left below the steep weir should be at least covered for carving, blasts and flat spins. More water is better.
GRADING: It's a weir.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: I'm told that the sloping weir to the river right can produce a holding stopper at flood levels, but if there's that much water, why have you bothered with Saltford???!!.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Wooden planks have been added at the top of the chute to funnel the water, and even in relatively low levels produce an easygoing retentive stopper, with shoulders and minimalist eddies.
The jet down stream of this is pretty boily, but we've had swimmers, and it's plenty deep enough, and there are no known obstructions at the moment.
The lock by the pub is a good warm up seal launch. In high water apparently the stopper can become pretty big and more playable. It's not the best spot, but if you're in the area and fancy a bit of a mess about before a good pub lunch then it's OK.
OTHER NOTES: This is the mighty Avon, so it has already been through Bath, and is of somewhat dubious quality. Definitely worth not drinking the water, and washing your hands, all the usual stuff.
Update from Tom, Spring 2005...'The planks that guide the water have both now washed away, meaning that you get a super narrow wave, that isnt really worth bothering
with. The jet downstream is more powerful though, so if you are really desperate you can do cartwheels and stuff. When the water drops off a bit, we are hoping to put some more substantial planks in, to make the summer feature worth while. I'll keep you updated on that one.'
CONTRIBUTED BY: Tom Laws, BiGGER BOYS Kayaking and Surf