(Ty Mawr Country Park to Overton Bridge)

NAME OF RIVER: Dee (or Afon Dyfrdwy if you're Welsh...)

WHERE IS IT?: Ty Mawr Country Park, Newbridge to Overton Bridge, alongside the A539.


Put-In: A 5 minute carry to the river from the Ty Mawr Country Park Visitor's centre (SJ 281 412). Refer to 'take-out' instructions for the previous stretch (it's the same only backwards!)

Take-Out: We egressed at the Boat Inn in Erbistock (SJ354413), on river left after checking with the manager for permission to park a vehicle. A mile or two downstream there is a footpath on river left below Overton Bridge, with possibly easier parking in the vicinity and another pub (the Cross Foxes).

Map shows both egress points.

APPROX LENGTH: 16 Km (10 miles).

TIME NEEDED: 3-4 hours.

ACCESS HASSLES: Excellent - you are completely unrestricted by an access agreement since there isn't one ( The section is readily accessed from public roads and footpaths, though there may be parking issues to overcome at egress points. Refer to this for further advice.

Be especially alert when entering the larger pools, this is where we encountered fishermen as one might expect. Our experience was one of being greeted rather than abused and we easily passed them from the far side and without apparent disturbance. It was Easter Sunday lunchtime when we did this trip. You might encounter more fishermen at other times, especially during the summer months.

WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Mile End Mile gauge gives a good measure of what to expect on this section.

A level of 1700 on the gauge (4 on the stick) gave a very good run, with all the rapids in good condition. Comparison of water level comments in Chris Sladdens book with observations on our trip indicates that this section gives a good run well below 4.


MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Two weirs present hazards towards the end of the section. Both are likely portages. The first of these weirs is not marked on OS maps. See below.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: To put in, carry down to the river. The gated road to the left of the car park gives a more direct route down the hill than winding through the
country park itself. Better for carrying boats.

As the river passes under the second bridge it starts to improve in character. You enter tree-lined secluded areas with the odd pheasant to be seen (watch out for shooting ?). Grade II rapids and decisions on channels around islands punctuate the journey. The A483 road bridge makes quite a contrast to the bridges of earlier eras seen higher up the river.

A couple of miles further on and you pass the Avon Ceiriog confluence. You are now over half way through the section. Another mile and you come to a house on the left bank and a bridge of sorts. By this point the rapids have diminished to grade I.

About a mile further on, after a couple of small bends you come to a large fishing pool, the river bends hard right and you will see a 100 yards or so downstream a concrete pillar in the middle of the river. Chris Sladden recommends a portage except possibly when water is only going down the right hand side. At a normal river level water was just going over the left but the right channel already looked lethal. Would the left go in these conditions? By the time youve thought it out you might as well have
portaged. Find a spot on river left where you can clamber up the muddy bank and you will find a footpath.

Just around the corner and you arrive at the Boat Inn on river left. We finished here. You might want continue to Overton Bridge, a couple of miles further on. There is a much larger weir to negotiate. On the other hand, the egress is slightly better thanks to it being next to a main road with a public footpath on the left bank just under the bridge. There is a pub just upstream of the bridge (The Cross Foxes) and you may find some other parking options.

Pictures of the Dee

OTHER NOTES: Can be combined with the previous section for a good half day paddle and a less arduous put-in!

CONTRIBUTED BY: Mark Benson This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Community Forum Comments on this Article
Re: River Dee - Ty Mawr Country Park to Overton Bridge -- Chris Bolton
2018 Jan 17 03:29:43 PM
On the other hand, we did ask for permission, parked in the right place and went into the Boat for a drink, and we found the landlord to be a delightful character. So there's no reason to upset him.
Re: River Dee - Ty Mawr Country Park to Overton Bridge -- DaveB
2018 Jan 17 09:46:01 AM
The landlord of the Boat Inn is very fed up with paddlers who park on his car park without prior permission and also with paddlers who say they will be in for a meal after they finish and then just drive off into the sunset.. Please do not cause us to lose the use of this access/egress point. Simple courtesy is to phone first to check that it is Ok to leave cars (and check whether you should park on the field rather than the car park) and then to leave the smallest practicable number of vehicles and lastly to call in afterwards to say thankyou and to have a drink or a meal.
Re: RIVER DEE (Ty Mawr Country Park to Overton Bridge) -- adamt
2015 Aug 19 03:20:22 PM

Has anyone paddled this more recently and can offer advice on the two weirs? Especially the one not on the OS map.
Re: RIVER DEE (Ty Mawr Country Park to Overton Bridge) -- fedster
2012 Oct 27 09:28:19 PM
is their anything between overton and chester worth making the trip longer ?
Re: RIVER DEE (Ty Mawr Country Park to Overton Bridge) -- DaveB
2009 Jul 20 03:54:21 PM
The Guide recommends egress at either The Boat or a mile further on at The Cross Foxes. The Boat has just changed hands (July 2009) and a phone call before the trip to make sure that the pub does not have a function and is happy for one or two cars to be left on their car park would seem to be a wise move. We promised to have a drink or two after the trip and were more than welcome to leave cars.

As a minor point an angler from Prince Albert Angling Club (which has the fishing there) arrived at the pub car park to go fishing and told us that all the parking spaces adjacent to the river bank were reserved for the Anglers (probably crap) and that we risked being clamped if we left our cars there and the Club Bailiff came by (almost certainly crap) but it was obviously simpler to move across the car park rather than to upset him. He pointed out the "No Launching of canoes" sign but did not pursue that when we said that we would not be launching there but landing in a few hours.
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