GUIDE TO THE AFON TYWI
(Junction Pool to Dolauhirion)
NAME OF RIVER: Tywi.
WHERE IS IT: South Wales.
PUT INS/TAKE OUTS: Put in: Junction Pool GR773460 towards Llyn Brianne from Llandovery, or any of the bridges along the way.
Take Out: Dolauhirion on the way up to the put in, or any of the bridges on the way.
APPROX LENGTH: Anything up to 16 km.
TIME NEEDED: How fast can you paddle?
ACCESS HASSLES: Currently under negotiation by WCA, please be considerate, not too big a group.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: As long as you don't scrape going over the shingle it will go, in big water getting a swimmer out would be a bit awkward.
MAJOR HAZARDS / FALLS: Trees on the sides, fishermen, 3 drops at grade 3 about, first at the entrance to the deep gorge (it's obvious), the second is shortly after on a bend with an island in the middle (again obvious) and at the take out at Dolauhirion.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The river gently winds through the Twyi valley through farm and forest land, until the bridge Rhandirmwyn is reached. About 1 km below here the river flows into a narrow and high sided gorge with a guarding drop/stopper, the gorge continues in a foreboding manner threatening a drop around the next bend. It never appears and soon the river is back in farmland. Shortly after this there is the drop with the island which can be easily inspected or run on either side.
After this the river drops into another gorge, the next bridge gives a reasonable egress but there is more below to keep you happy. The river continues in much the same vein until the final rapid above the take out, decide as you go, it depends on the water level.
Reg Morris (Jan 2003)...'In spate Junction pool to Dolauhirion Bridge is really grade II with 2 or 3 grade III rapids and one almost river-wide stopper just after the first gorge. This can just be by-passed on the right, but need to avoid a tree across current just below. The stopper might not be there in lower water. Basically a tour unless you have to try rescuing swimmers in the many sections where trees along both banks are in the current.'
OTHER NOTES: I ran the section between the Rhandirmwyn bridge and the next bridge (the best section) shortly after the floods and found dead sheep 7 feet above the water level, be warned it gets very high. There is also a 3km section of grade 4-6 above this running down from Llyn Brianne to Junction pool, I haven't paddled this yet but it recently unseated a friend of mine who is a determined hair boater.
Llyn Brianne is always worth a look too, but I didn't tell you that.
Andy Evans adds...(Nov '01) 'This is a mostly grade 2+ float with a couple of interesting rapids. Ideal for beginner groups and those wanting to work on river leading as you float through a few intimidating mini gorges which make you wonder quite what might be coming up. Excellent beer and food in the Royal Oak, Rhandirmwyn.'
Jeff Handley adds...(Dec '01) 'In flood beware the bottom fall just before the get off, it can produce a horrendous deep recirculating stopper, thankfully I was washed out before my breath gave in.'
CONTRIBUTED BY: Chris Hudson, also Andy Evans, Jeff Handley and Reg Morris.
Also any local coaches able to lead a group for us, on the Tywi or alternative local River, on Saturday 30th March .
We have a club group but short of one coach.
0.6m on the Dolauhirion gauge has always been a nice level. Paddled it at 0.43m and it still went with very little scraping. Was low though.
We always get on further up at the bridge at Gallt-y-bere. It's a bit of a pain because they fenced off the river all around it a few years ago. But there's a big layby for safe parking and if you walk up the bank a bit further and then clamber down, you can reach the river safely. Lower your boats by rope.
any updates please on the tree situation, particularly the one in the gorge,
indeed is the gorge paddleable, with a portage ? .
Also any ideas re accessing the river, we've previously used the C&C Camp Site,
with their permission but as closed for the winter cannot currently reach them,
maybe at Rhandirmwyn Bridge.
What's the recommended minimum level for the Tywi to be paddleable ?
Thanks for your valuable local knowledge guys
‘Having paddled the river on 9/03/2019 There is a tree across the whole river at GR SN766390. In low medium flow it is possible to portage over the root ball, river left. In anything more it is a river wide strainer with few eddies above. Egress the river at the top of the gorge section and portage.
It can be checked out from the road, look for the warning markers on the side of the road.’