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Thread: Medway Canoe Trail

  1. #1

    Default Medway Canoe Trail

    Hi, for info on the Medway Canoe Trail which runs between Tonbridge and Allington (near Maidstone) in Kent, please click on this link:

    http://www.allingtonlock.co.uk/canoeing.php

    Medway Squirrel
    Last edited by MagiKelly; 8th-May-2009 at 09:05 PM.

  2. #2

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    The Environment Agency have just produced a new splashproof guide for the Medway Canoe Trail. To obtain your free copy please email:
    Michelle.waterman@environment-agency.gov.uk

    Please place "Canoe Trail Guide" in the title of your email.

    Medway Squirrel

  3. #3
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    The free guide is quite good, worth getting.

    Its also now mapped here:


    http://www.paddlepoints.co.uk?R=46&A=1642
    Covering as many malmiles as possible before being distracted by the pub!

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  4. #4

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    Fantastic !

    Thank's for finding this.
    That's on top of my list of trip's to do.

    Cheer's
    Paul

  5. #5

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    A really nice trip! Old lock just up river of Yalding is good for camping and fires but only really room for at most three tents bearing in mind there is a public footpath and canal boats like to moor up there aswell. Be aware of the bloke who lives in the woods nearby though! Seems harmless but he and his friends are funny characters with a bit of coming and going...

    The campsite at Maidstone lock is very comfy with a brand new toilet and shower, and there is a very nice Beefeater pub just the other side of the river!

    If you want to do a longer trip, its really easy to do a too and fro trip as there is basically no flow on the river apart from when its in flood.
    I can't hear banjos, but I did see a guy playing the bagpipes once...

  6. #6
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    Oct 2015
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    Saint Mary Cray, Kent
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    I would like to do the Medway Canoe Trail in a Tyne folder and or a PBK20 skin on frame canoe /kayak. Are there any weirs that I should avoid shooting in order to preclude the possibility of my Tyne folding in ways that it was never intended to?
    Malcolm Tierney

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm T View Post
    I would like to do the Medway Canoe Trail in a Tyne folder and or a PBK20 skin on frame canoe /kayak. Are there any weirs that I should avoid shooting in order to preclude the possibility of my Tyne folding in ways that it was never intended to?
    Malcolm Tierney
    Not knowing your boat, I'd reserve judgment slightly, but you should be OK on most of the "modern" passes if you're confident it can survive any sort of easy slide down a slope. However, I'd check visually before you slide down, as there can be sticks and other objects stuck in the brushes, which might damage the skin.

    I would avoid Sluice Weir, which is steeper and seems to damage some canoes.

    If in doubt, portage, all but one or two are short and easy.
    Covering as many malmiles as possible before being distracted by the pub!

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  8. Default

    Does anyone know where a car can be safely parked in Tonbridge for 48 hrs? I aim to paddle down to Allington, then cycle back (folder in canoe) to pick up the car. I have investigated official car parks, but drawn a blank on the 48 hr options.

  9. #9

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    Hi guys. Taking my 12yo canoeing this weekend. We are camping at hop farm on Saturday night, and we are mainly paddling all day Sunday, but we would like to do a couple of hours on that saturday before we arrive at Hop Farm. Does anyone know anywhere we can unload the canoe by car a couple of hours upstream of hop farm??

    Thanks. Moosekat

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moosekat View Post
    Hi guys. Taking my 12yo canoeing this weekend. We are camping at hop farm on Saturday night, and we are mainly paddling all day Sunday, but we would like to do a couple of hours on that saturday before we arrive at Hop Farm. Does anyone know anywhere we can unload the canoe by car a couple of hours upstream of hop farm??

    Thanks. Moosekat
    To be honest, I tend to just paddle up and back from Hop Farm in similar circumstances, if I only have a couple of hours. Unless the flow is up because its been raining loads...

    I can't think of a particularly good spot between Tonbridge and the Hop Farm, so you could do Tonbridge down, just over 5 miles. http://www.paddlepoints.net?R=405&A=3156 Maybe a little longer than 2 hours if you stop but certainly doable in that.
    Covering as many malmiles as possible before being distracted by the pub!

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  11. #11
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    Hartlake Bridge is your best bet. Pretty good access but parking is a bit tight. Lots of fisherman and dog walkers park there but Saturday probably easier than Sunday.

    https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.20...8429,17z?hl=en
    Matto

    Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea.


  12. Default

    Thanks for that guys. I also see on Google maps there is a lock with what looks like road access just down from Hartlake bridge,

    https://goo.gl/maps/DD49iyGPXss

    Does this look possible, or do you think the road might be closed off??

    Also how easy is it to access hop farm from the river? I have requested a spot near to the river so hopefully we have one. Thanks guys.

    Moosekat

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moosekat View Post
    Thanks for that guys. I also see on Google maps there is a lock with what looks like road access just down from Hartlake bridge, https://goo.gl/maps/DD49iyGPXssDoes this look possible, or do you think the road might be closed off??Also how easy is it to access hop farm from the river? I have requested a spot near to the river so hopefully we have one. Thanks guys. Moosekat
    That's just a footpath, you won't get your car down it. Hartlake is the only real launching opportunity between the hop farm and Tonbridge.The hop farm is very large and you can request riverside camping where there is a relatively easy launch into the river (well you could last time I was there). You'll camp behind a small island and launch into the backwater. The easiest access is closer to the upstream end of the backwater. Paddle that direction too as it has gotten pretty choked up by trees of late further along the backwater.
    Matto

    Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea.


  14. #14

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    Hi Matto Sounds like someone needs to do a trip down the backwater, and do a bit of clearance work. Ted (woodworm) and i done this a few years ago. If it has not been done since i guess it really needs doing, perhaps i should try to organise something. This is indeed a good spot for in /out of a canoe, from memory Ted and i launched from Yalding, of course another good place to put in. rgds Tony

  15. #15

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    There are a couple of places where you can get on and off the river at the Hop Farm, shown with red stars on the attached aerial view. The one on the left is the backwater, the right hand one is straight into the river.

    The staff at the Hop Farm, when you can find any, are vague at best so I've shown the route in by car as well. There are marked pitches in the main bit of the site, but you can camp anywhere in the other fields. No one there seems to care what you do to be honest.

    If you arrive after 5pm you may find that reception is closed and you can't get in. There are key fobs for the barrier that you can get for a deposit, and if you're stuck you'll probably be able to find another camper who can let you in.


  16. Default

    Hi guys. Well we have just go back from our canoeing weekend, and it was brilliant. We started off at Hartlake bridge. The only place i could see that looked good for launching was under the bridge, but that was taken up by Angelers who were not too happy when I mentioned about bringing my canoe down. So we found a little place upstream and launched there. We then canoed to hop farm and got off near the tire swing. Camped near there, and there was only 3 other campers in the field. For 25 for the night, it still really bugs me how much they can charge. Honestly I didn't even bother signing in. Next time I think I would take my chances and try rock up and not bother paying. Then on Sunday we paddled all the way to Allington lock.
    Just a great day, and my son only moaned for 50% of it. Bliss.....

    Thanks for all the advice too.

    Nick

  17. #17
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    Glad you had a good weekend.

    The increase in price is why we don't go there anymore. We used to have a couple of meets there every year.
    They charged 7:50 for tents and 10 for caravans/ motorhomes then it went up to 20ish. We used to have about 30 people.
    I am not the only one that has spent a while on the phone trying to get any sense out of them. When I said that no-one charges 20
    for a tent the lady said we could double up on the pitch. I pointed out that there were no pitches in the field and we were not using
    electric etc she said that was extra.
    Basically not interested in having customers I guess.
    So we beat on,boats against the current,bourne back ceaselessly into the past.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverbirch View Post
    Glad you had a good weekend.

    The increase in price is why we don't go there anymore. We used to have a couple of meets there every year.
    They charged 7:50 for tents and 10 for caravans/ motorhomes then it went up to 20ish. We used to have about 30 people.
    I am not the only one that has spent a while on the phone trying to get any sense out of them. When I said that no-one charges 20
    for a tent the lady said we could double up on the pitch. I pointed out that there were no pitches in the field and we were not using
    electric etc she said that was extra.
    Basically not interested in having customers I guess.
    Daft really, as the presence of campers in that field is entirely profit to them, as there are almost zero overheads having us there, we barely used the facilities at all! They're obviously blinded by all the "normal" and "event" business they do.
    Covering as many malmiles as possible before being distracted by the pub!

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  19. #19
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    Last time I camped along the Medway I just stopped late on one of loch islands with my bivi. It was a few years back now I guess it's more problematic these days.

    Bushcraft Survival and First Aid Training.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by wayne View Post
    Last time I camped along the Medway I just stopped late on one of loch islands with my bivi. It was a few years back now I guess it's more problematic these days.
    Not particularly, they pretty much encourage it, if done responsibly.
    Covering as many malmiles as possible before being distracted by the pub!

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  21. #21
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    Get's a bit busy some days in summer though. One weekend last year there were so many tents crammed onto Oak Weir Lock you could barely get through them to portage the lock. Must have been at least 10 tents, some of them large 4-6 man tents.

    Yesterday there were about 6 tents at Sluice Lock, though it was hard to tell whether they were really there for the night or just the day.

    Stoneham old lock has become a camping spot for drinkers and dropouts. Not a place I ever fancy stopping these days.
    Matto

    Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea.


  22. Default

    Hey Matto,

    When we left Hop Farm and got to Sluice lock, there was 1 big tent on the grass and a couple on the gravelly bank where the anglers were. I was very much of the " I have just paid 25 for hop farm when I could have stayed here for free?????' mindset. Will definitely look at this as an option next time. Also I noticed the old lock was more of a party lock too. Rave and burgers at 10am anyone :-)

    Anyway I was also really blown away how nice other canoeists and most boaters were. I did feel like I was pissing off the anglers most of the time. Won't bother asking if they had caught a shark or whale next time...

    Just watched ray meats canoe the ardeshe in France I know where I am going next ��

  23. #23
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    Sep 2013
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    Ilkeston, United Kingdom
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    ***Current Work*** Sunday 5th Nov. 2017

    0.5 km upstream from the disused lock / 3km upstream Yalding weir

    The bridge has a lot of work going on, covered in scaffolding, there is enough gap under the bridge to paddle through no problem. On the downstream side is a 'rubbish catcher' like a net/floating piece of cloth that spans the whole river. It is super low and in open canoes we paddled over it no problem.

    There isn't really any way to portage around the bridge/floating net. We had planned to do the Tonbridge to Yalding stretch and after checking the EA website, canoe trail website and Allington lock they said it was all clear and a 'Green light' their code for boats using the river. So the obstacle was unexpected and with no sign on the river or online that I can find to say when it will be finished, it's probably best to call.

    I am signed up to the river and EA notifications and there should be no work, so unsure if it has overrun?

    SUMMARY: Passable floating obstruction - the river channel is 'closed for maintenance' so proceed with caution. The river is flat here so unless you swim/capsize it is not a danger.

  24. #24

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    Works planned until mid Dec - its Notice 15 of 2017 - the EA list under River Restrictions rather than Conditions. Medway Canoe Trail website includes under Latest Notices. As it's Network Rail it'll no doubt be delayed for .... The rubbish catcher wasn't there when I took a look so circumstances may change.
    R

  25. #25
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    I went through it about 3 weeks ago. I wasn't sure whether I should proceed as there were some pretty industrial noises coming from the bridge, but the workers went on their lunch break just after I arrived.

    Bit of a problem if you have a motor boat up there and need to get somewhere.

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