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Thread: River Mole

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Thames Ditton

    Default River Mole

    I'm a stones throw away from the exit of the River Mole onto the Thames at Hampton Court and wondered if anyone has any experience of navigating it?

    I had been tempted to take a venture up it the other day in my Prospector but the day was drawing in so gave it a miss.

    Do you know how far its possible to navigate upstream? Any difficulties/dangers/obstacles etc?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008


    I've only done the sections above the Old Esher Road. Can be very shallow in summer. Up to Cobham is simple enough from there, but can be hard work with walking bits, lots of trees and fisherfolk. Very pleasant though.

    Higher up (Dorking to Cobham) is tree infested and quite serious when there is enough water to run it, and doesn't really go when there isn't (needs at least 0.3 I think, currently less than 0.1). We treat this as we would a whitewater river, with care.

    The bit up from the Thames that I haven't done, has a few big weirs which need portaging (I believe one has a handy "tunnel"). Confusingly, the last part of the Mole splits into Mole and Ember, the latter being the bigger. It looks easy enough on the Ember apart from said weirs (2 I think), though looks like a "managed" channel.

    Info on launch points etc on Paddle Points:
    Paddler,blogger,camper,pyromaniac: Blog: Wilderness is a State of Mind

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  3. #3


    The section of the River Mole from Esher to the Thames at Hampton Court is managed by the Environment Agency. Following the Brighton studies the EA entered into an arrangement with BC for paddlers to be able to paddle this section. This arrangement is currently being renegotiated.

    There are three sluices, two of which have to be portaged. At the last sluice before the Mole joins the Thames there is a tunnel on your right with boat rollers. Currently the EA are doing some works around the route of the first portage. Whilst this is taking place the route cannot be used. Waterways and Environment have met with the EA and the project officer to see how the portage route can be opened again. BC will make a statement once we have a solution.

    The River from Brockham to Fetcham is popular with paddlers. Brockham to Leatherhead is a good 9 miles and subject to water levels can make for a good paddle. Ideal to paddle in the spring when there should be more water in the river, a good guide is no more than 3-4 inches of the stepping stones showing as the minimum level. There are three weirs with the only one to watch being at Castle Mill (portage river right in medium to high water levels due to anti-scour lip)

    If you paddle during the fishing season you are likely to receive objection from anglers. Most groups paddle during the closed fishing season, but the final decision is yours subject to water levels

    Noel Humphrey
    RWA South East Region
    LRA River Mole

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