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Thread: Easy routes on the Thames advice please.

  1. #1

    Default Easy routes on the Thames advice please.

    Hi. We’ve had our Nova Craft SP3 for 3 weeks now and have done 4 trips in it. From Penton Hook Lock in Laleham to Chertsey and from same lock to Staines. We’re complete novices so a bit nervous about going through a lock just yet or coming across a weir.
    Weve been out in the car today searching for a new route to try with easy access to the river and parking. We thought we’d try the Jubilee River but have just read there are several weirs on it. We’re looking to do a return paddle of about 3 - 4 hours in the Surrey/ Berkshire area. Can anyone recommend a suitable trip we can try.
    Many thanks.

  2. #2

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    That lock you cannot think of is Bell Weir.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Nr Hampton Court, West London
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    2,830

    Default

    Paddle points will give you details. Every Thames lock has a canoe portage route, some sightly more formidable than others , but all easy. So really its a question of car parking near the river.Henley, Thames Valley park below Reading, Walton Bridge just up stream od the Bridge for the Desborough Loop, though you could go round twice in the time, or add on down to Sunbury Lock and back, or Portage up stream. All nice scenic paddles, some urban for the architecture, some rural for trees, meadows, wild life. Scroll through the blogs with Thames in the title.

  4. #4

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    Going through locks is no problem. The lock keepers are friendly and will tell you what to do.

    You don’t need to worry about accidentally coming across a weir either. They’re all marked with very prominent DANGER signs and have ropes across the approaches.

    Mark Rainsley’s book is worth a read, but you’ll also get plenty of ideas from old trip reports here too.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Paddle-Tham.../dp/1906095590

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Eton on the banks of the River Thames between Windsor and Slough
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    2,342

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    Don't feel nervous about the locks on the Thames - as others have said, they are a cinch to go through or to go round. Look out for others posting local paddles which you can join in to become more familiar with paddling in the area too.

    As for the Jubilee River - its weirs are well marked, although the portage landing stages need a bit of attention to make them easier to use.
    Fran

    Photobucket stole my sig



  6. #6

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    Thank you for your replies. Can I ask . When you’re in a lock do you just hold onto the chains to keep stable. We’ve been at local locks but haven’t seen any canoes going through.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    The chains are revolting. A painter round a bollard and back to the boat, which will only be wet, or an "active paddle". or rest a hand on an appropriate part of an adjacent boat. Keep away from the ends of the lock. Appears far scary er than it is. If one of you gets out, be sure to work out how you will get back in, remembering that any step in the lock will be slippery.

  8. #8

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    It depends on whether they are side fillers or end fillers. Shepperton is an end filler where as Molesey is a side filler. Although the paddles are in the gates it is channelled and pushes the boat's sideways into the centre. This is obviously an issue when going upriver. Going down in both is easy

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Surrey
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    21,313

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    As others say, the locks are no problem. Going through them is a doddle, especially when the lock keepers are on duty, which is most of the time in that area (less higher up the river). Even if they're not, they're all push button affairs, easy to operate by one of you whilst the other sits in the canoe. The chains are pretty manky, but a simple way of keeping stable if you're worried.


    Going upstream from Hurley towards Henley is a lovely rural option, with a long stretch without locks up to Hambledon weir, then back. If you include going through the lock there, you can easily get to Henley.

    Another lovely bit is Pangbourne up to Goring and back, though the best put in is just below the lock so you have no choice but to use it there, or portage it. Its worth it though.

  10. #10

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    Brilliant . Thank you all so much. We will try going through a lock. Just wanted as much info on what to do before we try. Hurley to,Henley sounds great Mal. We’ll definitely give it a try.

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