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Thread: Tidal River Arun Reference Thread

  1. #1
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    Default Tidal River Arun Reference Thread

    Hia

    Having now done a few trips on the Arun and read the fantastic blogs from others I thought I would do a bit of a reference thread for the river. Below I have outlined the best put-ins and a few trips.

    The Arun is a river in West Sussex and offers a massive variety of stunning paddling and trips that can last from just a couple of hours to days. The river is tidal so you need to take this into account for most of it.

    Put-Ins

    Working upriver these are the best put-ins on the Arun, though there are others.

    Littlehampton Beachhttp://streetmap.co.uk/newmap.srf?x=...=newsearch.srf
    Roadside parking on the seafront in Littlehampton is free, but there are also pay-and-display carparks. You can put-in on the beach next to the river mouth and paddle up from there. The tidal flow here is VERY strong so choose your timing correctly.

    Littlehampton Look and Sea Centrehttp://streetmap.co.uk/newmap.srf?x=...=newsearch.srf
    About 300 metres up from the river mouth and close to the town centre. The Look and Sea Centre has a concrete slipway which I believe is free for the public to use, parking here is pay-and-display and limited.

    The Black Rabbit, Offham, Arundelhttp://streetmap.co.uk/newmap.srf?x=...=newsearch.srf
    This pub is a mile or 2 north of Arundel has free parking and steps down to the river. It is best to ask permission before putting in here, but they are quite welcoming and do some nice beers and food. To access the steps you need to move tables so best not to do it at peak times as the pub gets very busy. The steps give access to the river at any tide, but they are steep and can be muddy/slimy. High/Low tide here is about 2 hours behind Littlehampton.

    Amberlyhttp://streetmap.co.uk/newmap.srf?x=...=newsearch.srf
    There is a riverside café in Amberly. They have let people put-in here, but do insist you buy something. High/Low tide here is about 2 hours behind Littlehampton.

    Greatham Bridgehttp://streetmap.co.uk/newmap.srf?x=...=newsearch.srf
    Next to the bridge between Coldwaltham and Greatham. There is a small, free carpark here and access to the river from the grassy bank. Access can be a bit awkward at low tide. High/Low tide here is about 3 1/4 hours behind Littlehampton.

    Pulboroughhttp://streetmap.co.uk/newmap.srf?x=...=newsearch.srf
    On the North side of the bridge into Pulborough there is a concrete slipway and on the opposite side there is a small free carpark. The slipway gives you access to the river at any tide, but it is quite steep and the bottom half can get very slippery. High/Low tide here is about 4 hours behind Littlehampton.

    Trips

    Most of these are one way, but can be done as returns, especially if you get the tides right. There are train stations in Littlehampton, Arundel (about a mile or so out of town), Amberly and Pulborough, so if you can’t ferry your car between a put-in and take-out you can always use the train. No, I don’t think you can take the canoe on the train, you will have to leave the canoe at one end, then use the train to get to the car and drive back to the canoe.

    Littlehampton to Arundel – Approx. 10km
    I have not done this and don’t really plan to unless part of a multi-day trip. This section is enclosed by high banks to protect against the tide and blocks any views you might have. Tidal currents in this section can be very strong.

    Black Rabbit to Amberly and return – Approx. 14km
    Put in at the Black Rabbit with the rising tide and paddle up to Amberly where you can have a tea/coffee and wait for the tide to turn. This paddle takes you through the Arun Gap and offers stunning views. When the tide is higher you can take the loop under the railway which adds about 2km to the journey. See a blog here: http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...ead.php?t=6399

    Greatham Bridge to the Black Rabbit – Approx. 15km
    Put in at Greatham Bridge at high tide and go with the flow. The river takes you through open pasture down to Amberly, through the Arun Gap and finishes at the Black Rabbit pub. This is a very nice, gentle paddle with a good variety of scenery and plenty of places to stop should you wish. It will take 3-4 hours depending how easy you take it and if you follow the extra loop in the river under the railway. Blog here: http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...highlight=arun

    Greatham Bridge to Pulborough and return – Approx. 12km
    Put in at Greatham Bridge and go up-river to Pulborough where there are cafes and pubs. This is best joined on to the Pulborough to Pallingham Quay and return trip to make an even longer journey. Blog here: http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...ead.php?t=4112

    Pulborough to Pallingham Quay and return – Up to approx. 15km
    This is my favourite section of the river and offers massive variety, from open fields and manicured gardens to wild woodlands and tall reed beds, in some places it is quite wide, in others just a few feet. While still tidal this only offers a moderate current to paddle against if you get it wrong, how far up towards Pallingham Quay can depend on the tides. At Stopham Bridge there is a great pub next to the river that does really good local beers. Combine with the Greatham Bridge to Pulborough section of the Arun to make a longer trip. Blog here: http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...highlight=arun

    You can also read about a multi-day trip from way back in 1989 here: http://al.sdf-eu.org/rdc/can/arun.html

    Link to BBC Tides for South: http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/coast/tides/south.shtml

  2. #2
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    Excellent reference thread Joel, thanks for putting it together.

    It has taken me a while to get a feel for the tidal differences at the various put-ins but your estimates are pretty much in agreement with my limited empirical findings, at least for Greatham Bridge and Pulborough. I have a couple of data sheets from the BCU Access Officer for the Arun which give different tide data for Arundel and Houghton Bridge (aka Amberely) though.

    I have pasted the additional useful data from the BCU below.

    Its also worth noting that there are two additional put-ins:
    1. Under the A283 road bridge at Stopham north west of Pulborough with some parking.
    2. Ship & Anchor pub, Ford, by arrangement only tel: (01243)551262 (has jetty and camping).
    Also, phone numbers for some of the other access points:

    Fisherman’s Quay, Littlehampton Harbour (01903)721215
    Littlehampton Marina (01903)713553 (access only with permission)
    Black Rabbit Pub, Offham (01903)882828
    Riverside Cafe & Bistro, Houghton Bridge (01798)831558

    Tidal Limit – OS-037214 (Pallingham Quay Farm & Pallingham Lock)
    Tidal differences (from Littlehampton) – Ford + 25min
    Arundel + 50 min
    Houghton Bridge + 1hr 30 min
    Pulborough + 4hr

    Interestingly, the BCU Access Officer added this account of paddling the river from New Bridge on the A272 (above the tidal limit at Pallingham) from an unnamed source:
    New Bridge to Pulborough

    On the Arun it is possible to paddle down from NewBridge on the A272, which is above the tidal limit. It has recently been proven to be an existing legal right of navigation. The access is just south of the road along a public footpath. There is limited parking on the road by the bridge and due to congestion problems it’s best to try to make a slick drop off.

    From there, depending on what you like, it's an interesting paddle down a windy and at times barely passable river. In places there is the odd blockage due to vegetation growing over the river and reeds. This added to the amusement and character of the river, it's not really strainer stuff because the flow is, at the top of the river, minimal but you need to be cautious and ought to have a responsible paddler at the front just in case.


    There are two weirs on this top section. The first must be portaged. There is no agreement with the landowner for access to his/her land so if you do this please be discreet. The second, depending on the ability of your group and the water levels, is run-able (Again, there is no access agreement to the land.)

    You get out at the public slipway in Pulborough (marked on the attached map). There is a footbridge across the river to a small parking area. The parking area is a small turn off just after the bridge going south on the A29.

    [N.B. 21 January 2000 - According to the most recent edition of the Chronological Table of the Statutes, the Arun, Sussex: navigation Act of 1785, c. 100, 25 Geo. 3 remains on the statue book, i.e. it has not been repealed.]
    Finally, if you are a regular Arun paddler why not consider supporting or joining the Wey & Arun Canal Trust which is working to restore the Wey and Arun Canal that might ultimately allow us to paddle all the way to London!

  3. #3
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    Nice call both of you

    After the little trip we done there to the Black Rabbit, it has left my appetite wetted for some more of the Arun. Thanks for the info

    Has anyone done the muti day trip since 1989? Always insterested in a bit of canoe camping, especially on such a picturesque river.

    Martin..

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hedgepig View Post
    Nice call both of you

    After the little trip we done there to the Black Rabbit, it has left my appetite wetted for some more of the Arun. Thanks for the info

    Has anyone done the muti day trip since 1989? Always insterested in a bit of canoe camping, especially on such a picturesque river.

    Martin..
    Did Pulborough to the Black Rabbit in '95, camped at South Woods. A lovely trip that's on my list to paddle again some time. I've also camped a little way north of Stopham this year for our water camp, that was with Sir Brian Barttelot's permission (handily he's president of W. Sussex Scouts) so I don't know about wild camping there.

    BTW The put-in at Stopham is often slippy, I've seen a few people slide into the water there. If you do make it out, the pub by the old bridge is very nice.
    And thou shalt have a paddle De 23:13

  5. #5
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    Many thanks Joel, I think I might try the upper part past Greatham Bridge where we put in last time... sounds very picturesque.
    Kazbunny
    Don't dream it... DO IT!

  6. #6
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    Default wild camping @ south woods?

    Hi all this is a follow on from a question I asked a while ago.
    Does anyone know if it is possible to camp at south woods on the river Arun, I know the laws for wild camping in the uk but wondered if I can get away with pitching a up here for one night.
    It is between Houghton and SouthStoke. Better still would people know who I could contact to find out? I have been trawling the net for a while trying to get some info but realise I need some help from fellow paddlers.
    I'm planning a short paddle from Pulbourgh return next week with one night under the stars. Any guidance would be really appreciated.
    Cheers all
    life is an adventure to live not a problem to solve

  7. #7
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    There's another "put in" - the new pontoon in Arundel (Town Quay, next to the bridge), there's a £2 fee and you would have to get your timing right due to the strong tidal flow.
    One day it's hoped that there will be a public slipway in Arundel, a project being championed by the Arundel Boat Club - http://www.arundelboatclub.org

  8. #8
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    Default long paddle on the arun

    Howdy!

    I'm new here - found the forum while searching for tidal times on the Arun - something I always seem to get wrong when canoeing it.

    My in-laws live in Pulborough and as I'm a canoeing addict, I've canoed quite a few times on the river when visiting.

    I'm visiting for much longer this summer and so as I left my Pakcanoe in Africa, I picked up a cheap 'canoe' (turns out it's a clunky kayak) on ebay and want to see if I can paddle all of the way down to Littlehampton and back in a day.

    Here's my question: how can I work it so that I can paddle with the current all of the way down the river and back?? I am confident that I can make it to the mouth in 6 hours and as this is the approximate time between high and low tides, it seems like it should be possible, but ... if I leave Pulborough at high tide (4 hours after high in Littlehampton), then just after two hours of paddling the water will be flowing upriver from the mouth and I'll inevitably run into it.. So, I'm confused as to how to time this.

    Any help or advice will be appreciated!

    thanks,
    Erik

  9. #9
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    Erik,

    I don't think there's a way around the fact that at some point you will meet the tide. Last time we paddled down stream from Puborough we didn't get as far as Arundel before we were fighting the tide ( we were taking it easy ).

  10. #10
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    Default pulborough to littlehampton trip

    I enjoyed a trip down the river from Pulborough to Littlehampton and learned a bit about the tides/currents along the way.

    I left Pulborough 3.5 hours before low tide at Littlehampton and paddled quite hard to reach the mouth in exactly 3.5 hours. I waited there on the beach and watched the tide come in, but yet the river kept flowing out for nearly two hours after the tide change! Finally I was able to go back up, but didn't enjoy much current until after an hour break at Houghton (I was exhausted and wanted to see how the US was doing in the World Cup). By the time I made it back to the start at Pulborough, it was nearly 12 hours later!

    I fought the current somewhat until Greatham bridge and then averaged around 8 km/h to Houghton bridge, about 9 km/h from there to Arundel, and then nearly 10 km/h from there to the mouth. All together, I ended up with about 8.7 km/h, which was a pretty good clip in the junky little kayak that I used.

    In retrospect, the best thing would have been to leave Pulborough at high tide, wait 3 hours at Littlehampton, and then enjoy the current all the way home. I think the trip is do-able in 10 hours - 7 hours paddling, and 3 hours resting/waiting.

    See the whole GPS track and details at http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=672220

  11. #11
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    Default hello fellow aruners!!

    just started paddling a few weeks ago (52 years old) got all the info i needed from you chaps, so far i have gone from pulborough to the black rabbit for my very first trip, took 4 hours and four pints!! 2nd trip was from pulborough to just past stopham bridge, aiming to do that again this friday and go on a bit further this time.
    great fun and a very nice river too. i remember when i was about 12 camping with the scouts on the river at billingshurst and seeing a wild otter living in the river bank. so far i have seen two kingfishers and plenty of buzzards, they must know i am new to this!!
    any other good runs please let me know.

    cheers

    tony t

  12. #12
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    Default has anybody actually gone from newbridge to pullborough?

    i have gone from pulborough to pallingham quay a couple of times, the water was very shallow at pallingham quay, and we had to get out and pull the kayaks which was fun!!, i was thinking of going from newbridge to pallingham so any info would be appreciated.

    tony t
    Quote Originally Posted by luke View Post
    Excellent reference thread Joel, thanks for putting it together.

    It has taken me a while to get a feel for the tidal differences at the various put-ins but your estimates are pretty much in agreement with my limited empirical findings, at least for Greatham Bridge and Pulborough. I have a couple of data sheets from the BCU Access Officer for the Arun which give different tide data for Arundel and Houghton Bridge (aka Amberely) though.

    I have pasted the additional useful data from the BCU below.

    Its also worth noting that there are two additional put-ins:
    1. Under the A283 road bridge at Stopham north west of Pulborough with some parking.
    2. Ship & Anchor pub, Ford, by arrangement only tel: (01243)551262 (has jetty and camping).
    Also, phone numbers for some of the other access points:

    Fisherman’s Quay, Littlehampton Harbour (01903)721215
    Littlehampton Marina (01903)713553 (access only with permission)
    Black Rabbit Pub, Offham (01903)882828
    Riverside Cafe & Bistro, Houghton Bridge (01798)831558

    Tidal Limit – OS-037214 (Pallingham Quay Farm & Pallingham Lock)
    Tidal differences (from Littlehampton) – Ford + 25min
    Arundel + 50 min
    Houghton Bridge + 1hr 30 min
    Pulborough + 4hr

    Interestingly, the BCU Access Officer added this account of paddling the river from New Bridge on the A272 (above the tidal limit at Pallingham) from an unnamed source:


    Finally, if you are a regular Arun paddler why not consider supporting or joining the Wey & Arun Canal Trust which is working to restore the Wey and Arun Canal that might ultimately allow us to paddle all the way to London!
    Last edited by KeithD; 26th-September-2011 at 09:40 PM. Reason: fix quotes

  13. #13

    Default

    Just good to add a few comments to this old thread. Firstly big thanks to Joel, Luke and others for posting the information that allowed me to get out paddling for the first time in ~20 years in the kayak made by grandfather in 1953.

    The Black Rabbit pub now has a very good floating pontoon and stairs case up to the pub so is an excellent pausing point for the turn around (i timed the tide turning at ~2:30hrs after littlehampton). It wouldnt work as a putting in point as the stairs are step and the pub is a very large commercial operation.

    The Riverside Cafe and Bistro, also has a floating pontoon. The owner Terry kindly allowed me to put in here on the basis that I didnt leave the car in his small car park. The pontoon is right in the middle of the cafe setain area so definitely needs the owners permission.

    The Greatham bridge put in is fun and muddy; the small carparks on either side of the bridge are both locked but there are quite a few roadside spots. A couple of people told me hat where I put in was for parishners only but there were allowed spots a few yards away.

    The banks fopr all these sections were mostly high reeds so the view not that broad, however the rivers was lovely and totally empty.

    Enjoy!

  14. #14
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    There is a put in in Arundel. Adjacent to the car park next to the new museum. It's a slipway which was meant for members of the Arun Boat Club but I don't think the club is still active. It's next to the grassed overflow area of the car park ( £2.50 for 3 hours).

  15. #15

    Thumbs up

    Hi everyone,

    This is a fantastic thread. I'm very appreciative of the information that everyone has shared.

    I moved to Pulborough last year and live very close to the put in at Swan Bridge. I frequently go for a paddle up to the White Hart at Stopham, or around "the island" as I call it: Otherwise know as Swan Meadow.

    This thread was started a few years ago now, but I've found it supremely useful in planning for a trip I will undertake with a mate next Saturday. We will leave Pulborough just after high tide, head down through Amberley, and further to South Wood. Aiming to scope out a site to pitch a tarp, then into Arundel for a couple of hours. Back with the flow to South Wood, then home to Pulborough with the flow on Sunday.

    Having read previous comments, chances are are we could make it to Littlehampton for a spot of kayak fishing, but the sensible option is to take it easy, and save that for the next trip.

    Thanks everyone, this is is really useful thread with good information!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeadTuesday View Post

    Having read previous comments, chances are are we could make it to Littlehampton for a spot of kayak fishing, but the sensible option is to take it easy, and save that for the next trip.
    We did a return trip from Amberley to Littlehampton one day late last year. The section after Arundel down to Littlehampton was really boring with not much to commend it at all.

  17. #17

    Default

    My brother is over from Australia, and we did a lovely overnighter from Pulborough to Arundel just this past Saturday gone over the bank holiday weekend.

    I'm adding some observations here which may help people planning anything similar in future:

    We were in two kayaks, travelling leisurely, and felt that any further than Arundel would be hard work on an overnight trip. The journey down to Littlehampton would be best achieved on a two-day trip.

    We were very lucky with the tides, tailwinds, and the weather - most of the South East suffered lightning and thunderstorms on the night of Saturday 26th, we saw none of that.

    We left two hours after low tide at Pulborough which was at 07:30. So leaving at 09:30 we took the tide down to our first stop at the Riverside Cafe at Amberley at 12:45.

    We continued to Arundel very slowly, hardly paddling at all and just letting the tide take us down. When we got to Arundel, the river was running quite fast, and we arrived in the town centre at c.15:30. The public mooring deck is just under the stone bridge at Arundel on the right hand side. It was tricky to know where to moor at first and we almost missed it. If we had have missed it, there would've been no way to turn round and paddle against the tide and we would have had to make it down to Littlehampton whether we wanted to or not, so watch out for it: Directly as you pass under the stone bridge on the right hand side. You pay in the cafe for however many hours mooring.

    We spent a few hours in various pubs sinking a few pints and eating dinner in Arundel, knowing that the tide would turn to low at c:17:00, and expecting to be able to take it back up to the planned wild camp site somewhere near South Wood. At 19:15 we decided to head back up: We didn't stop at Black Rabbit as originally planned but continued with a mix of fast paddling and not paddling at all to arrive at our campsite about 2 miles past Black Rabbit at c:20:30.

    The next morning we assumed low tide to be at 05:45. We left camp at 07:30, made it to the Cafe at Amberley for 09:00 breakfast for 45 mins, and rode the tide all the way back to Pulborough and home at roughly 2pm.

    We felt that good tailwinds on both legs contributed to our enjoyment, but you can't make any plans around that really, it is just luck on the trip.

    I highly recommend the trip if you can make it.

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