The River Cuckmere has been on my list of a while but I've never managed to get the tides correct to make the trip work. The paddle starts from the very pretty Cuckmere Haven meanders, next to the Seven Sisters cliffs. There is a good write up in Pete Knowles' 'Pub Paddles' book.
We camped the night before with Lyn (Silverbirch) at a great camp site near Alfriston and met Peter (Impcanoe) and Gwyn at the meanders put in. It was an overcast and windy day, but the trip up to Alfriston was scenic and we were ushered along nicely by the wind and tide passing the white horse, open meadows and lots of Egrets.
The river is muddy and quickly narrows down to a tight channel with high reeds alongside. Progress was hampered in places by shallow water or obstructions but we were quickly in Alfriston where we locked the boats together, found some pirate treasure (of course ) and made the short walk to the Old George for a very generously portioned lunch.
Heading back an hour or so later with the falling tide, we had to line a bit where it got too shallow and then battled the wind back to Cuckmere Haven passing herons, cows, motorbikes, a buzzard, more egrets and a kingfisher along the way until we got back to the put in where surprise arrivals Ted (Woodworm) and Kaye had popped down to meet us. Loading the boats up quickly we popped across the road into the visitor centre cafe and enjoyed tea and scones where the different regional pronunciation of scones was debated and a general catch up was had.
Thanks to Lyn, Gwyn, Peter for their company on the water and also Kaye and Ted for joining us for tea and helping to pack up.
A short movie:
Link for apple people