Rivers
Canoeing and Kayaking on : River Tamar

The river Tamar is a river and estuary on the border between Cornwall and Devon, which makes a great place for all sorts of canoeing and kayaking.

As with most estuaries, low tide brings much mud. Most put ins only avoid the mud at mid to high tidal levels, so the best thing is to plan your paddle starting an hour or two before high tide, letting the tide take you upstream, then returning on the ebb.

Paddle Point
1 Chome-11 Kamifukubara, Yonago-shi, Tottori-ken 683-0004, Japan

Paddle Point
Calstock, Cornwall, UK

A there and back again canoeing route on the tidal River Tamar Estuary.

Setting out about an hour and a half to two hours before high tide should give you time to get to Morwellham on the rising tide, have a break, and return on the ebbing tide.

The Tamar estuary here makes a great place for canoeing, but it is best if you stick to the hours around high tide, unless you are particularly keen on mud.

The wooded slopes of the hills are made up of lovely old deciduous woodlands in the main, but the valley is also of interest to anybody who likes a bit if industrial archaeology, as the towering chimneys of copper mine workings peep through the trees in many places.

Paddle Point
1 Chome-11 Kamifukubara, Yonago-shi, Tottori-ken 683-0004, Japan

south - north paddle up the Tamar that will need to be with the tide and have calm sea at the start.

Paddle Point
1 Chome-11 Kamifukubara, Yonago-shi, Tottori-ken 683-0004, Japan

Paddle Point
1 Chome-11 Kamifukubara, Yonago-shi, Tottori-ken 683-0004, Japan

Tidal below this point. Private land all around, some areas well fenced off - particularly river right in order to protect sluice controls. Rough track (stile, locked gate) along river left bank from Newbridge to Morwellham. Portage river left, but few convenient put-ins with frequent stretches of dense overhanging trees.

A note from Gunnislake Fisheries Ltd

Below Gunnislake Weir the river is tidal so there is a public right of navigation, however the banks are privately owned, there is no right to land, except in emergency and there is no pedestrian or vehicle access. The launching or retrieval of canoes and other craft is forbidden.
Paddle Point
Calstock, Cornwall, UK

Tidal river good pub nearby paddle upstream on the tide have a picnic while the tide turns and come back

Paddle Point
Calstock, Cornwall, UK

The Tamar is tidal here, with very muddy banks almost everywhere. This concrete slip is adjacent to the main road (for temporary roadside stps only), with bus-stop, pub, and free public parking close by. All excursions in the upper Tamar tidal estuary need to be carefully planned with regard to ingress and egress and tides and mud. Non paddlers can enjoy river trips with local ferryboat plying from here to Cotehele Quay in season. Saloon-boat trips run from here to Plymouth during the Summer season.

Paddle Point

National Trust property carpark tea rooms etc

Much of the Tamar estuary - including Cothele - is very muddy at all but high tide - yukky! Popular NT property, ancient house, lovely gardens, woodland walks, all close-by.
Paddle Point
1 Chome-11 Kamifukubara, Yonago-shi, Tottori-ken 683-0004, Japan

Fairly good launching point around high tides, with some parking available on verges. Road access is by long and winding lanes. The estuary can be very muddy on both banks at low tide - squidgy!

Paddle Point
1 Chome-11 Kamifukubara, Yonago-shi, Tottori-ken 683-0004, Japan

From the map or aerial imagery this may look like a very suitable place for parking and launching, but it is part of an extensive private estate, with no permission granted for such access.

Paddle Point

Public launching ramp across the foreshore, downstream from extensive boatyard facilities. Several car-parking spaces in lay-by and on verges, but no designated parking area. Not as muddy just here as in many other places.

Paddle Point
Saltash, Cornwall, UK

Several foreshore launching points with plentiful nearby on-street car parking. Access from Saltash town. Road bridge is toll-free when travelling towards the west.

Lovely quiet upstream paddling amongst fields and hamlets from here, as far as Gunnislake. Thereare extensive mud flats and muddy banks at low tide (These may not show from aerial imagery.)

Downstream is a busy commercial waterway, with plenty of room for careful recreationaly users, leading increasingly to the open sea, via Plymouth Sound. Give industrial power-users and large shipping plenty of room to manoeuvre. Access via the various dockyard slipways is not possible, and there is a continuous waterborne police presence to ensure security and safety.

Tidal flow can be quite strong. This does not represent a danger for sensible, competent paddlers, but can cause the inexperienced to have to work hard, or even end-up where they had not planned, especially with an adverse wind. Stay well clear of moored-up shipping: the tidal flow can restrict the use of paddles, or squash boats (or swimmers) between high-sided hulls.

Paddle Point
Plymouth, UK

The Hamoaze provides plenty of scope for paddlers - countryside upstream, deep waters and docks downstream. Please check-out our notes for the Saltash launching point on the opposite side of the river.

Paddle Point
1 Chome-11 Kamifukubara, Yonago-shi, Tottori-ken 683-0004, Japan

Foreshore access here, with pub and large car park close by. (Parking adjacent to the shore is not allowed). Public conveniences close by.

Strong tidal current through the narrows, and choppy when windy (which is frequent!) Do not cause shipping to worry about your presence - they need plenty of room to manoeuvre safely, and have lots of worries other than avoiding kayakers.

Plenty of dry-land walks and facilities to occupy shore-based folk. Frequent ferry-service to Plymouth.

Paddle Point
Cawsand, Torpoint, Cornwall PL10, UK

This is a busy beach during the season, and access to this public slipway may well be blocked by dinghy users. It is unlikely that parking will be found close by. All the local streets are narrow, and the commercial parks can fill-up early in the day.