Rivers
Canoeing and Kayaking on : River Barle

The River Barle is one of the best places for moderate whitewater canoeing in the southwest of England. The section between Tarr Steps and Dulverton is a fantastic grade II paddle, which is quite sustained with few stretches where you aren't avoiding rocks!

The weir at Dulverton is the biggest hazard, and in many conditions it may be best to portage. It can be run with caution though.

Please be aware of other river users and landowners, and paddle responsibly. There has been conflict in the past. Especially, please park sensitively, and don't get changed in front of other people.

The river Barle can be shallow, and should probably be avoided in low water conditions. In high conditions, the low hanging branches and many trees can be hazardous for canoeists.


Paddle Point

The flooding Barle has got so high that the ancient clapper bridge at Tarr Steps has been mostly washed away. Whilst this in itself may not cause direct issues for paddlers, the fact that the wire protection cables above were destroyed by large trees too, means that there must be large amounts of debris downstream.

Great care required.

Paddle Point

A classic grade II paddle, one of the best in the country due to its continuous nature in most conditions. Plenty of rocks to keep you on your toes.
The wooded nature of this wonderful valley means that trees are a real hazard in high water, and the danger of fallen trees high.

Starting at the ancient monument that is Tarr Steps, and normally finishing at Dulverton Bridge, it is possible to extend this a few miles further though there are weirs that will need to be portaged.

Dulverton Weir can be run down the concrete slope if there is enough water. As always, caution and inspection required, there has been a fatality here.

Between there and the get out is probably the trickiest section of the day, as a narrowing on virtually the last bend offers a sting in the tail.

Typical Barle scenery


Dulverton Weir

Paddle Point

Old clapper bridge - seal launch or tributary scrape into fast section of river (at higher flows). Parking further up hill in busy times

Just to avoid confusion, current advice is not to seal launch off the bridge itself as its an ancient monument (fine off the banks if that's your sort of thing). Please park up the hill at all times to avoid giving paddlers a bad name on a sensitive river, but dropping off by the Steps is fine.
Paddle Point

Small tributary stream and bank seal launch to access river. Off-road parking at site.

Paddle Point
Dulverton, Somerset TA22, UK

Bolder and concrete-faced weir. Safe slide dow concrete face, route through bolders safe (with caution) in medium levels.

Weir at the lowest paddleable level according to the gauge. Needs more water.
Paddle Point
Dulverton, Somerset TA22, UK

Public slipway, just upstream of Dulverton town bridge. Plenty of parking in public carpak and elsewhere locally.

Paddle Point

Series of 5 weirs forming salmon steps beside mill. Different routes down for diffent levels. Portage route to river left.

Paddle Point

Small playwave and large pool - good in low to medium levels, washed out when high. Parking nearby if discrete