Rivers
Canoeing and Kayaking on : River Dart

The River Dart is arguably the most famous whitewater canoeing river in England, and in particular the Dart Loop is a fantastic place to go canoeing.

The Upper Dart is harder, Grade III and sometimes IV, the middle section with the Loop is mostly Grade II with a few famous Grade III sections, and the lower Dart is around Grade II.

The Dart needs enough water to be paddleable, otherwise it will be very bony.

Paddle Point
Kingswear, Devon, UK

Very welcoming. Short drive to free drop off and free car park at the creek below.
If you have a trolley, a just-possible walk down to coastal path and then on to slipway.

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

Lower Dart http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/rivers/england/south-west/river-dart-holne-bridge-to-buckfastleigh
Access (weekdays only) at Holne Bridge, parking in the layby for 2/3 cars just upstream of the bridge. At weekends, you'll have to pay and park at the Country Park and access just below the school rapid.
Egress is at the Steam Railway carpark, river right.

Great introduction to whitewater or easy touring river.

Paddle Point

http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/rivers/england/south-west/river-dart-dartmeet-to-new-bridge-the-upper-dart

Put in below the bridge and start of nice and easy.... with features up to grade 5 this section is not for beginners; it is remote in places and local rescue services can take a couple of hours to reach you. Get out at the loop get-in carpark (New Bridge).

At New Bridge look at the slab river left - if the water is within an inch of the slab, there is enough water. Less than that is a bit of a scrape. If you can't even see the slab, the water is high.

The Dart can be "flashy"; if it's raining when you get on the water will be rising. In high water there are a lot of trees to avoid.

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

http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/rivers/england/south-west/river-dart-new-bridge-to-holne-bridge-the-loop

Due to the closure of parking and egress at Holne Bridge it is better to continue to the River Dart Country Park, though this is going to cost you around £6 parking and mean lugging up the hill to the car park.
Paddle Point
Stoke Gabriel, Devon, UK

Paddle Point
Totnes, Devon TQ9, UK

Lovely return trip that can be done in an afternoon. Places to stop for lunch at the rivers edge, and a tea shop on the quay at Stoke Gabriel

Enjoyed this paddle on the 14/06/13 we went the other way round Stoke Gabriel to Totnes. The area is beautiful took some lovely photos on the way.
Lots of nature including a seal close by in the river Dart. Watch the tide times for the return to the estuary at Stoke Gabriel.
Paddle Point
1 Chome-11 Kamifukubara, Yonago-shi, Tottori-ken 683-0004, Japan

Many Canada Geese live here...and in spring many babies....cute!

Paddle Point
Stoke Gabriel, Devon, UK

Duncannon...lovely place to live by the river

Paddle Point
Stoke Gabriel, Devon, UK

Take plenty of cash - very pricey
Paddle Point
Buckfastleigh, Devon TQ11, UK

Nice section of Grade 2, reasonably continuous.

Paddle Point

Can be portaged river left.

Damaged as at 28/12/13, with metalwork showing and acting as a serious hazard.

http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=108554

Weir has been rebuilt. River left best, but weir is still potentially a hazard in certain levels. Portaging a better option for most.
Paddle Point
1 Chome-11 Kamifukubara, Yonago-shi, Tottori-ken 683-0004, Japan

Some clever individual has cut down a tree at Sharrah Pool on the Upper Dart, and let it fall into the river.

See: http://bigsplashswimming.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/the-sharrah-pool-chainsaw-massacre.html

Paddle Point
Totnes, Devon TQ9, UK

From Swallowfields go through the gate just before Riverside Lane, continue past the SW Water station and turn left. Grassy bank very close to the weir. Beautiful spot with parking close by in Swallowfields Lane/Road. Local canoe/kayak club have a hut here so it's known among locals.

Paddle Point
Totnes, Devon TQ9, UK

Lovely day or long afternoon paddle with places to stop for lunch along the way....Tea at Stoke gabriel and then return back to Totnes.

My daughter and me at Stoke Gabriel.
Paddle Point

Check the tides. We caught the rising tide at 6am and arrived in Totnes just on high tide at 8am. We pulled the kayaks out at the island/park just before the bridge and left them on the grass while we went for breakfast - there's a big selection of cafes in Totnes before paddling back. Only 90 minutes to get back as the tide was falling faster. If you're later in the day then the ice creams at Stoke Gabriel are worth stopping for - have you tried paddling while holding a melting cornet?

Paddle Point
Galmpton, Torbay, UK

Free launching for Kayaks. Park in free car park and trolley kayaks to launch via the foot path next to the barrier. Checked with business owners on site and ok to use respectfully. Anything larger and there is a fee.

Paddle Point
Kingswear, Devon, UK

Accessible and viewable from the water.
If you have non-kayakers in your party and dogs, a good walk from the launch point at Gampton around the coastal path.

Paddle Point
Kingswear, Devon, UK

Expensive to launch £3 per kayak but accessible at both high and low tide. Additional car parking fee and limited spaces.

Paddle Point
Kingswear, Devon, UK

AC's holiday residence, National Trust. Well worth a visit. Visible from the Dart.

Paddle Point
Galmpton, Torbay, UK

plenty of access to shore
roughly 2 hours at a very slow pace

Paddle Point
Totnes, Devon TQ9, UK

Tonight is the highest tide of the year. We will paddle from Longmarsh to the Maltsters which will be flooded allowing us to order a drink from the downstairs bar without leaving the canoe then on to the Watermans only reachable at the top of a big spring tide where we will canoe in the road. Brilliant!

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

Small play wave which is surfable in most conditions

Two good waves for SUP surfing. The main wave is better in higher water when it can be a perfect green wave across the whole river, but watch for submerged trees.

When the levels drop another much smaller wave becomes good for SUP surfing, just a bit downstream. More info and video here - http://ukriversurfers.com/page7.html
Paddle Point
Totnes, Devon TQ9, UK

Beautiful route down the classic tidal Dart - from Totnes to Dartmouth.
Check the tide times when planning this one. Handy pub stop at the Ferry Boat Inn at Dittisham. Then past Agatha Christies House and towards Dartmouth.

Watch out for the big pleasure boats and the chain ferry - it cannot get out of your way!

Apparently, a very friendly seal might pay you a visit.

Paddle Point
Totnes, Totnes, Devon TQ9, UK

You can tie up at the steps, and then enter the beer garden for a well deserved pint!

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

Dartmeet to New Bridge - the 'Upper Dart'
Paddle Point
1 Chome-11 Kamifukubara, Yonago-shi, Tottori-ken 683-0004, Japan

The famous "slab" gives an indication of water level here. 6" below the slab's flat section is pretty low. Just lapping the edge of the slab is a good level. Covering the slab will lead to a bouncy ride on high water.

New Bridge to Holne Bridge - the 'Loop'
Paddle Point
1 Chome-11 Kamifukubara, Yonago-shi, Tottori-ken 683-0004, Japan

The first of 3 grade 3 sections on the Dart Loop.

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

Long-ish Grade 3 rapid with numerous boulders that can push you against an undercut cliff - Lover's Leap itself.

First there's a bouldery ramp, then a brief flatter section with an eddy on the left, then a short drop into the bottom pool.

In low water, its an exercise in dodging big rocks. In high water, its very bouncy, can be hard to get to the eddy and can push you against the undercut Lover's Leap itself.

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

3 distinct drops over a few hundred metres of river. First is a moderate ledge, second and third are closer together and a little more complex. Grade 3.





Paddle Point

Holne Bridge to Buckfastleigh
No longer any parking here, and egress closed off.

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

Paddle Point

Get out above bridge going into the Country Park, at the end of the "Dart Loop", or start of the Lower.
Parking is in the car park some hundreds of metres away. Drop off is no longer encouraged, so carrying is the only real option.

Drop off area has now been closed off, so you will have to carry up the hill to the car park.
Paddle Point
Buckfastleigh, Devon TQ11, UK

Get on just below the bridge, might have to climb over the fence.

This is also the end to the lower.

Buckfastleigh to Staverton
Paddle Point
Buckfastleigh, Devon TQ11, UK

Layby give access to Dart - it is a bit of scramble down the bank though.

The landowner has asked people to not use this access point due to extensive damage to the banks; there is a good access point across the river: http://www.paddlepoints.net?PP=594
Using the steam railway carpark is free as long as you get a coffee & cake at the cafe if it's open. The egress is easier than this layby scramble too....
Unfortunately the access opposite at the Steam Railway/Butterfly Farm is now withdrawn as I understand it.
Paddle Point
1 Chome-11 Kamifukubara, Yonago-shi, Tottori-ken 683-0004, Japan

The centre channel is the route here. River right is too shallow, river left is blocked.

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

Get out is just upstream of the bridge. Muddy stream leads to a wall with railings - with some effort kayaks and canoes can be got over this bridge.

(access just below bridge is under dispute as local landowner recently stopped access/egress to the river at this point, despite it being used for years).

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

If for any reason you cannot get in above Staverton Bridge, there is an old slipway (in disrepair) that can be used here. It is a fair walk from the road though - kayaks should be able to walk it, but if you've got an open canoe, bring a trolley.

Paddle Point
Totnes, Devon TQ9, UK

Great slipway in carpark although can get very busy. Avoid at very low tide unless you are fond of mud. Totnes is approx 1 mile upstream with 2 waterside pubs to tie up at for refreshment. Downstream approx 2 miles are the quays at Sharpham house where you can stop for lunch in the restaurant or just sample the best in South Devon wines. Look out for the friendy seal who swims up to your boat at high tide.

I've followed that seal to Stoke Gabriel!
Car park is £6 for all day parking. £32 for a weeks permit if you are planning a longer trip.
Paddle Point
1 Chome-11 Kamifukubara, Yonago-shi, Tottori-ken 683-0004, Japan

The first PS Kingswear Castle - Pre-world war 1 Paddle Steamer Wreck.



Image taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/River_Dart_Steamboat_Co_Ltd

Paddle Point
Stoke Gabriel, Devon, UK

Spooky Apparition: see this blog on Song of the Paddle

Paddle Point
Tuckenhay, Totnes, Devon TQ9 7, UK

Launch from pub car park, I always ask first out of courtesy and buy a drink on return. Bow Creek is beautiful and full of wildlife but empties at low tide. The pub car park is underwater at the top of a big spring tide which is great fun in a canoe and there is another pub 1 mile upstream (The Watermans which can be reached on a spring tide.

Paddle Point
Stoke Gabriel, Totnes, Devon, UK

Great launch point with car park and cafe. The dart is huge here, treat as open water. Both Totnes and Dartmouth are a comfortable paddle from here or cross the river and head up Bow Creek to Tuckenhay and the Maltsers Arms where you can canoe up to the bar on a big spring tide!

Thanks Dan, great spot.
Parking right down by the harbour is £3.30 all day. Lovely place to start from.
Paddle Point
Dittisham, Dartmouth, Devon, UK

You can drive through the gate from the carpark onto the foreshore which makes launching and recovery a doddle with a heavy boat. River is busy here but brfeathtaking. Visit Agatha Christie's house by canoe or paddle into Dartmouth. Foreshore is very muddy at low tide.

Paddle Point

You can park on the beach when the tide is low.

Paddle Point
Kingswear, Devon, UK

Paddle Point
Dartmouth, Devon, UK

Launch point in the heart of Dartmouth.

There is parking nearby, but the carparking spaces around the boat float are limited to one hour, th bigger car park near by is limited to 4 hours. If you want to park all day, you will need to drop off boats, and then go up to the park and ride.