River Canoeing – The Best Places in the UK

Have you completed our #wildsummer challenges yet? Here, the authors of our new Wild Guide to the South East reveal some of the best places to go for a canoe trip:


Kent Downs

Chartham, River Great Sour, Kent Downs

A popular stream pool with a rope swing and hidden lake beyond. Canoeing for kids too.

Park at Chartham village hall and follow the path 300m down along the stream to find a small weir and deep pool beneath and a rope swing. Continue on 300m to find a lake on the left. Chartham has a train station or is 3 miles south west of Canterbury on the A28. NCN 18. 5 mins, 51.2562, 1.0215



Bungay, River Waveney, Norfolk Broads

Lovely riverbanks and meadows in the backwaters of this alternative little town. Many independent cafés and shops too.

From Outney Common cross the roundabout onto Bridge Street, then first take a right after the bridge (Falcon Lane, NR35 2JG). Also try swimming at the Locks Inn riverside music pub downstream at remote Geldeston (NR34 0HS for satnav, 01508 518414). 5 mins, 52.4572, 1.4413


Rockland Broad

Rockland Broad, River Yare, Norfolk Broads

Broad and river swims on the less touristy Yare river. Watch out for boats.

From the New Inn (NR14 7HP, 01508 538211) near Rockland St Mary, walk on the footpath north east to the broad. The footpath along the River Yare leads to the Beauchamp Arms (NR14 6DH, 01508 480247). 10 mins, 52.59209, 1.44606




Ensfield Bridge, River Medway, High Weald

An open, sunny stretch of river by a lane with river paths in both directions. There are steep banks but it’s a good place for a longer swim. It’s also on the Regional Cycle Route 12 upstream to Penshurst Place, or downstream to the lakes.

West of Tonbridge, a mile south of Leigh station on the lanes (near TN11 8RZ). 2 mins, 51.1857, 0.2133



Buscot Weir, River Thames

A wonderful large, deep weir pool with trees, rope swings and lawns in a pretty National Trust hamlet.

Continue south from Cheese Wharf and turn left in Buscot to find car park (SN7 8DA) after 150m. 2 mins, 51.6809, -1.6683

Wild Swimming Sydney 3d jacket no shadow

Taken from the Wild Guide: Southern and Eastern England by Daniel Start, Lucy Grewcock and Elsa Hammond.


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