Autumn Paddle Adventures | Top 5 scenic places to paddle

Autumn Paddle Adventures | Top 5 scenic places to paddle

In Autumn, the different weather and water conditions make for an entirely new paddling experience than you’d get in the calmer spring and summer months. Plus, the landscape is starting to change colour which gives us incredible sceneries and photos. So with that, here’s a guide to our top autumn paddle adventures near you!

South West

The South West is home to many beautiful beaches, coves and estuaries, providing the perfect playground for paddlers of all abilities. Autumn paddle adventures are a magical experience where you will enjoy mild temperatures, uncrowded beaches and stunning colours. Click here to discover and learn more about the various paddling opportunities there are throughout the South West of the country.

tor bay paddle

Top Pick – Tor Bay

Tor Bay with its largely calm waters offers all paddlers a great place to learn and build confidence along a stunning piece of coastline and where you will encounter plenty of wildlife.

Paddlers can launch from any beach but you are strongly advised to avoid harbour slipways in the interest of public safety.

Beaches that have particularly suitable access for paddlers are:
Paignton, Preston, Goodrington, Broadsands, Breakwater (Brixham) and Meadfoot (Torquay).

Don’t forget to always check the prevailing wind and tide conditions to use them to your advantage. Tell a friend where you are going and when you expect to be back, and if possible carry a mobile phone in a waterproof case or a fully charged VHF radio. If you are planning to cross open water ensure you inform the coastguard of your planned journey. Do not enter the enclosed harbours at Torquay, Paignton or Brixham. Find out more about paddling on the sea and how to stay safe here. 

South East

Discover a paddler’s paradise throughout the counties of Kent, Sussex and Surrey! You will find miles and miles of tranquil waterways, green flowing backwaters and plenty of natural rivers offering a range of challenges for all skill levels. Click here to discover and learn more about the various paddling opportunities there are throughout the South West of the country.

autumn paddle adventures river stour

Photo credit: An Autumn Paddle Adventures setting, Nick Fewings

Top Pick – River Stour

The River Stour in Kent is a really charming paddle for those wanting to meander through the heart of the countryside. Paddlers will flow between lush green banks and reed beds for the most part of the river from source to sea. You’ll also come across pretty converted mill buildings, ancient bridges, and sites such as the historic city of Canterbury, it’s an incredible place to paddle.

Why not try the Grove Ferry to Fordwich paddle trail on the River Stour? Click here to view it on PaddlePoints.

Midlands

Across the midlands there are hundreds of miles of waterways weaving their way through richly vibrant and diverse landscapes. Many of these waterways were once at the heart of the industrial revolution meaning there is a wealth of history and heritage to explore along your journey. Click here to discover and learn more about the various waterways paddlers are able to explore through the country’s heartland.

Birmingham Canals

Top Pick – Birmingham & Black Country trails

Explore the heart of the country by discovering the various paddling trails through Birmingham & Black Country. These trails look absolutely stunning in Autumn, with flickering of gold and red lining the routes across 46 miles through history and industrial heritage, from Brownhills in the north to Lapworth at the southern end.

Here’s some routes you might like to explore – you can find them on our Paddle Trails or PaddlePoints pages!

  1. Birmingham Canals Route 1; Brownhills To Sneyd
  2. Birmingham Canals Route 2; Sneyd To Bentley Bridge
  3. Birmingham Canals Route 3; Bentley Bridge To Dudley Crt
  4. Birmingham 4: Dudley Canal Trust To Cambrian Wharf
  5. Birmingham Canals Route 5; Cambrian Wharf To Shirley Drawbridge
  6. Birmingham Canals Route 6; Shirley Drawbridge

Don’t forget to access one of these trails in Birmingham & the Black Country you will require a Canal & River Trust waterways licence. With a British Canoeing membership you will be covered to access these waterways.

Autumn Paddle Adventures Photography Tip!

Don’t forget it’s not just yourself you have to keep warm but also your smartphone or camera otherwise you may miss out capturing your snaps! The colder weather can drain your phone or camera’s battery quicker than normal or in some circumstances can even lead to the device switching off. As well as placing your phone or camera into a water sealed pouch you might like to think about placing it in a sock to help keep it toasty.

Cumbria & North West

From picturesque rivers, glittering lakes and meandering canals there is a paddling experience to be found for everyone! Click here to discover and learn more about the various rivers, lakes and waterways throughout Cumbria and North West.

Lancaster Canal

Top Spot – Lancaster Canal

Opening in 1819 the Lancaster Canal is an engineering masterpiece offering 41 miles of lock free paddling – the longest stretch in the country. The canal links Preston to Kendal and will treat you to the delights of Lancashire – Silverdale Coast, Forest of Bowland, Market Towns and more. It’s one of the only coastal canal routes in the UK, so if you’re looking for a gentle paddle, no portages and beautiful scenery and views, the Lancaster canal should be high on your hit list.

Here’s some routes you might like to explore on the Lancaster Canal

  1. Tewitfield To Canal Turn (Carnforth)
  2. Garstang to Glasson Branch (No.1 Lodge Hill Lock Bridge)
  3. Treales To Cartforth

Don’t forget to access and paddle along any part of the Lancaster Canal you will require a Canal & River Trust waterways licence. With a British Canoeing membership you will be covered to access these waterways.

Yorkshire & North East

The rivers and canals throughout Yorkshire and the North East offer paddlers the ability to experience a diverse landscape from urban cities and industrial heritage to rural tranquillity. Click here to discover and learn more about the various rivers, lakes and waterways throughout Yorkshire & North East.

River Ouse

Top Pick – River Ouse

The picturesque Yorkshire River Ouse, 52 miles long, is formed from the River Ure in North Yorkshire and flows around 13 miles through the city of York offering paddlers a unique way to experience the city as well as the nature and wide range of wildlife along the way.

Here’s some routes you might like to explore on the River Ouse – 

  1. Nether Poppleton to Acaster Mabis
  2. York- Millenium Bridge to Naburn Lock

Don’t forget to access and paddle along the River Ouse you will require a Canal & River Trust waterways licence. With a British Canoeing membership you will be covered to access these waterways.

So there you have it…

…our guide to some top places to go and explore this Autumn. But to fully enjoy paddling throughout Autumn and into the Winter months you must be prepared. We’ve put together a handy ‘what to wear guide’ for you to check out before heading out on the water! Click here to take a look!

Remember, there are varying COVID tiers across the country. If you are travelling to any of these routes, make sure you’re familiar with the local guidance in place before heading for a paddle.