French for ‘beautiful place,’ the 12-mile River Beaulieu is a small river that flows through the New Forest in Hampshire. The most popular section with paddlers is the 4-mile tidal stretch between Bucklers Hard and the Solent.
Once a significant shipbuilding centre, Bucklers Hard’s most notable build was Nelson’s ship ‘Agamemnon’ in 1781.
River Beaulieu features to look out for
It’s a tidal river and some sections cannot be paddled at low tide. This includes the section above Baileys Hard towards to start of the river.
There are also several areas of special scientific interest along the river. Great news for nature lovers but be aware that there are many sections where you cannot land because of this.
Since 2000, the navigable entrance of the river is marked by the ‘Millennium Lighthouse’ or Beaulieu river beacon as it is locally known.
The final kilometre of the river, the raised salt marshes which separates the river from the Solent, are known as ‘Gull Island,’ which serves as a nature reserve and bird sanctuary.
PLEASE NOTE: Beaulieu River is privately owned and a launch fee is payable at the Harbour office (£5p/d). Details can be found on the British Canoeing Trail linked below, or click here.