River Tamar

River Tamar

LaunchesPublic RoutesKnown HazardsParking


Many waterways in England and Wales require a licence to paddle. Check the licence section below to see if this is one. Save money on your licence and secure paddling insurance by joining British Canoeing. Use our easy step RapidJoin process. Open the slider to join.

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River Licensing Information

Licence Required?

No licence required

Grade: 2

There are two grade 2 sections: From Greystone Bridge to Horsebridge and from Horsebridge to Gunnislake. 

The River Tamar for most part forms part of the border between Devon and Cornwall in the South West of England. It flows for 61 miles from Woolley Moor, Morwenston through to Plymouth Sound and the English Channel.

Wildlife on the River Tamar

The River Tamar carves its path through the rolling hills of the Devon and Cornwall countryside. It is flanked by ancient woodland on either side. So it is an exceptional river for nature lovers, with its diverse range of habitats and wildlife along the whole stretch.

Look out for wildlife on the mudflats, salt and reed marshes. A variety of flora and fauna can be enjoyed as you paddle the Tamar. These include a rare varieties of orchids and lichen, as well as birds and butterflies too.

The Tamar-Tavy Estuary and the Lynher Estuary are both protected Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) because of the habitat and wildlife. Up-river there is heathland, where rare birds such as the Dartford Warbler can be found.

The last section of the river for the final 19 miles is tidal. Make sure you double check the tide timetable and weather before heading out for a paddle. There are also several weirs along the route which can be shot or portaged.