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.

Upper Dart

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Tree at Sharrah Pool

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

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Free parking,

although can get busy on a good weekend.

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Newbridge - the Loop put in

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.

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Play wave

Small play wave which is surfable in most conditions

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The Washing Machine

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

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Lover's Leap

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.

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Triple Drop

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.

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Spin Dryer

A short grade 2 on a left-hand bend. The eddy to the right at the bottom of the drop can be very hard to escape in certain levels, hence the name.

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Holne Bridge - The Lower

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Holne Weir

Can be portaged river left.

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


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River Dart Country Park

Parking, around £6 per day.

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Get out at River Dart Country Park

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.

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Small amount of parking

Be safe crossing the roads:)

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The Lower Lower

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

This is also the end to the lower.

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steam railway car park beware of low bridge and use the cafe if open

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Put in to Lower Lower Dart

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

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Abrahams Wood Rapids

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

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Staverton Bridge

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).

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Staverton Station

Carpark at present costs 50p donation to the station master at Staverton Station.

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Old Quarry Slipway

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.

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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.

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The Steam Packet

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

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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.

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gentle paddle

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Totnes to Stoke Gabriel

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

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

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PS Kingwear Castle

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

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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.

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Lovely Cottages

Duncannon...lovely place to live by the river

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Stoke Gabriel

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!

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Nice place for tea/coffee

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Great halfway point to stop

This point is great for resting up or stopping for food (if you aren't going to the Ferry Boat Inn that is!!)

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Free Car Park

security cameras provide good coverage

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Dartside Quay, Galmpton Creek (Tidal)

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.

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Galmpton Campsite

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.

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Old lime kiln

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.

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The Ham Dittisham

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.

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Ferry Boat Inn

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

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Greenway Quay

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

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Agatha Christie - Greenway

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

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Agatha Christies Boathouse

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Cable Ferry

There is a big cable ferry that crosses here - usually obvious, but worth noting if the river is busy you can get ignored by bigger boats!

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Car Park - limited to 4 hours

If you need to park all day, use the Park and Ride

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The Boat Float

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.

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From/To Sea or Totnes.

Marina parking free for 1 Hour (unload and find parking on the road is possible)

Launch or Land further up the inlet but not at Low tide +/-2hrs

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Park and Ride

If you need to leave a car longer than 4 hours in Dartmouth, drop off boats and use this Park and Ride. £5 all day which includes bus ride for all passengers. Price of Sept 2012

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