Planning for Sunday 9th July 2017
Update, 29th November 2016. I am still finalising getting all the required access permissions for the 9th July 2017. Almost there now! There are a couple of new items for 2017:
1) The event is now held in the fishing season, so please continue to be polite and courteous to all river users, on and off the water. The section after the Barford weir (the second weir) may have fishermen on the north bank (river right), so in general keep left unless otherwise instructed.
2) Charlecote house have requested that paddlers to not land or have lunch in their grounds, basically between the sets of deer gates. Please respect their wishes. Charlecote is half a mile after the third weir at Hampton Lucy (we recommend stopping for lunch at this weir, rather than at Charlecote).
Hope to see you on the water soon!
The Doggy Paddle is a recreational canoe and kayak event in aid of the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association. The trip runs from Royal Leamington Spa, along the rivers Leam and Avon, and ends in historic Stratford-upon-Avon. The run takes you through the spectacular grounds of Warwick Castle and Charlecote Manor, and at this time of the year we go out and get all the permissions so that you can run this beautiful and fascinating stretch of river.
This is a flat-water trip open to any competent paddler who is capable of paddling 18 miles (boats, paddles, etc, not provided. Use your own kit or hire it). The cost of entering the event is £10 for adults, £5 for under-18s (providing they are accompanied by an adult and capable of completing the trip). See the Doggy Paddle Instructions for details on the limited shuttle service available... ideally please sort yourselves out!
You can enter in advance by sending us the form below, or you can enter on the day. If you send us your form we will have a printed copy waiting for you at the check in and you can pay us then. If you prefer to wait you can still enter on the day.
Guide Dogs Just Giving Link or send cheques to Liz Gilbert, Guide Dogs, Warwick New Road, Leamington Spa, CV32 6AH.
The DoggyPaddle have a group on Facebook
The DoggyPaddle email address is email@example.com, though please attempt to locate info here first!
The DoggyPaddle is run by Royal Leamington Spa Canoe Club www.rlscc.com and the GDBA.
The Leam Boat Centre, does hire equipment and normally leads a group down the DoggyPaddle route. Contact Matt at www.leamboatcentre.com, 01926 88 99 28.
All weirs will be marshalled... see pictures below...
1. Between 9:00 and 10:00 am, after signing-in, get on the water below the weir at Edmundscote Sports Field, CV32 6AG. Paddle the short distance along the river Leam until it enters the river Avon. Continue downstream.
2. When you reach the broken bridge beneath Warwick Castle you reach the only COMPULSORY portage. The portage route will be clearly marked on the left of the river-right weir. You must NOT under any circumstances shoot or play on the dangerous weirs at Warwick Castle. Do not approach either the waterwheel or the sluice.
Do NOT stop while at or near Warwick Castle, as the Trebuchet randomly throws a 1 ton concrete block over 300 meters and archers shoot arrows over the river!
3. After a few miles the river flows through Barford and the next weir on river right. Shoot this or short steep portage river right immediately after weir (by the greenhouse) to avoid carrying straight on, as there is a second dangerous weir straight on beyond the footbridge (we add a 'NO ENTRY' sign) - do not shoot this very dangerous weir. Emergency route via house near the footbridge. After the right hand weir, paddle downstream to re-join the main river flow, soon reaching a small shallow rapid that runs slowly under the road bridge.
4. Not long to the next weir, river right, at Hampton Lucy Mill. This can be shot or there is a portage on the river-right just before the weir. Note that once again there is a second dangerous weir (marked 'NO ENTRY') - do not shoot! Emergency route at road bridge. Phone box at church.
5. Soon after you pass through Charlecote House you will reach two sets of river-wide deer gates (2016 - should be OPEN this year). You can pull your boat over the metal links between the 'sausages' or portage river left (only the first set, second must be paddled over, so beware if you have a fixed rudder). If you do portage ensure you close the metal gate behind you. You will see the large country Charlecote House on river-left and the joining of the river Deane with a rocky weir at its mouth. Emergency route via the Charlecote House paddock. Continue downstream.
6. A couple of miles after Charlecote Park you will find another shootable weir at Alveston with short steep portage on river-right immediately after the weir. Note there is a second dangerous weir straight on (marked 'NO ENTRY') - do not shoot! Emergency route at campsite ½ mile downstream on river left
7. The river then meanders down towards Stratford Bridge, which carries the A3400 across the Avon. Beyond this on river-right is the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Carry on another 100m and get out river-left, just after the bowling green but before the ferry, CV37 7LS. There you will see the Doggy-Paddle tent. Congratulations - you've finished!
Hampton Lucy Weir
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