Paddle The Thames

PaddleTheThamesX
5 out of 5 based on 1 customer rating
(1 customer review)
BY: Mark Rainsley
ISBN: 9781906095598
EDITION: first
PUBLICATION DATE: 1 May 2017
FORMAT: paperback; 240 pages; 240 x 170mm; colour photos, maps and diagrams
AVAILABILITY: in print

£19.99

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The River Thames is simply a fantastic place to paddle your canoe, kayak or paddleboard, whether touring, training, racing, expeditioning or just ‘bimbling’. From its early reaches in the Cotswold Hills, through the Home Counties into London and far out beyond into the estuary, the river’s surroundings are remarkably varied and diverse, yet always attractive and engaging. If your mental image of the Thames depicts an urban sewer, be prepared to be amazed; the water is clean, the banks are invariably green and naturalists describe the river’s ecosystems as a ‘wildlife superhighway’. This natural beauty is equalled by the human story which the Thames narrates; from locks, gardens and parks to mansions, abbeys, castles and palaces, the paddler is continuously immersed in what MP John Burns famously called: “liquid history”. The riverine Arcadia of willow-draped banks, back channels and islands celebrated in Three Men in a Boat and The Wind in the Willows was not a myth, and it still exists.

Is a paddler’s guidebook to the Thames needed? Britain’s best-known river might actually be the least-known by paddlers. The huge paddling population and numerous canoe clubs based along it belie a surprising fact; many of these paddlers aren’t sure what is found up- and down-stream from their patch. In a river stretching 347km, this is both understandable and forgivable. However, there are other reasons for the relatively low numbers of paddlers encountered whilst enjoying the Thames. Information about where and how to launch is hard to come by, existing guides and media give the impression that the Thames is the preserve of powerboats and rowers, and finally, the perception often lingers that it isn’t actually very attractive or interesting. This book sets out to redress these major omissions and misconceptions, and to reclaim John ‘Rob Roy’ MacGregor’s river for paddlers.

Mark has spent three decades using paddlesport as a means of avoiding adulthood and responsibility. He is a fanatical paddler who has descended challenging whitewater rivers worldwide, and who is dedicated to exploring every nook and cranny of the UK’s coast by sea kayak. He created the UK Rivers and UK Sea Kayak websites and is a prolific contributor to paddlesport magazines and other media. Mark authored the Pesda Press guidebook South West Sea Kayaking, and has contributed to other Pesda titles such as English Whitewater and South East England and Channel Islands Sea Kayaking.

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1 review for Paddle The Thames

  1. 5 out of 5

    :

    Really useful book, includes all sorts of interesting things to look out for as well as answering practical questions that might otherwise stop you from getting out on the river in the first place, like best places to park and how to use locks. Photos and descriptions give a real sense of each section of the river. A great book to enable and inspire us to explore.

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