South East England & Channel Islands Sea Kayaking

BY: Derek Hairon et al.
ISBN: 978-1-906095-50-5
EDITION: first
FORMAT: 272pp in full colour, 240x170mm, paperback / section sewn


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Though geographically close the two areas covered in this guide are as different in character as it is possible to conceive.

The South East of England has a varied landscape of chalk cliffs, pebble beaches, vast expanses of sand, mudflats, and river estuaries. At one extreme the Tidal Thames runs through the densely populated City of London and at the other the deserted North Norfolk coast. It is true that some parts of this region are more attractive to sea kayakers than others, but we have been selective. All of the routes in the guide are worthwhile and many of them are real gems.

The Channel Islands are a small number of large islands and a vast number of islets and reefs. Here we are talking pink granite, white sandy beaches and very strong tidal streams. They are closer to France than to England (a mere 12km between Les Écréhous reef and Mainland France) and are in fact what remains of the Duchy of Normandy. The French eventually recovered mainland Normandy but the Islands retained their independence and their links with the UK. Most Channel Islanders speak English as their mother tongue but you will still see French and Norman French place names everywhere. Many of the routes here are very committing but there are also a good number of gentler paddles.

The book follows the successful format of other Pesda Press sea kayaking guides, presenting the information in a user-friendly fashion and making good use of maps and colour photographs.

As well as providing essential information on where to start and finish, distances, times and tidal information, the book does much to stimulate and inform our interest in the environment we are passing through. It is full of facts and anecdotes about local history,geology, scenery, seabirds and sea mammals.

A fascinating read and an inspirational book.

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Derek Hairon – Channel Islands

Derek Hairon is a BCU Level 5 sea kayak coach and has paddled throughout the Channel Islands for over 42 years. In 1978 he completed the first circumnavigation of Ireland by kayak and subsequent expeditions to Alaska, Nova Scotia, Faeroe Islands, Aland Islands, Brittany, whitewater rivers in Nepal and most of the classic UK sea kayaking destinations. Recognising the growth of sit-on-top kayaking he wrote Sit-on-Top Kayak. He owns Jersey Kayak Adventures and runs a range of sea kayak introductory and advanced courses plus guided coastal sea kayak tours.

South East England

The impetus for this section of the guide was originally provided by Chris Wheeler, whose enthusiasm and commitment to kayaking knew no bounds. On his untimely death on the River Dart others stepped into the breach and the South East England section was a combined effort involving seven different contributors. They are (in order of the number of routes contributed): Andy Levick, Mark Rainsley, Mark Gawler, Annie Davis, Guy Smith John Brett, and Kurt Finch


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