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Paddling the Upper Thames

Lechlade is a stunning little town on the Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire border, between Swindon and Oxford. It’s one of our favourite places to paddle for recreational family paddles. With numerous riverside pubs for food and drink, and to launch from (by agreement and if you promise to order food or a drink when you get back) you should always be able to find somewhere to park.

There is boat traffic, but it’s a reasonably wide stretch of river with sweeping meanders, so it’s easy to stay out of the way.

If you’re a nature lover you have a high chance of seeing Kites, Swallows and Kingfishers in the air and brown trout in the water. And if you’re really quiet you might see Water Voles and Otters.

There are a locks downstream of Lechlade which you can portage around, or if you’re lucky, be called into by the lock-keepers (make sure you have your British Canoeing membership or EA waterways licence to hand). And there are a few muddy beaches or bankside fields you can enjoy a picnic in.

If you’re looking for company or an instructor on this stretch, check out Kathy Marston , SUP Stroud ) or the ATB shop paddleboard group , all of whom frequent this stretch!

if you see anyone on a McConks board, give them a wave. It might be us 🙂

Happy paddling!

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