Northward trip from The George at Loddon Bridge, and back.
Total distance: 6.7 km
Date of track: 15.9.2018 Start time: 14:17:10 End time: 16:46:39 Total track time: 2h 29m 29s
See map below for geotagged photos (mouse-over camera icons), and to download the GPX
I put in from the riverbank at Loddon Bridge (with some difficulty), there’s a gap in the fence at the far corner of The George pub. I had hoped to make it all the way to the Thames (and get a bus home from Wargrave) but gave up and turned back when progress became too difficult. It was an enjoyable paddle though, to be revisited.
After passing the railway and motorway bridges the route quickly becomes pleasantly wild and overgrown, however it was a kilometer until I was sufficiently distant from the noise of the motorway to feel I was in the countryside. There were a lot of low branches but progress was quite easy and enjoyable, with a gently current. The stream then turns North and follows the edge of Dinton Pastures Country Park and is very nice indeed. I saw a kingfisher here, and passed a kayaking family, people enjoying a walk along the footpath alongside, and two or three anglers.
It’s another kilometre to the pretty old Sandford Lane bridge, which has two low brick arches to pass under, followed by a marvellous rope footbridge connecting two parts of someone’s garden. 500 metres later the stream splits and progress becomes tiresome. I took the main stream to the right which began well but soon became very overgrown until after about 300m the stream was completely blocked by fallen trees. Anticipating more problems further on, I turned back, my boat full of twigs and leaves. The return was upstream which at some points required firm effort against the current. Back near my starting point at Loddon Bridge, the graffitied motorway underpass was now an evening hangout for the local hoodlums, so I got out on the other side and packed up my kayak in the cinema carpark while my wife came to collect me.