Canoeing the Parrett
(This route was checked out on 11 Jan 2020)
Conditions on the day of the Fair in June could be decidedly different, possibly the river level much lower and the flow slower However hopefully this report will help.
1030 depart Langport 1200
arrive Thorney 1310
Weather strong south westerlies and cloudy. Stream fast flow and water 4’ below the bank
All you have to do is follow the Parrett all the way from Langport to Thorney.
Accessing the River
Steps at Cocklemoor allow for launching canoes without falling in.
Head upstream from Cocklemoor. The river bears to the right and passes under the Huish Drift bridge after which the the River Yeo joins on the left, turn left here for Long Load and eventually Yeovil!
After passing the Yeo on your left you carry on south towards Muchelney, passing to the west of the church and under the road bridge to Drayton. Just past this a ryne enters the river and it is possible for several canoes to lie up here out of the stream for a rest. Where rynes enter the river there is space to lie up but it is dependant on the river level.
There are several big bends in the river and the next landmark, the pumping station at the confluence with the River Ile is marked by a couple of tall poplars. The Ile joins from the west here and is the bigger river so pass it, follow the left hand bank and go straight on heading south east for the final run up to Thorney. The footpath runs along the right hand bank and it is here that you will land. The bank is steep and in January it is very muddy. Intrepid canoeists should however have no problems in overcoming such obstacles.... Having secured your canoe it is just a few hundred yards to walk, over the bridge and up the road to the fair.
The ancient ferry, Duchess of Cocklemoor, will also be plying these waters so it would be wise to keep an eye open for her and lie up as she goes by.
with support from the Axe Canoe Club