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Exploring up-river from Lechlade.

Today Neil joined me for a recce paddle upriver from Lechlade.

We got into our kayaks and turned upriver paddling against the flow and immediately discovered the Riverside Lechlade Marina.  A series of passages that viewed on a map look like an old fashioned TV aerial, with a central spine and many arms branching off.  The marina is home to around a hundred houseboats and looks very much like a well-established community – I will be back another time to meet the residents and find out about their lives on the Thames. But today, we continue upstream for a few miles, exploring a couple of the narrow tributaries en-route. The river winds through low fields and flood planes before becoming narrower and more tree-lined with high banks.  Running out of light we headed back to Lechlade.

And there we met the zany and very friendly Martin from Swindon Watersports, who has a shop in Lechlade next to the bridge. Martin is a hardcore paddler who took glee in showing me his paddling scars from shooting waterfalls and other wild water adventures. His shop is small but well-stocked and filled with goodies for kayaking, sailing and SUP (Stand Up Paddle boarding) – or at least according to Neil it is well stocked – I never actually got to look around his shop as I was too busy drinking the coffee he’d given me and watching wild YouTube videos of his paddling adventures.