Chelmsford 26k

SUP route, Chelmsford 26k – Hoe Mill Lock to the weir beside Essex Record Office in Chelmsford and back on the River Chelmer: 26km…

From Hoe Mill Lock, head west into the stream (past the moored narrowboats) towards Chelmsford. Paddle past All Saints Church and portage Rushes and Paper Mill Lock (where we run our SUP school), continue on under the Church Road bridge at Mill House, portage Little Baddow Mill Lock, Stonham’s Lock, Cuton Lock, go under the A12 road bridge, portage Sandford Lock and Barnes Mill Lock and go under the new A138 Chelmer Road bridge before turning under the big weir by Essex Record Office in Chelmsford (stay left after the bridge and 500m later you can’t miss it!) Paddle back with the flow to Hoe Mill.

Great in a south-westerly wind for a headwind out and a tailwind home. Trees by the riverside generally offer good protection from crosswinds, so southerly and northerly are good too. Also OK for light to moderate easterlies as, although you’ll notice the headwind home, you will be coming back with the flow. The route out is into the stream, so expect to work harder on the way out, before an easier ride home – sensible in anything from light to heavy stream. Check stream and wind conditions via our SUP weather page…

This is a long route, so only attempt it if you’re fuelled and sure you’re up to it: definitely carry hydration and possibly nutrition. The current can get strong after heavy rainfall, which can be perfectly workable as you’re heading out into it and coming back with it – just be careful if it’s flowing really strong as there can be branches and other solid flotsam in the water. Strong easterlies aren’t ideal as you’ll be paddling back into a headwind which will probably have more impact than the stream. Check conditions via our SUP Weather page. Nesting swans in late spring and later with signets in early summer can be protective – give them room and stay confident as you paddle past. Look out for fishermen and be courteous by giving them a wide berth. Steer clear of weirs, which are always signposted near the locks.

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