SUP Mill House, River Chelmer, Essex

The Church Road bridge near Mill House is our most easily accessible launch onto the River Chelmer (Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation) and has therefore become a regular SUP Club venue. Just a few minutes off the A12, we head for the river when it’s too windy or the tide’s wrong at the coast – we tend to paddle west, towards Chelmsford, from here: there’s a handy 8km loop to the A12 road bridge, or 12k+ to the Records Office in town and back…

No tides! And as the river is governed by locks, there’s generally not much current either… (Usually just a gentle flow from west to east, although it can get pretty strong after heavy rain.) Rainfall, drought and canal maintenance can effect the water level. Check out our SUP Weather section for the latest…

Mill House is usually far enough inland to escape the sea breeze on a hot, sunny day. Pressure-driven winds are generally much lighter here than at the coast too. And thanks to the riverbanks and surrounding valley, even if it is windy the water stays flat. Strong paddlers should be fine in pretty much any wind conditions – as ever, just be sure to paddle upwind first so it’s easier coming back! Check out our SUP Weather section for the latest…

There’s limited free roadside parking immediately north of the bridge, but really no facilities. Licences are required to launch on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation – SUPsect is licensed for our school / hire fleet of boards. Annual licences (£34 per year) are now available to buy online via www.waterways.org.uk/shop/product_details?id=2038

Turn east off the A12 at junction 18 (Maldon Road), then immediately take the first exit north, parallel with the A12, onto Hammonds Road. Follow this for a mile until you pass Mill House Caravan Park (postcode CM3 4BG) which is just before the Church Road bridge. Park just north of the bridge.

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