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River Thames & Swift Ditch, Abingdon tour

30 May @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Swift Ditch Paddle

River Thames & Swift Ditch, Abingdon tour

Venue/ Title of trip:

Abingdon Tour – Thames and Swift Ditch



Trip Leader:

Ed Edwards
Coach level 3 Open Canoe
Coach level 3 Kayak


Activity / Description of the Trip:

A led trip making a tour of Abingdon by water – Thames, Swift Ditch and River Ock, Mill Stream, and a small section of the disused Wilts and Berks Canal. Enjoy a varied paddle with a mix of rural and urban, modern and medieval. This is considered to be one of the local classic paddles and a good write up is in Peter Knowles’ Pub Paddles book. He describes this trip as “an adventurous paddle on one of the most interesting backwaters of the Thames.”


Ideal trip for tandem canoe. Kayak and solo paddlers welcome.


Urban and rural mainly flat water. However there are some moving water section eg Swift Ditch and weirs to be negotiated.

Type of Paddle:

Some experience needed.

Pre-requisites :

Minimum age 12. Competent paddlers eg British Canoeing 2 star standard or equivalent award or experience. If in doubt please contact the trip leader. Must be able to paddle at least five hours with breaks. Cope with different environments including weirs and water slides. Swift Ditch is a narrow backwater of the Thames and may have many trees to be negotiated. There may be occasional portaging and a likelihood of wet feet, if not more, during the day.

Who is leading the activities? :

Ed Edwards

Additional Leaders or coaches :

Additional leaders to be confirmed.

Maximum number of participants:


Minimum number in group:


Plan B:

Water conditions may mean a change of route in Abingdon. If the weather is too miserable then we will cancel.

Meeting Time :


Meeting Location:

Abingdon Marina – South Quay, OX14 5TW

Finish Time :


Finish Location:

Abingdon Marina

Transport details:

Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements.
Please note that it is normally expected that particpants make their own way to and from the trip start and finish. For trips away from Pangbourne our trips usally start at the river or at an agreed meeting point en route. If you have difficulties arranging your own transport please contact the trip leader to see if a lift can be arranged.
However, we cannot guarantee that lifts are available.
It is expected that anyone receiving a lift will contribute to transport costs.
If anyone can offer a lift please contact the trip leader.
Please also note that for safeguarding reasons it is AD policy to have more than two people in a vehicle if someone is under 18 (unless a relative).

Please note that there is a height barrier at the marina. Ed will contact the manager to ask for the barrier to be opened.

Equipment needed:

AD membership
Boat licence or British Canoeing membership card
AD Medical and Consent form should be completed and handed to trip leader at the meeting point.
Participants under 18 must have form signed by parent or guardian.
No form, no paddle

Suitable canoe or kayak. Needs to be fitted with buoyancy bags or blocks. If hiring a boat please discuss suitability with trip leader.
Helmets will be needed
Clothing suitable for Spring paddling conditions – this includes suitable footwear. Gloves, pogies as necessary.
Spare clothing should be carried.

Packed lunch, drinks and snacks as required.

Personal medication to be carried and the leader informed. (Note – carrying in the buoyancy aid a laminated list of medication and personal details is useful)
Throw-line if you have one.
Leaders to carry usual safety equipment.

Potential Cost :

Transport cost for private vehicles – fuel, parking. Shared costs if sharing transport.

Coffee and/or Ice cream money

Submitted by:

Ed Edwards



30 May
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


Ed Edwards


Abingdon Marina
South Quay
Abingdon, OX14 5TW United Kingdom
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