Tom Pattison, author of Confessions of a Kayaker from last year’s spring issue, gives us the low down on his local put in: Barcombe Mills, Easy Sussex.
A picturesque and lovely river paddle filled with wildlife……and a pub!
Flat, slow moving river.
Follow the A26 from Lewes heading towards Uckfield. Roughly 3 miles after leaving Lewes turn left just before the petrol station – signposted Barcombe. Follow this road for roughly a mile and you will see a car park with a height barrier on the right hand side.
From the car park, follow the track towards the Environment Agency building and take the gate on your right hand side, just before you cross the bridge. Follow the path for 50 metres and you will see a pool with a little launching spot.
No amenities apart from the Anchor Inn pub roughly 1KM upriver which serves food and drinks and has a nice beer garden.
No real hazards but keep an eye out for people fishing from the bank and take direction if they have lines in the water. There have previously been issues with the owner of the Anchor Inn claiming to have rights over the entire river as he rents rowing boats out in the summer – this is not the case and you have every right to paddle this stretch of water. However, I believe that he has now realised that rivers users get thirsty too.
The river forks not far from the launching point. Kayaks are fine down either fork. SUPers should duck under the bridge and take the right hand fork as the left hand fork gets quite shallow in places and could potentially damage fins.