Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Lostwithiel Tudor Bridge

Fowey (pronounced Foy) is one of my favourite rivers in Cornwall.  From the natural harbour at the picturesque town of Fowey on the south coast, the river is navigable by kayak six miles up to the Tudor bridge at the ancient town of Lostwithiel.  You do have to be very accurate with the tide, however, as the river has become heavily silted and as the tide goes out huge areas of sticky black mud are revealed.

We picked our day well for a paddle from Fowey to Lostwithiel, a distance of about six miles.  The Harbour Master was very helpful, allowing us to launch our kayaks for free from his slipway and giving us advice about the rising tide.  The challenge with this trip is to still have enough water to actually get under the 16th Century Tudor bridge at the top of the river.

Sawmills Studio Golant

On the way up we visited the tiny village of Golant and the nearby creek with the famous Sawmills recording studio, where groups including Oasis, The Verve and Supergrass have done some of their best recording.  A little further up we stopped at the intriguing 19th Century Garibaldi's boathouse, now deserted but allegedly a royal hide away for the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) and Lily Langtry, as it is only accessible from the water.  As we continued up river the river changes into a meandering creek and we could feel the tide turn, so had to work harder with it against us to reach the Bridge at Lostwithiel.

Lostwithiel Tudor Bridge
We were in luck when we arrived, as there was about a foot of water and we were able to pass underneath. (In November 2010 Lostwithiel suffered one of the worst floods on record and the Tudor Bridge was almost inundated.)   The trip back was fast with the running of the outgoing tide and we arrived back a Fowey at the end of one of the best river kayaking trips in the UK.
Going under the Tudor bridge at Lostwithiel

1 comment:

  1. Great picture of you under our bridge. Next time you visit Lostwithiel you must have a look around the town!

    Keith (Lostwithiel Cornwall)