Sunday, 5 June 2011

Up the creek – Landshipping to Millin

One of the great things about kayak journeys is that you can see places that would be difficult or impossible by any other means.  I am prepared to bet that even people who have lived in Pembrokeshire all their lives have never seen Millin Pill on the River Cleddau from the water.

It is a two hour round trip from Landshipping and very shallow up the creek, so you need to check the tide tables and find a good rising tide.  We launched early on a perfect spring morning in bright sunshine and a gentle breeze.  It is best to park up the hill in the village so you don’t obstruct the narrow lane to the good slipway, which is maintained by the local sailing club and has an honesty box.

The Cleddau is over twenty one miles long and has so many tributaries it is quite easy to lose your bearings, but the creek leading to Millin is easy to find, as from Landshipping you head right, around the headland. As it is a nature reserve you need to be careful not to disturb the wildlife, so we paddled at a leisurely pace into the main river, where the only sound was the occasional distant curlew calling.

When you bear right into the creek the river quickly narrows and most boat owners can’t go further than a high voltage cable that is strung across the water at a life-threatingly low height. (There is a warning sign on the bank, but it says PERGYL (DANGER in Welsh) and the rest of the warning is concealed by water reeds).  Even on a rising tide parts of the creek are barely a foot deep but still OK for kayaking.  There is an interesting island which is navigable to the right, then the river gets really narrow, with overhanging trees before you reach the end of the creek at Millin.

On the way back we were watched by a large Heron that perched high in a tree and we saw large Mullet leaping right out of the water to reach the gadflies. Recovery was easy, as the slipway extends well into the river, so this undemanding paddle into one of the quietest reaches of the river is one I would highly recommend.

Millin Pill

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