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  • Writer's pictureMair

Explore : Paddle Boarding on the River Wye

Grab your paddle - we're off!

The River Wye is a 134 mile stretch of water runs south westerly across Wales into England, and the valley is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty…and it’s easy to see why.

Although I've grown up near the River Wye all of my life, there are still parts I have not yet discovered. So, whether you fancy fishing, canoeing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding (or even walking along the banks) there's a water sport waiting for you!

Today's activity - paddle boarding. It was my first time stand up paddle boarding (SUP)- but luckily my friend Kat is an instructor so I was in safe hands.

The river was calm and both sides of the river bank were covered by forest, fields and greenery, which draped down to the river banks.

We set out at a steady pace and paddled upstream, even though my legs felt like jelly to begin. Kat assured me that's normal as your legs get used to balancing (another thing I didn't expect was that my feet would ache, but apparently this is due to being stood still for a long time!).

Once I had a bit of a practice, we traveled up stream, eventually arriving at a natural pool in the river. Other paddle boarders and canoeists were laughing and joking around, trying out their skills and seeing how far they could push their board or boat...Kat and I were no different! I seemingly got the hang of it, so thought I could bend down, but to no avail, lost balance and landed on my knees. It also doesn't help when you're creased up laughing! But so much good fun. I had a few near misses of falling in, but thankfully, I managed to stay dry.

(For the video clips check out the highlights reel on my instagram here).

Cheerful canoeists greeted us as we paddled over ‘it’s good for the legs!’ so we quickly replied ‘..and the abs!’ as we pulled ourselves against the current.

Further downstream, past our starting point, stood a pub with mooring and canoes along the edge. By this point, we were in need of a coffee (or a pint) so we decided it was a great idea to give our arms a rest and let the water carry us downstream to the pub. It sounded like a plan to me.

We eventually arrived at picturesque tavern to find out the mooring fee was £2.50 each (which wasn't the problem, more that there was no where safe to leave the boards). After a little consideration, we decided to grab a coffee back at Ye Old Ferrie Inn, which was further up stream and marked our starting point.

We passed two fisherman, who were perched on the side of the river bank as though they belonged their. Their beautiful, big old house sat nestled up a winding garden path on the side of the bank and the white, lattice windows shone down to us as we passed in the afternoon sun. We stayed clear so not to disturb them -or their fish….

I think the best things about paddle boarding is sense of freedom it gives you and the ability to just disconnect from the world for a while. I think it's important to take up a new sport or hobby, you never know where it might lead you.

Have you tried paddle boarding or canoeing on the River Wye?

PS. Remember to always make sure to go with someone who's experienced and only travel on parts of the river which is permitted for water sports.

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