How to get there - From junction 3 of the M27, exit onto M271 toward Southampton/The Docks. After 1.8 miles at Redbridge Roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto the A35 ramp to Totton/Lyndhurst/Fawley/A326 for 1.3 miles. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Marchwood Bypass/A326. Go through 2 roundabouts then after 5.1 miles at Roman Rd, take the 5th exit onto Beaulieu Rd/B3054. Continue to follow B3054 for 3.0 miles then turn left at High St/B3054. After 0.2 miles turn left at Hatchet Lane/B3054 then after 2 miles and passing the signs for the Yaught Harbour left following signs to Bucklers Hard Historic Maritime Village.
For those with SatNav the postcode is SO42 7XB.
Get a map with driving directions to start (enter the postcode of your starting point at A)
Suggested Launch Site - The Harbour Master will let you launch from the slipway at the dinghy park for a fee of £5.00 which will include all day parking. You will need to return your car to the car park after unloading.
Description - This is a tidal river so it will be much easier if you launch on a rising tide and return on a falling tide.
Turn left (upriver) and paddle to Beaulieu (about 2.5 miles). Perhaps picnic at the public green to the right of the causeway before returning with the tide.
Bucklers Hard is a well preserved site of one of the 18th century boatyards that built the "wooden walls" of Nelsons Navy. Beaulieu (meaning beautiful clearing) is the location of the National Motor Museum.
Comments on this trip
Charlie 10 Aug 2017
Fee is now £5 per vessel, plus £5 to park.
Duncan 12 Jun 2015
Yes I agree the fee for launching a kayak at Beaulieu is far too high. They don't charge much more for motor boats. I get the impression they don't want kayakers there. I go to Keyhaven now as you can park and launch for free in places.
kay isherwood 27 Jul 2014
I agreed with comment before - its £7 to put kayak in and £5 to park. As the river is not too long, next time I will just pay parking at Leap, go up river with the tide and back on low tide,
ian 04 Sep 2012
I was down in the New Forest on hols last week staying at Long Meadow campsite which is between Lyndhurst and Brockenhurst(I highly recommend it). Did this trip. It was really good, ideal for families who are not so keen canoeists as its quite short with the enticement of the homemade chocolate shop in Beaulieu. Make sure you time the tides right or it will be a slog. We went up river from Bucklers Hard on the slack water then picniced at Beaulieu and went back on the ebbing tide which was great. Hardly any effort to paddle. There's lots to see along the route, nice boats, houses, wildlife/birdlife. The parking/launching has gone up though its £5 to park £7 to launch each canoe which I thought was a bit steep but still worth it.