Canoe Days Out

Dorset - River Frome - Wareham to Poole Harbour (& return)

This page was submitted by David and Rhoda Wilson (E-mail this submitter)
How to get there - From South Street quay, just south of town centre. Pay-and-display on quayside, or free roadside parking by the church.

For those with SatNav the postcode is BH20 4LP.

Get a map with driving directions to start (enter the postcode of your starting point at A)

Suggested Launch Site - From paved quayside, north bank

General Description - Downriver for a couple of miles until Poole Harbour starts opening out, and after that, as much as you feel like. The river is between thick reed beds, but the harbour has small sandy or shingly beaches backed by heathland, suitable for picnics on the Arne peninsula.

For a trip with the tide in both directions, start about mid-tide falling at Wareham, and start back when the tide rises. However, the tides are not strong, and Poole Harbour is very shallow, so you get better views and more choices of direction if you start at mid-tide rising for only a small amount of extra effort.

Keep to centre of marked channels on a falling tide. Be prepared to use spray decks in all but calm conditions.

Public tidal water

Comments on this trip

John Duncan
29 Jun 2015
make sure you stay within the shipping markers on the way in/out of the river on low water or close to it. It is easy to have no draft below you and I wouldnt fancy walking on the sandbanks as they can really suck on your feet. there ARE strong tides especially on springs, so take notice of the tide direction you are travelling in and make sure you have the energy, power and stamina to return to your start point.

Kevi Haresign
04 Apr 2013
Did this run today. Went up as far as the mouth to Poole Harbour. Was blowing a hoolie so took the sensible option of turning back. Very pleasurable route. Explored a mile or so upstream from start point and didn't encounter any problems.

09 Jun 2011
Yes, the tides are strong, dont be fooled! also when the tides are at spring tides, the low water in the river is about six inches we had to get out of the kayak and walk up the centre of the river to get back to the public slipway !

Keith Day
20 Dec 2009
If you want to paddle upstream you can go about half a mile to the normal tidal limit just short of the A351 road bridge. Beyond this you are into disputed territory and paddle at your own discretion.

26 Apr 2008
To say that the tide is not very strong is ridiculous. I had to paddle tandem with an extra passenger against spring tide ebb1/2hr up the river to Wareham and paddling as fast as we could were only making about 1 knot max.


Tide prediction

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The last trip loaded was Great Haywood to Great Haywood (Circular Route) on the River Trent / Trent & Mersey Canal by Peter Robinson