Canoe Days Out

Sussex - River Arun - Houghton to Pulborough

This page was submitted by Jill Cannon (E-mail this submitter)
How to get there - Drop a car off at Pulborough A29 car park just south of the bridge), then drive south and turn left to Bury village, then immediately right to Houghton. Turn left in Houghton onto B2139, cross the river and park near the tea rooms or in the station car park.

For those with Sat Nav the postcode of the Tea Rooms is BN18 9LP.

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

Suggested Launch Site - Launch site is the tea rooms at Houghton; this is a private mooring and good to ask or at least buy a cup of tea. Be prepared for an audience!

General Description - This is a one way trip of approx. 9 miles taking about 2 hours unless you are waylaid by a friendly grey seal and take time for a swim. We launched at Houghton at 14.45 (high tide at Littlehampton was also 14.45) and had an easy paddle with the flow except for the west wind on a couple of sections. A very enjoyable trip and can't wait to explore further up the Arun.

Comments on this trip

Francesca Chapman
03 Aug 2021
Riverside Tearooms, Houghton Bridge, does not allow landing on (or launching from) their private pontoon due to their own boat hire, paddleboard lessons and kayak lessons which now take place every day

Paul Megson
31 Jul 2019
The Riverside Tea Rooms is now saying on their website "Kayaks, Canoes, Paddleboards welcome 7.50 Pontoon Charge (not inclusive of car parking)". In the past it has always been enough that you give custom to the caf and maybe that is still the case but on my last visit I found them less welcoming due to the congestion caused by the boat hire, so I am not going to test it, I'll just paddle somewhere else, as entry and exit to the Arun is fairly challenging anywhere else.

Carol Dawson
26 Aug 2018
You should check current arrangements with Riverside Cafe, Amberley before planning to launch or exit the river as they are now using their pontoon for a boat hire business.

Paul Megson
27 Aug 2017
I prefer to do this trip from Pulborough to Houghton, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, you can get the benefit of the combined natural river flow and an ebb tide if you go downstream. It depends on the tide but neap tides don't reach up as far as Pulborough so you would inevitably be paddling against the river current eventually.Secondly, I find the tea rooms by the river at Houghton to be a more congenial waiting spot than the caf by the bridge at Pulborough. You either get in or get out at Houghton which means that by rights you should be thanking the caf owner with your custom, which you might as well do as you relax and wait for the train, and just get in and go from the public slip at Pulborough.Wait for the train Yes, no need for two cars Amberley Station is about a five minute walk from the tea rooms and Pulborough Station is about five minutes' walk from the slipway and old bridge where you park your car. The trains only run once an hour, but if you time your trip right you can enjoy lunch or tea and cake at the tea rooms while you wait for the next train, and the journey takes about five minutes.You would depart a little later of course, so that the tide has turned further down river to help you along. With a neap tide, say 3 hours after HW Littlehampton, you'll arrive about 5 hours after which is about 2.53 hrs after HW reaches Houghton so the ebb will be under way. On a spring tide you might wait a little longer, say 4 hours after Littlehampton, so the flood at Pulborough has turned. The ramp up from the pontoon at Houghton will be a little steeper, is all.


Tide Tables for Littlehampton

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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