How to get there -
Take junction 56 off the A14 (just after the Orwell Bridge if heading west, just before the bridge if heading east), head initially towards Ipswich but when you reach the first roundabout turn right onto the B1456 and follow this road to Chelmondiston. Look for a small left-hand turn to Pin Mill. There is a Pay and Display car park on the left just before you get right down to the waterfront, but we had no problem driving right down to unload and then take the car back to the car park.
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Suggested Launch Site -
We launched from a small shingle beach just to the left as the road reaches the riverfront, at about an hour after high tide this was no problem. There is wooden jetty leading out a bit, if the mud has started to appear. There is a pub here called the Butt & Oyster.
This is a tidal river and estuary paddle of around 5 to 6 miles. You will need to check the tides of course, but with the outgoing tide and a light westerly tail wind, we completed the one-way route quite easily in around 2 hours, even at a leisurely pace and stopping on a shingle beach just before Shotley (opposite Felixstowe container port) for a snack. We then paddled around the end of the Shotley peninsula and a short way up into the River Stour (now against the outgoing tide), before crossing the river diagonally back towards Harwich. After taking a look at Harwich from the water we paddled back across the estuary to Shotley. By this time the mud prevented access to the shingle beach, but there is a floating jetty which is used by a small foot ferry which goes to Harwich (we never actually saw the ferry)and nobody objected when we used this.
A very enjoyable trip for a short day, perfect for winter. You should of course choose times carefully taking tides and wind into account, and keep an eye open for large container ships and ferry or cruise ships coming and going from Harwich and Felixstowe, whilst in the harbour areas, but we saw no very large ships at all save for those already berthed and unloading at the container port.
There is a pub called the Shipwreck at Shotley Marina which makes a perfect spot for that post-paddle pint (aka PPP!) whilst you wait for your friend, family or taxi to take you back to your car.