Canoe Days Out

Essex - River Chelmer (Navigation) - Little Baddow to Chelmsford and Ulting (& return)

This page was submitted by David and Rhoda Wilson (E-mail this submitter)
How to get there - Take A414 east from Chelmsford bypass. In Danbury turn left for Little Baddow and go through village until you reach the river.

For those with SatNav the nearest postcode is CM3 4BT.

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

Suggested Launch Site - Put in from towpath at Paper Mill Bridge. Car park free except Sundays

General Description - We explored upstream to the A12 before retreating from traffic noise (3 locks, plus the one at the bridge itself, 4 miles return) and downstream to Ulting (1 lock, 4 miles return) but the trip could be extended further down towards Maldon.

The river Chelmer has been made into a navigation which is being restored, but is still largely deserted. Portages around locks may need clearing.

Dues are payable to Essex Waterways (not covered by BCU) but payment may be difficult if there is no-one in the office at Paper Mill Bridge!

Comments on this trip

12 Jul 2021
bad people at office,staff rude,money grabbing.

Andy B
11 Oct 2014
Just bought a second hand 16'ft old town canoe and look forward to a paddle on the river.

Mike and Maureen
20 Oct 2013
We did the section of the Chelmer from Little Baddow to Heybridge Basin in summer 2012 and had a fantastic day. We left a bike at Heybridge and one of us cycled back to get the car. 2 pubs at Heybridge Basin for a finish with a pint.

Mark Baigent
23 Aug 2013
new galleries of photos of the chelmer athttp//

10 Sep 2010
I launch at Little Baddow lock. Come off the A12 onto the A414 and take the very first turn left off of the roundabout after crossing over the A12 (easy to miss).Follow this road for 3 miles until you cross the bridge and park on the side of the road. Launch by the bridge.Often a lot easier here to launch than at PaperMill.Note there is an excellent little caravan site just before the bridge.

18 Jun 2009
Photographs of the Chelmer & Blackwater

03 Jun 2009
Note re papermill lock parking, it is now free on Sundays

27 Apr 2009
Paddle our kayaks on part of this river yesterday 26th April 2009, from Sandford lock to Little Baddow lock. nice strectch of river. The repair work at Sandham lock continues, but this didn't hamper our journey. We decided not to shoot the wier because of the sign saying no entry, however on closer inspection it wouldn't have been a problem.

06 Apr 2009
I have paddled this river for the past 2 years & fished it from my canoe a few times over the past year. It is a quiet & picturesque part of Essex. I look forward to fish other stenches of the river from my canoe in the future.

Barry Pryer
28 May 2008
Great route, we had a fantastic paddle on this stretch as far as Hoe Mill. Our first time on the Chelmer and we'll definately be going back. We beat the bad Bank Holiday weather. Thanks for the route.


Chelmer Canal Trust
Canoe hire at Papermill Lock

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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