How to get there - From junction 27 on the M5 take the A38. Immediately after crossing over the motorway turn left for Burlescombe and Westleigh. Follow the road through Westleigh then turn left into free car park immediately after crossing the canal bridge.
For those with SatNav a nearby postcode is EX167JJ.
Get a map with driving directions to start (enter the postcode of your starting point at A)
Suggested Launch Site - Free car park by track by canal. No facilities. Pub in village, but not open weekdays except evenings.
Description - The Great Western Canal is a contour canal with no locks. It is controlled by Devon County Council and permits currently cost about £5 per day. Permits can be obtained from the Tiverton end of the canal, or possibly from the web site.
I paddled north east, under the bridge. Very rural, water very clear in January. After the remains of old lime kilns there is a tunnel. The tunnel is short, straight and about 6 feet wide. Onwards the canal gets shallower and I had to portage for a fallen tree.
At Lowdwells, the end of the canal, I turned round and headed south west. Continuing about 3 miles past the start point is Sampford Peverell, and the landing place for the globe inn. This is a good place for lunch on a cold day. The globe gets very busy at weekends. In warm weather there are many possible picnic sites.
From Sampford Peverell I returned to the launch point, a total distance of about 9.5 miles for the trip.
There was much pondweed in places, many kingfishers, and only a few, friendly, anglers
Comments on this trip
Simon Millen 21 Apr 2010
I did this route today starting at Lowdwells where there is a free carpark at the start of the canal. The water for the first 2 miles was cristal clear and I thoroughly enjoyed the paddle, stopped at the Globe inn for a quick pint although the local swans were less than friendly! In fact on the return journey some 2.5 miles short of my starting point i was actually attacked by a swan which took me out! It left me on the bank drying out all my gear for the next half hour then walked about 300 yards up the towpath to get past it! Highly recommend the route just be careful of swans guarding their nests!
Nigel Terry 25 Sep 2009
Travelled this route yesterday 24th September. Weather with lovely very quiet mixture of open country and woodland called in at the Globe Inn and had an excellent lunch.Water was so clear and we were distracted looking into the water and watching the fish including Pike.A lovely trip
Kevin Balding 30 Aug 2009
Paddled this part of the canal yesterday 29/8/09 starting at Lowdwells lock (the end of the canal) the water was still crystal clear in August with shoals of roach clearly visible. The fallen tree you mention between Lowdwells lock and Waytown Tunnel has part collapsed and is now navigable without portage. However the water is now so shallow (1 to 2 feet) in some places on this section that water plants are growing across the full width of the canal.