How to get there - Cricklade is on the A419 half way between Swindon and Cirencester.
For those with SatNav a nearby postcode is SN6 6BJ.
Get a map with driving directions to start or end (enter the postcode of your starting point at A)
Suggested Launch Site - There is a slipway and street parking in Thames Street, beyond the junction with Abingdon Court Lane.
Description - This trip is best done in the Spring before the river gets too weedy and levels drop too low. If you have left it too late it may be better to start from the Red lion at Castle Eaton or the campsite (Second Chance Touring Park) at Marston Meysey.
This stretch is free from motor cruisers which can not get beyond the roundhouse at Inglesham but it can be shallow and you need to be alert to possible obstructions/fallen trees etc. We did this trip at the end of may after a period of heavy rain and the river was high enough to carry us over the fallen trees with a bit of wiggling. It would be wise however to go equiped to cut your way through fallen trees if necessary.
The Red Lion at castle Eaton (4 miles from the start) has a sign welcoming canoeists so it would be an obvious place to stop for refreshment.
The river is narrow to begin with but widens with every tributary.This trip was done as part of a four day trip to Sandford (south of Oxford)with Overnight camping. The first nights camping is at the Trout Inn, St Johns which is riverside and therefore required minimal portaging. Facilitites are limited to those of a pub/restuarant but the toilets are accessable day and night.
There is one lock to transit and you will find the Lock-keeper friendly and chatty.
Minima paddlers did this trip at the end of May this year, it was a pretty challenging trip for us with three capsizes and many stoppages for fallen trees, but we all loved it, but not a novice family trip!
Ray Hamlett 23 May 2016
Martin, with the portages how long did it take you to Riverside Park at Lechlade, and do you remember where they wereJust wondering as we're planning to paddle that section next week.
Martin A 05 May 2016
We paddled in a group of 10 from Cricklade to Lechlade Riverside Park on April 30th 2016. We had to portage 3 times because of large impassable fallen trees. Sadly, the river is showing a distinct lack of maintenance.
Phil Tauwhare 19 Sep 2013
Did this trip in late June 2013. It had been dry so the river was quite low so we ran aground a few times on sandbanks. We met a canoeist with a chainsaw who luckily was ahead of us so route cleared all the way to Castle Eaton. Good lunch at the Red Lion. Many swans nesting so keep clear as the males are very aggressive. We then stayed at the New Inn in Lechlade which is a bit rundown but they let us put the canoe in the conference room overnight!
Marc Lewis 12 Jul 2013
We paddled from Cricklade to Swan Hotel and camped overnight. The Cricklade first part was good, but did have some fallen trees. Very enjoyable trip though.
Bruce Roberts 20 Sep 2011
Tried to start a four day trip from Cricklade in September but it looked to shallow. Tried the campsite but were not welcomed. Found a nice launch spot at Hannington Bridge. First stretch a bit of an obstacle course but worth it.