How to get there - Approach Yarmouth from the East along the A3054. On entering the town, take the first exit from the roundabout, River Road, and park in the car park.
Get a map with driving directions to start (enter the postcode of your starting point at A)
Suggested Launch Site - The car park is pay and display. Park on the far side next to the dinghy park. There is a small slipway inside the dinghy park, or walk north along the estuary 200 yards, and launch at the public slipway in front of the sailing club.
For those with SatNav the postcode is PO41 0NL.
Description - The Western Yar is a Site of Special Scientific Interest within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - the salt marsh is a nature reserve, and very sensitive, so avoid launching, landing or walking on it.
In ancient times the Yar was a large river, "and flowed into what was then the Solent River. The source of the Yar was much further south. As the sea slowly eroded the hills to the south, the Yar was deprived of its original tributaries and came to rely on the catchment from the downs either side of what is now Freshwater." The Yar is now a very small river with a large estuary. (Quotes from an information board adjacent to the car park)
On launching from one of the slipways, paddle upstream, away from the road bridge. The harbour to seaward is very busy, not to be tackled by the uninitiated. The river meanders between the salt marshes and mudflats, which provide food for a variety of wading birds and waterfowl including dunlin, redshank, curlew, black-tailed godwit, dark-bellied brent goose, shelduck, wigeon, teal, oystercatcher and little egret.
The navigable river ends at Freshwater Causeway - you can see the "source" trickling through a culvert into the estuary. The trip is 3.7 miles.
There is a circular walk alongside the Yar Estuary, following public footpaths, bridleways and roadside pavement. It is approx 3.8 miles long.
Comments on this trip
William Selby 11 Jul 2023
I paddle boarded from red lion to the harbour and back Sunday 09,07,23 early in the morning, and it like a mirror! The best paddle boarding experience I have ever had, only been boarding for 3 years!But what a beautiful river, will go back as soon as possible!!!.