The East Lyn – one of Britain’s best!
This winter we have spent a lot of time paddling down in Devon, particularly at the East Lyn river. We have totaled up probably forty or fifty runs down the river; which isn’t bad going since we live almost 200 miles away! Despite the long drive you will not be disappointed!
The river is split into two sections. From a small town called Brendon it flows to Watersmeet where the River Hoaroak joins. From Watersmeet the river flows to Lynmouth where it joins the sea. In total it offers 8km of almost constant class 3 and 4 with some sections of class 5. If paddling from Brendon you must launch at the kayakers put in on the upstream side of the car park.
The East Lyn is full of awesome moves
The East Lyn is one of the most consistently paddled rivers in Britain. After heavy rain it remains navigable for many days. The section from Brendon requires the most water and shouldn’t be kayaked below 0.6 on the gauge. The section from Watersmeet can be kayaked up to a week or more after heavy rain during the winter months.
Lyndale Tea Rooms is a great place to start the day. There is a community of local paddlers that gather here whenever there is water, for their pre-paddling breakfast! The locals are some of the friendliest and most outgoing people we have met- always keen for another run!
After a day on the river the Stag Hunters Pub in Brendon is a great place to grab a beer and is very friendly towards kayakers. This is within walking distance of the put in car park.
For accommodation and food then the 30 minute drive to Croyde is the place to go. The Thatch offers amazing accommodation, great food, with live music and surfing films. There is a big range of Ciders, which we have enjoyed sampling! The staff are super friendly and will go out their way for you. Especially one of the owners who just happens to be a very keen boater! Some say he is the East Lyn guru…
The East Lyn is one of our favourite British rivers. It is a nice length and there is little let up in the rapids. There is a good mixture of class of white water and it is reliable after rain. I have spent a lot of time driving to rivers with uncertainty of whether they will still have enough water by the time we get there. The huge catchment of the East Lyn means this risk is significantly reduced. The shuttle is short and easy with cafes and pubs close to the put ins and take outs. The locals are super friendly and always up for a paddle. On this analogy we would rate it as one of Britain’s best rivers – and would definitely recommend it!
Review and Photos by Matty Nicholas and Sal Montgomery