Pesda Whitewater Mini-Guide
WHEREVER THERE’S WATER
Salmon Steps, Exe | Mark Rainsley, ukriversguidebook.co.uk
INTRODUCTION This is a popular trip which has plenty
The next landmark is Salmon Ponds Weir. This is well-known
weirs. This is probably the best white water trip to be had
carnage in high water race years. The weir face is unusually
of interest stemming from both natural rapids and notable on the Exe.
WATER LEVEL This is possible through most of the winter.
However, it is recommended to save this trip for medium to high levels when Exmoor has received a recent deluge.
GAUGE Make a judgement about the level at Bickleigh
bridge, the take-out. In particular, check that the weir stop-
per below the bridge is manageable for your group.
ACCESS Bolham Weir (948 153) oﬀers parking in a lay-by
near to some water authority buildings. Finish at Bickleigh
bridge (937 075), where there is a picturesque weir and a pub.
There is an access agreement allowing winter paddling. Details from the river adviser: www.bcu.org.uk
DESCRIPTION Launch below Bolham Weir. It is horrible
if you have any ﬂow in the river, and has already claimed a
as the start line of the Exe Descent Race, and sees awesome
long and makes the equivalent of a humping grade 3 rapid
in high water. In low water you are forced to paddle the river
left of ﬁsh steps, a less digniﬁed but equally enjoyable option.
If the Exe is ﬂowing well, the following stretch into Tiver-
ton is constantly exciting with small drops and bouncy rapids.
Town Weir, in Tiverton, has two distinct sections, again
giving the impression of a long natural rapid. The smaller
Walronds Weir (‘Tivvie Two’) follows as you exit Tiverton and can form a reasonable playspot.
Grade 2 rapids continue for some distance to Broken Weir, which is a simple shoot but (as the name suggests) is in poor
repair; inspect ﬁrst. From here it is a short distance to the
ﬁnal stunt, Bickleigh Weir. Break out on river left above the bridge and watch your group members pass under the bridge
and disappear from view one by one… intimidating!
Break out on river left directly below the weir and take out.
Contributor: Mark Rainsley
Excerpt adapted from English White Water, the BCU Guidebook ISBN 0953195678, published by Pesda Press, Caernarfon. For details of this and other books, as well as downloads of mini-guides and
route cards in this series, visit:
#04 RIVER EXE
PESDA WHITEWATER MINI-GUIDE
LENGTH OS SHEET GRADE
OS map data reproduced with the kind permission of the Ordnance Survey
Design & text adapted from the BCU guide to English White Water, published by Pesda Press, Caernarfon.