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Pesda Whitewater Mini-Guide




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Salmon Steps, Exe | Mark Rainsley,

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:

DESCRIPTION Launch below Bolham Weir. It is horrible

if you have any flow in the river, and has already claimed a

paddler’s life.

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:


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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.

04 River Exe Whitewater Guide  
04 River Exe Whitewater Guide