Paddling The Dee from Eccleston
This area is potentially one of the most beautiful areas of the River Dee that has easy access onto the water, and offers hours of paddling in either direction.
The most popular route from here is to head upstream against the flow, which should be very gentle most of the year, until you've gone as far as you like before turning back. The vast majority of the land on the river bank is part of the Duke of Westminster's vast estate, though there are footpaths along for a good distance from Eccleston. One mile upstream you'll reach the Crook of Dee, a 180 degree turn in the river with a small beach jutting out. This is a good spot for a picnic. A further mile and a half's paddle will take you to the iconic blue iron bridge at Aldford. This is usually a nice turn around spot, making a leisurely 3hr out-and-back paddle, but you can get all the way to Farndon if you want a challenge! Paddling downstream to
Hazards/What to look out for:
This river section is more sheltered than Sandy Lane, but there are still some things to look out for.
Other River Users- . Though less than in Chester, rowers and powered boats do regularly come up this far. Pass to the right, but when in doubt sheltering at your nearest river bank will do fine.
Water Quality- This section has variable water quality. Click the link to see our page on water quality advice.
Tides and Flow- This river is affected by both tides and natural river flow and can be subject to strong currents either with Spring Tides or high levels of rainfall. In winter there is regularly a flow and in this case users should be sure they're suitably experienced to keep themselves safe. This includes knowledge of tides and water flow based hazards, plus paddler rescue skills. A very high spring tide (a few times a month) will come as far as Eccleston and reverse the flow of the river. As the tide then returns, it increases the speed of the river quite significantly towards the city centre.
Wind - This section is more sheltered than Sandy Lane, but winds can make paddling very difficult, especially in inflatable water craft.
Wildlife - Since this section is quieter, paddlers are more likely to encounter wildlife. Paddlers should give wildlife a wild berth. You can appreciate its beauty whilst respecting its space.
Where to park: -
Eccleston Ferry parking, Chester, CH4 9JE
The car park here isn't huge, but by parking up the road and walking down to the river paddlers can generally always find space (please be respectful). There is no parking charges here.
There are no facilities at this car park.
Minimum equipment needed in calm conditions
Your chosen craft (kayak, canoe or SUP) and paddle
Clothing appropriate for the conditions- dress as if you're going to fall in!
Personal flotation device (buoyancy aid)
Mobile phone (easily accessible and waterproofed)
A friend (Paddling independently should only be done if you are very experienced and competent.)
Local Knowledge: -
In summer, this car park can get rather busy, so worth while getting there early. If you are unable to park near the water, you can park along the side of the road (please be sensible and respectful) and walk down to the river.
There are no near by shops, so make sure you bring any food or drinks with you that you would like, there also aren't any bins so please take your rubbish home with you.
Dee River Kayaking Paddle Guides Safety Notice
These pages are designed to offer a comprehensive guide to places to paddle, local hints and tips and how to help keep yourselves safe whilst enjoying our beautiful river.
It's essential that all paddlers acquire the knowledge, skills and equipment necessary to paddle safely. These guides are designed to be helpful to paddlers but can not be used as a replacement to these fundamental requirements.
To find out more information about safe paddling, consider any or all of these options:
Visit the Go Paddling Website for helpful articles on Paddling Safely.
Book a bespoke private lesson with one our instructors to get you started.
Find your local paddling club to access social trips and peer mentoring.