Paddling from Sandy Lane
Sandy Lane is at the Southern end of Chester city centre and is ideally situated on the banks of the River Dee. It has specifically build boat ramps to allow you to launch and land from and offers two beautiful options for paddling to choose from, either upstream or down stream.
Down stream: -
As you look at the river, if you follow the flow to the right, it will take you down towards Chester city centre. This paddle gives you a chance to see the beautiful and varied architecture along the river, eventually leading to the old city walls and docks. You will pass under a grey suspension bridge and be able to see the stone bridge and three yellow markers in the distance, this is signifying that you are approaching the weir. The yellow markers is a great point to turn yourself around and head back to your start point. This paddle will usually take between 30 and 45 minutes each way.
Up stream: -
As you look at the river, if you go against the flow to the left, it takes you up river towards Eccleston. Shortly after leaving the car park the river bends towards the right and opens out to be wonderfully tree lined on both banks and could be mistaken for a much wilder land than just outside Chester. The river meanders its way through the countryside, eventually passing under the A55 and carries on for as far as you like. This paddle could realistically be as short or long as you like, just remember the car park is only 4 hours.
Where to park: -
Sandy lane car park, Sandy lane, Chester, CH3 5UL
The car park here is of a reasonable size and free for up to 4 hours.
There are toilet facilities at the car park, in summer they are regularly open each day, the rest of the year it can be a bit more sporadic.
Equipment needed: -
Your chosen craft (kayak, canoe or SUP) and paddle
Clothes appropriate for the conditions
Personal flotation device (buoyancy aid)
Mobile phone (easily accessible and waterproofed)
Local Knowledge: -
In summer, this car park can get rather busy, so worth while getting there early. If you are not in a bay, they are likely to give you a ticket. In summer there is usually a ice cream van here but there are convenience stores about 10 minute walk away. The river can be reasonably busy on a warm day, make sure to keep a watch out for other river users and avoid collisions.
This area is, for the most part, not affected by the tide. However, during large spring tides, the incoming tide can come over the weir 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.