River Taw North Devon

During the off season its great to be able to paddle different waterways.

This was a particularly cold day with a heavy frost to start off with.

There was a lot of ice on the roads on the way over with a particularly steep country lane claiming parts of a couple of cars in front of us as they slid down the hill hitting the sides.

Luckily no one from the group suffered that fate.

The river was running well and there were grade 1-2 rapids round every corner which kept the interest up.

We spotted numerous dippers, herons and a few kingfishers.

In places the valley is narrow and wooded which made for shade and dropped the temperature well below freezing.  It was nice to get back into the sunshine for a re-warm.

The put-in and the get-out were not easy but accomplished with team work.


As a stream the Taw heads north and gives its name to the villages of South Tawton and North Tawton

Headwaters add to the size from a number of two major upper course tributaries including the Lapford Yeo and Little Dart River.

Along the middle course the Taw receives the River Mole (distributary of the River Bray and a second Yeo) which all rise on upland Exmoor to the north-east.

By this midway stage the river has increased in size and becomes a season-round recreational trout, sea trout and salmon river before becoming tidal at Newbridge, approximately 19 km (12 mi) from the sea.

The river drains a variable width basin as one of many rivers in the strongly agricultural county, the river has a rolling valley surrounded by (in order of frequency of occurrence) animal pasture, cultivated fields and woodland until near its end.

Its length is approximately 72 km (45 mi).

The Tarka Trail named after Tarka the Otter follows much of the river’s course.