River Medway Canoes Guide to canoe passes, locks and weirs on the River Medway
Paddle downstream under Cannon Lane Bridge and past the small launch point on the left and the river now becomes rural as you leave Tonbridge behind. Pass under a girder bridge and eventually you come to Eldridges Lock. The canoe pass is on your right-hand side. Alternatively, the portage platform is on the left hand side just upstream of the lock. Keep away from the orange booms and weir on your right.
Eldridges Lock to Porters Lock
Continue downstream and eventually you will see the orange booms of Porters Lock weir. Keep away from these and turn left towards the lock. At this point you have two choices. You can either carry on to the lock and get out on the portage platform on the left or you can slide down the new canoe friendly fish pass on your immediate right, just after the orange booms.
Porters Lock to East Lock
This section passes under Hartlake Bridge. Carry on under the bridge towards East Lock. At East Lock you will see the familiar orange booms, go past these and you will see the portage platform in front of you. Alternatively, shoot down the canoe slide just past the portage platform - still on your left hand side.
East Lock to Oak Weir Lock
This section is the shortest between locks, so it won't take long before you arrive at Oak Weir Lock. You will see the orange booms on the left hand side of the river and just ahead of that is the portage platform. When you get out here, you will find the lower portage platform is off to the left via a small path through the lock island itself. There is a large picnic bench here so it is a nice place to stop and or camp overnight. Again there is a canoe pass here to save portaging around the lock.
Oak Weir Lock to Sluice Weir Lock
After 500m you pass under Stilstead Bridge, then the river winds its way onwards to Wagon Bridge which is a steel girder bridge. A further 500m downstream is Sluice Weir Lock. To the right of the orange booms is a steep canoe pass. River Medway Canoes Advises you to portage this canoe pass due to its speed and gradient. When not using the pass, you will see the portage platform ahead of you to the left, keeping the orange booms on your right.
Sluice Weir Lock to Yalding take out.
After passing under two road bridges and a railway bridge, you will come to Stoneham Lock After this, the river continues to Yalding. As you approach Yalding, you will see the distinctive orange booms in front of you. At this point continue around to the left with the Anchor pub on your left hand side. Shortly after you will see a low bridge in front of you. Pass under here minding your head. A further few meters on your right hand side after the bridge is the exit point of your trip.
Hampstead Lock to Teston Lock
Paddle past the moored boats and then turn left where the other part of the river comes in. This section passes Wateringbury marina with boats moored both sides. Next you will find Teston Lock this time with the weir on the right hand side (orange booms). Use the purpose designed portage platforms on either side of the lock. Teston Country Park is another launch point on the Medway.
Teston Lock to East Farleigh Lock (3.2km)
After Teston Bridge the river continues around a very slow right hand bend. Just after this and on the right hand bank is Barming Bridge campsite. Carry on past here and you will start to see moored boats from the marinas at East Farleigh. At East Farleigh bridge go through the second arch from the left (as directed) then lift out on the portage platform just the other side. The lower portage platform is just downstream.
Paddling under East Farleigh Bridge
East Farleigh Lock to Allington Lock (7.2km)
This is the last and longest section of river down to Allington Lock Slipway. This is the most urban section of the river and is also the busiest in terms of motorised vessels. Keep an eye open also for rowing boats as they cannot see you as well as you can see them. Your sign that you have finished the trail is the sight of Allington Sluice and the Malta Inn on your right hand side. By this point you will see Allington Lock slipway and canoe launch point on your left.
Always keep a wide birth away from the orange buoy's as they are protecting you from dangers on the downstream side such as weirs and sluice gates
Never paddle up stream into the sluice gates or weirs as they create powerful flows that can be lethal.
Never use the locks in a canoe even if it looks fun.