Urban Packrafting London - Camden to Angel

The true versatility of packrafts is in their ultra-lightweight. This allows you to carry them through mountains on expeditions or to just head down to the nearest stretch of water and take off on a whim. Recently one sunny morning, I threw my packraft in a rucksack and caught a tube to Camden with the intention of exploring urban London from the water.

The stretch between Camden and Angel is beautiful and is what urban packrafting is all about, with stunning architecture and nature nestling side by side, two locks to portage and a 15 min walk through bustling Upper Street in Angel to avoid an 886m tunnel.

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Tim Clark
First (and last) descent of the River Brent

London has long abandoned and neglected the tributaries of the Thames. Over the years successive engineers have been commissioned to straighten and speed water through tunnels and concrete culverts with the aim of minimising impact on those that live in the overhanging suburban streets.

The Brent spills out of the Welsh Harp Reservoir into a small isolated valley hidden behind urban back gardens. Here amidst the spray, an almost tropical micro-climate has formed, feeding huge plants that grow 20 foot high.

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Tim Clark
What kit should I take packrafting?

Here at Longshore we often get questions from our customers about the ideal packrafting kit. What kit would be useful to make the most of your time on the water and enhance your safety?

Click on the image to find out:

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Tim Clark
Packrafting The Greater Patagonian Trail

Joshua Wood and Amy Osborne have just completed 1200km of the Greater Patagonian Trail by foot and in a Longshore packraft and kindly sent us their story:

The Greater Patagonian Trail was, without doubt, the best experience of our lives. It was seriously tough but utterly incredible. We battled through thick bush, capsized on rapids, sailed on lakes and fjords, sat out snow blizzards, trespassed through forest and jungle, got blown off our feet by the infamous Patagonian winds on mountain passes and traversed volcanoes… Read more

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Tim Clark
A lunar eclipse, paddling with seals and a night on an island

The beaches between Blakeney Point and Holkham in Norfolk are broad and stunning.

At low tide they stretch to the horizon, and when we visited, were completely empty and untouched, possibly because they can only be reached by hiking through salt marshes that flood rapidly when the tide turns.

This makes them dangerous to all except locals or those with packrafts and a carefully laid plan.

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Tim Clark
Exploring Upper Horse Island

No-one visits Upper Horse Island.

To the uninitiated, walking along the banks of Holehaven Creek, it appears to be just another nondescript mud bank. Yet local legend states, there was once a Roman fort here and satellite imagery clearly shows rectangular earthworks, encompassing a pattern of shallow symmetrical channels.

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Tim Clark
Takahashi's Castle and the Priest Killer

The Soča valley around Bovec, is a spectacular steep-sided cauldron, set amongst the Slovenian Alps, just a few miles from the Italian and Austrian borders. Two rivers flow into this scenic plateau and one flows out, down a boulder strewn gorge…

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Tim Clark
Searching for U-Boats

At first light on cold November morning, I paddled out into the mist and mud flats of the Medway Estuary, with the aim of finding the last visible U-boats wrecks in the UK. Exactly a century before, on 21 November 1918, an armada of German U-boats had converged on Harwich and surrendered to the British.

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Tim Clark
Urban Packrafting on the River Wandle

Most of London's great tributaries have been lost beneath pavement and concrete. Rivers like the Fleet and Tyburn now trickle through pipes to the Thames. The Wandle, however still carves much of its original course and has been steadily cleaned and cared for, presenting a unique opportunity to explore a regenerated urban river.

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Tim Clark
An English Packraft Gathering

Storm Bronagh was coming.

We watched as belts of rain and 50mph winds swept across the UK and considered whether we should cancel the first English Packraft Gathering, scheduled for the next day, on the edge of Brands Bay, Poole Harbour.

Then we noticed a break in the weather. A brief lull between Storm Ali and Bronagh and trusting in our Weather Apps, we raced for the coast…

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After Work: An Evening on the Thames

We were looking for an after-work paddle, but the canals in central London were choked with weed and many of the nearby rivers were running shallow. So we choose the Thames which always flows, regardless of how long and hot the summer. Our plan was simple and we began it by cheating...

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Tim Clarkplats eyott