A paddle from Topsham to Turf Locks

The paddle from Topsham to Turf Locks is one of my favourite paddles! Turf Locks is a pub (details here). It’s in a stunning location, the perfect spot for a cold cider or a hot chocolate on a colder day! Views are AMAZING!

With this paddle, the tide is key and there’s a few options of doing it. It will take roughly 30-40 minutes to get to turf locks up the canal. If you’re going with the tide on the estuary, it can take 15 – 45 minutes depending on how string the current is. 

Option 1 – Tide going IN
If the tide is coming in, the current is REALLY strong and will make for a hard paddle. Instead of going against the tide, go up the canal instead. Get in at Topsham and cross the estuary where the Passage House Pub is – on the other side you can drop into the canal for a lovely paddle up to the pub. If the tide is still coming in when you want to leave, instead of going back down the canal, you can get in on the Estuary side instead so you get the best of both words. However, if the tide has turned, it’s best to go back down the canal. Watch out for low tide – it can get a bit muddy so it’s best to get out before it gets low!

Option 2 – Tide coming OUT
If the tide is going out, that’s great news as you can head out to Turf Locks with the tide for an easy paddle up the estuary. If the tide is still going out when you want to head back to Topsham, then don’t risk going back the same way as the current will be too strong. Instead, head down the canal which is the other side of the pub. Paddle for about 30 minutes and you will get to the locks, here you get out on the right, you will see that you can cross the Estuary to the other side and you will get out next to the passage house pub!


The tide is very strong so don’t go against it and always wear a life jacket. At the far end of low tide, it’s very muddy which can make it hard to get out at Topsham, try to get out of the water 2 hours before low tide to avoid getting stuck in the mud!


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