Down a long long road and down a dark dark lane, some (boat) skeletons live. And it is one of the most serene beautiful place to SUP.
On the road between Totnes and Dartmouth, a stones throw from my front door, head towards the ridiculously sexy village of Dittisham. On the right, there’s a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ turning down a lane that looks remarkably like it leads nowhere. If you’re willing to trust me, follow the tree lined road all the way down to the river and you meet the Scooby Dooesque named Old Mill Creek. With just a layby to park in and a solitary picturesque cottage, you’re destined for the most peaceful uninterrupted river paddle.
Launching from the banks of the creek, be wary of low tide (you could end up stuck in the mud). Once you’re on the water, wind your way through sleepy boats easing into retirement and past the lonely boatyard trying to breathe them back to life. That sounds poetic. If you’re otherwise inclined it could look like the perfect spot for Dexter to take his latest catch. But on this day with blue sky and soft breeze it was just perfect. Not an altruistic killer in sight.
Past the old turret, there are lots of beautiful little coves to stop for breakfast* or a bask in the sunshine.
Check the tides and make sure you turn back before you run out of water.
This section of the river remains uncharacteristically unspoilt so paddle with friends or let someone know where you’re headed in advance. Safety first, always.
If the tides are in your favour and you make it back around lunchtime, there are cracking places to eat a few miles down the road in Dittisham. Or Dartmouth is full of the freshest, most delicious seafood.
Enjoy and let me know if you find Old Mill Creek. Not in person obviously – if you see me down there etiquette dictates that we nod awkwardly at each other and stick our paddles in the water. Hell to the no chatting at the Creek.
*take your own, this stretch of river lacking in human life and snacks. Which arguably makes it an even better place to escape the world for a while.