What to do on the day | Canoe Adventures

What to do on the day

Where to go and what to bring on the day of your Canoe Adventure

Ahoy there!   Congratulations on booking your Canoe Adventure. Time to gather your gear and ready your crew.

This information is for when you have booked your adventure (please note booking is essential for all our trips), and includes details on what to wear and bring, directions and instructions for parking.  Please pay special attention to instructions for parking at Tuckenhay.   

RV (Rendez-vous) Time and Departure Point

On confirmation of your booking you should have received:

  • RV time.  Renedez-vous time; the time you need to be at your departure point.  We recommend being there 10-15 minutes before to allow for parking and getting your kit and crew together (faff-time!).  
  • Departure point. This will be Tuckenhay, Stoke Gabriel or Totnes, directions for which are given below.  If you have arranged a different departure point, you will be on a bespoke trip and you will have received seperate instructions by email and should refer to those. 

As the organiser of your trip, it is your responsibility to make sure this information is shared and understood by all your crew.  Our Skippers are entitled to refuse people if they are not, in their opinion, sufficiently dressed for the day's conditions. Given our canoes require a minimum number of people and a specific adult:child ratio, turning away one or two people could cost the whole trip.  

What to Wear

Everyone should dress for a day outdoors.  Please note it is often cooler and/or brighter out on the water than you may be accustomed. Check the day’s weather forecast and in any instance bring waterproofs and a warm layer. Sun cream and hats are important when it is sunny, and shades / sun glasses are useful if you have them.  We advise against jeans; they are not good in the heat or cold, and can be dangerous when wet and cold. We provide a 'dry bag' to keep your waterproofs and warm layers dry when you are not wearing them.


Wear shoes that stay on and that you don't mind getting a bit muddy.  Old trainers are ideal.  In summer, sandals with straps over the heal are great too.   Flip-flops can get very slippery.  Walking boots are fine.

What else to bring

We provide a 'dry bag' for your warm layers, waterproofs and precious things.  There is some space elsewhere in the canoe for bags of food and provisions which we advise you put in plastic bags or small backpacks that don't mind splashes or light mud.  You don't need to bring much more gear than that.  There is no reason to go in the water if you don't want to!  Nor should your camera or phone get wet, so long as you have suitable cases, good pockets in your waterproofs, or use our on board 'dry bag'. 


Bring some snacks and, if you are out over lunch or dinner/tea time, bring a picnic for when we stop on the shore.  If you are on a BBQ trip you need to bring food to cook.  Bring some money in case you stop at the cafe/pub at Stoke Gabriel or Dittisham. 


Bring a bottle of drinking water. At least a litre per person is recommended.  You may be surprised how dehydrated you can get on the water.

Health & Safety

By joining our activity you are presenting yourself as medically fit to do so. Please advise us in advance when you or anyone in your group has any health or fitness condition that may affect safety or ability to participate in canoeing. Non-swimmers should make themselves known to their skipper/guide on the day. Advice given on 'dress' is part of our health and safety policy and risk assessment.


We work on a very tidal estuary so we cannot be flexible over start times, especially on low water trips.  The tide never waits!  One or two no shows or late arrivals could cost the whole trip.


We do not have a permanently staffed office and it is unlikely anyone will be in the office within an hour or two of a trip starting. If you need to contact us last minute, you are better off using one of the mobile numbers we have given you.  BUT PLEASE NOTE mobile phone coverage is weak and patchy on the River Dart estuary, especially where we depart from.  Please be sure to understand this should you be relying on contacting us last minute, and please advise anyone else who you maybe making plans with.  We always acknowledge texts we receive so best strategy is comms by text, and if you get no reply assume your message has not been received.  

Directions & Parking

Please check your given departure point - Tuckenhay (TY), Stoke Gabriel (SG) or Totnes (TS) -  and follow the appropriate directions below, making particular note of the parking instructions, ie no parking at the Maltsters Arms pub:

Tuckenhay - TQ9 7EQ

This postcode - TQ9 7EQ - will get you to the Maltsters Arms where our trip starts but please follow the directions below for parking. Pease do not park on the Maltsters' main car parks on the quay or on the road opposite their front door.  They allow us to park free of charge in their overflow car park a couple of minutes walk down the road.  Even if you are eating there before or after your Canoe Adventure, our trips can often stretch over two meal times and they do siginficantly miss out on passing trade if prospective customers are unable to find a place to park easily.  Once you have made the journey here by car you will appreciate how space is a premium on South Devon lanes and your consideration for the pub's business and our mutual relationship with them is greatly appreciated.  

To Tuckenhay from Totnes (if coming from Torbay, Exeter, the north).

Allow 15 minutes. If coming from Torbay in summer holidays, allow at least 15 minutes to get through Totnes due to heavy traffic. It can be more!  

From Totnes follow Dartmouth road (A381, Western Bypass).  Leaving Totnes up a long hill turn LEFT before top, signed Tuckenhay.  1¼ mile, turn RIGHT signed Tuckenhay.  Down steep hill, over hump bridge, facing Watermans Arms. Continue with river on left to parking. 

Just before the 30mph signs is the Maltsters Arms car-park in a quarry on the RIGHT with a wooden fence.  There is good hard standing – please park here, taking care to allow access for others.  Continue on foot a further 250m to The Maltsters Arms.    Kindly avoid driving down onto the Maltsters’ Quay.

To Tuckenhay from Dartmouth

Allow 30 minutes.

From Dartmouth follow Totnes.  Where the road swings sharply left at The Sportsman’s Arms, turn RIGHT signed Dittisham then immediately LEFT (leaving the pub carpark on your LEFT).  Continue for 3 miles approx through lanes.  Follow signs initially to Cornworthy then to Tuckenhay (no need to go into Cornworthy).  Down steep winding hill to Tuckenhay village.

Once in Tuckenhay drive past bus shelter on right and field on left.  20m after field gate is a layby on your right, between the creek & the lane.  Park here if space and continue 300m on foot to the Maltsters.  Otherwise drive 350m past the Maltsters to their overspill car park with a wooden fence on your left.  Kindly avoid driving down onto the Maltsters’ Quay.

To Tuckenhay from Kingsbridge

Allow 35 minutes

From Dartmouth/Kingsbridge follow Totnes.  Slow right down as you approach Harbertonford, the next village after Halwell.  In Harbertonford turn RIGHT (it happens quite soon; immediately after you have crossed a small road/river bridge and before the pedestrian crossing).  Pass village shop and Post Office.  50 metres turn sharp RIGHT; Bow Road, signed Tuckenhay. Leave village on small lane with Harbourne river on your right.  Follow lane 1 mile. When you reach a deep cutting in the rock, turn sharp RIGHT, signed Tuckenhay (there is a little postbox bolted to the wall that you should be leaving on your left hand side).  After 1¼ mile, turn RIGHT carefully, with big house on the right hand side, go over hump bridge (and not left to Ashprington) and follow the road round to the left, passing the Waterman's Arms on your right hand side.  Continue with river on left 75m to parking.

Stoke Gabriel - TQ9 6RD

This post code  - TQ9 6RD -  will get you to the River Shack where there is parking.  

Stoke Gabriel village is about 15 minutes by car off the Paignton – Totnes road (A385).  There are public toilets in the village centre about 50m past the Post Office.  There are 100 parking spaces on Stoke Gabriel Quay (£6 for all day) near the River Shack Café (toilet facilities for customers).

Your skipper/guide will come and find you on the Quay at your expected time, or you will find them setting up on the beach on the north shore of the creek.

Totnes - TQ9 5AL

We meet by the Slip-way by Totnes-Dart Rowing club in Longmarsh car park, at the end of Steamer Quay Road.

Whichever direction you enter Totnes from, follow signs to town centre and then to the coach park.  If you are coming from the Paignton/Torquay direction this happens quite quickly; you turn left before the old bridge across the river.  If coming from all other directions, you turn right immediately after crossing the old bridge, driving away from the town centre.    You then take the first right, signed to Steamer Quay.

Do not turn right into the Steamer Quay car park unless you are in a coach (this is the only coach park in Totnes), or you want to use the public toilets (advisable).  Instead continue to Longmarsh longstay car park.  This is a pay and display car park.  

We meet by the Slip-way by Totnes-Dart Rowing club in Longmarsh car park, at the end of Steamer Quay Road.

This slip way is about 5 minutes walk from the public toilets at Steamer Quay.