On the Water: Kayaking on Helford River (Part 1)

Words: Conan Marshall

Photography: Ruaidhri & Conan Marshall

Lately here on Dure Magazine its been trail running galore. So we thought it was time to hit the water and explore the iconic Helford River located in Cornwall.


Location: Helford River, Cornwall

Evidently, here at Dure we like to praise Cornwall due to its rugged coastal trails that are perfect for any runner or hiker. Although, there is much to offer in terms of sailing, surfing and in this case kayaking. After a sporadic trip to a local watersports store, my brother and I found ourselves in the possession of a kayak. I have kayaked multiple times in the past, mostly on the open water but never down a river. We quickly discovered why this river has become a hot spot for canoeists and kayakers. The river offers an endless variety of hidden coves and is surrounded by ancient woodland. Helford River is a perfect place for those who are less experienced on the water, offering calm currents and a moderate climate even during later months of the year.


Route: Towards Gweek

Setting off from Frenchman’s Creek at low tide, we headed down river towards the historic port of Gweek aided by the tide as it made its way downriver. There was not a sound to be heard other than the birds flying overhead. A meditative experience that can be hard to find in the present day. The woodland that oversees the passage is dense. There are small coves round every corner only accessible from the water. Seaweed covers the rocks. The pungent smell of mud cannot be ignored. As the sun started to disappear, we knew that things were going to get even more scenic…


Gear: Sevylor Riviera Inflatable Kayak

I don’t claim to be an expert on canoes/kayaks, but there are clear advantages of having an inflatable kayak over the norm. First of all there’s the portability. Being someone who likes to travel light, this kayak is perfect. It can be inflated in a matter of minutes then folded to be worn like a backpack when your adventure is over. No need to use the roof rack on your car. The Riveira weighs just 8 kg when inflated but remained stable on the river (bearing in mind we were in relatively calm conditions) . Of course, these kayaks are not ideal during stronger conditions in open waters.


There are many adventures to come. Follow @ruary_m & @conanmarshall for more.