News and Events archive

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01743 365022


Scottish Highlands Lochs and Munros Expedition 1st – 8th August 2010
If you are 16 -19 years old and interested in a Scottish adventure come and join us on our Lochs and Munros Expedition.
The Plan
We leave Shrewsbury 1st August on route for our expedition base at Corpach near Fort William, Scotland. Our base provides comfortable lodgings on the shores of Loch Linnhe, with breathtaking views of Ben Nevis. From here we will take part in a variety of outdoor activities including Sea Kayaking, Open Canoeing, Mountain Walking and possibly more.

For the expedition we will be operating in two teams; one will start from Loch Morar and paddle, walk and paddle in a north easterly direction to their finish point on Loch Quoich; the second group will do the journey in reverse to finish at Morar. The expedition is likely to last for four days and three nights so we will be wild camping and using mountain bothies for shelter. This area is renowned for its rugged beauty and remoteness. The cost per person for this trip is £200 per person.
If you are interested in taking advantage of this opportunity please e-mail  clearly subject your mail Scotland 2010 
Read more

Sadly we will not be running the Rally again this year.
As last year we do have a site in mind but we have not managed to pull everything together to date. Last year also saw quite a few problems on the upper reaches of the river with blockages etc. The Severn obviously missing the annual invasion of canoes to clear the debris! We will keep working on it - it would be great to have a come-back run on the 25th anniversay!!

We miss you all - take care and happy paddling. Sue and Roger
Severn Young Paddlers returns 19th April 2010

SYP is a drop in paddle sport club there is no joining fee, all we ask is that you fill in an application form which must be signed by a parent/guardian if under 18. Canoes and kayaks are available, everybody is welcome young and old. Sessions are supervised by our experienced coaches. We meet from the canoe ramp in Frankwell, Shrewsbury, every Monday evening from the 19th April onwards. Start time 6.30pm, May onwards 7pm. The cost per person is £4.50 a session, no pre-booking is required. Sessions run through the summer until late Spring. No session on Bank Holidays. This year we will again be running SYP after school club for primary school children between Mondays 5.30 - 6.30pm cost £2.50 each.


The Icy River Severn

Following the sub zero temperatures ice flows form on the Severn in Shrewsbury. It has been nearly 30 years since
the river completely froze over.
Had the river been a little lower with less flow this possibly
could have happened again.


Severn Young Paddlers

Monday the 28th of September saw the last of this seasons
Severn Young Paddlers’ weekly paddle.
 After a hugely successful summer season, the final session was spent undertaking a short paddle in open canoes, followed by a barbeque. This rounded off the summers paddling, before embarking on a different programme for the winter.

 The winter pool sessions are due to start on Thursday the 8th of October at Shrewsbury School’s pool. This session is open to under 18 year olds. For further details please telephone 01743 365022.


Scottish Adventures
Two youth groups left Shropshire on August the 2nd to embark upon a week of adventure in the highlands of Scotland, with Drummond Outdoor.

The young people from Bishops Castle Youth Project undertook their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Expedition along the Caledonian Canal. A group from Shrewsbury Sixth Form spent a day scrambling up Ben Nevis, followed by a day sea kayaking, and then a guided trip down the Caledonian Canal over a three day period.

 Both groups returned a week later, having had a thoroughly good time, students and staff a like. We are already looking forward to more
Scottish adventures in 2010.



High Sports Winter Lectures 2009/10
6 lectures lined up including 2nd February - PAT WINTERTON

Confined to the Cockpit’.  An epic Kayak Adventure from Wales to the Faroe Islands. Sea kayaker extraordinaire Pat Winterton is back by very popular demand. There’s never a crossing too far for this man who has made some of the most audacious sea crossings to remote islands off the north-west coast of Scotland. He’s circumnavigated Ireland and many more trips in huge Atlantic seas constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s capable in such a tiny craft. An incredible 300 mile crossing from Scotland mainland to the Outer Hebrides and then to the remote Faroe Islands in 5+ days. Unsupported paddling across one of the most notoriously dangerous seas in the world. More information


Access and Camp Sites along the Severn
 Pool Quay to Shrewsbury

Updated October 2009
Pool Quay – A483 The Moors, Welshpool to Oswestry Road
The lay-by often used to access the river is now open after the recent
road works Map ref: SJ 247098

Abbey Weir down to Stoney rapid is still getting the occasional tree blockages.
If this has given you problems over the past months or is likely to affect
your proposed trip please complain to EA – number as follows.
Alan Jones –

Melverley - Camping available at Church House on the Vyrnwy – a short distance up
the river just by the church. Map ref: SJ 332165
Contact Jayne Sprackling 01691 682754
Recently re-opened Tontine Inn 2 minutes walk away.

Royal Hill - Currently not welcoming families with children under 14 years of age for
camping or caravanning. Have been hostile towards some canoeing groups and individuals. However, access should be available through the river
field as a Public Footpath runs through the field to an old ferry site and
across the river into the opposite field. Map ref: SJ 351173

Buckley Farm – new campsite. Camping now available, toilets and showers.
1km downstream of Royal Hill. Map ref: SJ 362170
Contact Mr. & Mrs. Davies. 01743 741336
Landing point Map ref: SJ 360168

Picnic Site, A5 – Montford Bridge – adjacent to river
Toilets, sometimes burger van Map ref: SJ 431148

Wingfield Arms (Old Swan), Montford Bridge
Access, camping and food Map ref: SJ 431152
Contact Julie or Denise 01743 850750

Severn House, Montford Bridge - Opposite side of the river beyond the bridge
Camping Map ref: SJ 432153
Contact Liz and Paul Simons 01743 850229

Frankwell, Shrewsbury – Access and parking. (Public)
River right upstream of foot bridge. Canoe ramp into recreation
ground adjacent to car park. Map ref: SJ 491129

The Quarry, Shrewsbury – Public park with toilets. Map ref: SJ 486126

Shrewsbury Weir – Access and toilets. Parking available at Weir but surrounding
streets should be avoided.
New steps now available above weir left bank. Weir should be approached
with caution in anything other than summer conditions – in higher water can
have a lot of flow on approach and very big and dangerous stopper below.
Only use steps in normal summer conditions – at other times egress well
upstream. New fences left and right bank can make lining down difficult.
Best done right bank in low water – all other conditions portage left around fence to steps below Weir. Map ref: SJ 500130

Further update beyond Shrewsbury available shortly.

Join us for the last of the season New Course Dates 2009

One Star Paddlesport course
Flat water award reflecting basic boat control in any type of boat. Two days introducing the individual to basic boat handling & control, safety, environment, boat & equipment. Setting the foundations towards a competent paddler.
Duration - 2 days
Includes all specialist equipment canoes, kayaks & coaching.
31st October / 1st November
Price £100
First day only - Price £55

Display pdf 1 Star Syllabus      Download booking form here


“do the loop”  Presents
A Paddle into the Past with Dr Nigel Baker

Following a very successful and popular series of talks last year we have asked Nigel to return, so come and join us for Paddle into the Past.

Dr Nigel Baker is a professional archaeologist who has worked on Shrewsbury for many years; he is the author of a number of books on the town. Living in the Shropshire countryside close to the Severn, he began kayaking only to find the river rich in undiscovered archaeology.

The tour will explore the archaeology of the Severn loop around Shrewsbury, looking at the town’s medieval defences and castle, lost streams, ancient fords and bridges, historic wharfs, Victorian health hazards and much more.

No previous paddling experience is required. The tours are part of Shrewsbury Summer Season and are offered on the following dates:
19th May, 9th June, 7th July and 11th August.

All tours start at Frankwell and finish at Shrewsbury Weir. Tours begin at 7pm concluding about 9pm. Tickets cost £15 per person

For bookings and further information contact 01743 365022 or e-mail or visit

Download Booking form



 The UPPER SEVERN CANOE RALLY -  8th to 10th May, 2009

 Regretfully the Rally has been cancelled for 2009 as the Royal Hill camping site is no longer available as a base.  Without prior warning, apology or regret the management of the Royal Hill have decided that the Rally is no longer welcome there.  Without this facility it will not be possible to continue this year.  However, we are currently looking at a new venue but it will not be ready in time for May.

 The Upper Severn Canoe Rally was one of the first events in the country to be organised solely for open canoes way back in 1987 and it has run every year since with the exception of 2001 when foot and mouth saw many events postponed.

 The journey takes us from Pool Quay by Welshpool to Shrewsbury over two days with an overnight camp.  The distance covered – 34 miles with shorter distances possible.

 The Rally has been well attended over the years with around 40 to 70 canoes annually.  A huge 109 canoes assembled at Pool Quay in the early 1990’s.  Last year just in excess of 60 canoes joined us for a super weekend in brilliant weather.  Paddlers from all around the UK have returned year on year to enjoy this part of the Severn and the countryside of the borderland of Shropshire and Powys.

 Sadly we feel that the Royal Hill may be lost to canoeists as they do not appear to want children under 14 years of age, families, groups and certain adult groups. .  However, we should point out that a public footpath runs from the road in front of the pub across the field to the river (an ancient ferry site) and into the field opposite.  This should be available for public access to the river.



The second Upper Severn Canoe Rally 1988

Last years Rally


January found the mushers amongst us together with dogs, sleds and rigs in the forests of Glenmore.  For a change there was plenty of snow, far too much ice all followed by road closing floods.  Needless to say a good time was had by all.

The more sensible amongst took off to the
Alps for an all too short ski trip.

 February and preparations got underway for the launch of ‘do the loop’  - our brand new project with primary schools in Shrewsbury and Shropshire.  This takes learning outside of the classroom and onto the river in Bell Boats.  The pioneer event took place in April and was tremendously successful especially as the school involved bagged the only nice day for weeks either before or after.  The project has been taken on by other schools and is on-going for 2009.  Details of this can be seen on

 May saw the Upper Severn Canoe Rally number 22 – this year graced with good weather and attended by around 65 canoes and crews.  It was just like the early days with many ‘old’ friends turning up after a break of several years.  The 2009 Rally is scheduled for 8th to 10th May – details to follow later.

 One of the highlights this year was a trip to Scotland in July with a group of young people from the South West Rural Youth Project based at Bishops Castle.  The team of eight successfully completed their Gold D of E Expedition Award by navigating the Great Glen. 

 Following months of training on the River Severn, lakes Vrynwy and Bala they finally set out in late July for their great adventure.  Starting at Corpach (at sea level) in damp and windy weather they climbed Neptune’s Staircase (a serious series of locks) to the canal.  Loch Lochey was very breezy and damp  but this developed into a fine, sunny and hot week for the finish at Inverness.  Sadly the plan to walk down to the sea was somewhat thwarted by an incident at the locks which was beyond their control but they went as far as permitted.

Many congratulations to you all on your success – a fine trip carried out with lots of enthusiasm and completed in great style.  Congratulations too to your hard working Youth Worker.

 During 2008 Drummond Outdoor have been involved with other young people working on D of E awards and other activities.  Congratulations to:- 

  • Ellesmere College who trained with us and completed their Gold Expedition in France.
  • Cheltenham College for their success with their Gold Expedition on the River Wye.
  • Wrekin College for training and success with their Silver Expedition on the Severn.
  • Wakeman School  - a successful paddlesport programme.
  • Shrewsbury Sixth Form -  a successful paddlesport programme.
  • Shrewsbury School – Kayaking and Rock Climbing programmes.
  • Overley Hall – canoeing throughout the year.
  • Primary School children who took part in ‘do the loop’ and carried on paddling with an after-school group and doing really well in the local Bell Boat Regatta.
  • The many young people who take part in weekly or periodic activities and those who visit us from other parts of the country.

 The Summer months saw the Bell Boats loaded with adults for a paddle into the past as part of the Shrewsbury Summer Season.  Look out for these next year with a Darwin theme.
We continue to run our BCU courses – look out for new dates shortly.

 All in all a great year.  Thank you for choosing Drummond Outdoor.  We wish you all the very best for Christmas and the New Year.

Mushing Scotland

Gold D of E Expedition Award by navigating the Great Glen.

Great Glen

A Paddle into the Past with Dr Nigel Baker

Summer Activities
Kayak and Canoe Taster Sessions

Learn the basic strokes to master the kayak or canoe, cover the relevant safety considerations in a fun packed structured session delivered by an experienced Coach. This will leave you wanting more of this wonderful sport. For longer sessions check out our kayak and canoe courses.
2/3 hours £20 pp

 Next Date July 23rd 09
 Telephone to book your place


River Severn access update

There continues to be river wide blockages down stream of Pool Quay around the area of Stoney rapid. Please be extremely cautious when paddling this stretch. Please notify the Environment Agency of any problems along the route.

Shrewsbury weir remains a significant challenge especially if getting in and out of a kayak. The failure to replace the access steps at the top of the weir onto the towpath and the fencing around the fish ladder is of great concern. Not only is it making the paddlers life harder to get on and off, it is a real hazard to anybody who has accidentally fallen into the river  .

Environment Agency Emergency Hotline 0800 80 70 60


What a weekend The 2008 Rally report

The second weekend of May 2008 saw the 22nd annual Upper Severn Canoe Rally take place, organised by Drummond Outdoor and supported by crews of over 60 open canoes, from as far a field as Southampton and Scotland.
 read more


It’s paddle power all the way on the River Severn in Shrewsbury

 From Spring 2008 primary schools will be invited to “do the loop” and encouraged to take their learning outside the classroom.

Find out more


Upper Severn Canoe Rally
9th - 11th May 2008
  Pool Quay to Shrewsbury over two days
paddling down Britain's longest river through wild & unspoilt countryside. The Rally brings together one of the biggest gatherings of open canoeists in the UK.
 read more

Download Rally 2008 information & booking form


New Course Dates 2008

One Star / beginner - A full day introducing the individual to basic boat handling & control, safety, environment, boat & equipment. Setting the foundations towards a competent paddler.
Dates 2008 -26th April,  24th May,  28th June,  26th July,  23rd August
27th September
Price £50 includes all specialist equipment & coaching.

Two Star / improver - A follow on from the one star developing skills further & introducing new ones. A chance to gain a breadth of experience in paddlesport to take away & explore.
Dates 2008 - 27th April,  25th May,  29th June,  27th July,  24th August
28th September
Price £60 includes all specialist equipment & coaching.

Bundle - Book 1 & 2 star courses over the same weekend for £100.


Upper Severn Canoe Rally - update

 Rain, rain, rain and even more rain.  Just no other way to describe the weather for this years annual Upper Severn Canoe Rally.  No one could believe the amount of  rain that fell on Sunday for hour after hour and especially as it followed more than a month of unseasonably warm and dry weather.  read more


Youngsters paddling courses summer 2008
Built around the B.C.U  Paddle Power Awards

Paddle Power Start – an entry level award, introducing the world of canoeing.

Paddle Power Passport four progressive levels based on 24 topics which can be grouped into Safety Awareness, Paddling Skills, Varied Experiences, and Supporting Knowledge.

Click here for details


Youngsters paddling courses summer 2008
Built around the B.C.U  Paddle Power Awards

 Sessions run Tuesdays & Thursdays 10am to 12.30pm

22nd July, 24th July, 31st July, 5th August, 7th August, 12th August
14th August, 19th August, 21st August.

Price £15 per session. Venue River Severn, Shrewsbury

more information


posted 25/05/07
 Access problem!

River Severn between Pool Quay & Llandrinio

Landranger sheet 126 1:50 000 / Explorer sheet 240  1:25 000
grid ref 278 137
Tree blocking the river with a build up of debris, steep river banks to portage around
For further details telephone 01743 365022


Full range of courses coming soon, expected October 07
 including BCU/UKCC coach level one & two.


The 21st Upper Severn Canoe Rally
Pool Quay to Shrewsbury
May 11th - 13th 2007

A weekend of Great paddling down Britain's longest river through wild & unspoilt countryside. The Rally brings together one of the biggest gatherings of open canoeists in the UK.
Use the link opposite to download full information & booking form.

Click here for more information

Misery for most as Severn bursts its banks again.

Shoppers struggle to get into Shrewsbury to buy Christmas presents due to flooding,  the Severn provides its own gift for local paddlers. A washed out weir leaves a fantastic smooth play wave.


docanoe voucher
Christmas, birthdays, weddings, you name it the docanoe gift voucher is the ideal pressie. No restrictions redeemable against everything we do and sell!
Courses, hire, holidays, adventure activities, & shop items.
 Vouchers available from £25

Call 01743 365022 for details
Severn young paddlers rolling sessions
Another great chance to improve water confidence and learn to roll.

Following on from SYP summer season  youngsters were invited to participate in a series of pool sessions based at Shrewsbury school. With a high turnout each week, the sessions will commence early 2007 so if you paddled with SYP and your name isn't on the contact list let us know.

docanoe supporting young paddlers.

The name might have changed but the test of fitness, navigation and route planning remains. Galloway forest park was the venue over the 28th / 29th October. Cloud cover over the Saturday made navigation more difficult, clearing Sunday to appreciate the scenery. docanoe entered a team for the second year, steadily climbing the results after losing points on day one for being timed out, day two went according to plan. If you fancy a challenge in the mountains then give it ago in 07.
Severn Young Paddlers summer season

A terrific turnout of paddlers all summer long made Frankwell the place to be, young and old, novice to expert, canoes, kayaks and sit on tops enjoyed the long mild evenings. If you want to join us on Monday evening for a gentle paddle or launch off the slide on the side then we will be meeting again in early April. 

Now available from our e-shop

British Canoe Union Coaching Handbook £19.95

This book is a mine of useful information and practical tips. If you aspire to be a better canoe or kayak coach, this is the book for you.

White Water Safety & Rescue: Franco Ferrero £15.95

2nd edition. Covering topics from strategies for safely descending a rapid, to making safe and recovering an injured person this guide describes the essential knowledge for every recreational paddler and professional river guide. Other topics covered include reading white water, skilful paddling, equipment design plus a whole host of other useful information.

Danger Weir Below

Due to unseasonably high water levels on the River Severn this spring a couple of near misses involving groups touring the river have occurred.  These have been due to paddlers getting far to close to the egress point above Shrewsbury weir in high water. The warning sign from the foot bridge 200 metres upstream should be heeded when the river is close to tow path full or over. The nature of the Severn is that it can rise very quickly at any time of year - even when you are on it!

It is a good idea to inspect the weir at any level.

 If in any doubt for up to date river levels ring us.

A river wide stopper with 15-20 ft tow back

The Upper Severn Canoe Rally

Fine weather, ideal water levels and good company!

Well over 50 open canoes took to the water for both days making this the biggest turnout post foot and mouth. Canoeists from all over the country took part in the paddle down the River Severn from Pool Quay to Shrewsbury.

Click here for Rally report

The Royal Hill campsite

Roger's London Marathon

Sunday, 23rd April, 2006 saw Roger lining up with thousands of others at Blue Start at Blackheath under a very grey sky.  Fortunately it wasn't cold as well and the spectators were out in force lining the streets and cheering every runner on.  A truly fantastic experience.

  Roger was lucky enough to get a ballot place and decided to raise funds for the Severn Hospice.  He ran in Shrewsbury Athletics club colours. His time was 5hours 3mins with which he was well pleased.






Striding for the finish line

Severn Young Paddlers

SYP is a drop in paddle sport club there is no joining fee, all we ask is that you fill in an application form which must be signed by a parent/guardian if under 18. Canoes and kayaks are available, everybody is welcome young and old. Sessions are supervised by our experienced coaches. We meet from the canoe ramp in Frankwell, Shrewsbury, every Monday evening from the 3rd April onwards. Start time 6.30pm after Easter 7pm. The cost is £3.50 a session, No pre-booking. No bank Holidays.



Severn Young Paddlers





rolling, rolling, rolling

Severn young paddlers ran a series of rolling sessions  throughout March in conjunction with Shropshire youth association. Using the swimming pool gave each youngster a great chance to try and master the art. Each session was fully booked and a good number of youngsters managed to roll at the end of the four weeks.



The 20th Upper Severn Canoe Rally

 5, 6 & 7th of May 2006

Join us for Number 20 as we paddle from Pool Quay down to Shrewsbury over two days, camping and caravanning over night at the Royal Hill pub. The Upper Severn Canoe Rally remains one of biggest open canoe events in the country. A limited number of canoes are available for hire.

Click here for full details


The second Upper Severn Canoe Rally 1988

do the kimm

Drummond Outdoor managed to get off the river to enter a team into the Karrimor International Mountain Marathon. Held in the Eastern Lake District near Ullswater on 29/30th October 05.



The over night campsite