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River Medway Camping

Although the Canoe Trail is 27km long there are a limited number of campsites on the river so you should consider where you will stop if considering an overnight camp.

Formal Campsites

There are 4 formal campsites along the river with access for canoe camping. By formal we mean there are toilets, showers and running water on or adjacent to the site.

Hop Farm

The campsite is about 9.5km from Tonbridge and is the first campsite on the route and the largest and most commercial. The camping field is adjacent to the river with easy access for boats and there is also vehicular access to this part of the site.

The site is not easily recognised from the river so look out for a metal footbridge across the main river and a wooden footbridge on river right above the metal footbridge. The camping field starts on the right here. Alternatively continue under the metal footbridge until you come to the next wooden footbridge river right and use the get outs here.

Details of facilities and prices are on their website below.

Grid Ref: TQ666 477. Located here.

Marlin Campsite at Yalding

A small but very popular campsite which is ideally located being the half way point for the whole canoe trail. Toilet and shower facilities are available at the Environment Agency building opposite the campsite area (coin operated) as is free water.

There are 2 main camping areas and the site is located directly below the Medieval bridge on river left. There is no vehicular access to the site but there is free parking along the road outside.

The Marlin site is run by the Whitewater Action Medway (WAM) paddling club. Bookings are arranged by club volunteers so please be patient when making contact. Prices are very reasonable and larger groups can also consider booking exclusive use of the whole site.

The Anchor Pub and Tea Pot Island are also in very close proximity.

You must book in advance and it is always best to book as far in advance as possible, particularly if you are a large group.

More information and contact details are on the WAM website below:

Grid Ref: TQ 691 499. Located here.

Barming Bridge Campsite

Barming Bridge is the only campsite between Yalding and the end of the canoe trail at Allington Lock. The site itself is situated on river right just above Barming Bridge. The site is approximately 19km from the start point at Tonbridge and 6km downriver from Yalding.

This is a small non-commercial site on a piece of land adjoining the river with the landowner living in the cottages at the top of the hill where the toilets and showers are located.

There is easy access for canoes but vehicular access is a little tricky with a small track going down the hill to the campsite area.

There is no website but advance bookings can be made by telephoning Ann Taylor on 01622 720263. It is possible to turn up and camp without having booked in advance. Costs vary depending on group size but maximum £5 per person per night is a guide price for small groups.

The site is not signposted in any way so remember it’s the last field on the right before Barming Bridge.

Grid ref: TQ720 538. Located here.

Allington Lock Campsite

Operated by the Environment Agency and situated at the end of the canoe trail, a nice piece of flat ground adjacent to Allington Lock with good toilets and shower facilities and kitchen sink for your washing up! Book in advance by phoning 01622 752864.

They also have a small number of camping cabins available.

More information is available on the Allington Lock website below.

Grid Ref: TQ 691 499. Located here.

Informal campsites

Informal campsite means there are no toilet or shower facilities and no access to running water. In other words “wild camping”.

It is possible to camp at the lock areas between Tonbridge and Yalding. The Environment Agency are generally happy for people do this as long as they do so responsibly. This means ensuring you practice no trace camping principles and ensure that you do not prevent, obstruct or inconvenience other water users and members of the public using the lock areas and adjoining footpaths.

Most of the locks have nice lawned areas and several have picnic benches which make a nice communal area. Make sure all rubbish is taken with you and do not light fires on the lawned areas.

Other than the lock areas, you are not permitted to camp on private land without having first obtained the permission of the landowner. This is the general position with wild camping in England.

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