River Leam, Victoria Park Leamington Spa

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  • River_Leam_and_the_Jephson_Gardens_Royal_Leamington_Spa_-_geograph.org_.uk_-_27895
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Leamington has lots of lovely parks that line the river as it runs through the town. There is an annual raft race and you can hire rowing boats or take your own canoes etc along a descent stretch of river. This part of the river is probably 4 to 5 feet deep in its deepest parts and about 25ft across at its widest. It has a slow flow and the depth is held by a wire just at the end of Victoria park where the river flows under a spectacular viaduct (recently defaced by clumsy over the top road signage) People often fish and paddle off the weir which is stepped. I have canoed and rowed upstream from the park many times and swum in it once. Going upstream the river continues between mainly parks and passes under a number of bridges until you get to another beautiful stepped weir in Jefferson Gardens which has a Victorian suspension bridge above it. This park is stunning. Beyond the weir is a nice wide pool which gradually continues out into the country past another park and golf course and common. You often see parties of kids splashing into the water upstream where a little island and a rope swing are. I have seen kingfishers and once an enormousness green snake sunbathing along here so plenty of wild life and minimal litter considering the vicinity of a fairly urban environment. Access is easy along any part I have described and though there is bound to be some submerged branches and the odd bike the banks etc seem well cared for and litter is minimal. You can keep going upstream though a sign to turn back boats is hung as the river passes some allotments. I have canoed past here and its nice but just gets narrower and narrower without much to see. If you’re really keen there is nothing to stop you swimming from the east side of Leamington through to Warwick which is down steam and eventually to Stratford. There is a charity event once a year that allows you to canoe the distance. There is a small water treatment works downstream of the weir at Victoria park which I think deals mainly with run off from streets and gutters not sewage though during very wet weather it pongs slightly!

Place Categories: River Swims and Wild Swim.

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