Did You Know Papermill Lock was The Place to Paddle Board?

I’ve lived in Essex since birth and this was the first time i’d heard about Papermill Lock, Little Baddow, near Chelmsford, Essex…

Paddle Board

Little did I realise that paddle boarding was an acceptable form of waterway experience on the River Chelmer, although I wasn’t surprised to see the canoeists and kayakers, as Vince and I began our stroll along this quaint english canal. Some of the boats reminded me of the rosie and jim childrens programme and for a moment I felt as if I were transported back to when our ones were young.

KayaksMy childhood memories of walking the walls through the canal tunnels with my aunt and uncle sprang to mind – as did the chiffon scarves, which my aunty turned into a bikini top, so I could swim in the water whilst on days out with them.

As it had been a bit rainy the day before we went, there were a few dips and spots which were a bit more slippery than the rest. So wear your sturdy walking shoes to provide some waterside grip. Wouldn’t want to see any accidents – like the lady who fell over in front of us and ended up hands down in the mud.

Take tissues is my motto.

We did and she was very grateful for them.

Our walk was purely a constitutional and if you are a regular reader to my blog you will know how much I enjoy walking and exploring. Always have and always will.

The dragonflies were beautiful as they flew alongside us and the canal bank, stopping at points for us to grab that photographic moment. The swans magnificent  – take some bread because they soon turn their backs on you when you don’t feed them. Like the subversive twitter follower who only connects to you-to get you to connect to them!Dragonfly

In its heyday up to 60.000 tons of freight were carried along the 14 miles of navigation via 12 locks between Heybridge Basin and Springfield Basin.             PaperMill Lock                     


Our afternoon out here, reminded me very much of the Yellow Water Billabong in the Northern Territories of Australia. Of course, without the alligators. This is what sprung to mind as I watched the Caffel – the 12 seater river boat chug past us- cutting through the cloud filled water, as I wished we were on it. Papermill Lock offers a one hour river trip on the Caffel. Babies up to 12 months are free – for everyone else its £5. Phone up to book.

MeThe Stables tea room was heaving and I left Vinnie in the queue with strict instructions to choose whatever cake he liked to share with me, on my return from the ladies. Suffice to say – you can see from the photograph, my delight at his fantastic choice of the cream tea. The two sides of the moist scone, a serving for one, but well big enough for two and it tasted delicious – the cream not too sickly, the strawberry sweet to the bite and full of flavour. I was in heaven and it wasn’t long before it was scone. (sorry – couldn’t resist!)

Cream Tea

The thing both Vinnie and I loved the most, was watching the river rise as a boat entered the lock and the water rushed in. It seemed to be the one thing which engaged both adults and kiddies alike as we all stood watching in delight as the

One little boy said to his dad – “How many tea cups would it take to fill it up?”


LockCheck out Papermill Lock for yourselves – have a great afternoon out, relax and enjoy the great english countryside in its autumnal glory.

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