The Daugeleddau estuary is the coming together of four rivers; the Western and Eastern Cleddau, Carew and Cresswell rivers in the heart of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. It is also known as ‘the secret waterway’ because most of it is hidden away from the world.
That’s why the best way to explore this hidden world has to be by kayak, canoe, and of course on a paddle board! Much of the estuary is inaccessible and with superb sheltered waters what could be better than going for a paddle with just the sound of the birds and the gentle sway of the water for company.
The estuary is deep and wide, but sufficiently sheltered from high winds and rough seas, and is thus an excellent natural harbour. The Estuary is very tide dependent. At low tide there are Mud Banks, so you don’t want to get your timing wrong. With a mid to high and an hr or so after high tide you can go pretty much anywhere. certain parts get effected by the wind so always good to check wind directions and tides. One big danger is during spring tides there is a lot of water going in and out of the Estuary.
The woodlands overhanging the creeks have been here for at least four hundred years. Originally, woodland clothed the slopes of the Daugleddau Estuary all along the Haven. What remains today is a mixture of older woodland, and new growth that has sprung up in the last century, since the industries that were once found along the Estuary, such as coalmining, have disappeared.
The Daugleddau Estuary woodlands provide a habitat for many animals, birds and insects. In the early morning or evening it is possible to see otters and badgers. It is also home to protected otter species. You can also expect fishes jumping in front of you so be aware and don’t jump too or you will get a cold surprise!
There are many spots on the Estuary to go Stand-up paddleboarding and they are pretty easy to access. There are certain parts between Pembroke Dock and Milford haven that are not advisable to go to because of the ferries going in and out and other fast water-crafts crossing the estuary.
Note that it is important to seek experienced guidance before going for a paddle on the Estuary if you are unsure about the risks involved. There is no RNLI.