Welcome to the 2017 season

Our website will shortly be updated so that you can book and pay for your paddling online. Until then, reach us by phone, or by email at enquiries@chesterkayakhire.co.uk, where there will always be a prompt and friendly reply. See you on the river soon!

Tel: 01244 422007

Five Dee-lightful facts about Chester’s river

Mention Chester to anybody, and along with the zoo, city walls, Eastgate Clock and racecourse, one of the first things they will probably mention is the River Dee. The bridges and banks of the famous river always make for a relaxing afternoon stroll, and it’s the perfect place for kayaking too.

How much do you know about the Dee though? Here are five facts that might surprise you:

1. It has a godly origin

The main reason the Romans used Chester for their fort was because of the river and the access it provided to the city for both people and goods. The name ‘Dee’ comes from the Roman word ‘Deva’, meaning ‘river of the Goddess’.

2. It starts in Snowdonia

The Dee is 68 miles long, and although Chester is the first place we associate with it, its source is deep into the mountains of North Wales.

The 2,000ft Dduallt mountain can be found between the villages of Llanuwchllyn and Dolgellau, and the runoff from its eastern slopes feeds the Dee. Of course, if you live in Chester or North Wales, you’ll be well aware that the area receives more than enough rain to keep the Dee flowing.

3. It acts as a national border

A look at the map shows that for a large section of the Dee, after passing east of Wrexham and continuing as far north as the Cheshire village of Aldford, the river shares its course with the border of England and Wales.

This raises an interesting question for anyone travelling by boat along this stretch – which country are you actually in?

4. The river is still used for industry

Aircraft manufacturing company Airbus uses the river to transport the huge wings of the A380 plane from the firm’s Broughton-based plant to the Dee Estuary, where they are collected by a larger ship and taken to Southern France. As you would expect, Airbus transports most of its parts by air, but the size of some of the wings means that sea travel is the only option.

Historically, the river played a key role in North Wales’ coal industry too, and some chemical companies use its waters for manufacturing and to deposit waste, with strict environmental laws ensuring they do so responsibly.

5. It has a large estuary with comparatively little water

Despite an area of well over 30,000 acres, the basin of the estuary is generally shallow, with coastal Wirral villages like Parkgate and Heswall having marshy coastlines and a distant tide. The reason for this is not known for certain, but experts believe glacial activity during the ice ages caused the channel to become broad, yet shallow.