Facilities and Activities
Boating and Canoeing
The river today is used by a number of canoeists and canoe clubs. In earlier days, when there were weirs above the present Halfpenny Bridge, there was a body of calm water from here up to the present Dolerw Park Bridge. A number of people have provided boats for hire, for example by Mr Ward of Welshpool in the 1870's. A steam boat later offered rides on the river until an unfortunate accident resulted in the loss of the boat together with a passenger. It has been suggested that boat hire could be possible in the calmer waters upstream of the Dolerw Park Bridge but so far no enterprising person has taken up the opportunity. This information is taken from an article by David Pugh in the Newtonian, vol 50, Autumn 2012 where full details can be found.
It is also possible to canoe in this stretch of the river. The section from Newtown downstream to Abermule is described in the following link canoeabermule
Much of this part of the river is available for free fishing, by an agreement between Environment Agency Wales and the Severn Rivers Trust. Although these two fisheries are free to rod licence holders catch returns are required. Failure to provide catch returns may result in access being reduced or denied in the future.
For the Severn Rivers Trust's fishing passport scheme go to severnfisheries.com. For maps of these free fisheries go to Free Fishing - River Severn - Wales.
1. Penarth Fishery.
Chub, Dace, Grayling and Brown Trout. Mainly slower section above Penarth weir and also provides occasional Salmon fishing. Anglers are reminded of the bylaws relating to fishing in close proximity of weirs, legal methods and close seasons, which are applicable at this fishery. Beat length approx 1,000 metres.
2. Newtown Fishery
Chub, Dace, Brown Trout. Mainly open stretch. Methods, close seasons and bylaws as per Llanidloes and Penarth fisheries. Beat Length approx 1,000 metres.
There is also an angling club, Severnside & Newtown Angling Club, which has fishing rights for much of the river upstream from the Dolerw Park footbridge. Details, local information and tackle can be found at the Newtown Angling Unit in 3 Severnside Centre, near the Ladywell shopping precinct. This well stocked shop is run by Gwynfor 'Jim' James.
A number of river and nature walks are being planned. The first river walk has been prepared by the Walking Newtown group.
Swimming and Paddling
The river is popular for paddling and stone skipping, especially with children. There are several places where access is easy, the water is clean and reasonably safe.