The Coracle Society

Richard Cavendish paddles along with the Coracle Society.

The coracle is the oldest type of boat still in use on British rivers. Bowl-shaped and flat-bottomed, it is one of the few things which might be perfectly recognisable to a visitor to our time from the Bronze Age. The Celts were using seafaring coracles in Julius Caesar's day and voyagers in the western seas in Irish curraghs may have reached the New World centuries before Columbus.

A coracle can float happily in only a few inches of water and is light enough for its owner to carry it easily on his back. It is also a stable craft, as it needs to be if you are going to land a struggling 201b salmon in it.

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