Sarum Rotary Club > Five Rivers Festival 2020 > 24th May 2020 > Five Rivers Festival: River Float

CANCELLED – Five Rivers Festival: Family River Float

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Applications for the 2020 Family River Float are now OPEN.


Welcome to the FAMILY River Float, a great opportunity for family and friends to have a leisurely float down a beautiful stretch of the Avon River from Mill Lane Bridge to Ashley Green.

Inflatables must be plastic – NO wooden and NO polystyrene boards will be allowed, sorry. Inflatables should also be ‘flat’ so that you can lie on them, rather than ‘ride on’. This is to help protect the river beds and also from a safety perspective as the river depth may be over head height at some points.

The Float is approximately 0.8 of a mile in length and will take about 60 minutes from start to finish. Please allow a good two hours at least however from point of registration so we can brief you, take you up to the start point with your inflatable, get you kitted out with a buoyancy aid before setting you on your way. At the end, you will be helped to exit the river safely and portable showers will be available.

Who can take part?

Up to 20 people can float down the river at any one time, however total spaces are limited to a maximum of 120. Why not invite your friends and family to come down with you – and reserve up to 10 places together at a time.

The main requirements are that you are aged 8+ and a competent swimmer and that you bring your own inflatable. For those under 16, a responsible adult will be required. Everyone will be required to wear a buoyancy aid which will be provided, however we would strongly recommend that you wear a wetsuit.

Professional river safety will be provided during your Float, kindly provided by Serve On who are based locally and water rescue specialists.


Key Details

PRICE: The cost is £14 per person (16+) and £9 per person (8-15).

START TIME: All those taking part must register and attend a Safety Briefing at Ashley Green before being taken up to the start point. There will be six registration and start times during the Float with the event effectively running between 8am and 1pm. Registration and Float times will be advised nearer to the Float with the earliest Float Start time of roughly 9am. If you do not turn up for registration/briefing at the correct time, sorry but you may lose your place as we cannot allow anyone on the river who has not received a full Safety Briefing.

Once registered and briefed, you will then be taxied up to the Float Start in vans together with your inflatables. There you will have a buoyancy aid fitted. Your start time will be roughly 50 minutes after registration and your float will last approximately 60 minutes.

LOCATION: Although the Float itself starts at Stink Pot Bridge, ALL participants must register at Ashley Green and attend a Safety Briefing before being taken up by van to the start.

WHAT YOU NEED: You will need your own inflatable which must be a plastic pool inflatable and flat. You also need to have a wetsuit (or other suitable clothing to keep you warm while you float down), some sensible footwear and we would also recommend that you wear goggles. Buoyancy aids will be provided.

RULES: There is a strict NO RACING policy. The objective of the Float is to enjoy this beautiful stretch of river within the Avon Valley Nature Reserve, whilst respecting the habitat and eco-system.

PARKING: There is NO parking at Stink Pot Bridge. All participants must register and attend a safety briefing at Ashley Green before being taxied up to the start in vans. We have secured free parking at the Five Rivers Leisure Centre specifically for Floaters – marshals will greet you at the entrance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I wear?

Please wear a wetsuit or other suitable clothing to keep you warm while you float down the river. Please also wear sensible, protective footwear. We would also recommend that you wear goggles.

What if I have any open cuts/wounds?

From a health and safety viewpoint, please cover up any open wounds or cuts before you start the event. Plasters cannot be provided at the event itself.

Can I wear fancy dress?

Sorry, the wearing fancy dress during the river float is prohibited.

What sort of inflatable can I bring?

Bring a plastic pool inflatable that you can either lie or sit on (don’t bring a ride on inflatable such as a dolphin). Other unacceptable floats include wooden or polystyrene floats, a non-flat, ride on float (such as a dolphin) and inner car tubes with metal valves.

Are there changing, toilet and shower facilities?

Yes, there will be changing and toilet facilities on site. You will also need to hose down after your float some on site using the shower/hosing down facility at the end of the Float.

Will you provide a buoyancy aid/life jacket?

Yes we will provide and wearing one will be mandatory.

How good a swimmer should I be?

The river depth is over 5ft deep at some points and the strength of the flow will depend on the amount of rainfall prior to the event. You must therefore be a competent swimmer to take part.

Is there an age restriction?

Yes, you must be aged 8+ from an insurance point of view. If you are under 16, you must float down with a responsible adult.

Can those with disabilities take part?

In principle yes, but it depends on the disability and the practicalities accessing the site and managing your safety during the float.


We plan to be back for 2021! We will release details on how to book soon!

If you would like to reserve up to a maximum of 10 places to float down together, please click the BOOK NOW button below, download the relevant forms and pay by debit or credit card via the payment facility, at which point you’ll receive a receipted invoice.

Please send the outstanding information (both applications forms and, for those under 16, consent forms) in plenty of time. This can either be:

  • emailed to us at or
  • posted to Family River Float, c/o Boatwrights Estate Agents, 41 Castle Street, Salisbury SP1 3SP.

Please download and read the following forms before booking your place(s).

Booking Form

General Festival & Specific River Float Terms & Conditions

Emergency Contact, Treatment & Photo Consent Form