Paddling the River Eden (lakes)

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Ian5
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Paddling the River Eden (lakes)

Post by Ian5 » Sat Nov 01, 2014 6:29 pm

Our club is heading to the Lakes next weekend. There are about 30 of us staying in Keswick.

I am thinking of the Eden. Can someone update me on this river?

Are there issues with access?
Can it cope with 30 of us?
Are the rainchasers levels a good indicator?

Thanks
Ian

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andypagett
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Re: Paddling the River Eden (lakes)

Post by andypagett » Sun Nov 02, 2014 11:48 am

The Eden is one of my favourite "club trip" rivers. It's got the right mix of scenery, nice rapids that aren't too tricky for most, and a very short, optional Grade 4 at the end of the classic section.

The "classic section" is from Lazonby to Armathwaite and has a good series of Grade 2 rapids throughout. There are 3 rapids in the middle which could be 2+ / 3- as the levels picks up, but all have nice swimmer collecting pools straight after. Just before the takeout is Armathwaite weir, a natural rock ledge. There is a chicken chute down the left hand side, or a short Grade 4 rapid on the right... with excellent safety options from the bank and a large-ish pool below.

The next section down is OK but is nowhere near as much fun as the classic bit. There are a couple of nice rapids but too much flat stuff inbetween (unless you like that stuff, then go for it). The better takeout than the one in the guidebook is river left immediately downstream of the weir and then carry to the top of the weir, where you will find a path to car park. The guidebook takeout is hard to spot from the river. But then again the EA don't like you shooting their weir as it fiddles with their fish count.

The rainchasers levels are spot on. We've done it as low as 0.62... it would go lower, but not by much, though there was definitely enough water. There is a video of that trip here, including the Grade 4 at the end - http://ichthuscanoeclub.co.uk/2014/06/0 ... den-video/

Access? There is an "access agreement" here - http://www.canoe-england-cumbria.org.uk ... S_2013.pdf . Do with it as you will.

If you are in Keswick, there's also the Greta right next door (though you probably knew that anyway)

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Re: Paddling the River Eden (lakes)

Post by heybaz » Sun Nov 02, 2014 10:04 pm

The Eden is indeed a lovely river, the better for plenty of water so fingers crossed for you.

The chap that lives in the restored Mill House river left at the weir is a keen fisherman, has been very welcoming towards paddlers and has told me that he is happy to see paddlers on the river even though his passions are salmon oriented! However there have been instances where folk (not always paddlers) have been down to view the weir by walking across his land, effectively outside his (downstairs) bedroom window, understandably causing some upset. This really is as shame as he is a genuine and thoroughly reasonable gent.

There is an egress river left just upstream of the weir where a very small stream joins the river; this is supposedly where a footpath joins the river and slots between a farm field and Mill House land, eventually leading to the road above Armathwaite. This is not an easy to use path however, especially if lugging bigger boats or if mobility is in anyway impaired. It also brings you to the road with very limited parking, no footway to speak of and on a bit of a bend - far from ideal if not plain dangerous.

Alternately you might want to consider the eddy river right just above the weir where you can inspect the right hand line, set up safety, paddle or portage (not simple - brush & undergrowth to navigate, but certainly do-able even with a 16' canoe!) and then float down to Armathwaite and egress river right immediately downstream of the road bridge. Parking in the village can be tight but a little consideration will go a long way and the Fox and Pheasant do good coffee, beer & food with open fire in the back bar.

One word on the Agreement highlighted: the Cumbria Regional website is well out of date in terms of access information and there are plans afoot to update it. For example, the agreement on the Rigmaden to Devil's Bridge section of the Lune is no longer supported by British Canoeing who have formally withdrawn from it following attempts at renegotiation.

Personally I feel that a group of 30 is a big old group and would split into smaller teams each paddling independently just to minimise the immediate impact of so many boats at any one time (and looking after such a large group can be problematic to boot). Just my view though, hope you have a great time in the Lakes.

Barry

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Re: Paddling the River Eden (lakes)

Post by Adrian Cooper » Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:41 am

That access 'agreement' is a bit of a joke. Are all canoeists required to doff their caps or tug their forelocks if a land owner is spotted? As stated, there is access from a public car park at Lazonby and there is a footpath to the bridge at Armathwaite. There is no need to follow any of the other rubbish; all that is required is good manners and an eye on the environment.

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Re: Paddling the River Eden (lakes)

Post by Ian5 » Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:35 pm

Thanks for all the advice, rain dancing for the weekend.
andypagett wrote:
If you are in Keswick, there's also the Greta right next door (though you probably knew that anyway)
We are booked in at Denton House, the Greta get-out for exactly that reason. Beginners in the morning and a cheeky afternoon fun run.

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Re: Paddling the River Eden (lakes)

Post by Betty » Mon Nov 03, 2014 9:56 pm

Adrian Cooper wrote:That access 'agreement' is a bit of a joke. Are all canoeists required to doff their caps or tug their forelocks if a land owner is spotted? As stated, there is access from a public car park at Lazonby and there is a footpath to the bridge at Armathwaite. There is no need to follow any of the other rubbish; all that is required is good manners and an eye on the environment.
Some of the 'closed days' in the old restriction 'agreement' stemmed from the fact that shooting is very popular on this stretch. Not just shot guns, but rifles... and they shoot across the river from one bank to the other stalking. If they are shooting deer then there might be bullets wizzing about.

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Re: Paddling the River Eden (lakes)

Post by andypagett » Mon Nov 03, 2014 11:14 pm

Ian5 wrote:Thanks for all the advice, rain dancing for the weekend.

We are booked in at Denton House, the Greta get-out for exactly that reason. Beginners in the morning and a cheeky afternoon fun run.
Ah, good stuff! Leave it nice and tidy, our club is in there the following weekend :)

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Re: Paddling the River Eden (lakes)

Post by heybaz » Mon Nov 03, 2014 11:44 pm

Betty wrote:Some of the 'closed days' in the old restriction 'agreement' stemmed from the fact that shooting is very popular on this stretch. Not just shot guns, but rifles... and they shoot across the river from one bank to the other stalking. If they are shooting deer then there might be bullets wizzing about.
Now that's interesting and not a little scary.

I wonder how many Public Footpaths or other Rights of Way there are where adjacent landowners believe that they can ban folk from using them in order to operate shoots? If we believe Caffyn's work on Public Rights of Navigation and are able to access / egress from publicly accessible land, should we be willing to accept the effective closure of a river to facilitate shoots?
Never? Sometimes? Whenever a shoot takes place? "Responsible, shared access" suggests an answer to me.

Perhaps a letter or email to an estate informing them of the likely presence of people on a footpath or bridleway or paddlers on a river on a certain date requesting that they exercise due care if they do plan to shoot would help any shooting party to fulfill their duty of care towards the general public given such notice?

Barry

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Re: Paddling the River Eden (lakes)

Post by Dave Thomas » Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:52 am

I wonder how many Public Footpaths or other Rights of Way there are where adjacent landowners believe that they can ban folk from using them in order to operate shoots?
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Re: Paddling the River Eden (lakes)

Post by Jim Pullen » Tue Nov 04, 2014 12:31 pm

heybaz wrote:
Betty wrote:Some of the 'closed days' in the old restriction 'agreement' stemmed from the fact that shooting is very popular on this stretch. Not just shot guns, but rifles... and they shoot across the river from one bank to the other stalking. If they are shooting deer then there might be bullets wizzing about.
Now that's interesting and not a little scary.

I wonder how many Public Footpaths or other Rights of Way there are where adjacent landowners believe that they can ban folk from using them in order to operate shoots? If we believe Caffyn's work on Public Rights of Navigation and are able to access / egress from publicly accessible land, should we be willing to accept the effective closure of a river to facilitate shoots?
Never? Sometimes? Whenever a shoot takes place? "Responsible, shared access" suggests an answer to me.

Perhaps a letter or email to an estate informing them of the likely presence of people on a footpath or bridleway or paddlers on a river on a certain date requesting that they exercise due care if they do plan to shoot would help any shooting party to fulfill their duty of care towards the general public given such notice?

Barry
I have vague memories from doing a few stints as a beater on a local shoot as a teenager that they weren't allowed to place guns within 50m(?) of any rights of way. This would be footpaths and roads, but I very much doubt rivers.
Done any NE/NW rivers not on the site? PM me!

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