England's Best Grade 3 river?

Inland paddling
Post Reply
Slime
Posts: 568
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2002 6:28 pm
Been thanked: 2 times

England's Best Grade 3 river?

Post by Slime » Tue Oct 04, 2016 4:03 pm

I had a paddle down the New River Greta at Keswick last Saturday with some good friends who were back from the Himalayas. The Greta has of course changed dramatically since Storm Desmond last December and I think everyone agrees that for the paddler is now even more fun - a bit harder, a lot more interest and a few nasty tree hazards.


Do go and paddle it if you get the chance and let us know if you agree with the claim that this new river Greta is the "Best Grade 3 river in England". (gauge at Old Briery needs to be 1.12 or more and levels static or rising).

Happy paddling,

Pete Knowles.

User avatar
buck197
Posts: 1438
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2005 5:25 pm
Location: Plymouth
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: England's Best Grade 3 river?

Post by buck197 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:56 pm

Upper Conwy from A5 bridge, love it
Brian Taylor
Paddle Pirates

User avatar
banzer
Posts: 3291
Joined: Thu May 05, 2005 11:37 pm
Location: Harrogate, Yorkshire
Has thanked: 3 times
Been thanked: 3 times

Re: England's Best Grade 3 river?

Post by banzer » Wed Oct 05, 2016 8:52 am

buck197 wrote:Upper Conwy from A5 bridge, love it
you forgot to add the ;-) .... I think...?!
A. Boater wrote:It's all Pierre's fault
www.neviscanoes.co.uk

Slime
Posts: 568
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2002 6:28 pm
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: England's Best Grade 3 river?

Post by Slime » Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:55 am

I agree the Conwy is a lovely run but of course there are also several other excellent Welsh and Scottish rivers. I cannot think of a better English river - for example I don't think the Dart loop has the same variety, interest or length as the New Greta.

Ian Dallaway
Posts: 324
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 11:07 am
Location: Cannock
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: England's Best Grade 3 river?

Post by Ian Dallaway » Wed Oct 05, 2016 1:41 pm

The Greta was always a good river before the floods changed it. I haven't been down it since, but hopefully that'll change this winter.
Ian

User avatar
morsey
Posts: 6275
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2003 12:36 pm
Location: West Country :-)
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: England's Best Grade 3 river?

Post by morsey » Wed Oct 05, 2016 4:34 pm

River Dart from Two Bridges to Dartmeet.

User avatar
Mark R
Posts: 24131
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2002 6:17 pm
Location: Dorset
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 10 times
Contact:

Re: England's Best Grade 3 river?

Post by Mark R » Wed Oct 05, 2016 7:16 pm

Wot Morsey said.
Mark Rainsley
FACEBOOK

Bod Bagby
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:42 am

Re: England's Best Grade 3 river?

Post by Bod Bagby » Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:26 pm

Glad that is sorted. West Dart it is.

kmac
Posts: 86
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:35 pm

Re: England's Best Grade 3 river?

Post by kmac » Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:08 pm

The lesser-known Tees Greta is also a cracking trip, but more like 3/4- and at 11km, it's a good long trip!

User avatar
Mike M
Posts: 471
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 4:14 pm
Location: Sedbergh : Home of the mighty Rawthey & Clough

Re: England's Best Grade 3 river?

Post by Mike M » Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:05 pm

The Lune from Beckfoot down to Killington Bridge. Continuous,fabulous views of the Howgills,lovely gorges,interesting geology,plenty of play spots and a number of good "named" rapids
Born to paddle................forced to work.

User avatar
davebrads
Posts: 1809
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2002 11:42 pm
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 4 times

Re: England's Best Grade 3 river?

Post by davebrads » Fri Oct 07, 2016 3:00 pm

I was going to suggest the Lune too, because of the above but also because it is paddleable and still somewhat interesting even at reasonably low levels, whereas the Greta needs at least a minimum amount of water before it is worth bothering to get on. However the Greta only gives more as it gets higher, while the Lune actually gets less interesting as it comes into spate levels (except the weir, which becomes a great technical grade 4). I quite happy to accept the quality of the West Dart having never done it, but it is described as a spate run so to be fair should only be compared with a spate run on the Greta which I have done (before the changes) and can vouch for its quality at that level. Also there are plenty of other rivers that really come only into condition in spate, unless the West Dart is truly exceptional I think it would be difficult to definitively state which is the best.

What I am really trying to say is that we should exclude spate runs and include only rivers that run at more normal levels.
it's not a playboat, it's a river runner

User avatar
morsey
Posts: 6275
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2003 12:36 pm
Location: West Country :-)
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: England's Best Grade 3 river?

Post by morsey » Fri Oct 07, 2016 8:30 pm

'Spate run' is loose kayaking terminology, like calling autumn winter.

Does the West Dart itself need to be in spate to paddle? No.
The West Dart is high with gentle banks mostly and gives a more panoramic view than say dart loop, which is deep set in the valley.


My Brother says the Lune, it was his local when he was at Uni first time around.

Mark Dixon
Posts: 820
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:22 am
Location: Devon
Has thanked: 1 time

Re: England's Best Grade 3 river?

Post by Mark Dixon » Sun Oct 09, 2016 4:46 pm

buck197 wrote:Upper Conwy from A5 bridge, love it
Have to agree with you Buck, its an interesting run that is a good paddle for a general grade 3 paddler, the West Dart is more of an undertaking due to trees and rocks at differing levels and isnt worth the effort until the leaves have fallen, runs a lot less too.
The Middle Tavy is my best continuous 3 but again its not always accessible to a grade 3 paddler as it needs a fair bit of water and can be frantic at times and fast

Chris Bolton
Posts: 2862
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:33 pm
Location: NW England
Has thanked: 23 times
Been thanked: 79 times

Re: England's Best Grade 3 river?

Post by Chris Bolton » Sun Oct 09, 2016 8:18 pm

But... the Conwy and and the Tavy, however good they are, don't really qualify for this thread, as they are not in England!

User avatar
Jim
Posts: 13851
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 2:14 pm
Location: Dumbarton
Has thanked: 7 times
Been thanked: 36 times

Re: England's Best Grade 3 river?

Post by Jim » Sun Oct 09, 2016 8:40 pm

Chris Bolton wrote:But... the Conwy and and the Tavy, however good they are, don't really qualify for this thread, as they are not in England!
When did Devon leave?

gp.girl
Posts: 609
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:54 pm
Location: Crawley Down, West Sussex
Has thanked: 11 times
Been thanked: 8 times

Re: England's Best Grade 3 river?

Post by gp.girl » Sun Oct 09, 2016 8:51 pm

You missed the DExit vote!?
I can roll :)

Mark Dixon
Posts: 820
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:22 am
Location: Devon
Has thanked: 1 time

Re: England's Best Grade 3 river?

Post by Mark Dixon » Sun Oct 09, 2016 10:22 pm

I'd have to say the Dart Loop then, if its just England, its the most used section on Dartmoor and paddleable at very low levels to complete spate and for a grade 3 paddler offers a bit of everything.

User avatar
StoneWeasel
Posts: 4418
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:46 pm
Location: Cornwall

Re: England's Best Grade 3 river?

Post by StoneWeasel » Sun Oct 09, 2016 10:37 pm

Middle Tavy is pretty damn good grade 3 paddling and I really rate this section of the Camel too

Mark Dixon
Posts: 820
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:22 am
Location: Devon
Has thanked: 1 time

Re: England's Best Grade 3 river?

Post by Mark Dixon » Mon Oct 10, 2016 7:16 am

StoneWeasel wrote:Middle Tavy is pretty damn good grade 3 paddling and I really rate this section of the Camel too
I have considered heading to Cornwall to run this and some waterfalls worth doing on the Fowey at same time? I have a few friends that come up from Cornwall and drive past on way to Dart so figured they cant be exciting enough to warrant us driving when Dartmoor is running also?

User avatar
Jim
Posts: 13851
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 2:14 pm
Location: Dumbarton
Has thanked: 7 times
Been thanked: 36 times

Re: England's Best Grade 3 river?

Post by Jim » Mon Oct 10, 2016 2:39 pm

gp.girl wrote:You missed the DExit vote!?
Must have been whilst I was on Holiday.

I was aware that the Cornish wanted a split (presumably since they are beyond Devon they also got their independance?), missed the Devon campaign though.

User avatar
nick 16
Posts: 515
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 7:36 pm
Location: Pentir, Bangor, North Wales

Re: England's Best Grade 3 river?

Post by nick 16 » Mon Oct 10, 2016 10:04 pm

Tees Eggleston to Cotherstone when it's high is an absolute hoot. Or Barnard castle to Winson on the tees loads of play opportunities on the way down and also great fun if high.
Nicholas Ball

User avatar
DaveBland
Posts: 3656
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:01 pm
Location: Calgary Canada
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 12 times

Re: England's Best Grade 3 river?

Post by DaveBland » Tue Oct 11, 2016 5:01 am

Grade 3 - Who cares...?
dave

gp.girl
Posts: 609
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:54 pm
Location: Crawley Down, West Sussex
Has thanked: 11 times
Been thanked: 8 times

Re: England's Best Grade 3 river?

Post by gp.girl » Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:59 am

Jim wrote:
gp.girl wrote:You missed the DExit vote!?
Must have been whilst I was on Holiday.

I was aware that the Cornish wanted a split (presumably since they are beyond Devon they also got their independance?), missed the Devon campaign though.
It was just Devon, the border walls are going up soon :) Couldn't allow both to escape it would adversly effect cream teas!
I can roll :)

sundaykayaker
Posts: 130
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:42 pm

Re: England's Best Grade 3 river?

Post by sundaykayaker » Tue Oct 11, 2016 2:05 pm

There are no grade 3s in England. Lol.

User avatar
StoneWeasel
Posts: 4418
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:46 pm
Location: Cornwall

Re: England's Best Grade 3 river?

Post by StoneWeasel » Wed Oct 12, 2016 1:30 pm

Mark Dixon wrote:
StoneWeasel wrote:Middle Tavy is pretty damn good grade 3 paddling and I really rate this section of the Camel too
I have considered heading to Cornwall to run this and some waterfalls worth doing on the Fowey at same time? I have a few friends that come up from Cornwall and drive past on way to Dart so figured they cant be exciting enough to warrant us driving when Dartmoor is running also?
A lot of Cornish paddlers do seem to ignore the gems we have on our doorstep in favour of another trip to the loop (the most boring grade 3 in the south west?) which is something I will always fail to understand but hey ho.

I really rate the Camel but it does suffer the same issues as most Cornish ditches, potentially rather high consequence for the grade. Cornish rivers tend to be tree lined and infrequently run which often leads to more potentially dangerous obstacles than you would generally expect, that and some barbed wire on the Camel. This makes them less than ideal for people looking to push the grade of water they are happy on. That said, for people that are confident at the grade then there are some great runs around and even a bit of exploring left to do.

As for the waterfalls on the Fowey, don't go expecting big clean drops, we don't have any. What we do have is Gollitha Falls which used to be a big clean drop until sometime in the 19th Century they decided to blow the crap out of it with dynamite to make it easier for salmon to get upstream. It is still a lot of fun though but definitely requires inspection as it can get a bit full of debris and not very nice at all. There is also a boulder in the bottom of the drop which can move about a bit in mega flows and sometimes leaves lines nicer than other times. The whole Gollitha Falls stretch is a great bit of river though but do be careful, it is a river full of consequence and it is easy to come unstuck in the easier stretches and end up in some very bad places to be. A few years ago we cleared out the most dangerous trees and branches but new ones fall all the time so watch out for blind bends.

If you are looking for something different to paddle than the usual suspects though it is worth staying in the car for another 30 mins to check out some of these hidden little gems (check out Ponts Mill too)

We also have the best play hole in the south west when the water levels are right ;)

Denzil

Post Reply