GUIDE TO DEVILS WATER
NAME OF RIVER: Devils Water.
WHERE IS IT?: Nr. Hexham OS Map 87.
APPROX LENGTH: 10 km.
TIME NEEDED: 2 hours.
ACCESS HASSLES: Fine (so far as I know).
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Take a look from the A695 bridge before driving up. If the final rapids look bony it will be a scrape higher up. Don't bother, do something else. It needs to have been raining.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: The first 300 yards is the hardest, technical boat handling that would be tough in spate conditions as the river is tight here. 2/3 of the way down is an easily portageable 6 foot horseshoe weir.
MattD www.brunchmedia.co.uk (Nov 2005)...'Some more trees to negotiate, having done the run in good high (non-spate) levels on Friday 4th Nov' 2005. Experienced paddlers will have no problems with river-scouting the affected sections, but intermediates beware. The long-ish sloping rapid requires a dash from right to left to avoid tree fronds, followed by a nip back right after the tree to avoid some of the munchy rocks. This line can direct through a chewy hole on entry to the rapid. Even at high levels this can lead to some knuckle scraping if one gets the entry wrong.'
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The Devils Water has a great name but in reality is a bit of a ditch. The first few hundred yards is fun and it makes a change from the usual run down the North Tyne but other stuff in the area is better. Several slabby rapids need plenty of water to avoid ripping the bottom out of your boat. I've never done this one really high, might be lots of fun then. Worth a nibble if you are looking to fill a day, when it is honking you can do the Devils Water, the Allen and the North Tyne quite easily if you push on.
Update from Frazer (Dec '99)...Ran the Devil's Water on Friday (16/12/99), this time down the alternate tributary near the start. Not recommended, there is a barbed wire fence and a chain right across at one point, plus more tree hazard (one portage, several others close). Difficulty is much like the other start. Word is there is a tree in the usual top section as well. The 6 foot weir near the end was lethal at this level, a good metre to the back of the boil, like a 1/3 scale version of the killer on the River Oetz!
OTHER NOTES: John Bell writes (14/11/00)...'After the heavy floods of early November, 2000 a large tree two feet in diameter completely blocks the river between the Peth foot get in and Linnels Bridge. The tree is highly visible but an early exit from the river to portage is advised.'
CONTRIBUTED BY: Frazer Pearce, John Bell and Matt Deaves.
This is a pretty little river largely hidden away in the woods with a series of little gorglets (perhaps my view will be biased as we live less than a mile from the river). An interesting trip for intermediate paddlers at medium level if you are lucky enough to catch it with water in. At high levels, trees & resrictied width would present a significant risk.